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iPad OmniFocus as Main OF Tool For Work - Thoughts? Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
I'm an omnifocus user however my work environment is windows only. I've been contemplating purchasing an iPad just to use with OF and would like some feedback from you guys about how this would hold up as a primary OF setup for use at work. I'd be using it with the dockable keyboard or a bluetooth keyboard for rapid entry at work.

Any thoughts?
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by newbie73 View Post
I'm an omnifocus user however my work environment is windows only. I've been contemplating purchasing an iPad just to use with OF and would like some feedback from you guys about how this would hold up as a primary OF setup for use at work. I'd be using it with the dockable keyboard or a bluetooth keyboard for rapid entry at work.

Any thoughts?
Hi Newbie73,

I'm not sure from your post whether you intend being a completely stand-alone iPad user or if you also have OmniFocus on a Mac at home.

I've posted on this subject over in the Omni Lounge, and having got a couple of considered responses from well-respected Members, I've spent the last month trying desperately to get used to my iPad within a work environment.

It may well be my age, but using my iPad in the office infuriates me! I'll ignore its technical limitations vs. a laptop, (for an OF example re: rapid entry, see this link), and focus on a problem that drives me to distraction: other people treat it completely differently from my iPhone or MacBook. As an example, I was in a client's office last week and within a few minutes of arrival, it had been appropriated. I have to confess that I'm now completely sick-and-tired of being asked within minutes of me taking it out of my bag: "can I have a go?" ... then watching it get passed around and being returned four hours later...!

I find that even within my own company it's treated as something to be loaned out or shared on demand, in a way that no-one but a close colleague or only in a dire emergency would I be asked to lend my iPhone or MacBook.

I'm afraid that I belong to the 'too rich to care' school, so I'm about to relegate it to home activities and get myself the new 11" AirBook which is just as easy to carry, has many more benefits, and won't suffer (hopefully!) the above issue.

I trust my seriously negative review above goes some way to helping you arrive at a considered decision. :)

Last edited by endoftheQ; 2010-11-07 at 11:38 AM..
 
I'm in the same boat right now. I've recently started to use OF at home, but at Work I'm in WindowsLand. I don't like having to carry a portable device in and out of the building each day as it means I have to stop at the guard desk to check it in/out and then try to explain that Apple doesn't put serial numbers on the outside of their laptops etc, etc. For me I'm better off having a device I can just leave at work full time.

I was considering buying another iPad just for work. Then I realized that I had an unused 12" Powerbook in my closet so I dug that out instead and took it to work. Performance on the ole' boy is fine and it has a little more functionality that the iPad. The only thing I don't like is being stuck at Leopard forever. The problem I'm having, though, is the internal resistance to pulling it out of the desk and setting it up each day. I'm finding that the firefighting I do first thing in the morning overrules getting OF up and running, and it's often afternoon before I even realize I haven't set up the laptop yet. I still haven't decided whether I'm going to stick with the laptop or go with something else. An iPad for OF might still be in my future but I'm a little concerned as you are about whether I can really "do it all" on the iPad.

One thought I had to reduce that daily set up resistance is to take a Mac Mini to work instead. I have a spare one of those too, but even buying one would be only a little more than a lowest level iPad and less than a laptop. I also have a spare KVM I could use. This would be the least resistance option for me. Plus, if I could somehow get the new Outlook '11 connected to the corporate Exchange I could solve my biggest problem with OF, being unable to move data in/out of OF easily while at work. Of course I checked with the Boss first to make sure I wouldn't be breaking any major rules by bringing in my own Mac desktop. Essentially it's no different from all the employees and especially contractors who bring in their own laptops everyday, many of which are Macs. A Mac Mini would be much less expensive than a laptop if you don't need the portability of carrying it around the office.

As a third option I also just bought an iPod Touch primarily for running OF on the go. It's great for checking todos and ticking off tasks, but it's not big enough for reviews, data entry, or project management IMHO. I've found that having the Touch with me at work has contributed to leaving the laptop in the drawer because I still have quick visibility to my tasks. I just can't easily make many changes on it.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GrumpyDave View Post
As a third option I also just bought an iPod Touch primarily for running OF on the go. It's great for checking todos and ticking off tasks, but it's not big enough for reviews, data entry, or project management IMHO. I've found that having the Touch with me at work has contributed to leaving the laptop in the drawer because I still have quick visibility to my tasks. I just can't easily make many changes on it.
If you just bought the iPod Touch, it should be running iOS 4.x and I believe that gives you the ability to use a Bluetooth keyboard or the Apple iPad Keyboard dock. My 2G iPod Touch is still running 3.1.3 so I can't test this out for you, but it might be worth taking the iPod to your friendly retailer of such things and giving it a try. Use the keyboard when you need to type in a bunch of stuff.
 
I guess I'm in the minority here. I too have to use a PC at work. I have a Macbook Pro at home. I use my iPad at work all day and love it. I have OF on my Mac, iPad, and iPhone and use it exclusively for my GTD system. I also have DEVONthink on my Mac and iPad and use that to manage all my project information, etc.

I have taken it a few steps further. I have a bluetooth keyboard and use Pages, Numbers, and Keynote as my primary document/spreadsheet/presentation software. When I have finished a document I save it in the standard Microsoft Office format and email it to myself so that I can access it and store it on my PC. We use Lotus Notes for email so I have a mail rule to send all my work email to my MobileMe account and process it on my iPad. Anything that I want to send to OF gets done on my Mac at home since I can't do that on my iPad and I don't want to leave the Macbook running all day connected to the net. I will be getting an iMac in a few months and then will be able to use that to process emails to OF automatically. Unfortunately I do have to also process my emails on my PC although I could set up another mail rule to handle that, but I like to file it into appropriate folders to archive for safe storage.

Without getting into it, the building renovations were just finished where my new "second" office is and I will be moving in there in two weeks. I have been trying to decide if I want to bother to put another PC in there or not. I'm happy with my iPad but a larger screen has it's benefits. I really don't want to carry a laptop back and forth and have no intention of giving up my iPad. I don't yet know how much time I will spend at each office. I am also thinking about a Macbook Air maybe......
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by whpalmer4 View Post
If you just bought the iPod Touch, it should be running iOS 4.x and I believe that gives you the ability to use a Bluetooth keyboard or the Apple iPad Keyboard dock.
Hmm, there's an idea. I didn't know that option existed. Still, while a keyboard would be a big improvement for the data entry side I'm not sure the Touch has the screen real estate to effectively manage projects and tasks. I'm also under the impression that reviews are difficult/lacking there too but I should spend some more time on it. Thanks for the idea, I'll play around with that.
 
Definitely do try it before handing over the money. If you do decide to buy, I saw some bargain-priced keyboards at OWC recently, both the Bluetooth and iPad keyboard dock models.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by endoftheQ View Post
As an example, I was in a client's office last week and within a few minutes of arrival, it had been appropriated. I have to confess that I'm now completely sick-and-tired of being asked within minutes of me taking it out of my bag: "can I have a go?" ... then watching it get passed around and being returned four hours later...!
I use a personal iPad at Work and while people are always interested to have a play, it never leaves my sight. I think that the bottom line is that if you treat it as a business tool, others will see it as a business tool. If people want a quick look, by all means show them, but keep the front page for business apps, don't let people wander off with it, you'll find that once the initial thing wears off, people will see you using it as a business tool and accept it as such.
 
Similar situation here: Mac at home, Windows at work. But unlike others, I didn't buy the Mac version. My home life, while busy enough, pales in comparison with my work life, so I had no use for OF just for home if I couldn't use it at work.

When OF became available on the iPad, I looked at it again more closely and decided it was worth a try, given the 30 day guarantee. In that time period, I used the 14 day trial of the Mac version to enter my entire GTD structure from what I was using before. Since that time (mid-summer), I've used just the iPad version (well, I did buy the iPhone version, but that doesn't get the same kind of use), and I love it. I'm even pretty good with the virtual keyboard, so I didn't feel an external keyboard was worth it for me.

I always had it in my mind that if it worked out that I would probably buy the Mac version, but I found that I adjusted well enough to the iPad version that I didn't think it was worth it for me. And quite frankly, in the period of time I was using both, I found I like the iPad interface better.
 
I agree, the iPad interface is so much easier, no keyboard stuff to worry about, though it would be nice to have carved up views for different projects. Else it works very nicely, though i have not yet taken it to work.
 
 


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