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Mac GTD app smackdown: is Omnifocus the best out there? Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Hi, I just finished reading GTD a few days ago and have been demoing OF for a few days. I definitely like it, though am hesitant to jump in and buy because of its price and learning curve (a few more videos on the website would really help!). I have now learned that there are other GTD programs out there, such as Things, Ghost Action, iGTD, and others.

I would really appreciate if anyone with experience with any other Mac GTD programs would let me know their thoughts.

Let the best GTD app win!
Moving my response from the other thread to here :)

I haven't tried them all, but have tried the top-tier apps. None but OmniFocus had the all of the features, flexibility, and usability I require. Things is promising yet incomplete - the tags feature is intriguing but not superior (in any way I've thought of yet) to OF's way. The look is nice, but it would only take some relatively simple adjustments to OF to make it look very similar, and as the demand seems to be there, I wouldn't be surprised if an upcoming version of OF sported a sleeker look. Some people say OmniFocus is too complex compared to Things - in my experience OF can be completely simple, or by opening up the Inspector, Perspectives, or delving into the menus, much much more powerful.

I intend on giving Things another look once it's officially released. In it's current state I kept running into barriers that made me feel unable to work the way I wanted to.

For me one must-have for any GTD app is going to be top-notch iPhone version. The only ones I "know" have them so far is OmniFocus and Things. If I don't capture "stuff" the moment it hits me (e.g. away from home) then I'm likely to lose it, or waste time trying to remember all of it later.

I'm sure a lot of other people have additional thoughts.
Thins has been discussed before on this forum; I know because I yammered on and on about how I prefer OmniFocus over Things. :) Unfortunately, it's hard to search for those threads because the term "Things" doesn't make a very good keyword and turns up all kinds of unrelated stuff.

FWIW, I was a happy user of iGTD, which really showed some promise. Two things (no pun intended) happened that made me look around again. First, the developer put out a public beta of a new version that appeared to be a radical departure from v1. Once he put that beta out there all further development, on either the original or the new version, stopped.

Second, and even worse, he more or less disappeared. He had been very responsive to user requests (perhaps it burned him out?) and was almost constantly introducing new features. But earlier this year the Web site went down. (It was later resurrected.) To me it looked like development was being taken over by a team of volunteers. That's when I started to survey the GTD app landscape in earnest. And based on the traffic in the once-thriving forums, I'm not the only one who moved on.

My use of a GTD environment is reasonably common, I guess. I'm not a strict adherent to the GTD philosophy, but I sure do like the power that using a good tool gives me. Far fewer things seem to fall through an ever-growing number of cracks.

Even though the price of OF, compared to other products in the same space, seemed steep, the support, responsiveness, commitment, and even presence here of the developers and other Omni team members was a key factor for me. The promise of syncing was a major factor (especially with the iPhone) and a major selling point, as was the reputation of the Omni Group in general. The fact that they develop and sell other products is a benefit, not a problem, in my book. Personally, I'd rather pay a solid company a reasonable price for a solid product that I'll be able to use for years than have to change apps every time a company run on a shoestring (or less) folds its tent.

Last edited by jbarse; 2008-07-11 at 05:24 PM..
Originally Posted by jbarse View Post
FPersonally, I'd rather pay a solid company a reasonable price for a solid product that I'll be able to use for years than have to change apps every time a company run on a shoestring (or lesss) folds its tent.
My thoughts exactly. That was also one of the major reasons I chose OmniFocus. And I haven't regretted it.

I, too, used iGTD throughout the initial development. What I liked in that product was the flexibility it gave me to do things generally in a GTD model but with the twists so essential to my work. In particular, I made heavy use of iGTD's integrated connections to the Apple Address Book. In my role, I absolutely must have the ability to track tasks assigned to specific people (including more than one person per task). OF is far too rigid in that respect so I'm stuck with using it for my personal stuff or items I do alone and drawing upon other packages for the group stuff. I do wish OF people were more willing to allow task doers some flexibility essential to their circumstance.
Maybe this is insufficient for your needs, but if you drag a vcard from Address Book into an OmniFocus notes field, it creates a link to that contact.

Also, see this post about metadata columns in an upcoming release (maybe 1.2). That might help your situation too.

Thanks. I've read the post about metadata but that thread started a long time ago without much sign that address book connections will be easy. Toadling's work around gets part way there but I need to filter the list by person for occasions where I'm having phone and in-person followup conversations with folks. I urged attention to this issue with Omni developers some months ago. They weren't optimistic about prospects for addressing as it wasn't the true GTD model. I argued that GTD doesn't always flow the same way for everyone but my view didn't draw any favor. That's why I went to using two systems, admittedly a lousy solution. I suppose my problem is that I was once quite conversant with Lotus Agenda which let me slice and dice tasks in any way I want. Nothing developed on any platform has ever come close to Agenda's power. One can only wish, however.....
I'm not sure which developers you were talking with, but we've always planned to let you create your own "Person" column if you wished (through the use of the planned custom metadata columns Toadling mentioned above).
Yes I too was very enthused--and then puzzled--about the developments and regression of iGTD.

I hope the GTDMafia didn't harm ole Barkek. I seriously just hope the guy is ok. What a talent!

But life moves on. Yes iPhone sync and extension was essential to me too.

I'm delighted. I just completed my port from Bento.

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