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Trying to like OmniFocus, but ..... Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
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[This is not a flame posting :)]

I'm a big Omni fan. I have OmniGraffle Pro and OmniOutliner Pro. Love them both and use them often.

So, I thought I'd check out Omni Focus.

First impressions (after 3 hours of struggling): Yuck.

The interface in OF is very complicated. In my first few minutes of playing with it each project I added went away after I closed and reopened the program. I had to call support to find out I needed to fiddle with the Perspectives (change it "back" (?) to "All).


I also think the application is not very attractive, which isn't as big a deal if it's really a productivity booster, which I don't think it is either. Actually, OF sort of reminds me of using Windows. With Windows, it's all about Windows, not your applications. With OF, it was all about using and understanding OF.

Rather than being intuitive, I found myself needing to watch the OF videos again and again and still not being sure I "got it". Something is wrong when software is this complicated and too much of that complexity is lopped on to the user's shoulders.

Doing some Internet searches, I found similar feedback.

In OmniFocus, the whole concept of "context" is strange -- at least to me. Plus, you can only assign one context to a to-do. Really? The way I think of context is it's sort of like metadata. Seems very limiting and confusingly implemented. And again, you really need to understand it.

Then there are the OF views (Command + 1, Command + 2). OK I guess, but why do I need to make (and understand) this distinction? Again, IMHO, this is needless complexity lopped onto the user.

In Things, on the other hand, I can add as many tags as I want. Plus, the interface is beautiful and simple. I didn't find myself stumped trying to use the program instead of having it help me manage my tasks.

I'm sure Things has deficiencies as well and I'm not saying it's "better". I suppose it depends on the user's needs; I'm just passing along my experiences from using both.

So, although I think OmniOutliner and OmniGraffle rank among the best software in class I've used, and knowing no program is ever "perfect", I was totally disappointed with OF.

Perhaps version 1.5 would be improved?

For now, I'll either use Things or just do things in Busy Cal and forget this extra software totally.


- m

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