This whole ‘GTD’ / project / task management application search has been doing my head in the last few days. I’ve been watching loads of videos of how others are using both Omnifocus and Things, I’ve watched the introduction and training videos from both applications as well.
Anyway, here’s the test that I’ve done. I’ve put the same projects and tasks in both applications, I’ve also purchased both iPhone applications so I can test the mobile usage and sync capabilities of both apps.
So let’s get started with the positives of Omnifocus.
Network syncing is simple
This is probably the best feature of Omnifocus in my opinion. They’ve made it very easy for you to use Omnifocus across multiple devices, i.e. work Mac, home Mac, iPhone. You also have multiple ways of syncing your Omnifocus databases, if you’ve got a MobileMe account then all you do is pop your login and password into the Omnifocus preference pane and voila….it’s that easy.
The iPhone client is easy to use, and syncs across bonjour, webdav, and mobile me
Again, another great feature is how easy it is to use your iPhone with Omnifocus. This is particularly helpful if you’re a mobile office person, or if you use Omnifocus to manage your errands and household chores.
Growl integration for reminders while you’re working
Once you have all your tasks, projects, and other information in Omnifocus and have set start and / or due dates Growl will give you popup notifications that the task is now available to perform….or maybe needs to be completed if you’ve somehow managed to hit the due date.
I’m sure Omnifocus has other features which would stand out above these few I’ve mentioned, however as you’ll soon read I had a number of negative points which really hurt my usage of Omnifocus.
So here’s some of the negatives I experienced with Omnifocus.
Omnifocus seems overly complicated
There’s so much going on with Omnifocus and the various parts of the UI that it’s not the simplest application to just dive into and start working with straight away…and I’m not the sort of person who would normally sit down and read a user manual and run through loads of training videos just to get started with an app that I personally would use mainly for simple task management.
Contexts and perspectives aren’t obvious
I just don’t get contexts and perspectives in Omnifocus. I don’t really know what else to say here.
The iPhone version is expensive!
At $23.99 the iPhone version of Omnifocus seems very expensive to me, particularly if you’re using the desktop version as well as it’s really just to mobilise your tasks.
Omnifocus seems to have been built for people with multiple jobs and somewhat complicated lives, it seems to be designed with more of a power user in mind and while it is relatively simple just to add single tasks and projects it can be less than intuitive as to how to manage those tasks from there.
If you want to check Omnifocus out there’s a 14 day trial here.