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"Things" vs Omnifocus....or any other software tool

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  • "Things" vs Omnifocus....or any other software tool

    Hello All.

    So I'm new to the GTD philosophy. But after reading David's book, I can see so much I agree with and am convinced that once applied the ideas are going to improve my life.

    However I need to get started!
    I have bought all the physical tools (Bisley Filing cabinet arriving this week) but thought it time to implement some software. Before seeing the light of GTD I have been using basic today/reference lists using MobileMe notes.

    So which is it to be: Things, Omnifocus.....or something else?

    I own a macbook and an iPhone, I will mainly be applying this to personal stuff rather than work. I am a bit of a technophobe too. I notice omni gets a shout from David Allen Company itself, but Things more positive votes on app store.

    Let the voting commence.......

  • #2
    Never even Considered Things

    I never even considered Things after a quick look so Omnifocus gets my vote. Learning curve is high but the features are much more robust and it's much more flexible.

    Comment


    • #3
      I'm a Macbook, MobileMe and iPhone user and I'm going to go with Things.

      I tried both Omnifocus and Things. Omnifocus clearly has more features and settings, but I switched to Things because I wanted a simpler user interface. I was concerned, however, that it might be missing features.

      While using Things, I have found that whenever a feature appears to be missing, it is because I'm trying to solve a GTD issue using features, whereas what I really need to do is re-read about GTD. I think the Things makers have a deep understanding of GTD because this has happened several times now. Omnifocus has the tools to provide you with many views of your information, but I found that Things had the views that I needed once I understood the method.

      The good news is that both software do trials, so I'd do that if I were you on both.

      Comment


      • #4
        I would recommend OmniFocus, it suits me perfect for its intention. Download the trial and check it out before buying, and look at the videos on the site. There is also a comprehensive tutorial at Lynda.com:

        http://www.lynda.com/OmniFocus-tutor...g/60817-2.html

        You can check out the available videos from that tutorial to get a feel of it. I absolutely love it and could not shamelessly praise it more than what I have already done here.

        Comment


        • #5
          Since you describe yourself as technophobe, I would say Things is the better option for you. It's easier to learn and you'll get a better feel for how to get organized using to do lists. My roommate wrote a introduction to using to do lists including things that will help you get started.

          However, I do think Omnifocus is a better app. Things doesn't support over the air syncing (or it doesn't work as well). So while you are updating it on your macbook, you can't use it on your iphone. Omnifocus does this really well.

          Also, like mentioned earlier, Omnifocus has a steeper learning curve but will give you more power to using it. I really love this app but it also took me a couple months of experimenting to figure out how I use it optimally. Even for basic usage, it's fine too. If you are willing to learn the app you will get A LOT out of it.

          If you really want to use your macbook and iPhone together, go for Omnifocus and learn it. If you just want to use something simple and only on the Macbook, go for Things.

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          • #6
            3) Do a seach of this forum, and find this topic covered often.

            2) Download and read the Davidco white paper for GTD with Omnifocus

            1) Use a paper system for a while, to improve GTD skills and to make yourself a more informed software buyer.

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            • #7
              I've been using Things for quite a while but I'm trying Flow (www.getflow.com) for a month to see if it will work for me. So far, so good!

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              • #8
                Cloud Sync is vital

                Whatever you decide, I think it's absolutely vital that you get a solution that allows a completely frictionless synchronization between your desktop and your iPhone. In other words, it has to feel like you only have "one list" that you can look at from either place, rather than two lists that you have to worry about keeping up to date.

                As a practical matter, I think that rules out Things (at least for me, at least for now).

                I tried Things and Toodledo, but eventually settled on OmniFocus, and I'm happy with it. It's a clean interface and a well-designed set of applications.

                Comment


                • #9
                  ccoleman:

                  Agreed........


                  rdgeorge

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Sync Yes Cloud NO

                    Originally posted by ccoleman99 View Post
                    Whatever you decide, I think it's absolutely vital that you get a solution that allows a completely frictionless synchronization between your desktop and your iPhone.
                    Agree totally with the need for easy sync but totally disagree with cloud based solutions to that. For me the requirement for sync is that I be totally in control. Security and privacy concerns preclude use of any cloud based sync for me.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Contexts?

                      Originally posted by GTDWorks View Post
                      I've been using Things for quite a while but I'm trying Flow (www.getflow.com) for a month to see if it will work for me. So far, so good!
                      I like the way the flow works, but how it appears that to arrange tasks pertaining to context seems awkward. What is your experience of this compared to Things which I am currently using

                      Dave

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by GTDWorks View Post
                        I've been using Things for quite a while but I'm trying Flow (www.getflow.com) for a month to see if it will work for me. So far, so good!
                        Just tried flow. It's not really an individual gtd app, more a collaborative project/task/comments/files web app. At $99/year, it's not a good value IMHO. The web interface also seemed slow to me. I deleted my trial account ASAP. But whatever works for you.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Does OmniFocus cover Waiting for and Someday/maybe effectively?

                          Hi All.

                          Thanks for the replies, very useful.
                          I have started my GTD life today with the collection phase. Rather disconcerting actually and i have a desk pilled with papers and 100 off things in my Omnifocus inbox.
                          Yes I decided to go with Omnifocus!
                          So now to process and review. headache already!

                          The way I see it, the software for GTD (omnifocus - OF? - in my case) needs to distinctly manage 4 different things:
                          - projects list
                          - next actions
                          (I must say the ability to view the actions by context but still have multiple ones related to a project is good and seems to go beyond David's GTD book)
                          - waiting for
                          - someday/maybe
                          It is these 2 categories where the OF methodology doesn't seem clear.
                          I've read The White Paper OF, GTD and you (which started out really promisingly with a GTD style workflow diagram) but there after seems a bit vague. Using a "on hold" context for both of these 2 categories.

                          I would like a distinct Someday/Maybe section with separate categories e.g. Music, films, skills to learn, holiday ideas etc
                          Waiting for should IMHO be a simple list with just delegated actions

                          As David states in p140 of his book, there are 7 categories in the organizational structure and they should be "kept visually, physically and psychologically separate"
                          (the other 3 being calendared items - iCal and project and reference material - both in a filing cabinet)

                          So my question fellow GTD'ers:
                          How have you managed to fit this methodology into OF??

                          Many thanks

                          Jackson

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by jacksonhitt View Post
                            I would like a distinct Someday/Maybe section with separate categories e.g. Music, films, skills to learn, holiday ideas etc
                            Waiting for should IMHO be a simple list with just delegated actions
                            I structure by Omnifocus system by areas of focus with a folder for each one so in addition to the active projects for each AOF I also have folders in Omnifocus where I keep the Someday maybe items that are associated with that area of focus. I put those projects on hold. Waiting for is a separate context as I can have waiting fors all over my system.

                            So my top level has a folder

                            Manage Our Farm Sustainably with sub folders of General Farm, Sheep, Orchard, Poultry, Horses, Ditch Company and within each of those folders is a folder for Farm Someday, Sheep Someday etc. Within those folders are the projects that are possible future active ones.

                            My lists of music to buy or books to buy is handled by having an on hold project which is buy more books. When I decide to activate it the action is decide what book to get from my saved lists. I keep the actual lists of books in a separate Open Office Text file and also in my DEVONThink notes. My kindle books to buy are in my Amazon Kindle Wish list. It's project support material so not directly in the Omnifocus system but referred to by the system.

                            My waiting for is a separate context because I am waiting for something but the project is active. So not really seen in the project view at all.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              thanks Oogie.

                              That's really helpful.
                              I was getting confused by thinking of waiting and on hold as identical but of course 'on hold' is a status we attach to any context (like waiting) or to a project (for example someday/maybe ones)
                              think i'm getting there!

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