Divide by Nought

Archive for July 2008

Things vs. OmniFocus

with 3 comments

OmniFocus and Things are both great GTD/PIM/Productivity applications.  I’m using them both just too see which one I end up using more and then I’ll stick with the winner.  I would simply choose one, but they both have their limitations.  Omnifocus is a little too structured while Things is a little too loose and, even worse, manual. Nothing is ever perfect, but a couple small changes to either and my life would be so much easier.

OmniFocus being too structured appears to be the result of strict adherence to the GTD scheme.  As a seeming result it doesn’t offer things like deep projects (projects with sub projects that have their own sub projects…ad nauseam…).  It does have folders (aka groups), but that’s a completely different concept and requires manual organization.  That’s a big deal, manual operations take half of the value out of a task management applications.  It does, however, allow for hierarchal contexts.  This is a good thing overall, but even there it would be nice to have a little more depth.  A cross between relational organization and hierarchal organization would be super powerful.  Then again, nothing that I’m aware of offers that right now, so maybe I shouldn’t be surprised.

Things has projects, areas, hierarchal tags, and people.  All good things and allowing finer control over tasks than OmniFocus.  But it doesn’t allow for anything but tags to be entered (associated) during task entry.  Odd.  What this means is that project and area associations must be manually created after the task is created via a wizard like menu system.  This is the definition of kludgy and is Things biggest limitation.  Why?  Because entering new tasks needs to be very fast and shouldn’t required that I do anything else to organize them beyond that initial entry.  Unless of course I want to change something because I didn’t do something.

Finally, they’re both only available for the Mac.  I think Macs are great (more specifically OS X).  But I do have Windows machines both at work and home.  Why, oh why, must I use a Mac to have good task management software?  At a minimum a nice Ajax enabled web client is in order.

…at least they both have iPhone apps.

Despite my criticisms I do like both of these programs and think they’re better than anything available for Windows (Outlook doesn’t even come close).

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Written by me

Sunday, July 13, 2008 at 3:56 pm