I’ve posted here a number of times about my frustration with waiting for Things, my favorite task management app, to offer cloud sync. It’s a feature that other rival apps have had for a long time, one that the developers of Things have said is top of their list for ages, and yet one that still has no ETA at all, and no guarantee from the developers that it will not be charged for.
As much as I love Things, my massive disappointment with them on this subject has lead me to search for replacement apps. I’ve been doing this for a while now, looking at numerous apps and all of them have fallen short for me. With some, their UI was just too inelegant and ineffective, coming from the clean, simple interface of Things. Some lacked features that are critical for me, e.g recurring tasks support. Others offered sync only with ugly web apps and not with a full Mac app, which is another must-have for me.
And now I’ve finally found a potential replacement in OmniFocus – or more specifically OmniFocus for iPad, Mac, and iPhone. I’ve been aware of OmniFocus for years. I even bought the iPhone version when it first appeared in the App Store, but had always considered it too heavy, too powerful and filled with too many features, just too much all-round for me.
I’ve been giving it a try again over recent days though. Using it on the Mac alongside Things, doubling up my efforts at managing tasks temporarily while I see whether I can get used to using OmniFocus and, more importantly, get comfortable with using it.
I rely very heavily on task lists. I’m continually updating and editing them, throughout the day and at night as well, whenever an idea comes along or I remember some crucial to-do item I’ve not yet got on a list. So being absolutely comfortable with using a tasks management app is a big deal for me.
It’s only been a few days with OmniFocus, but I’m finding it less intimidating than I did previously. I’m beginning to find ways to use it the way I want, ways to organize my tasks in the best way to help me get them done.
The desktop app is still more complicated – or just feature-rich – than I would ideally have it; and it puts some of the GTD (Getting Things Done) methodology more in my face than I would like – but this time round of using it, I think I’m finding ways to get past that. I like it enough that I even spent time last watching videos on how to use it more effectively and get more out of it.
And then there’s OmniFocus for iPad. Oh Boy. I really enjoy the iPad app. It has a much nicer UI than I expected and my early impressions of it are great. I only installed it last night, but I found the interface so nice and so effective that I got tons done in it right away.
Oh, and once I got sync setup, it was a joy to see automatic cloud sync in action of course.
It’s early days, and I’m still just on a trial version for the desktop version, but this the first time since I started using Things back in 2008 that I feel like I really may have a viable replacement for it.