Omnifocus gtd/OS questions

Discussion in 'PUBLIC: Discuss Tools & Software for GTD' started by dcbahr, Oct 5, 2017.

  1. dcbahr

    dcbahr Registered

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    I recently signed up for the trial of Omnifocus and had a few questions that are GTD and OS-related.

    1. The only Apple device I own is my iPhone 7. Otherwise, I'm a Windows user. Does anybody use Omnifocus as their trusted system just on their mobile device? Or do you integrate using something like Zapier with your PC? In other words, is it essential to have a mac while you use Omnifocus as a trusted system, or can it be done with a PC as ones primary computer? I realize i'm trying to unite the klingons and the federation Circa the Enterprise NC1701A but I figured I'd ask.

    2. Is it worth getting the Pro version versus the Standard version for a GTD system and if so, why?

    3. Is having perspectives and contexts a redundancy in a GTD system? I already find it confusing.

    4. Is something like Things perhaps a better investment seeing as it is 1/4 the price? The only problem is that you can't try it out and for me, that means if it's not accessible to the Voiceover screen reader, it's sometimes hard to get my money back. Omnifocus appears to be extremely accessible which was extremely surprising. A lot of the GTD apps are more pretty than accessible. Or if they are accessible, they are pretty clunky. And I guess I've never found one with screen reader support that's as well-rounded, but it's a question of getting it. Then, because I now have a vested interested in it, sticking to it as a trusted system. And, like a lot of us, I have never found something I can fully trust, mostly because of accessibility issues. Like Toodledo. Great ideas, not so great interface with a screen reader.

    Any thoughts you have are welcome, thank you.
    Dave
     
  2. Oogiem

    Oogiem Registered

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    I've been using Omnifocus for almost 9 years. I can't imagine running it on my phone or iPad alone. So I'd be very cautious about that. However, I believe that there are people who can do it successfully. I don't like how the iOS version does reviews which was always my sticking point.

    IMO the pro version is definitely worth the money. The ability to create your own customer perspectives is very powerful once you understand how to use them. I use custom perspectives to set up for my reviews, to flip between fully expanded and unexpanded views of my lists and more.

    Perspectives and contexts are completely different. A context is still the most critical way to subdivide your actions. Without contexts IMO you are not using the GTD system. The perspectives just allow you to change how you view those lists. SO for example, I like to see a version of my project list that is just the active projects with no details of the actions under that project. A collapsed view of my projects if you will. I also like to see a version with all actions, even the ones I've completed, so fully expanded and I like to see one that only shows me the remaining actions. I use them at different time. None of those perspectives affects the underlying system of contexts for the actions.

    I've never been tempted to switch from Omnifocus so I can't comment on Things at all. I will say that I have tweaked my Omnifocus system over the years and that has made the biggest improvement in my system.
     
  3. TesTeq

    TesTeq Registered

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    There are reliable advanced multiplatform (Windows/iPhone/Web) GTD tools: Trello, Nozbe...
     
  4. dcbahr

    dcbahr Registered

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    Yes, there are, but they all have some sort of accessibility problem for me as a blind computer user. I could go into the specifics of each of the ones that you mentioned, but all of them somehow fall short either on the web, iPhone, or Windows apps. Welcome to the world of accessibility/inaccessibility. This is why I was so impressed with Omnifocus, because of the Voiceover compatibility. But with something like, for example, Asana, the web interface is not so user-friendly to me but the mobile app is.

    I guess what I'm trying to get at is whether I can use Omnifocus as the trusted system and maybe somehow have it linked to my PC through… Something. I'm also really still confused about the differences between the standard and Pro upgrades and whether the Pro is worth it to start out with or if I should just get the standard.

    I realize that anything can be a GTD system, I guess I just was excited about the accessibility of Omnifocus. I guess you could equate accessibility to when you're looking through job applications and you see somebody that has all the right qualities except for one that just sort of doesn't put them up with the rest of the more ideal candidates. That's the best analog I can think of right now.
    Dave
     
  5. Dragon

    Dragon Registered

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    The short answer is 'no'. Someone released an unofficial web interface a while ago, but it's not fully-functional, not official, and it's unlikely to meet your accessibility needs if other more common solutions do not. In general, OmniFocus only operates within the Apple ecosystem, and it'll play nicely with a Mac, but not with a PC.

    The most obvious difference on iOS is that the pro version allows you to create custom perspectives or views of your data. I personally find this very useful, but it's far from being necessary. I believe OmniFocus allows you to upgrade from standard to pro at the same initial price differential, so I don't think there's any financial disadvantage to starting with standard and later upgrading to pro if you want to.
     
  6. dcbahr

    dcbahr Registered

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    Yeah, I know there's no PC-related interface. I'm not sure, honestly, what I meant by that statement. I guess it would be nice to just see my todos in a web browser, but that would defeat the purpose of the thing. Thanks for talking about the Pro version, I still am wondering if having folders, contexts, and perspective, is just a bit too much organization. I mean, do you have a folder that says "basement" and a "home" context and an action of "clean basement?" I just wonder how people organize these things. That's why I got annoyed with Toodledo, aside from the fact that their Outlines section and their Lists section are not accessible.

    The nice thing though is that you can email stuff into Omnifocus. Huh, lots of flexibility and an accessible app.
     
  7. Dragon

    Dragon Registered

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    Perspectives in OmniFocus are not so much about organization, as about being able to take different views of your data which you already have organized into contexts and projects. Projects can be organized into folders, but contexts can cut across projects.

    A couple of examples might make it clearer:
    • Suppose you have a context for 'Computer', one for 'Calls', and one for 'Office'. If you're at your office, with your computer and your phone on the desk next to you, you might benefit from having a perspective that shows all three of those contexts at once, so you don't have to flip between them. If you travel a lot with your laptop and cellphone, you might benefit from having a separate perspective that shows 'Computer' and 'Calls', but doesn't show 'Office'. That way, depending on where you are, you can pull up one view to show all the things that you can do, and hide all the things you can't do.
    • Conversely, if your 'Computer' and 'Calls' contexts contain a mixture of home and work actions, but your work projects are all inside a 'Work' folder and your home projects are all inside a 'Home' folder, then while you're in the office you might benefit from a perspective that shows a specific context or contexts with only your work actions, and while you're at home you might benefit from another perspective that shows those same contexts with only your home actions. Even though you could make all your home calls from the office, since you have a phone with you, you might not want to make them from there, so you can create a perspective that doesn't show them to you.
     
  8. AnneMKE

    AnneMKE Registered

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    Not to further complicate things, but Todoist works great on PC, iPhone, and the web. It supports projects; "labels" work well as contexts; and it sounds like Todoist "filters" might correspond to Omnifocus "perspectives."
     

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