in Apps, iOS

After abandoning tasks I wasn’t certain where I’d go to store my todo list and stay organised but I had a fair idea before a single recomendation came in. However I never like to be close minded and I was open for new suggestions if they looked really good.

However, after my experience with tasks I new there were some features that were essential for me and others that weren’t so much. My main aim was to find something that would “scale” something that I could easily get into but also expand and provide many additional functions. My essentials included:

  • Simple and easy to input ideas
  • An easy to do overview
  • Could be expanded into a calendar view
  • Can group tasks into different projects
  • Due dates
However there are some features I didn’t really need as much as I’ve found I don’t really use them (but if they are there, there is no problem).
  • Access on my desktop (there’s no harm in having a desktop todo list but I’ve never really found I use it when I’ve had it. The main advantage is for over viewing long lists of tasks
  • Cross platform support (it helps for transferring platform and having more options, not being forced into a platform but really I don’t need to switch anytime soon.)
  • A tie in with my calendar ( my calendar and to do lists are different, I might need to do something by and event but that can go under due dates not a calendar event.)
With that in mind, and after hearing numerous recomendations for as long as I could remember I took the jump and purchased omnifocus 2.

Omnifocus 2

Opening the app reveals your overview page with the forecast view, your inbox, projects, flagged, nearby and contexts.
If you want you can use it as a very simple list where you just add tasks to your inbox and tick them off, so it is really easy to start. Tick for simple.
However, it’s when you start to delve into the system you find out its true power. Check out the video from the omnifocus group.


A project is an overview for a group of tasks. Let’s say you want to redecorate a room in your house. That’s not just one task it’s a group of them so we call it a project and can assign lots of different tasks for one project. This is a useful part of the getting things done system and other productivity systems. By reducing one big project to many little tasks it’s easy to beat the resistance.


You can’t do everything where ever you are. Sometimes you need certain things around you like your work computer, your office phone book, even something like a shop where you can by certain things or something unique to you. By inputting a context you can state where you are and only see the tasks that you can do in that context.

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Likewise you can also set locations for your contexts so that you get a notification to do a task that you can there. In the nearby setting you can add locations on a map. This can be done with either setting a location in the context screen, doing a business search or adding a pin in the map manually. Once you’ve added location information to your context you can use this to trigger reminders when you are near.

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If you set due dates then the forecast view lets you see upcoming events and when you need to get them done by. This gives you the best of the overview screen where you can see upcoming deadlines but it isn’t like my annoyance with where I was fed up with feeling guilty for missing nonessential events. Unlike the first version of Omnifocus, you also get a preview of the forecast view from the homescreen so as soon as you load the app you can see your upcoming tasks.
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Extra features

You can also set up repeating events so that common items you need (for example milk) will constantly remind you when you are near them. You can also add notes with more details, defer a due date, move to a different project or turn a task into a project. With the simple input option in the inbox you can add one task and save it or add multiple tasks quickly in a row if you are feeling inspired or breaking a larger project down in your head. You can also use this feature within a project so every tasks you set will be for that project.
The interface is a beautiful modern iOS 7 design, clear simple and distraction free. There are plenty of clean whites, simple fonts, and boarders set by simple lines

What’s missing

Nothing is perfect and omnifocus is no exception. For a start there is a rather large initial cost for the app and you have to get a different app for the Mac and iPad than the phone, all of which increases the cost.

Then there isn’t the option to set a daily processing time (but you can just use a different app for this such as just setting a daily calendar reminder or a weekly processing time to go really GTD)

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