Alternatives to OmniFocus which support tagging

See, that doesn’t bother me, as I don’t strictly adhere to GTD. I do however make extensive use of tags in other applications such as Evernote, and system wide via the tags available in finder, so for my own particular use case tags would be an incredibly useful feature and I can think of many cases where they would dramatically simplify things.


With you @RiK - I am using tags extensively and do not find it a contradiction to have a task appear in two areas at the same time. I suppose in the long run it’s all about compromise and where You’re softer to make some ;-)… Have you tried 2Do? They handle tags nicely…

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See, to me it’s not a compromise, that rather implies it’s a negative thing… It’s about having he flexibility to work in a way that suits a larger system, and everywhere else I use tags extensively, and they allow my consistency across my whole workflow. At the moment Omnifocus is the weak link in the chain in that respect.

Tags are now a standard part of Mac OS, to not include them in OF when they’re becoming the norm in other productivity apps is (imho) going to be a risky gamble…

Thanks for the heads-up on 2Do, I’d not seen that before but it does look really interesting, handling everything I use OF for, but with tags. Hmm, I hate to say it but it may be time for a change…

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Indeed. I’ve sat here for the past hour or so porting some of my current projects over to see how it feels and I’ve got to say, I’m really impressed.

I’ve found Omnigroup’s stance on tags really disappointing, especially given the many, many requests for them over the years so I’m definitely going to give 2Do a go as the implementation of tags looks exactly what I’ve been holding out for for all this time.

I mentioned this to another friend earlier and he raised an interesting point. He’d already left OF for another solution and he posited the thought that Omni were being intransigent due to the lack of real cross-platform competition. That’s not the case any more, there’s a real contender here and I’m very sorry to say that this may well be the straw that breaks the camels back for me. Now there’s a real alternative I may well end up leaving Omni behind.

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Yeah, same here…using 2do and not looking back… Wait until you see the gorgeous implementation of the features in the mobile apps… That’s real innovation if you ask me

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Well, this inspired me to take a look at 2Do out of curiosity, particularly since I still own a copy for iOS from a few years back when it was a somewhat more basic app.

While on the one hand it seems very powerful and sophisticated, I think they’ve made some of the wrong tradeoffs in achieving that sophistication. The app does a lot, and the UI is nicely designed from an aesthetic point of view, but beyond that, it just feels cumbersome. I guess it’s a matter of what you’re used to, and if I was starting out fresh I’d certainly be tempted to give 2Do some more consideration, but I’ve become so accustomed to OmniFocus’ cleaner interface on mobile that I find 2Do’s a bit, well, frightening ;) That clock interface for setting times on start and due dates is cute, but hugely inefficient IMHO – I think that’s a clear case of choosing a pretty design over a practical one. Alarms are set using the much more practical standard iOS time picker.

I think the Mac app would also be somewhat of a deal breaker there. In that context, I do like the design aesthetic much more (complexity in a desktop app is less of an issue than in an iOS app), but it appears to have been last updated over a year ago, and lacks some features that would be important to me, such as being able to set location reminders on the desktop version (having to revisit a task on the mobile side just to add a location reminder just complicates the process, and I’m not a huge fan of how they’ve implemented that feature on the mobile side either – it seems you can’t just punch in an address… you either have to drag your pin to a spot, or work from your contacts list).

The inability to nest projects within projects also seems like it would be a problem for me, but to be fair 2Do has a slightly different implementation of “projects” in the first place, in that they’re already kind of embedded into “single action lists.” Their help claims this is a function of having to maintain compatibility with a wide variety of CalDAV sync services, so clearly they have issues where they’re hamstrung on legacy data structures as well.

The ability to set alarms separately from due dates/times is also a nice idea as well, but again seems like something that could get cumbersome if you start dealing with both. iOS Reminders has that problem, and it’s even more confusing there… tasks sometimes magically get a “due date” while it doesn’t appear at all for other tasks.

The tags are definitely a nicer implementation, and I’m with everybody else here in wishing that OmniFocus would implement this, but it’s also something that I’ve been able to live without for the most part, albeit it somewhat grudgingly. It’s definitely a tradeoff.

I had also sort of hoped that 2Do would be able to nail the push notification side of things for instantaneous background sync. Sadly, it’s no better than OmniFocus in that regard, since they don’t leverage their own sync server at all, but rather rely on Dropbox. As much as Things doesn’t even come close to doing what I want (NO location reminders, NO time-based notifications), at least they’ve finally managed to nail push-based sync (then again, it took them long enough :) )

Still, compared to when I first looked at it, 2Do has certainly grown up in leaps and bounds. Definitely an app worth keeping an eye on.


They’ve been teasing the v2.0 update for the Mac on their Youtube channel so it seems to be imminent

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Interesting, thanks for the heads-up. I had gone looking for information about it on their site but couldn’t find anything about it.

Same feelings here concerning the looks of the apps- but in 2Do on iOS You can actually pick (or better: pinch) how detailed your task perspective should be- in three levels of detail.

Also, the sync issue seems removed if choosing reminders as a syncing client (compatibility with which is the reason for limited subgrouping): if you activate notifications for reminders then that’s actually a push. Otherwise syncing through Apple is going nicely so far.

I have some slight bad conscience when posting this here- but then I am reminded that it’s not really competition- we are talking matters that OF is not supporting at all.

Cheers, mat

Still trying to hack my way through 2Do. I have Things installed on my Mac and never really went anywhere with it. Its simplicity, tags, sync, and interface were bright spots but it couldn’t handle the burden of all of folders, projects, sub-projects that I have inside OmniFocus. I remembered trying out the demo of 2Do for Mac from a long time ago but passed on it.

I did buy 2Do for iOS just out of curiosity. I first tried it on my iPod touch but soon realised that I needed more screen real estate. I’ve installed it on my iPad and play with it for a little while. It does have a gorgeous iPad interface. But at the moment, I’m just so integrated into OmniFocus and have figured out my workflow. It is difficult to break away from OmniFocus. I guess I’ll be playing with it in my spare time.

The reason why I like toying with other task apps is to see if there are any new workflows that are more obvious in one app and see how it compares to OmniFocus. I was able to translate a lot of Things’ workflow fairly easily into OmniFocus. It wasn’t easy. It’s like speaking tow design languages. You have to figure out how to “speak” or “think” in one program and see how to translate that in the other program.

I guess the First Quarter was probably the wrong time for me to try out 2Do. I’m just swamped in my own life and use OmniFocus to keep life on track.

I have been starting to try duplicating my project and folder structure inside 2Do. I’m curious to see tags as a way to duplicate contexts, duration, and project status,

I guess 2Do just seems like the hot actor/actress of the moment. They just released the new version of 2Do for iOS with a new Mac version coming soon.

Despite the lack of tags, OmniFocus seems to have the hearts and minds of Mac bloggers. I just don’t seem to see that interest in other apps. I think blogger Mike Vardy is currently using ToDoist after having been an OmniFocus user for a long time. Michael Schechter, David Sparks, and Katie Floyd are OmniFocus users. Most of the Asian Efficiency folks seem to be on the OmniFocus bandwagon. But I don’t seem to really hear much about users talking about Things, 2Do, The Hit List, and whatever else there is.

It is a little disturbing to not see an actual user manual for 2Do. They just have a support page with FAQs and not much else. I also don’t see a user community forum. From reading a little bit, I guess the 2Do folks decided to forgo the user forums because it does take a lot of attention away from developing and having to answer questions on the user forums.

Like @jdh, I’m so ingrained inside OmniFocus, it would be tough to transition “everything” to 2Do. But this is mostly an interesting experiment to test and poke holes at OmniFocus and 2Do. I’m always looking for ways to improve my workflow.


Remember The Milk supports tagging and start dates/defer dates. I’m experimenting with its web client for my Windows only work universe at the moment, it looks pretty utilitarian and has a rather baroque subtask mechanism but seems solid and functional after a couple of weeks heavy use.

It depends on what needs you have in a task manager. What things are you looking for?One app that I really like was Remember the milk Online to-do list and task management