Considering switching from Things

Hi group,

Considering switching from Things app, been doing a lot of research on Omnifocus and I had a few questions I was hoping to get help with.

Is there an OF equivalent to “Next” in Things? A place where we can defer things to do them soon, but not have to actually defer it to a specific date? Say I can do something anytime later this week but want it out of sight until I go to the Next tab. It’s a soft defer with no hard date set.

Second, is there any resource that helps to set up perspectives for Today, Next, Someday/Maybe, etc.

Last, are there any good guides on best practices (not necessarily on the apps features, but how to use it effectively for GTD)?

Thanks in advance for all the help!

@emanh89,

The answer to all your questions is an emphatic Yes!

You’ll find OF much more fully-featured than Things.

My only caveat - having done it in various ways - would be not to expect an automatic export<>import to get all data out of one app into the other. In the end, it was quicker and more reliable to re-enter everything. Gives you chance for housekeeping and cleanup as well. Good luck!

I’m not that familiar with Things, but what you describe doesn’t precisely exist in OmniFocus. There is no ‘soft defer’; all defer dates are just that, a date and time. Perhaps @MarkSealey could help you understand how he accomplishes this ‘Next’ functionality.

For setting up perspectives, there are so many great resources. You can read people’s set ups all over the web, just search for omnifocus perspectives. You may also find valuable information on these forums. There are also excellent paid resources such as Tim Stringer’s Learn OmniFocus and David Sparks’ OmniFocus Field Guide. I loathe to even mention it, but I would avoid AsianEfficiency (though others swear by them!).

As for best practises, this video is a great introduction to GTD and OmniFocus.

@nostodnayr, Thank you - you’re quite right: no exact equivalent.

What I am thinking of is a ‘Waiting’ Context whose Status is ‘On Hold’ showing Remaining tasks sorted by ‘Due date and Flagged’ etc…

Is there an OF equivalent to “Next” in Things? A place where we can defer things to do them soon, but not have to actually defer it to a specific date? Say I can do something anytime later this week but want it out of sight until I go to the Next tab. It’s a soft defer with no hard date set.

@emanh89, even if there is no ”Next” equivalent in Omnifocus, you could easily make your own, depending on how you prefer to work. This is how I did:
Post from the thread ”Worth upgrading to Pro?”

Here are some suggestions from The Omni Group:
Getting things done - Inside Omnifocus

And I suppose you have read the book itself, Getting things done, by David Allen. If not, be sure to read it in the revised edition from 2015. Many years ago I read the originial edition and found it so uninteresting that I threw it away. Then, after having heard so much about it while using Omnifocus, I thought there must be something there, so I bought the new edition and found it absolutely excellent! I suppose I have another perspective now, after having tried on my own to find the best ways to use Omnifocus, but I think the book also must have evolved. It definitely helped me to find a way to work with Omnifocus that suits me.

@Jan_H’s is great advice, @emanh89!

This page may also help… the OF Review Perspective also comes close to what you currently do in Things with Next.

Good luck!

I switched from Things. For me, OF’s equivalent of “next” is any task that doesn’t have a defer date. That is, the “Projects” view is equivalent to “Next”.

“Someday” was a bit harder to emulate. Here’s what I did:

  • I created a script to punt a task to an arbitrary date in the far future. I called the script “Someday”.

  • I created another script to conveniently toggle between available tasks and a view to show deferred tasks, which would include my pseudo-Someday tasks. In other words, a pseudo “show Someday tasks” feature.

  • One neat feature of OF is the ability to make scripts clickable buttons in the toolbar, effectively making them part of the interface. I did this with both my scripts.

My system is slightly clunky and there may be better ways to do this sort of thing, but this helped me ease the transition from Things to OF, which otherwise was a huge boon for me.