Is OmniFocus for me? Advice needed

I’m hoping some of you may be able to provide me with some guidance. I am considering purchasing OmniFocus for iOS. I work on a Windows PC for a government agency and everything is tightly locked down. I have no access to task management software other than an outdated version of Outlook and have found its task/project management functionality lacking and incompatible with my needs. I am also a father of three small children and an constantly overwhelmed by a large number of things to do in that area of my life.

So my main question is this: I have a personal iPad and iPhone that I can use both at work and at home. I am familiar in an GTD and have tried to implement it in my life with limited success using the basic reminders functionality built into iOS. Both my job and my personal life are full of recurring and one-time tasks but not too many major projects. Given that information, in your opinion, would OmniFocus be useful to a person like me? One of the things I’d like to accomplish with GTD is the elimination of some of the stress and anxiety surrounding the many tasks that I have. Despite the fact that many recur every day, week, or month, I often find myself forgetting them until the last moment and also sacrificing some tasks that are related to my own well-being due to the overwhelming majority that seem to be of higher priority. know that there is a disciplinary aspect to this but I’m hoping that the investment on OmniFocus may be of some help.


Maybe! (Do I get my ‘helpful’ badge?)

But, seriously, maybe. There are many ways to practise GTD, and many different software solutions for it, too.

Give OmniFocus a go—they have a very good return policy—and see if it works for you for a couple weeks.

I hope that’s a little more helpful, but if you have any specific concerns, ask. What you’ve mentioned makes it seem like OmniFocus would work for you, but you’ll need to see if OmniFocus can properly integrate with your way of thinking. But don’t be fooled, it can’t do it all for you; you’ll still need to muster some discipline to keep the system maintained (any system).

Good luck!

If you don’t have a Mac, I wouldn’t start with OmniFocus. There are people doing it but there are really important things missing from the iOS version that you really want/need a Mac for.

Numerous recurring and one-time tasks without a lot of large projects — OmniFocus can certainly scale down and up dramatically in either direction but if you just need something to be a trusted store of things you’re doing, I would suggest Wunderlist first [1]. For that matter even iOS Reminders could suffice for keeping track of several lists of things and also can handle location reminders, too. Reminders on iOS is underrated imo. It got some good attention a couple of releases ago and is a very impressive tool included in your OS at no charge. Also, don’t forget you can fiddle with Reminders on the iCloud webapp at!

I wouldn’t want to discourage someone from using OmniFocus because it’s really excellent, but it’s an investment I am hesitant to recommend if you don’t have a Mac and even if you only have one sometimes at home and not at work.

[1] Since it was picked up my Microsoft I have to suspect it will eventually get tied into office365 sometime which may or may not be a huge benefit for you in your work environment.

Omnifocus is something completely different than the built-in Reminders (that you already have tried) and could certainly help you, @jeff123816. There is no bulk editing yet in the IOS version, but if you accept to always handle one task at a time, Omnifocus could put you in command of your many tasks. You might like to download the free manual to get the whole picture of what is possible to do with Omnifocus. I should also say the the pro version made a big difference to me, with the possibility to create custom perspectives, but you could start with the standard version to see if that gives you control enough.

Thanks to all of you for the replies. I didn’t realize that refunds of App Store purchases were an option. That makes it easier for me to evaluate the software without having to commit.

@emory- you added some very helpful info. I neglected to mention had I have used Wunderlist previously. While I appreciate the fact that it is free and cross-platform, I found it a little too basic and wasn’t able find much of an advantage over the iOS reminders app. I found that the reminder (push alerts) were not always being sent to my phone and so I was missing reminders from the app. I also would like to utilize start-dates (or deferred dates) for most of my tasks. Wunderlist only allows due dates and so, I found myself constantly moving due dates into the future as there was really no other way to track items that didn’t have hard deadlines. I learned about a hack to use hashtags in the notes section of tasks and then do a manual search to narrow down tasks as a sort of poor-man’s context system but that took so much work and time that I returned to the Reminders app. I do have a Macbook Air and I suppose that I could bring that back and forth with me to work as easily as the iPad, but I’m on the go so often that I see myself limited to the iPhone 75% of the time. That’s why I’ve been looking into the universal iOS app.

Since my last post, I discovered an app called 2do. I’ve read through some past discussions on this forum comparing that with OmniFocus. I like the fact that 2do integrates with the iOS calendar and though there isn’t a context view per se, there are tags which seem to have the same functionality.

My main goal here is to become more organized. That’s why I’m seeing an advantage to OmniFocus or 2do over Reminders/Wunderlist.

Thanks again for all the helpful comments.

My situation is more or less the same as yours: we have Windows at work and I can’t use my own apps on these systems. I myself have Omnifocus for my iPad, iPhone and iMac. I think I use Omnifocus on my iPad 80% of the time, because I use it a lot when at work. I use Omnifocus for my private projects too of course and use my iMac for this most of the time.
I am using Omnifocus for over two years now and for me it works great.
I guess what I’m trying to say is: every situation is different of course but it is possible to use Omnifocus on iOS most of the time :)