Is the pro upgrade a necessity?

So I was hoping for a suggestion on utilizing Omnifocus a bit more than I am currently. I’ve had the app for about three months and have used it a fair amount but I am certainly not what you would call a “power user.” For capture, it’s been great and it has helped me not to forget things, but the jury is still out on whether I’ve actually been more productive.

I’ve tried a lot of different setups and am still trying to come up with a something that works for me. I should state that I have the basic app- I have yet to upgrade to pro and am not sure that I really should have to. My life is busy but I’m not at the level of many here. I have a lot of repeating, one-step reminder-type tasks and a few projects as well. I’ve experimented with a number of different contextual setups (including energy-based and location based) but must admit that I rarely find myself using the context perspective. Rather, I seem to work best when I can look at a list of tasks that are either deferred to or due on a given day and then plan my day according to what I see on that list. Part of me feels like that philosophy doesn’t harness all of the power of Omnifocus and while I’d like push it further, I’m not sure how to move forward.

One thing that initially sold me on Omnifocus was the idea of start (deferred) dates. With other task managers, I used false due dates in order to get the system to remind me about tasks with enough lead time to work them before a deadline. That got very confusing and I would often lose track of the actual deadline because I found myself repeatedly moving due dates into the future. With Omnifocus, I thought I had finally found a system that would advise me to start something and keep it in my face until complete (while also providing me with a true deadline). I’ve been very persistent about setting deferred dates but, unfortunately, using the basic version of the app, I’m not really seeing much of a benefit to doing that and I’ve fallen back into the practice of creating unrealistic due dates and moving them into the future in order to keep an important task from falling out of my consciousness. I use the forecast perspective multiple times a day as a sort of control center. I can see anything that may be due and, when I first began using the software, I thought that I would also be able to see tasks with current or past deferred dates. Unfortunately, I quickly learned that deferred tasks only show up on their actual start date. They do not persistently remain in the forecast perspective beyond that date (see Do Deferred Tasks Still Disappear from Forecast?).

I’m wondering if there is some way of leveraging the basic app to work fluidly with deferred dates or whether a pro upgrade is really necessary for that. On a side note, are there any resources out there that suggest different context setups?
Thanks very much!

Reasons to Get Pro

  1. Custom perspectives would make you more productive.
  2. You want just your favorite perspectives showing on the Mac/Customize your home screen on iOS.
  3. You use Scripting or an existing Script can help to make your workflow easier.
  4. The ability to focus/unfocus on a project/set of projects is useful to you.
  5. You want to set up custom icons on your custom perspectives so that you have more control over what they look like.

Reasons to Stay on Standard

  1. You want to keep things simple while you establish a good workflow for you.
  2. You can use the Forecast view for most things, and don’t really need more than the existing perspectives.
  3. You don’t use Scripting, so don’t really have a need for it at the current time.

There is a video overview that might help you decide which version is right at

I hope this helps you consider the Pros of each version of OmniFocus (pun intended).


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Search the forums here regarding use of contexts. There are many threads about this, e.g:

I try to keep it as flat as possible and I would only go 1 level deep. Never more than that.

Errands: Hardware Store
Errands: Grocery Store
Errands: Bank

Stay flexible in your context setup. Have as many as you need and no more. Eliminate contexts when they no longer serve a purpose in your life. Your context setup will change over time. It’s natural.

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