Is this the right tool for me? [Looking for collaboration]

I used to use OmniFocus. Moved to a project management tool of sorts but not sure that is right for me either. Let me explain. Maybe someone has tackled this problem…

I run a small consulting business. Our project management needs are very light. At most, we need to keep track of things that are more like a “to do” list. But sometimes things get complicated and we want to break things down to tasks and subtasks. Just like a PM tool. Plus assign some tasks to some one else. I also manage our house with the PM tool we use. We have a long list of projects with their dependencies and such in them. The tool can be shared by my wife and I (she is also my business partner).

The short coming we found with OF was that the “share” option really was not there. Sure, someone could log in as me and update it, but that meant they were operating as me and we could not really assign tasks to others and have it move to their OF instance.

OF was a great option because it was so easy to shift dates when something went sideways. Our current tool is web based and it is painful to adjust a project when it goes sideways. Plus we cannot get a simple view of tasks due today out of it. It gets too complex and we lose focus.

My kingdom for a simple tool… house and small business management tool. Shared contacts that work in email, phone, texting, etc. Shared project/task lists. Simple assignment of tasks to others. Shared calendars and syncing calendars across multiple email accounts in a manner that just freaking works! I miss my Lotus Notes days. We would have whipped up a solution in a few short hours.

Switch to the appropriate tool depending on the circumstances. I’ve used OmniFocus for my personal stuff. In a previous work-life, I used Asana with my colleagues. It helps to differentiate my own work and the team work.

I can get assigned a task in Asana. Then I can either create private sub-tasks in Asana (for my eyes only) or OmniFocus. No one else had to know that I needed to break an assigned task down further to make more sense to me. All my boss cared about was that I completed the assigned Asana task.

When I’m on vacation, sometimes all I needed was just pen-and-paper. When I return back to work from vacation, it’s all OmniFocus for me. If I’m working with others, I’ll use whatever internal job-tracker system and learn how to master that.

shared tasks has been a common feature request. Send an email to omnifocus@omnigroup.com to put in your vote.

At the moment, OmniFocus 4 for iOS/iPad is in Testflight; the Mac version hasn’t seen the light of day yet for public view. It’s been talked about in the Slack channels that shared tasks is still on the roadmap.

For now, it’s probably better to try another platform for shared tasks.

Thank you for confirming my fears… I think I will pass altogether on OF as sharing has been requested for many years and they seem to have their minds set that it is not needed. Paper and pen is much easier at times, except it is not good for the long term stuff and it sucks when the list gets misplaced…

2 Likes

I usually take a photo of my paper list as an easy reference and also for archival purposes. At the beginning of the month, I’ll delete my photos that are older than 10 days.

1 Like

For the needs you have, I would consider Evernote. There you may run projects, and share tasks, calendars, and documents/files…

Have a look at Notion. It’s a fine tool for this kind of collaboration, with one weakness - it’s online only, which may not suit you if you want to keep confidential data.

To be clear, we do think collaboration is important and have spent multiple years working on it: working first on sharing/delegating individual tasks with individual people, then concluding that this goal was too limiting—that we needed to extend our vision to support sharing of entire projects with an entire team (and optionally syncing those projects with OmniPlan).

We’ve done a bunch of groundwork on sharing projects with teams and syncing them with OmniPlan, but through that effort we concluded that the OmniFocus 3 design wasn’t very well-suited to a sharing workflow. Its design simply wasn’t flexible enough to accommodate the additional information you need to know when sharing tasks with others, particularly in our mobile iPhone and iPad apps. To that end, we embarked on a complete redesign and reimplementation of the apps with flexibility in mind, keeping collaboration in mind as an explicit long-term design requirement. Redesigning and rebuilding OmniFocus has been a multi-year effort, but the resulting OmniFocus 4 is now in TestFlight on iPhone, iPad, and Mac, and we look forward to shipping it as soon as possible so we can resume our work on shared projects.

6 Likes

In my lab we use Trello for collaborative task management, but I use OmniFocus for my own task management. I programmed a script to do a proper one-way sync from Trello to OmniFocus, available here: GitHub - felixchenier/OmniFocusScripts: Scripts for OmniFocus

Trello is the master. This is where we discuss on tasks, where we tag ourselves, etc. We have one board per project, and it works very well. Every now and then, I execute that script that does this:

  • Every Trello task which I’m assigned to and that is not labelled “Done”, is created (or becomes unchecked again if it already existed) in OmniFocus, in a nice project hierarchy, and with backlinks in notes toward the Trello card and Trello board.
  • Every Trello task that I’m not assigned to anymore, or that’s been labelled “Done”, gets marked completed in OmniFocus.

It works really well for me and my team, I have not been looking further anymore for at least 5 years. You may be interested in trying out.

Regards, Félix

2 Likes

Thank you for an official response. In the past, my requests were blown off and I was told flat out it was not something being considered. Guess those folks were wrong or misinformed. Either way, will continue to monitor future upgrades to see if it appears. I am not really interested in a kludge involving multiple tools and custom stuff as it often breaks.

This script is amazing! Thank you so much for sharing. My team uses Trello but OmniFocus is my task cockpit.

This topic was automatically closed 30 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.