Omnifocus, Things, 2Do etc..... You know where this is going

Hey everyone,

Firstly, I appreciate this is a personal subject, and apologies for any typos (I’m currently on holiday, so only have my phone).

I’ve never stuck with a “task manager”, and feel like now is the perfect time to really give one a shot.

I’ve previously used pretty much all the mainstream apps in the past (I’m fully in the Apple eco system).

I gave 2Do a good shot due to its very affordable price, but I never really used it properly.

I had previously used Things (again, not for very long), but was disappointed in their horrendously slow development speed and transparency (something which seems to half be fixed these days).

I also downloaded OmniFocus 2 (iPhone, iPad, Mac), but was a bit overwhelmed by the options, and it always felt like overkill for the things I had to put in it - I never had big work projects going in, most of it was home kind of stuff.

Fast forward to now, and I’m currently trialing Omnifocus 3 for iPad and iPhone, and I’ve just bought Things3 for iPhone.

2Do is a little messy for me these days, and I don’t see myself wanting to use it in the long run.

So my question to you good people (of which I appreciate the bias is going to be heavily towards OmniFocus), is…

For simple task management (shopping lists, general to dos, little projects around the home like renovating room etc), what makes OmniFocus the winner?

I so want it to be the app of choice, I love the community that it has, the OmniGroup are people I want to support, and I love new releases (who doesn’t).

But after comparing the iPhone apps (this, and the Mac app will be my 2 main focus points, but I’ll use the iPad app as and when I need it), I find myself being drawn far more to Things3 than OmniFocus.

The common arguments I see for OmniFocus are:

Dark Mode (valid, and frustrating Things doesn’t have it).
Attachments - Not a massive issue for me.
Location based reminders - Not an issue.

So, what are other people’s killer hooks for OmniFocus?

Also, does anyone use OmniFocus for really simple things? Or is it only the power users?

Thanks in advance for your help!


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I hope there are a lot of replies to this, because I’d love to learn other people’s thoughts on this, too, but I’ll share mine:

I’ve found, in experimenting with a variety of apps, that only OmniFocus can (for my uses, expectations, and ways of operating) manage all my actions and commitments without becoming overwhelming and unnavigable. Right now, for example, I have 193 projects, and 556 actions. I found that Things got quite out of control for me with that much content, TaskPaper wasn’t made for it, and 2Do I just could get my head around the construct of.

I like OF’s ability to hide things I don’t need and selectively show me the things I do need. I also like being able to set the criteria by which that hiding and showing occurs, and with OF3, tailor the interface to present the elements most meaningful to me.

That said, I don’t use OF to manage the content about actions. Thinking of one of your examples, I don’t see milk, bread, and butter to be discreet actions, but rather content about the action to Buy groceries, so I use a grocery list app, alongside others for different kinds of content that might support actions. Some examples of apps I use to generate and manage content for action referral:

  • Buy Me a Pie: great grocery list app, allows categorization by colour, syncing, and other features
  • Agenda: notes related to my days and events (admittedly, I’ve just started using this one and am still evaluating/learning it)
  • Notes: for quick checklists, like packing lists, particularly if I want to share/sync with my wife
  • MindNode: great for idea generation
  • OmniOutliner: like MindNode or Notes, but structured

I think I may have wandered a little off-topic here, but I wanted to make the point about differentiating between action management and managing supporting content, because I think that’s a potentially valuable consideration. I hope the points I’ve shared about my OF use (and I guess that makes me a power user? Or just a deep adopter?) were helpful!



Defer Dates (and times) are very important features for me. I use them in the way that David Sparks used to use them. I manage many simultaneous projects, with many tasks (some of which have deadlines) performed by several people on my team. I use Applescript or Workflow to lay out these projects in OF, with the appropriate dates (offset from an initial date). Then, I use defer dates and flags to present the next action in each project to me at a relevant time. For example, if I have a filing deadline on 8/1, so I am waiting for Joe to provide a draft for my review on 7/15, but I don’t want to see that task on my “ToDo” list every day until 7/15. So, I use defer dates to push it out from week to week - I can keep an eye on the task, check in with Joe to make sure he’s going to be on time, and then push it out another week. Then, I can focus on my own tasks without the distraction of Joe’s task. OF3 hasn’t changed that, but it certainly has made the interface in parity with OF2 on the Mac. So, my killer features are defer dates and automation. Now, I am learning how to integrate tagging, fancy notifications, more complex perspectives, and fancy repeating tasks into my workflows, but I don’t see much changing until OF3 for Mac hits the Testflight.


I tried Things 3 and liked it, but found it too limited. Even for simple things, I very much prefer Omnifocus. With its unlimited hierarchies, OF can always handle every situation. Even something that from the start is very simple might become a little more complicated, and suddenly you might find yourself locked in in Things’ attractive simplicity. What makes the most difference to me, though, even for simple things, is the custom perspectives in the pro version. You could always have your tasks presented just the way you want. But I would have chosen even the standard version rather than Things.


I also tried doing it Spark’s old way of using defer dates.I realized later on that I was using the defer dates as a reminder or notification for me. But it was a hassle to keep deferring it to some random date in the future (usually 1 week out).

Nowadays, I prefer to use the project status for Active or On Hold and then use the review perspective to remind me about a project.


I think the first thing with using task managers is to create a sound productivity workflow first before using a task manager. If you don’t have the habits/routines set, no task manager can help.

I built up my workflow over the years and have tweaked it to meet the current situation. My life during the summer is slower and I can scale down my OF usage. When shopping season comes around (I work in retail), I have perspectives that can handle the larger demands during Christmas, father’s day, mother’s day, graduations, etc.

Build up your workflow by working on the different parts of a productivity system (capturing, processing, organizing, doing, and reviewing). A good productivity workflow can flow easily into any task manager.

Like @heyscottyj, my workload would crumble under Things. I like the feel and flow of Things but I couldn’t use it. My 78 projects with 1254 next actions would probably get lost in Things 3.

Things is better if you want a pre-defined workflow and you just want to plug into it quickly. You’ll follow Things’ workflow for the most part.

But if you want to ramp up, OF can easily scale up. I’m not using all of OF3’s capabilities. I use what I need when I need it. When you have a need to use a certain feature, the excellent manuals and this Discourse forum can give you guidance about some of the other features you haven’t touched on yet. I don’t know of a place where I can ask Things 3 users and Cultured Code except for the occasional Twitter threads. This forum is much more responsive and capable of helping anyone out.

Custom perspectives is a powerful tool that OF has and Things doesn’t have. Things can do quick searches but there’s no easy way to save pre-defined searches for my most common views. Will Things 3 get a pre-defined smart list or saved view in the future? Maybe.

When you don’t need a custom perspective anymore, you can delete it. Take a screenshot of the view settings and save it for the next time you need it.

The OF Review perspective has kept me firmly locked into the OF ecosystem. 2Do doesn’t have the review perspective and I wasn’t too high on Things’ review perspective.

It sounds like you have some friction with using Things, 2Do, and OmniFocus. I would suggest focusing on developing your productivity workflow and habits first. Your task manager is just a tool and will magnify the strengths and deficiencies in your workflow.

OF has a basic workflow but it can be modified to fit the ABC priority method, the Covey Matrix, GTD, or whatever productivity system you can try. That leaves many users in the dark if they don’t have a sound productivity workflow in place already. Things 3 can hold your hand and show you their way. Or you can use OF3 and create your own workflow.

Visit @timstringer’s Learn OmniFocus site for some tutorials on how some of the users create their workflows. Take what you need from each person and make your own. There are also excellent tutorials that are commercial products or free blog posts from many bloggers about how they use OmniFocus. I’m sure you’ll find something you can take from each person.

More thoughts here.


I’m not sure OmniFocus is the winner for those sorts of things. If I only had a couple projects going on at any moment and wanted to track a few lists, I’d be more likely to use the system Notes and Reminders apps.

But you also write this:

You don’t have big work projects, but what about the little ones? How are you managing those? Would you benefit from getting them off your mind or consolidating systems?

That’s where I can start seeing the need for a more comprehensive app.

I don’t have massive projects going on most of the time, but lots of little ones, some repeating, some activated when certain criteria are met or change occurs.

I manage these, both work and personal things, with OmniFocus because it lets me build lists of only the most relevant actions for my current situation. I do that primarily by blocking actions (with defer dates or sequentially-planned projects) and using custom perspectives.

For example, it’s Sunday. I’m sat at home and when I open OmniFocus, nothing about work appears because on Friday I flipped a switch to hide it all. (Most usually I do this by editing a rule in my main hub perspective, but for longer holidays I put my work tag on hold).


I have played around with OmniFocus since the early Kinkless GTD days and some time after that I started using OmniFocus as my main productivity system. I have used and tested other applications extensively (Things 1-3, 2Do, The Hit List, TickTick, Todoist, and others). But none of them have really made me switch from OmniFocus.

The early days for me were filled with a lot of experimentation: just trying what works and what doesn’t. I imagine everyone knows the feeling of developing a proper workflow. And that’s already a big difference between Things and OmniFocus. Things tells you: this is the way you’ll manage your stuff. There’s Today, Upcoming, Anytime, Someday.

OmniFocus, however, let’s you decide how you’ll organize your system. That’s both a blessing and a curse, especially for newcomers. Since you start out with a blank canvas, you need to design what works best for you. But once you do: OmniFocus adapts to you and not the other way around. So you’ll probably be tinkering with OmniFocus for a bit, but once it clicks you’ve got your own productivity engine, tuned just the way you like it.

What’s more, as @heyscottyj pointed out, if you have a fair number of tasks, some applications simply cannot keep up. You may say: I keep things simple, I don’t have a lot of tasks. Sure, today. But what about tomorrow? Will your system scale? And have you really, genuinely captured everything inside your system? There may be more tasks than you realize. OmniFocus handles large databases easily. I found that, for example, Things really cannot keep up as the number of tasks increases. The same goes for projects, of course.

A third advantage of OmniFocus, again highlighted by @heyscottyj, is OmniFocus’s ability to only show you tasks that are relevant right now. To me, it’s one of the absolute key features of OmniFocus that other applications cannot emulate. First off, deferring tasks keeps them from your view simply because you cannot act on right now. There is no reason why I should be looking at a task I cannot start right now. The moment I can, it should show up.

Sequential tasks, too, are brilliant at hiding this you cannot work on and reducing complexity. To my knowledge, no other application does this as well as OmniFocus. For example, say you have a project laid out to design a website. And the next step is receiving input from a client. This input allows you to really start the rest of your tasks. Now in OmniFocus, the rest of your tasks are neatly hidden since you cannot work on them without any input from your client. There’s no need to show them. An application such as Things shows you that whole list at once, cluttering up your views with tasks that are totally irrelevant right now.

If you properly set up your system with the correct views and if you’re comfortable in building your workflow, Perspectives really are amazing. Perspectives show you exactly what you need when you need it. You may have a Work perspective that shows you everything you can do at work right now. And then you might have a Perspective that shows you what you can do next to finish a project at home.

Then there’s review. Reviewing your tasks in OmniFocus is so powerful that once you use it, you wonder why no other application has it. Now, you could sort of emulate this in other software, but it’s not the same as a proper review. OmniFocus allows you to set review intervals for each project. Some things I review weekly, others monthly. And working your way through a review one project at a time forces you to make decisions and adjust things. Reviewing is like servicing your engine: you’re making sure it runs smoothly at all times.

There’s lots more of course. Such as much more structure than other applications thanks to folders, action groups, and basically unlimited hierarchies. Or Location reminders. Now with tags and custom notifications, I have no doubt people will come up with even more amazing stuff. And have I mentioned how friendly and helpful the people at Omni are?

One final thing I want to highlight is the UI. OmniFocus regularly gets slammed for not being “as pretty” or “as minimal” as things. Things may be nice to look at, but don’t be fooled. I’ve set up OmniFocus to be very minimal. Looking at my list below, it shows me everything I need: one task is due today (23:00), the first task at the top of the list, and one flagged task I really need to work on (flagged, but no deadline). Everything else is neatly sorted by priority according to my main folders and projects outline. OmniFocus really is as complex or as simple as you make it out to be.

But let me summarize.

  1. OmniFocus has a learning curve, but it’s worth it in the longer run. Its flexibility ensures you are in charge of creating a system that works for you.
  2. Being able to hide what you can’t work on and show what you can (and should!) work on, keeps you very focussed. It keeps you from being overwhelmed.
  3. Reviewing ensures nothing falls through the cracks and ensures everything is up to date.

At the end of the day, for me, OmniFocus provides incredible peace of mind. It has been rock-solid and dependable all these years. I’ve never missed an important task and I’m always current with what I have to do. It’s a trusted system.

If you’re looking for a quick fix todo app, OmniFocus is not your best option. If you’re really serious about a system and if you’re taking a long view, OmniFocus is an incredible productivity system that I recommend very highly.


Wow, thanks for all the responses so far.

It just goes to show one of the main strengths of OmniFocus (IMO), is the amazing support on the forum. The in depth answers are really appreciated.

Funnily enough, I asked a similar question to a predominantly “Things” based crowd, and the answers were all very simple and short - I guess the users of the software represent in their own way!

My main concern with OmniFocus is that I just don’t think I’ll get anywhere near the complexity people here have.

200 plus projects and tasks? I’m never going to have that. I’ll rarely (if ever) use it for work, and my home life apparently isn’t as complex as others here!

I fear the whole “sledgehammer to crack a nut” scenario would be the case if I did everything through OmniFocus.

If I take the very basic stuff I’ve added so far (to both things and OF), things is winning out on the fact it’s 1 tap less to get to the same info - Plus I’m not overly keen on the OF UI on iOS (i imagine you have to use it for quite a while to get familiar with everything, which I appreciate).

Do people “project” thier home lives in OF? Or you predominantly using it for work purposes?

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I put everything I want to get done and can’t do immediately into my system. I don’t want to think about it.

For example, I need to get a new drainage hosepipe for my washing machine. I don’t know anything about it, so I have a project with actions for researching, purchasing and installing it. It might sound daft to put down all those steps, but it’s important to know how it’s going to get done.

It sounds like another app might be what you want. If at some point you get a strong workflow religion, you may find OmniFocus will help you with that.


You will use the complexity only when you will need it. There will be features that you may never use but it’s nice to know that you have that capability.

For example, I’m not a programmer but I do see a lot of Applescripts and Workflow Automations that I can just plug into OmniFocus and use. I might be daring and try to tweak just a little step to fit me better.

In the same way, I probably use 2% of the entire capabilities of Adobe Photoshop or Microsoft Word. But it’s there if I ever need it.

Is there a user forum for Things users? I’m interested in seeing the other side.

Never say never. When the s**t hits the fan and a series of emergencies tumble upon me, I feel safe knowing that I have a very capable task manager. I don’t want that day to come but it’s better to know that I have a capable tool in OF3.

I bought a water blaster at Home Depot a couple of years ago. I really wanted a 4200 PSI water blaster. But Home Depot was out of stock and only had the 3600 PSI water blaster in the store. I needed it that day and purchased the 3600 PSI water blaster. I thought “eh, I won’t use it that much anyways.” But the more I used it, the more I wished I had gone to another hardware store and paid more for a 4200 PSI water blaster. The 3600 PSI blaster was OK. But it takes longer to do the pressure washing job I needed. If I had the 4200 PSI water blaster, I’d be grinning on Easy Street.

So I’m gave my old water blaster to my cousin and grabbed myself the more powerful water blaster. My cousin thinks its OK but he also liked the 4200 PSI water blaster more. It took less time to do the job over the older, less powerful model.

It’s my life that’s in OF. I keep checklists, current projects, single one-off actions, weekly/monthly/annual maintenance tasks, someday/maybe projects. Everything is in OF. I live on an island. You’d think I’d be drinking pinã coladas, walking around in beach flip-flops, and sunbathing. I’m as busy as I can be out here in paradise.

In GTD parlance, anything that requires more than one step is considered a project.

Remember, you can scale up or down in OF when needed. You can always stay in Things 3 and then buy OF3 when you’ve finally pushed Things 3 to its limit. Yes, Things 3 does feel like it has its limits. But your ceiling is much higher in OF3.

I had the same question when I first encountered GTD. Things was a nice app but all the bloggers were talking about OF1. I took my cue from that. Life gets complicated sometimes. Better to to get that sledgehammer.


To me, a project is anything I want done that isn’t done yet. So that could be making an orthodontic plan for my daughter or planning Mother’s Day or building a document at work or having our summer vacation. I don’t think too much about work vs. not work in this regard, because I see everything as commitments (with different reasons, of course).

As @wilsonng said above, I think the hardest part is about defining your workflow: what sorts of things will you track, how will you track them, how will you decide what to do/not do, and why will you decide in those ways? Once that is cracked, then the tool’s job becomes helping you to execute on those decisions regularly, and helping to manage the outcome of those decisions, whatever too that may be.

Particularly as you get in to this, I, personally, would over-index on comfort. In what manners of thinking and with what tools are you most comfortable? I think that assures the strongest on-ramp to success (I did all this with pen and paper for quite some time because it gave me an intimate feeling of control).

Also, the decision you make now isn’t one you have to swear by through sickness and in health until death do you stop tagging; you can change your mind later. Of course there is a switching cost, and that does need to be taken into account (I don’t mean money here, I mean time, attention, and habit reformation), but it isn’t impossible.

An additional two cents.



Dont worry about complexity – Omnifocus could be just as simple, or complex, as you like. And it’s just as good for home life as for work. If you feel that Things has the features you need and a model that works for you – choose it. It has an attractive simplicity ready to use. But since you have taken the time to try different applications and to ask about Omnifocus in this forum, it’s easy to assume that you would like to do things your own way. Then you should choose Omnifocus. It can be whatever you like. And it can be that without adding complexity.


The handy thing about OmniFocus, as has been pointed out in this thread numberous times already, so just let me reiterate – it’s as complex a system as you want it to be, or in the best case, need it to be. It (mostly) doesn’t say “this is how you are supposed to work”, it grows over time and more and more fits your personal lifestyle and your choices.

Don’t need contexts / tags? Don’t use them.
Are used to tagging everything everywhere and ideally have your existing controlled vocab? Go tag-happy.
Are a very hierarchical planner? Use sequential projects and a folder structure.
Like quick action lists and don’t want to organise much? Use parallel projects, or only a single parallel project, as a catch-all.
Want to readjust your system after a year, introduce more tags or get rid of them completely? Well, go for it.

More important than a software’s capabilities though are whether it allows for a trusted system – or doesn’t. For me, OmniFocus has enabled a trusted system using Macs, iPads, iPhones, and pen and paper I can totally rely on. Key for this are deferred actions plus the review process. Also stability and, later, sync. Others were able to get to a trusted system using Things, or Outlook, or whathever. The important bit is that you CAN trust in the system you set up with your software of choice.

Soon I’ll have been using OmniFocus for a decade, and well, it never failed me or, rather, the system I built with it. It just works if set up properly. And the set-up isn’t anything you have to do at day one. It can grow (or shrink) depening on what your life asks for at the moment.

Best from Switzerland,


I’ll also reiterate something I’ve said… One of the best “features” of OF is the community behind it - The in depth responses and personal ideas are incredibly inspiring - Thank you.

I think part of my problem is that I don’t follow strict rules (I read the GTD book by David Allen, but it didn’t really click with me).

If I had some things on my mind like @heyscottyj, I probably wouldn’t break them down quite as much into a project, and they’d be a bit broader, top line tasks.

This is where (on iPhone at least), Things3 has the edge. I can see my overview quicker, and the input seems to be quicker/easier.

I appreciate you can use OmniFocus for simpler systems (heaven knows I have a very simple system), but I think OmniFocus loses a lot of it’s main selling points when “dumbing”down the software.

I can fully see the advantages everyone has discussed here, for larger systems, and the scalability of OF is far greater than anything else.

I’m just not sure my system will ever be that complicated, and I fear I would over complicate it, just to use the more advanced capabilities of OF.

It’s funny… the biggest draw to OF for me right now, is the history of the app, and the community that goes with it.

In the same way that the biggest turn off for Things, is… this history of the app (slow development etc), and the lack of community that goes with it.

I think I’ll try and set up a simple system is both, and see what I prefer.

Right now, having the projects on the home screen of things (iPhone), feels easier and looks better than the same set up with OF (less taps as well).

I can’t see myself ever using custom perspectives, despite really wanting to. But that is probably because I don’t follow the same way of working that most people here seem to.

Again though, thank you for all of your insightful responses!

If anyone has anything else to add, I’ll be all ears 😁


For any projects that are your current focus or you visit often, I would create a custom perspective. You could make individual perspectives for each project or one for all those currently on the hob.


Hi Nick,

Very interesting question. I´ve used Things for a few months and 2Do for a year and half. Both are very good apps that have different limitations and appeals. Things is quite pretty but it is quite limited in handling projects and hierarchies, at least for my needs. It is an app more appealing to users that want a simple and direct approach to task managing instead of more features and customizations. One think that I found fascinating is all the options for repeating tasks. Even now Omnifocus 3 does not have an ´end of repeating´ option: repeat until a date or repeating until 4 or 5 iterations of the task. Things handles this perfectly.

2Do is much more powerful than Things and is developed by one person, which is something formidable since the app is very functional and has some amazing features. Its Smart List (the equivalent of Omnifocus´s perspectives) includes options that are still not available on Omnifocus 3. One example: filter tasks that starts on 5, 6 or ten days or two weeks, or filter tasks that starts between 10 and 20 of June, etc. I like that we can attach a link to the task and access it with easy: on Omnifocus (2 or 3) we must tap on the task and then go to the note section only to tap again on the link. It is not a big deal, but it makes my life easy, anyway. Smart Searches handles quite well multi-tags search and Boolean logic (OR and AND). It comes with the free version, no need to buy Pro. Another feature that I like is notifications: Omnifocus 2 had a very limited approach to notification, something that was changed in Omnifocus 3. Still I think that 2Do is better than Omnifocus 3 due to its nagging notification, something that It seems that will available on Omnifocus 3 in near future, so there is going to be little or no different both apps regarding this feature.
What are the limitations of 2Do regarding Omnifocus? There plenty of them: some are quite relevant to my workflow, others not so much. Let me point some of them:

  1. Limited Structure. On 2Do we have Groups, List, Projects and Tasks. Groups and Lists are more like ´Folders´ on Omnifocus: they cannot be completed, do not have start or due dates. Their function is mainly to organize projects and tasks, both like Omnifocus. However, once we create a task, there is no way to create a subtask and a subtask from this subtask, like Omnifocus allows. Action Groups is a killer feature of Omnifocus for many reasons but one of them is that we can really break down a huge project in small, manageable tasks, something that is quite restricted on 2Do: a project can only contain tasks, never subtasks. Are there any plans to change this? Unlikely since this would break 2Do compatibility with CalDav and other serves. This is not a problem for Omnifocus since it has its private server. The way that 2Do handles structure is for me almost a dealbreaker. I can use the app, sure, but I feel that it always imposes its narrow structure on the way that I plan and handle my projects.

  2. Development. Makes no mistake: Fahad Gilani, 2do developer, is an amazing developer. I respect him very much for 2do and for all his efforts through many years, charging much less than would be suitable for 2Do and completely refusing any appeal to a subscription business model. I admire him a lot and I want 2do to succeed as well. But he is the sole developer of 2Do, an app that has versions for Android, Mac and iOS. It is too much for one single developer who doesn´t even make a living from his app. 2Do has its updates, bug fixes and etc, but its development is slow if we compare to Omnifocus. This is understandable, but it is still annoying that it takes years for implementing new and distinct features to the app.

  3. Attachments. I don’t really use attachments that much, but 2Do is more limited than Omnifocus here. On Omnifocus we can attach various audios and photos to a task or project; on 2Do, however, there is only one place to a single photo or audio, and nothing more. This could be frustrating for some.

  4. Custom Perspectives x Smart Lists. Smart Lists is the most powerful feature of 2Do and I think that it fares well when we compare them to Omnifocus 2 perspectives. I like to see how many tasks are going to start on this week, on two weeks from now, on one or two months… 2Do is perfect for this and Omnifocus 2 not so much. I still don´t like the way that Omnifocus handles tasks that have defer date: custom perspective organizes them in too broad categories (within this weak; June/2018, etc) while 2Do is much more specific (Tommorow, two days, next two weeks, 30 days from now), etc. On 2do we can see tasks’ start date immediately while on Omnifocus 2 we had to tap on it for visualize it, something that is annoying. 2do supports multi-tag search, Omnifocus 2 not so.

One think that Smart List handles poorly and custom perspectives are quite superior is the way that we can narrow our search to specific folders and projects. On 2do we can only narrow our scope to a group and that´s it. If I want to make a custom perspective that deals with two very specific projects, I can do this. I can make a perspective focused on only one project, two folders, a folder and three projects from another folder, etc. It is a very relevant feature for me and it one thing that Omnifocus 2 does quite well.

Summing up: even though 2Do´s smart lists have some features that I found useful and better implemented than Omnifocus 2 custom perspectives, I prefer custom perspectives for allow me to better specify projects and folders that I want to see.

Custom perspectives on Omnifocus 3 have everything that was already available on Omnifocus 2 and many more. It supports multi-tag search, complex Boolean logic (AND and OR) and many more while we still can perfectly narrow our focus on specific projects and folders. I don´t think that there is any other task manager that has a feature as powerful and useful as this one. The only one thing that is still missing is the option to manual sorting, a feature that is missing too on 2do Smart List.

Things, 2Do and Omnifocus 2/3 are great apps that have quite distinct appeals. I do not think that is fair or useful to compare Things to Omnifocus since both apps have very different approaches to productivity. If you are more inclined to tasks, maybe – and I said maybe – you can find Things appealing, but if your workflow is geared toward projects, 2Do or Omnifocus would be more appropriated.

How can we decide between 2Do or Omnifocus? It depends on how much power over your projects and tasks you will need. Let me give you a visual cue:

Project 1
Task 1
Task 2
Task 3
Task 4

Project 2
Task 1
Subtask 1
Subtask 2
Subtask 3
Task 2
Subtask 1
Subtask 2
Task 3
Subtask 1
Sub-Subtask 1
Sub-Subtask 2
Sub-Subtask 2
Subtask 3

Project 1 displays a simple and limited structure. If your projects are like this – or you can fit them on this structure without losing any relevant detail -, you can use both 2Do or Omnifocus without feeling restricted. Your choice is going to be made based upon aesthetics and other elements. However, if your projects are more like Project 2 (that is my case), and you need to have control over every task (start dates, flagging, notes, etc), than I am going to make the choice easier for you: get Omnifocus and forget the rest.

Most of the things that Omnifocus does could be replaced with other task manager, but there a few things that only this app can handle well and if you really need some of these functions, I don’t think that you are going to be productivity with other app.
Best Regards!


I’ve done a lot fo moving around too. I decided to come by to OF because of the additional of tags. I also brought Creating Flow with OmniFocus. I’m also going iPad only right now and I want the most reliable apps and to find the apps and processes that truly fit my workflow. A little more to your questions:

Things 3
The Good:

  • beautiful and clean
  • tags

The Bad:

  • No central place to view tags

The Good:

  • Deeply featured

The Bad:

  • Cluttered

The Good:

  • Clear philosophy of task management
  • Custom perspectives and central place to view tags

The Bad:

  • Clear philosophy of task management (could make you feel boxed in)
  • There’s a learning curve

The Good:

  • Multiplatform

The Bad:
I just don’t like it. It doesn’t appeal to me for some reason.


The answer isn’t what you want to hear, but there’s not a correct answer. What feels right to you? Which one will you want to open everyday? They’ll both do the job. They are both excellent.

I just switched back to Omnifocus when OF3 came out, but had been using Things 3 because it is such a great app on iOS. Omnifocus 2 on iOS started to chafe when I was spending more and more time away from the Mac.

Things 3 is amazing. It’s a joy to use. It’s simple, but despite what some OF users will tell you, Things can handle a lot of projects and tasks. Some of the most demanding task management people I follow online are using it and loving it. Of all the task managers I’ve used, it feels the most like working with paper when you’re making a list. You can enter a new task and still see the other tasks that surround the new one. Being able to just add a quick stupid task to your today view without opening an inspector makes it feel more agile or nimble.

I’m back to Omnifocus because it’s been my nice warm blanket for years. I’m comfortable working in it. I know how to customize it to the way I work, depending on how i work that day. OF3 fixed a lot of what was wrong with OF2 on mobile.

I do miss some of Things 3. But when I use Things 3 I miss some of Omnifocus.

That’s the rub. Again, they’re both excellent. They both have pros and cons. There is no right answer. You just have to pick one, and stick with it long enough to really learn how to use it. Keyboard shortcuts. Quick open. Adding tasks quickly. Etc…

So really it comes down to what feels right. What you’ll actually want to open and use. And then some discipline to stay the course.

TL:DR - Omnifocus seems to be the right one for me. But it isn’t the right one for everyone.


I just use it for personal, non work stuff. I work in a big organization, and have to stick to its own mail, skype, agenda ecosystem to relate with others, 90% of my work is meetings and workshops.

I guess most of us do have family, health, finance, hobbies, friends, home & car maintenance issues and want to maximize our enjoyable time That’s complicated enough for me to take advantage of omnifocus, though I admit I’d love to have a less complicated life.

For long I thought that ‘organizing’ my free time was a self defeating purpose, since it didn’t feel ‘free’ anymore. But then (as I grew older) I had to recognize to myself that the feeling that I was not taking care of important personal things didn’t work for me anymore, so I started trying Omni.

Come to think of it, I don’t see myself using omni for my personal life at 20 yrs old, but I do at 50.

I chose Omni to be able to scale up and not needing to change the application in the near future. I admit I enjoy complexity, being an engineer, so maybe that’s another (hidden) reason I chose Omnifocus.

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