OmniFocus released, with the release of IOS 8, a new version of their IOS iPad product OmniFocus 2 for the iPad. Of interest was the fact that of the entire OmniFocus line, the iPad version had been seen to be the best, most advanced OmniFocus product. I personally only really disliked the desktop version of OmniFocus however, this generally would be considered the most important part of the product line.
Updating Started with the iPhone
OmniFocus first started revamping their product line with their iPhone product first. It was a huge hit with the consumer from the get go and was well reviewed.
The OmniGroup had a different design in mind until they attended the 2013 June WWDC. They were very moved by the vision Apple had for products especially that wherein the interface stepped out of the way for the users content. The flatness of what was to become IOS 7 struck a real chord with the OmniGroup.
OmniFocus for the iPhone was Born
After WWDC the OmniGroup huddled down to work on the original design of the iPhone product. It is this design that then moved the whole of the OmniFocus suite.
Beta testers that were working on OmniFocus for the Mac were unaware of this change that was occurring and were left to continue to work on the original design inspiration of the second line. In hindsight, there was really nothing wrong with the original design and with a few tweaks it could have gone on to meld with the design schema originated by IOS 7.
However, this was not to be and OmniFocus, as we know it today, was born with the release of OmniFocus for the iPhone. In reality, it is a beautiful design concept.
With the creation though of the iPhone 2 version of OmniFocus the whole line was now askew. No product lined up with the other from an interface perspective.
The Mac Version Followed
From the iPhone version followed the Mac version of OmniFocus. Again this was hailed as a smashing success and was greeted with great enthusiasm.
Actually, the second version of OmniFocus v2 for the Mac was actually released as two versions. One version which lacks customizable perspectives and Applescript was $39 whereas the other was $79. In many ways, this got around another major criticism of OmniFocus which was that it was extremely expensive. Having the $39 version shot a whole in the idea that it was inordinately expensive. In reality, the $39 version is probably satisfactory for most people’s needs.
The iPad sat on the Side as a Good but very Different Looking Product
Finally, that brings us to the iPad’s recent release. This was a product many people enjoyed working with. In fact, the design was so well liked that some people solely worked in the iPad version of OmniFocus.
However, in GTD methodology there is the concept of flow and it is an important concept. Simply put, when we are attempting to get things down the more we can reduce friction or the force that pushes against getting things done the better. The greater the force to allow one thing to follow another, David Allen identified and called flow.
When you have a line such as the OmniFocus line and the interfaces are disjointed one product to another, the less flow you have. The greater the similarity of product you conversely have flow. It’s easier to move from one interface to another if they look similar. Plus, learning is greatly enhanced or learning time is substantially reduced.
The iPad 2 Version adds Flow
With the introduction of the iPad 2 version of OmniFocus flow has been introduced. Not only is the product an excellent looking product but it looks much like the others. Thus, you now have a very important factor in your toolkit which creates flow.
The Product is as Great as the Others
OmniFocus v2 for the iPad fits right in with the rest of the line. It’s a clean, fresh looking product. The iPad update brings harmony to the line. Knowing how to work with any of the other products helps you get up to speed very quickly,
Working with the complete line now is actually a delight. It puts OmniFocus ahead of the pack. If you don’t need cross platform then I would think OmniFocus would be the product of choice.
Should you need a cross platform product your best choice would be TODO or if you really wanted to spend the least again TODO would be the product of choice.
However, now with OmniFocus 2 for the iPad, the GTD product I would recommend without hesitation is now OmniFocus. It is the most true to the principles of GTD and is by far the most powerful.
Some have been concerned that this is a difficult product to learn. It really isn’t and once learned you can work with the product easily. All things in OmniFocus are based on principles Like the GTD methodology. This structure lends itself to easy maneuvering around the product.
The Line is Complete
With the introduction of OmniFocus v2 for the iPad the OmniFocus line is now complete. When I say it is complete I am only saying this relative to its consistency from one platform to another which is very important.
Software products are never complete though in the sense they are always evolving. However, they can be considered complete when you are working towards a goal and you achieve it. The Omnigroup has achieved their goal of consistency and I would say flow.
With this in mind, I would easily say that if you want a GTD capable product of the products available I would think OmniFocus makes the most sense. It is not inexpensive and it is not expensive either. As I mentioned earlier, if the product can help you but once with you time management the costs are easily justifiable.
These days, with all the inputs that come at us, it is difficult to manage time effectively. If a product can assist at all with this challenge it is more than worth it. As long as you don’t overuse OmniFocus, it can most assuredly assist you with your time management goals.