To be honest I think that Omnifocus for iPad is too expensive, especially when you bear in mind that you probably will want to buy the Omnifocus for the Mac, so that you have synchronisation between your computer and your iPad. Not only are they expensive for those applications but the iDevice applications are not universal. This means that if you want to have Omnifocus on your Mac, your iPad and your iPhone also, then you will need to buy three applications. Even so, there are many users of the Omni group of products, that are happy to buy them and use them despite the fact that they cost more than just about all of the other Get Things Done apps that are around. So what is it that makes the application so good that they have to charge so much for it and that users are so happy to spend their money on Omnifocus?
Are there enough power user features in Omnifocus for iPad
I would imagine that many of the people that are likely to buy Omnifocus for iPad, are the people that already use it on the Mac and like what it can do. The important point for those types of users though is the need for the interface to be similar to what is available on the desktop computer and not be missing too many of the power features.
When you open up Omnifocus on your iPad you will see a very familiar looking interface. In the same way as with Dropbox, or with GoodReader, you will see the navigation pane on the left-hand side and on the right hand side you have the pane where you can actually see what is that you are navigating to. In this left-hand pane on the iPad version of Omnifocus you’ve got your Projects and Contacts, Flagged and Review and the new Forecast area. It seems that the way Omnifocus works is by dealing with perspectives of tasks and to know more about that, you would need to read the book by David Allen about Getting Things Done.
Disorientated looking at apps on the iPad
As is often the case with applications on the iPad, a device that you can either use in landscape or in portrait mode, you get a different app view depending on which way round you are looking at it. When you are looking at it in portrait mode you have to tap on the Omnifocus button in the top left-hand corner to get your navigation drop down.
It is all just about lists really
Same as with other task software, it is all about lists of things to do and with Omnifocus you get a number of different ways to add a new task to a list. There is the quick entry window which has its own icon, that you can tap on and there is also a plus button in the menubar that will also get you into creating a new task. In Omnifocus you have contexts and projects. It is very useful that you can stay in the context or project that you are currently working in and still be able to add new tasks. So for example I could be working on tasks I am expecting to use for my writing articles for the websites, when I remember that I also have a job to do of putting up some shelves. I could create a new task to get the screws and the wood for the shelves, do the task in Omnifocus quickly and then continue with what I was working on before.
There will be projects that require you to take action and in Omnifocus there is an Action Editor, within this you will be able to see views which will give you the information, the dates, notes and also attachments relevant to that action. All you need in one place so that you can be focused and organised.
Once you have your tasks in your lists, then it’s going be necessary to organise those tasks. So that you know what you are supposed to be doing. You can organise yourself and your tasks by changing dates and the priority that is set for that task. This will help you decide what you’re going to do first, then the next thing after that and so on until you have completed all of your tasks in the list.
How much do you want to carry
With the fact that the iPad and the iPhone are both devices that you can carry around. I suppose you could also say the same of the Mac laptops, it is no surprise then, that location is something that you can use to organise yourself with regards your tasks.
Do a review of tasks
One of the things that often happens with tasks lists is that the tasks are created and they don’t get completed in Omnifocus there is a feature called the Review and this is where you can set a timer for you to go back and review your project. Depending upon how important the project is, will dictate as to whether you will set a review time for one week or whether you set it for six months. Using this tool you will be able to keep on top of things. You will not forget to do something which at one time you thought important enough, that you had to set a task for it within your Getting Things Done software.
One of the things with the use of this type of software is that you have to remember to have the software open and actually make use of it. So I suppose that one good thing with Omnifocus is that you can clip some text or e-mail and put them into Omnifocus and deal with them later. With the iPad version you do have to do copy and pasting of text, but if you have the Mac version of Omnifocus you would be able to do that just by using a key combination.
Buying all the versions of Omnifocus
Obviously the Mac version and the other two versions for iOS are designed to be used as a team, in which case you need to be able to do the synchronisation between devices. Having said that, if you want to keep costs down, there may be a good solution would be to just have the iPad version. There is enough in that app for you to be able to do all of the task organisation that you need to do. I suppose then that will have an impact upon whether you wish to carry your iPad with you and also a laptop computer, when you are going travelling. But it would be no hardship to have your iPad next to you while you are working at your desktop computer. Just keep all of your task management all in one place using Omnifocus for iPad. If you are fond of using the Omnifocus software. then you will probably want to also go and look at the other software tools that the Omni group make such as Omnigraffle.
Alternatives to Omnifocus for iPad
So when it comes down to doing the getting things done dance with your software, then you have a number of applications available for you to choose from. If you like free them Wunderlist is very useful. There is also Remember the Milk, in fact there are more task management list making softwares for iOS, than you could shake a stick at.