Some thoughts on OF and Things now that both sync

Discussion in 'iOS Apps' started by twinsdad, Aug 19, 2008.

  1. twinsdad macrumors member

    Oct 21, 2007
    I've been using OF and Things for about a month now and wanted to offer up some points of interest to anyone debating the purchase of these two apps. It's hard to go wrong here but both do have some current limitations and they are very different in their approach to GTD and task management. Here is a quick look at the iphone versions of these two apps:

    Price (an important factor)

    Things Touch is $9.99 for now and according to the developers will go up as more features are implemented. Things Desktop is in preview stage and is free until version 1.0 comes out which is an unknown at this point. Things will cost $49.99 and $39.99 for subscribers of the newsletter.

    OmniFocus is $19.99 on the iphone and has 3 different price points for the desktop version. $79.99 retail, $59.99 for registered users of Omnioutliner Pro, and $49.99 for students, teachers, faculty, professors, etc. (basically an educator discount).

    On the Iphone: Here are some bullet points to consider

    TT now syncs via wifi and this feature is very fast. You basically get on the same network and open both programs. Things desktop will pair your iphone to the desktop (kind of like a bluetooth pairing) and syncing will then be automatic as long as you are on the the same network and both programs are open. Like I said, this syncing is very quick and so fas accurate.

    OF syncs via Webdav which means you need a Mobile Me account. This will enable syncing to Mobile Me anywhere your Iphone has an internet connection. Syncing speed has improved dramatically from 1.0 to 1.0.3 but is still nowhere near as fast as Things. i have found the syncing reliable on OF.

    There are two key liabilities to each Iphone version. Things does not support (although it is coming) two of the best features of the desktop version Areas of Responsibility and Tags. This leads to the 2nd liability which is that tasks within your AOR will sync and appear on the Today screen and next screen as a jumbled mess of tasks with no association to a project, area, or tag. It creates a mess on both Today and Next screens. If you are looking at focus as a key driver in your purchase then forget this for now.

    The downfall of OF Touch is that it does not have a today view (maybe a personal preference?) and it is very slow to open and sync. If quickly opening and entering a task on the go is a priority for you then OF will cause frustration.

    The highlights:

    OF Touch supports the key features of the desktop version. It supports contexts, location awareness, sub projects, flags, due dates, folders, etc. Without a today view you will have to use a system that allows you to focus on whatever is important on that particular day. It will sync all these features back and forth. OF is very strong if you want to focus on certain areas of your life (work, home, hobbies).

    TT is fast and simple. It has a great today view (marred for now by the clutter caused by its lack of support for areas and tags) and a next action view. It is quick to open and enter tasks into the inbox and is easy to setup scheduled tasks and projects. TT is also very stable and has been since day one.

    I have gone with OF because I like the way it allows you to focus in on specific areas of your life better than Things. Both are great programs especially for such early versions.
  2. OCDMacGeek macrumors 6502a


    Jul 19, 2007
    Thanks for the comparison. I have just started using OmniFocus for both Mac and iPhone. It is unfortunate that the iPhone app doesn't have a simple display for all tasks in all projects/contexts. I would just like to see everything on one screen (perhaps broken down by project) instead of drilling down into each project individually.

    Apart from the expense of the iPhone and desktop apps, I am otherwise pretty pleased with the program.
  3. diesel macrumors 6502a

    Aug 3, 2007
    I bought omnifocus during launch week. but.......i can't help think how Things would be. I may just pull the trigger, spend/waste 10 bucks to try Things. worst case scenario......i like things and i wasted 20 bucks on OF, best case scenario, i like OF better and only wasted 10 bucks to try things but then know that personally OF was for me and put this inner conflict to rest :)

    I have to admit that the screenshots of Things has me awfully curious, in a good sense. it seems to be a more logical way of looking at your GTD tasks with it's "Today" view and having notes indicators next to items. With OF you would have to drill down into all items to find which ones have notes. I also like the Things logbook for me to potentially look through to see past/recently completed items. in OF, you have to go into settings and toggle between show next/available to show all to be able to re-view any items that have been completed. and so on and so on. So i just might have to try things out................
  4. LostLogik macrumors 6502a

    Jul 9, 2008
    I started with OF from launch but have recently switched to Things. Primarily because of the lack of a Today screen in OF and more importantly, the time OF takes to launch. Also disliked the need to put in the time for scheduled items. All I wanted to know is a due date, not due time.

    OF may have the power with context and location awareness but Things comes up trumps with simplicity and speed, though it still has power with it's Projects handling.It's my favoured task manager now.

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