Hey You fellow taskmasters,
I enjoyed the comparison of these two as well. I feel that You’re a bit biased towards OmniFocus, but that comes with the preference for one or the other.
Personally, I used OF for the last three years- until I lost the grips on my OF database that grew like nothing and developed all kinds of niches wherein stuff would simply sit around and slow down my sync.
End of october I freaked out and transferred my tasks to Things (great waste of time/ full review) and made a pledge to really try to make it work, even with the pile of stuff I gathered, until the end of the year.
Your mileage might vary on this, but it is not as easy as simple structure = Things; complex structure = OF. I would like to add some depth to Your description of things in comparison to OF.
– I found the active projects list bearing the same major limitation as You, but generally, I not only think that Things is less complex, it is so with an agenda:Any system more complex than the three layers of tasks, projects and Areas is prone to result in serious overload. This idea holds true for me at least.
– due to the different restrictions in either app there is a completely different approach necessary in transition: most of my folders in OF became tags (people for instance, make more sense as tags than as contexts, since you might not only want to associate a task with a person, but with other criteria)
– in tune with the personal kanban article above I decided to give some meaning to the term “active” projects. It turns out that when I am putting everything out of sight into someday/maybe, that is not actively handled right now, I end up having 18-ish projects there which I can handle really well. If there’s need for any of the “sleeping” stuff, the strong search engine gets it for me (in both apps, actually)
– One can reorder anything to Your liking in things: the beauty of the today view is that You can simply drag/drop- reorder Your tasks to Your liking and design your personal hierarchy of stuff for the day. I talked to the Omni folks, this will remain a no-no in OF
– repeating tasks are much more refined in Things: You can make repeats for tasks every 3rd monday of the month. This might seem geeky until one of Your monthly tasks for work is scheduled for a sunday 😉
– reviews in things need more brains than in OF, but hey, weekly review is weekly review to me- the not so important projects can simply be skimmed in someday/ maybe, while the actionable stuff anyway congregates in your active projects. To me no real downside not being able to schedule review cycles
– there actually are start dates in Things: they are hidden under the “scheduled” area. So if You’re not going to do the task now, schedule it for another day and it will disappear from the project until that particular time- during review You can always blend these ones back in again.
– in Things You are actually able to simply have tasks sitting in Your areas. It must be weird for folks not knowing the apps to read this, but actually You can’t simply place a task in a folder in OF- there needs to be a project. So Your project list substantially grows by including stuff like “misc Personal” or “weekly review”. In Things this is simply a task in the “Personal” area and a task that repeats weekly in the scheduled section, telling me to review the active projects
So basically, to me it’s more a matter of taste and preference than a real matter of programs- I find myself being able to work a workload with equal complexity in Things as well as in OmniFocus- what differs is how You group your tasks (using tags heavier and subtasks-er- not at all ;-))…)… Let’s see what both companies have up their sleeve for their pending updates!
Thanks again for this wonderful grounds for exchange,