Why on earth would an invested Omnifocus user switch to Todoist?
Well, in short because of
Todoist let’s me easily share tasks with my wife related to managing our private life with two kids. Omnifocus is showing no signs to develop in this direction.
- Tags & Filters
Context in Omnifocus only provides one dimension (although nested). Tags in Todoist allows me to build any (multidimensional) view on my tasks no matter how far I take tags. I am aware that if you standardise the naming of your tasks you can include a respective search in your Omnifocus Perspective – but that seems very fiddly to me.
Todoist syncs nearly instantaneously. With Omnifocus I always have to wait a few seconds before things are updated. And yes, I have background sync enabled in Omnifocus.
It’s probably me but I always hesitated to put attachments in my Omnifocus database because I feared it would make it slow down or consume too much space. Todoist as a web based platform at least to me seems much better suited to handle bigger file attachments.
So I gave Todoist a serious try. I switched all my projects over, set up my wife with an account and tested the pro features for about a month (without Pro features it is very bare bones). I did the full monty: Exchanged my today widget on the iPhone, installed Todoist on all my Macs and IOS devices, even hooked it up to IFTTT and switched to Cloudmagic on my IOS devices to be able to process email directly into Todoist.
I also faced a stressful period at work where a lot of projects were getting pretty intense at the same time – perfect conditions to test drive a task management system. To put things into context – I overlook approx. 30 active projects at a time in a company with north of 500 staff. From experience I know I should maintain a good handle on my projects when things are getting hot. Otherwise it all falls apart pretty quickly and I loose control.
And this is exactly the point where Todoist broke down for me. It took me too long to update lots of tasks in lots of projects multiple times a day. I missed Omnifocus’ start dates, sequential projects and focussing abilities which allow me to filter better on what is really available, important and urgent at the same time.
I tried to accomplish this by setting up various filters. But no matter what I did – I always felt overwhelmed as I had to look at too many unrelevant tasks at the same time. I started fiddling again with filters – exactly what I wanted to avoid especially during a period where all of my resources were required to actually DO things.
It is not about price. Omnifocus on Mac, Ipad and Iphone add up quite nicely in (one-time) cost. Todoist is 23 Euro per year per person for the premium plan – for my wife and myself this translates to about three years of usage before I hit the Omnifocus price range. I am happy to pay for a solution which I use on a daily basis in order to manage my various roles.
In short, I learned that the following features in Todoist are essential for me before even consider switching again:
- Start dates
- Automatic ‘next action’ available per project
- Better filtering in the UI, not only by filters
For Omnifocus I would like to see:
- Task sharing
- Faster sync
I would like to hope that Todoist adds these features, but I doubt they will be doing so anytime soon. For the time being Omnifocus just has to be my sort of hammer for the type of work I do.