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10 Reasons Why OmniFocus is The Best Todo List App

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OmniFocus

We were recently at a conference and as soon as we started talking about productivity, we got the same question asked all the time: “Which todo list program do you use?”

Of course, the answer was the same: OmniFocus. After using OmniFocus for years, it boggles my mind that a lot of people haven’t found their perfect todo list app yet. OmniFocus is definitely not for everyone, but if you’re serious about your productivity and you’re in the Apple eco-system (you use a Mac, iPhone and/or iPad) then it’s quite simple: use OmniFocus as your task manager.

That’s one of the reasons why we created OmniFocus Premium Posts to help more people be more productive with this program.

But to elaborate a little bit more on why I and many others use OmniFocus as our go-to todo list app, let me quickly share 10 reasons why OmniFocus is the best task manager out there. (I’m talking about OmniFocus as a whole package – not a particular platform such as OmniFocus for Mac or iOS.)

1. It simply works

Right out of the digital box, the program just works. You can immediately put stuff in there, you can start tweaking the settings to your likings and get your workflow setup with ease.

You get fried rice points if you have read the book Getting Things Done by David Allen. It’s definitely not a requirement, but it does help you get setup even faster and more efficiently if you understand the basics of GTD.

You get even more fried rice points if you use our OmniFocus Premium Posts to get your OmniFocus workflow, system and organization up and running.

2. Capturing is easy

One of the things you should look for in your next todo list app is how easy it is to dump random thoughts.

We all have those brilliant ideas, random thoughts and things we need to do that we want to remember. You want to store those into your task manager so you can revisit them later and act on them.

If your program makes it challenging to quickly capture your thoughts, then it’s the wrong app. This process should be as seamless as possible.

You can have multiple quick entries.

Capturing things is easy.

Fortunately, that’s the case with OmniFocus. It’s super easy, fast and frictionless to dump things in there. With just a tap or two, or even just a quick keyboard shortcut, you can quickly put stuff in there and then move on with whatever you’re doing.

3. Lifetime access

A friend of mine recently had to stop using his todo list app because the company behind it was acquired by a media conglomerate and they shut down the app. Now he has to find another one, relearn everything and transfer everything over (which as you can imagine is annoying).

Luckily, you don’t have to worry about that with OmniFocus. The OmniGroup, the company behind this app, has been around for over 20 years and aren’t looking to cash out anytime soon.

4. Perspectives are a game-changer

One of the features that sets OmniFocus apart from all other todo list app is the Perspective features. It’s my favorite feature and I haven’t seen any other app have anything close to this.

If you’re unfamiliar with Perspectives – think of them as shortcuts to specific projects, lists and particular pieces of information. When you have our Asian Efficiency workflow (as shows in OmniFocus Premium Posts) you can think of Perspectives as your personal assistant. You simply ask “what do I need to do today” or “what should I be working on?” and Perspectives will show you exactly that.

OmniFocus is the only app where you can have this.

5. It works seamlessly on iOS and Mac

Right now OmniFocus only works on the Mac and iOS – and it excels at it. By not being on the web and Windows, they can focus on their core competencies which is the Apple ecosystem.

6 Seamless cloud syncing

In today’s mobile world if you don’t have frictionless cloud syncing set up, you’re really shooting yourself in the foot. You want to have access to your todos, lists and projects anywhere, anytime and you need cloud sync for that.

The OmniFocus cloud sync is really seamless. It runs in the background so you don’t ever have to worry if you have the latest things in your inbox, projects and lists. It’s simply there.

7. Super flexible

OmniFocus scales well. What I mean with that is that it’s really flexible in how you can set it up. If you just want a simple todo list app with a list of things to do, OmniFocus can do that for you. If you want go more extreme (like yours truly) and store your whole life in there with hundreds of projects, lists and tasks and not feel overwhelmed by it at all, OmniFocus can do that too.

As a result, after you use OmniFocus for a while you’ll start to “grow into it” and then you’ll really appreciate how great this program is. It never feels like you’re stuck and that you might “outgrow” the app.

8. The Forecast view

One of the most popular features of OmniFocus is the Forecast view. This is where your todos and calendar items are shown on one screen, so you know right away how busy you are today and the rest of the week.

The OmniFocus Forecast view where you can see all your todos and appointments.

The OmniFocus Forecast view where you can see all your todos and appointments.

There is no need anymore to separately check your todo list and your calendar (I used to forget to do this all the time). With the Forecast view, it’s all there.

9. The community

One of the great things about OmniFocus is the community of developers, power users and techies behind it. On the official OmniFocus forums you can always ask questions and you’ll get answers from people who want to help you.

10. Great customer support

The support team behind OmniFocus is fantastic. They really want to help you with your OmniFocus questions and concerns. When you call them, you get a real person picking up the phone (I know…that’s rare nowadays) and help you out.

It makes you feel like you always have someone you can reach out to for some OmniFocus help.

Conclusion

There you have it – 10 reasons why we think OmniFocus is the best todo list app available. If you’re interested in getting OmniFocus, here’s where you get can your copy:

Once you have OmniFocus and you want to use it the way we use it at Asian Efficiency, I strongly you suggest you sign up for our free OmniFocus training course or grab OmniFocus Premium Posts to get you up and running.

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8 Comments

Posted by Joseph Mills  | October 7, 2013 at 7:56PM | Reply

I’ve heard nothing but good things about OmniFocus, and several of your points (4 and 8) are potential game changers for me. However, your attempt to turn #5 into a positive rings hollow for those of us that works for companies that are Windows based.

I have an iPhone and an iPad, but my laptop is still an important part of my overall productivity rituals and trying to use OF and something Windows based would seem to break some deep dark cardinal rule of time management…

Posted by Thanh Pham  | October 7, 2013 at 11:26PM

That’s a good point and something I address here: http://www.asianefficiency.com/technology/omnifocus-windows/

Posted by Lori  | October 7, 2013 at 7:57PM | Reply

So what do those of us who don’t use Mac, and don’t want to use Mac products, do as the second best ToDo List App?

Posted by Thanh Pham  | October 7, 2013 at 11:26PM

I can’t give a recommendation because I’ve never used any other task manager in the last couple of years.

Posted by Daniel  | November 19, 2013 at 6:24PM | Reply

Oh man it would be amazing if it was on Windows too.

Posted by Dellu  | April 20, 2014 at 2:19AM | Reply

I have tried OF a dozen of times. For me, OF is unnecessary complication. A simple text file could be enough, to drop my task lists of the day or the week.

Posted by Komrad  | May 19, 2014 at 7:54PM | Reply

It’s not that easy. I spent several weeks trying to learn it, but I found it overly complicated. Another hurdle was the forums. I’m used to jumping into a new app , reading and searching forums, and posting questions for problems unique to me or for which searches did not find the answer.

With Omifocus, you’re not allowed to participate in their forums until you’ve reached some ambiguous state of readiness. The staff said that I can ask them my questions, but I want hundreds of eyes, not one pair, on my question.

The lack of a Web interface and Windows app are pretty serious marks against the product. Even if the end user has bought into the Apple ecosystem ( like I have ), their employer may not have ( like mine hasn’t ). Something I value about Toodledoo and Apple Reminders, is that you can get to them over the Web , regardless of your O/S.

I haven’t used OF for months, but I’m getting ready to give it another go. Mostly because I spent so much money on it that I have to give it another try.

There are good features, and if you’re on your Mac all day versus me who may get 30minutes in a day, I can see how OF would work out better for you. Ease of use? Not OF’s strong point. Impressive feature list? Most definitely. My thought are negative because it’s more complicated than I have time for, and I don’t know of a way to get a refund.

Posted by Paul Newcomb  | July 7, 2016 at 1:01PM | Reply

I cannot even begin to express how frustrating it is that Omnifocus chooses not to support Windows. It’s the one app that I can’t seem to do without, and even tempts me to switch to OS X just to have it. The problem is, it would have to be a hackintosh since my desktop is custom built.

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