This is a somewhat entertaining topic to me as I recently bought myself Things 3 as a birthday gift. It’s really pretty, and the UX is kinda magical.
I love OmniFocus as well, but it has just gotten too heavy for me lately. As a software development team lead (for several teams) I tend to not be able to get away from silos. (I’m looking at you, GutHub.)
To make it worse, I work for a consulting firm so we kinda have to adjust to the flows our clients are using. I’m actually monitoring codebases across GitHub, GitLab, and Bitbucket.
I also track my own side-projects, as any good self-shaming developer should do.
So…2018 is the year of figuring all this crap out. I’m hoping to build some sort of flow with the Email to Things feature (same could be done with OmniFocus’ email feature).
At one point I considered a GitHub task management flow. Simply because I spend so much time with it, I thought it would make sense to keep my task management and higher level goals there as well. But I never took the time to figure out the feasibility of such a project.
Definitely let us know what you land on. I’ve been hearing rumors of more and more people moving to Things lately. Granted, that was prior to the OmniFocus 3 announcements.
I’m happy that people switched to Things 3 because it might fit their needs better than OmniFocus 2. But we’ve heard enough stories of folks switching between apps after a few months of frustration with the existing app. I had to unfollow someone on Twitter because they switched so quickly between Things, Todoist, and OmniFocus. I wanted to see why someone changed so quickly. I don’t know if I really learned anything beyond the idea that some users will never find that perfect app. If a productivity system or app can do 80-90% of what I want, I’ll stick with it and fill in the gaps with other apps or an AppleScript.
So far, I’m very happy with Things. I like the interface a tad more. But all of that is ultimately inconsequential. I think some (myself included) tend toward thinking that an app is going to save us, when it is really finding a workflow and sticking to it that is likely the true answer.
I read about the OmniFocus 3 redesign a couple days after posting my comment above. Heh. By that time I’d already jumped feet-first into the Things wading pool.
I like that OF3 is minimizing contexts (it was always my friction point in GtD). Tags in Things work much better for me. I think that change alone would have brought OF3 back into the workflow for me.
In fact, instead of using GitHub (or any other VCS SaaS) as my core system, I’ve decided to use them all as “feeders”. I’m using “Email to Things” for this, but it is actually less robust than the OF email input gateway. It is sufficient, as I’ve considerably trimmed down the notification preferences in the VCS SaaS services. And I get decently organized items into Things.
I’m using this for all external inputs to Things. I’ll try to share some actual details of the system here in the near future for anyone interested. Still fine-tuning a few things and hoping it doesn’t all fall apart.
So…this is the “kicker”, right? When I first saw the OmniGroup year in review and what to look forward to in 2018 post I was irritated. I thought, “well I can always use Things for a while and go back when OF3 is released.”
But I laughed and just shrugged it off. I’ve since realized (as mentioned above) that both apps will work fine for what I need. OF2 may actually still be a bit better than Things due to having more options to format a task from their email gateway. But there isn’t an amazing amount of control offered by the originating services tossing the tasks in via the email gateway anyway, so it isn’t a huge deal.
I told myself I was trying Things this year, and I’m sticking to that. I have a feeling the meaningful parts of my workflow will be largely “task app” agnostic anyway.
I like testing and then posting my initial discoveries. Then I invite people to poke at at my post and bring up questions and offer alternative viewpoints. That will help me improve and fine tune a workflow. Then I re-iterate and put it out again to see if I can improve something. That was what I do when I go deep and put up a post in these forums. We look forward to seeing something from participants join in and share some workflows and experiments. I actually look forward to seeing a Things user put up a post. Hope to hear from you when you’ve gotten the time to gather your thoughts,
I visited Things 3 and 2Do for a while to see if I can emulate some of their workflows. I was able to get fairly close to T3’s Today and Scheduled. It wasn’t an exact match but I understood the concept well enough to create my own custom perspectives.
I do like T3’s but ultimately stayed with OmniFocus. I suspect that Cultured Code has lit a fire under their collective butts and are working hard to eventually match OF3. I view T3 as a version 1.0 product because it was rewritten from the ground up. So it will be exciting to see what Cultured Code has coming up. They just don’t seem to be as forthcoming about future versions. It did take a while for Omni to unwrap and share some details about OF3. But it’s gonna be great to see OF3 when it finally arrives.
2 posts were split to a new topic: My Things 3 Setup and Workflow
I’ve been using Things 3 for 2 weeks now after using OF for literally years (since early version 1, and pre-iOS).
Things I like about Things:
- It’s super fast on iOS. Launching OF takes several seconds even on a brand new iPhone, whereas things is instant. This is a huge deal for entering new tasks or checking things off
- It places project views front and centre by making the project notes prominent. Opening a project in a Things window makes it really feel focused (vs OmniFocus’s really poor treatment of notes in general - they’re totally an afterthought IMO) - see attached screenshot for an example of how well this is treated
- The keyboard shortcuts are awesome (OF has good shortcuts too, but Things has nailed the usability aspect)
- It has checklists that are embedded in tasks in a non-clunky way (I always found nested tasks in OF to be pretty unusable). In particular, this made my repeating Daily Review a single task with a checklist attached, which feels a lot more natural than OF could do it
- Sync is very quick and reliable. OF is very reliable, but not quick
Things I miss about OF:
- Custom perspectives, but I’m missing these less and less as my brain conforms to the way Things works
- URL schemes on iOS (Things has crappy integration/share panels as well)
- I prefer OmniGroup as a company
- Actual “Waiting” contexts
- Sequential projects. Projects are all parallel.
Things I’m on the fence about:
- Structure vs freedom. I’m finding myself caring less about the freedom of OF because of the frictionless experience of Things
- Tags vs contexts - so far I haven’t really used tags much at all, and it’s been fine because I use Areas to narrow my worlds (so adding these in OF3 wouldn’t be a major thing for me)
Hi, here is my workflow scheme for Things3 - dropbox link
I recently switched to things 3 from using omnifocus for years and haven’t looked back.
My time spent doing weekly reviews and monthly reviews has actually halved!
This may sound weird but my main teething issue of using Things 3 initially was actually how easy it was. I was so used to setting up complex projects in omnifocus that when I switched to things the lack of friction was jarring.
I’m around 2 months into using Things and I’m not going back to Omnifocus. It also only took me around a week to adjust to using things, not a solid full week, just an hour here and there.
Also if you’re thinking about switching they have an AppleScript to migrate all your tasks to it.
I’ve since ran into a problem with Things.
When I used omnifocus I constantly used the complete and await reply script however to keep track of leads. (I work in Fashion in London and constantly chasing people to create new connections is a huge part of the business as it’s very competitive).
However, I can’t do this on things.
This has meant I’ve had to use a sort of manual system to find out who I’ve been contacting and it’s not worked out so great. People are slipping through the cracks.
I’m trying to find a solution for the above but nothing is seeming to stick.
I won’t be shifting back to Omnifocus, as this small niggle isn’t enough to do a full system shift, I just need to find a solution to this.
I thought Things 3 has scripting capabilities? Of course that means you’ll have to figure out scripting or pay someone to do it for you…
Easiest thing would be to simply set a reminder or a specific tag for your leads to follow up on.
Being a longtime OmniFocus 2 user, my beans goes right now for Things 3. Why? Because OmniFocus allows me to effectively manage medium-to-big projects, Things has a so refreshingly agile workflow!
While I absolutely like OF capabilities I always felt friction when using its interface – not to mention the iOS version which, for me is a deal breaker. On the other hand Things 3 feels so natural and swift in both its versions for macOS and iOS! And I specially love the extensive keybinding provided for the macOS version.
When I think about it, I should have started my migration to Things 3 months ago but having at the time so much fun with OmniFocus and the $$$ spent for the extended version were the two main reasons I didn’t jump boat earlier.
Up until a few days ago I still thought that I would probably kept using OF for big projects and stuff that needs a good deal of detail; however after like a two weeks with Things 3 I know now there’s no coming back for me, lol.
Yes, I miss some stuff like the Forecasting feature - that I hope they add sometime in the future - but truth is Things 3 became a second-skin without even noticing it – and to me this is the best selling point. No need of more words =)
Think things 3 will ever get location reminders?
Location reminder doesn’t seem to be on the Things 3 status board. It looks like they’re currently focused on updates for Mojave and iOS 12.
It’s hard to tell what they’re up to. Does anyone else know if Cultured Code has a road map or are they just very tight lipped?
The status board is about as good as it gets. Omni is the only one doing any formal roadmap that I’m aware of.
They became much less transparent and a bit fascist after their forums morphed into a torch and pitchfork wielding mob because of the glacial development pace of Things 2.
You’ll also notice they don’t have forums anymore.
Yes, I noticed. It’s one of the reasons I stick with Omnifocus - their forums are very helpful, there’s direct access to support and they’ve set up Slack channels for development discussions.
CC has none of that and I don’t consider Reddit and Twitter to be adequate support channels for a professional product.
No not yet. I’m still not happy with how much of the UX works in OF anymore. The nice thing is you can make OF work almost however you want with their automations. But that’s functionality that has to be built as a user and I’m just not interested in rebuilding UX features that should be built-in. I may change my mind when OF JS automation comes out and users build interoperable stuff for Mac and iOS.
All that said Things has annoyances too. Right now I don’t need tags or the more complex project structures so I’ve been doing fine with Things.
Literally the only thing I miss with OF is Focus mode on the Mac. That made it so easy to dive into any area and see all things “to do” and “completed” for a project. But I don’t find that’s enough to put up with all the other annoyances I have right now.