Help me choose between OmniFocus and Things!

One of my most unproductive habits is switching between OmniFocus and Things every few months. It’s ridiculous. In February, I even wrote a blog post about how I wasn’t going to switch anymore. And then I switched TWICE since then, most recently on Tuesday, back to Things.

And now I find myself tempted by OmniFocus again. And I’m not even eligible for the Mac Beta of V3 yet.

The logic says I should stick with Things. My way of working is just to have 90% of my tasks in a single list, and grind through them. I’ve been thinking of differentiating a bit – one for work, one for personal, and one for a community organization I’ve recently become active in. But that would be THREE lists. OmniFocus seems to be optimized for people who need to work with a dozen or more lists (which it calls “projects” and “areas of focus,” of course).

I can’t really think of a reason to prefer OmniFocus, and yet I find myself drawn to it. Maybe in the hopes that OmniFocus’s complexity will somehow force me to become more organized. And yet that very complexity eventually drives me away. In my final stages of getting overwhelmed by OmniFocus, I find myself keeping a separate to-do list in a plain text file of a few items I need to get to ASAP.

So I’m calling on the MPU groupmind to help me pick one task manager and stick with it.

Which do you prefer? OmniFocus or Things? Why do you prefer your favorite over the other?

If everything on your plate fits in three lists, just stick with Things. There are a few dozen threads on the topic already here and on the OF forums. Just focus on getting your work done.

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Thankfully, OF hit the pocket quite a bit when I went all in on all Pro across macOS and iOS - whilst Things is not as expensive, it’s not exactly cheap either…

So I’ve yet to be tempted to take the plunge, and I am grateful for that, since I’m fairly certain I would be doing exactly what you are doing/have been doing now… :sunglasses:

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After many years of OF I’ve just moved to Things 3. And I have to say, it works very well for me.

Simpler, which helps.

But one thing I love is in the Today view is being able to press, hold and move a task to different areas.

OF is good, but right now Things is better (for me)…


OmniFocus because it allows parallel, sequential, or single action ways to group tasks, with nesting as deep as you want.


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Well, you didn’t mention anything that drives you away from Things, so I think that’s your answer.
I used OF for a while, but it is too complex for me, and encourages endless fiddling until it’s overwhelming. I’ve been around the world since, trying apps, paper, etc.
I’ve been using Things for a few days - didn’t wait for the trial to end, plunked down my money. I like it a lot. The Add To Things in Spark, Safari, etc. is surprisingly helpful. I also like that Siri knows about Things. I think this is where I’ll stay.

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I personally use OmniFocus, but I also have 20 active projects for work, 3 personal projects, plus 4 general checklists.

I used Things for a while and it worked well, but then my job and life obligations changed and I realized Things wasn’t up to the task. When I was using Things I only had 3-4 work projects, 1-2 personal, and the 4 general checklists.

I think for a lot of people Things is a great task manager and if you aren’t dropping the ball or failing to complete projects on time (due to you, not external forces) then I would stay with Things. If you are already missing deadlines or tasks are being missed completely then I would look at OmniFocus and specifically using perspectives as they really are your best friend in OF. I currently have 14 custom perspectives I use to make sure I am only seeing what I currently need to see.


I use OmniFocus, but much like @joshsullivan, my advice would be to use the lightest-weight task management system that enables you to get your work done without dropping the ball on anything.