OmniFocus Alternatives

Yes sir, I’ll definitely check it out, I also agree. I’m dailying a Moleskine for my notebook currently, but I’ll also check this one out.

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Which are two very different things.

Not really… I mean, there is a difference. You don’t need OmniFocus. You also don’t need a task manager. And you don’t need a computer. Where do you draw the line? :man_shrugging: If this person needs OmniFocus, who am I to say otherwise? I’m just trying to help them out.

Um. :roll_eyes: Not really but yes? The two are different things, like referring to people who “need/want a Mac Pro”. Most people who want it don’t need it.

Equating not needing a $100/year service with not needing a computer is reductive. Of course many busy or even forgetful people do need a task manager, and there are numerous free apps and tiers for a task manager that fit the needs of most people - it’s not as if people would go without - and numerous less expensive options that fit the needs of most of the rest. Need is not the same as want; is this point really so disputable?

I completely understand what you mean. You have several VERY VALID points. And yes, my example was a bit exaggerated.

What I’m saying is, this person might be able to live without OmniFocus. But OmniFocus might also make their lives considerably easier. Is that a “want”, then? or a “need”?

If they’re serious enough about it to the point where they’re asking for suggestions/advice, I’ll assume they need it. Maybe not enough that their entire life will come crashing down if they don’t have it, but need it enough that it’ll make life considerably easier.

But I digress. This is getting off-topic.

If it isn’t a need, it’s a want. Pretty simple. :grinning:

Don’t get in my head and tell me I don’t need a task manager or a computer, but also give people credit for understanding (or being able to come to understand) what they do or do not need.

If you’ll note, the OP ‘wanted’ to ‘get into’ OF, but apparently realizing he didn’t need it asked about less expensive alternatives. That was the point of his post. (I even pointed out that OF was available more cheaply as an edu purchase.)

Agreed. I talked about my alternative, yeah? I’m just saying if they really need it, they should go for it. Nothing else will do the job if they need it. If they don’t need it, none of my business. I provided my view of things. They can take it, leave it, laugh at it, whatever.

For what it’s worth, I don’t have Omnifocus. I want it, I would be better off with it, but I don’t have it. So I’m making do with my hacky Reminders workarounds. Personally, I might actually be enjoying this Reminders stuff more than if I was using OF.

Not trying to say that other task managers are bad, but they won’t be as good as OmniFocus if the OP needs OmniFocus. If they’re just asking in the hopes of saving money, and not because they don’t need it, then I say buy it if OP is able.
If they don’t need it, that’s great! Use something else.

Todo.txt was my go to before Omnifocus. Free and with iOS clients. It basically does the main features of Omnifocus - tasks, tags, projects. It’s also extensible, with due dates and the like and various apps support third party extras, like perspectives etc.

It’s free and as it’s a text file, it can be accessed anywhere.

When I couldn’t afford task software, I made a bunch of weird spreadsheets and printed out experimental sheets of paper. I feel this is a rite everyone should go through. :stuck_out_tongue:


as others already said, pen and paper (and BuJo) can help building your own system via a trial and error, helping to understand what you need (and not what you want :stuck_out_tongue:)

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What’s wrong with the stock reminders app in this context? For a “broke student” with Apple equipment you’ll already have all you need.

  • task mgt: :white_check_mark:
  • task sharing: :white_check_mark:
  • access from the web: :white_check_mark:
  • cost = 0; :white_check_mark:
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If you want to do GTD you could use the free tier of Remember The Milk:

RTM probably won’t do everything that OmniFocus does, but it’s my trusted system for many years now (using the Pro tier) and while I have trialled OF and ToDoist, I never really felt a switch was needed.


You might consider the RocketBook family of notebooks, especially when you want to store your notes digitally. A student in one of my courses also swore by the ease to use it to do her assignments and post them as clean submissions.

Otherwise, as to a free replacement for OmniFocus, you might try Trello. It takes a Kanban approach but you can embed checklists on the cards. You might also consider Notion for a step up.


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Sure. But that’s not what you said, hence my original reply, and it wasn’t what the thread was about. :peace_symbol:

Trello is great, and it offers a very usable free tier which I take advantage of. But also note that a number of task managers are now offering one-click kanban views too. (Todoist gave a sneak-peek of a future version offering it too.)

I’m one of those people who want a Mac Pro, but, I’m a broke teenager, so I’ll get a 2006 one instead.


Given the pricing of those old machines, if you can only afford $250ish for a computer that can only run macOS 10.7 Lion, then best of luck. Seriously. With that kind of budget I’d just buy a Chromebook. Or any other Mac that can get you to Mojave or Catalina.

But this is getting far afield of your original question. Go forth and research task managers (and hardware) - you’ll get a great education on capabilities and pricing.

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Incidentally, if your goal is (at some point) to be able to run Omnifocus, that’s a bad idea. Current Omnifocus doesn’t run on 2006 Mac Pros - ran into that issue with a friend of mine on a 2009 MacBook that was maxed out, OS-wise (I think High Sierra? I can’t remember).

Unless the 2006 Mac Pro is completely free, or you have some other really, really bizarre use case that requires one, you’d probably do much better finding a used 2014 Mac Mini, which can at least get current on the OS, and definitely more current than that old Mac Pro. You’d be in somewhere around $250-ish (what @bowline mentioned the 2006 Mac Pro would cost), and you’d be in far, far better shape.

Or, as @bowline said, a Chromebook. Or an old Windows laptop, and install a lightweight linux and brush up on your command-line skills. There’s lots of cool stuff you can do on a Mac once you’re familiar with basic Unix/Linux commands, some scripting languages (Python, PHP, your shell script of choice - I’m a fan of bash myself).

You can put your hands on that Windows laptop for probably less than $100, and installing one of the lightweight Ubuntus (Lubuntu or Xubuntu are my typical go-tos for that sort of thing) would serve you very well. And heck, if you have time, see if you can figure out how to get MacOS running in Virtualbox. It’s a fun project, although not something I’d want to rely on for my actual work. :slight_smile:

And honestly, most of those computers would probably perform as good or better for your use cases than that 2006 Mac Pro. There’s no reason whatsoever for the average person to buy a 14-year-old “pro” computer just because it’s a Mac Pro.


I actually have a 2009 MacBook Pro, I was able to get high sierra on it, with a patcher tool, and I could probably put Catalina on it because it’s supported with a patcher tool. I actually do use Linux every so often on my thinkpad t430, but it runs like crap, the keyboard barely works, and the trackpad is toast. But yeah, I’ll look into a 2014 Mac mini, thanks man, that was really helpful. Although, I am getting a new MacBook Air probably in the next year. But I really do like the idea of having a desktop only machine as well as a portable. Again, thanks so much for your guidance.

P.S. I agree, BASH is pretty awesome🙂

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No matter even if I use a notebook, I’m still gonna have this nagging feeling in the back of my head, wishing this was in the dock😂