OmniFocus Talks Back


It wasn't so long ago that there were no task management applications on the Mac worth a damn. What a difference a few years make! Now there are multiple quality applications from the lightweight Do It! to the 800 pound gorilla, OmniFocus. There are also several web based solutions, like Remember the Milk. I've made no mystery of my appreciation of OmniFocus (reviewed here). I know, however, that this Omni love is not universal.

A lot of users feel OmniFocus is just too much for them. Not quite intuitive enough and too ponderous to figure out. The word "bloat" hasn't been used, but implied. I can appreciate these comments but having used OmniFocus since the alpha, I can't help but think a lot of these complaints are a result of a lack of familiarity with the program which is, once you figure it out, very scaleable.

One of my favorite Mac writers is TidBITS' Matt Neuburg who reviewed OmniFocus with several compliments and complaints. Matt has also done a few screencasts explaining his heartburn. This has prompted a response from OmniKing, Ken Case on the Omni blog. While I understand Matt's criticisms, I think Ken's response is spot on. OmniFocus just works for me. It is as much a part of my day as green tea and cranky lawyers (not me of course). The idea of OmniFocus Touch in a few weeks has me giddy as a sugar-saturated schoolgirl backstage with Hannah Montana.

I think that Omni's challenge with OmniFocus is largely getting new users over the initial hump. Omni has a few screencasts but that is not enough. They need to go deeper so new users have an easy way to get running. I realize some users simply don't need a task management system with the depth of OmniFocus, but for those who do, Omni needs to show the way. After all, reading the manual is so 90's.