OmniFocus, 2Do, and Todoist comparison (1)- OmniFocus

After reading the book Get Things Done, I started to apply the GTD concept in my life. I tried different Apps to help me during the past few years and ended up with Todoist. OmniFocus, 2Do, and Todoist are the three that I used the most. These apps have their advantages, and many websites have introduced them with beautiful demo pictures. Here I just want to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of these three apps from my point of view and hopefully can help some people who are looking for todo list apps.

Let me start with OmniFocus: OmniFocus is a popular to-do list apps with a long history. I had used Omnifocus 1, and I also purchased OmniFocus 2. They recently deputed OmniFocus 3 for iOS. The advantage of this app is that it is robust and highly customizable. Their official website has detailed instructions to help everyone “quickly” get started with this app. you can also find many Pro website teaching you how to write AppleScript to automate some of your workflows. There are also websites to provide a variety of themes so that the entire software interface looks better for your taste.

Below I list the reasons why I think this software is not good for me:

1. This software was first developed only on MacOS. The earliest Omnifocus was only available for Mac, and later for iOS, and is currently under development for the Web version. This is the biggest problem in my opinion. Because they first made a computer version of the software interface, the whole program is designed for the interface of a computer. For their iOS version, the concept of the design makes me feel that it should be used to assist the Mac version (not a standalone app). Nowadays, everyone is using handheld devices to handle their todo list. You will find that it is difficult to create and manage the to-do list on your smartphone. You need the Mac version.

2. Another big problem is that the OmniFocus is currently available only on the Mac and iOS system.  Microsft Windows computers can’t run it, and this excludes 90% of computer users from this powerful tool. The Web version is still under construction, and I would say that it will take another good year (if not two) before it becomes useful.  Although they currently have some solutions for people who use both Windows and Mac systems, I am very dissatisfied with its functionality (too complicated). I believe most of the users will feel the same.

3. This software is not cheap. At the current update speed, they release paid upgrade about every four to six years. For Mac version, there are regular and professional versions, for $39.99/$79.99, respectively. The upgrading fee from an old version is $19.99. /$39.99. For iOS versions are also regular and professional versions, for $39.99/$59.99, respectively.  The upgrading fee from an old version is $19.99/$29.99. In the future, the Omnifocus For Web will require an additional monthly fee. I don’t think the price for that would be low.

4. The learning curve is steep. I consider myself is a person who loves to play with computer software. However, although I spent a significant amount of time on OmniFocus, I still don’t master this software! It makes me wonder whether I am playing this software, or I really use it as a tool to improve productivity.

I think that the OmniFocus works for people who :

  • rely on Apple products for both personal life and work
  • use a computer as the primary tool for handling to-do items
  • are Willing to spend time tweaking the software


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