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Task Managers and Getting Things Done Part 2 - Omni Focus

written by: coreymol•edited by: Michael Dougherty•updated: 10/13/2008
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A review of Omni Focus, one of the most popular Getting Things Done and task management applications.

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    Omni Focus

    The Omni Focus task manager costs $79.95 and is in version 1.0.3 currently. There is also an iPhone version for this that costs an additional $19.95. Omni Focus works on Mac OSX 10.4 and greater. Further information and an in depth look at Omni Focus can be found on their web site.

    Omni Focus is a very feature-rich application. I was impressed that with as much as it can do it still only took about a half hour to learn and get to using it. The developers took some time to give this application a great user interface. This makes it a breeze to learn and to set up.

    Omni Focus is pre-filled with tasks that will help you to learn the GTD (Getting Things Done) principles. This is a nice way to help you learn the program by integrating some lessons into the set up. If you have used Omni Outliner you may find some of this to be familiar. You can find a helpful screen cast on using Omni Focus at their web site.

    Omni Focus is a smart and easy to use task manager and has some real nice user interface features. One power feature of this application is that it uses a floating inspector palate to quickly add new tasks, edit actions, groups, projects or contexts. Once you learn it and get used to it, this becomes a very powerful tool and very handy. If you are overwhelmed by the default view and just think it is too much, you can customize the view into a simple notebook view which makes it look a little nicer. Omni Focus also uses two power tools called Perspectives and Focus that make working in it a lot easier.

    Omni Focus also uses a system wide command for quick entry (control+alt+space). The Context view is well thought out and logical in nature. The clean up brush quickly and easily clears up tasks.

    Omni Focus integrates easily with iCal and Mail after a little bit of set up, as well as with the iPhone once you purchase the before mentioned application via the app store.

    Omni Focus has a dual mode feature that I do like. The Plan Now Focus Later feature makes this application stand out. As a consultant I can really see the value in this feature. On a daily basis it helps you get into a routine of planning in the morning (or on Mondays) and focusing on getting things done. Also that clean up brush is really cool.

    So for a power user this is a really good application and has a lot of functionality, but does not keep you constrained to one method.