Posts Tagged ‘Reviews’

The Omni Group

I tried, I liked, I bought… $79.95 later I am the new owner of the OminGroup’s Task Mgmt application OmniFocus and let me tell you, it is worth every penny.

My List Obsessive History

I’ll admit I haven’t tried 100 different task management tools, so this review will not be coming from that extreme point of view.  However, I have been a “LIST” guy for as long as I can remember.  I used the pen and paper approach for years, before going digital and building my own lists using MS Word and Excel.  I then transitioned to MS Outlook for my task management needs until recently when I bought a Mac and once again needed a new system. I took the trial of Things for Mac, which I wrote about in an article last week [Things Task Mgmt Review: ‘Gets Thumbs Down’], before taking OmniFocus for a spin.

First Impressions: Mmm…That’s Nice.

After installing the trial, it didn’t take me more than ten minutes before I was comfortable with the system and was managing tasks efficiently.  OmniFocus is extremely easy to use, intuitive and beautifully simple. It can handle personal tasks bagged and blindfolded with ease, but for me OmniFocus’ real value lies in its ability to handle heavy lifting.  Currently, it smoothly manages the 100+ tasks and growing, that make up my life (personal, multiple businesses, and goals).


  • Get Things Done: OmniFocus is built on David Allen’s Get Things Done (GTD) system for task management.  Not only will OmniFocus organize your stuff, it will also help you get stuff done (kind of the objective here right?).
  • Inbox for Mental Relief: The application has an “inbox” for the first part of the GTD system, Collection.  It’s quick, it’s dirty (in a good way), and makes it easy to process the inbox and sort them into action items and projects.
  • Stay Organized: You can organize all action items into folders, single-action items, projects, and tasks.  The final nail in the coffin for my unhappy trial with the Things App was the inability to create sub-items.
    • Creating Sub-Items: With OmniFocus you can add in sub-folders and sub-tasks.  This was a must-have for me.  I have many irons in the fire and need the ability to break things done without having to make new projects for everything that requires more than one step (as with Things).
    • Drag & Drop: All items in OmniFocus can be dragged and dropped into other folders, projects, or tasks (as subtasks).
  • Color Coding: Uses in-line color-coding to differentiate between contexts and items due.  Also, colored icons are used next to projects in the navigation panel, signifying what projects have pending tasks that are past-due, due today or due soon.
  • Expand/Collapse: With the ability to expand or collapse any item with sub-items, OmniFocus handles navigating quantity with ease.
  • Views for Quick Navigation:
    • Projects: View shows everything broken down into folders, projects, tasks and sub-tasks.
    • Contexts: Context view is extremely helpful.  Context describes the means of getting a task done. For example “Pick up Groceries” would fall under the context of “Errands”, where “Write Saturday’s Blog Post” would fall under the context “Mac: Online”.  Therefore when running out for errands you can view the just the errands list, print it out and take it with you.
    • Due: View and print everything Past Due, Due Today, Due Tomorrow and Due Within the Next Week.
    • Flag: Sort tasks by anything you’ve flagged for review.
  • Shortcuts: One of my favorite features is the inbox shortcut.  From anywhere on my Mac, say surfing online, I can hit [Control+Option+Space] and open a small entry window to enter a thought or task directly into the inbox without having to break my concentration.

    Direct to Inbox: Shortcut

    Direct to Inbox: Shortcut


  • Price: I’ll admit I was a bit shy of the price at first.  $80 seemed like a hefty price to pay for a list and for the first week, I was on the fence; “it’s awesome, but is it $80 awesome?”  I think that if OmniFocus lowered their price a bit, to say the $50 range, it would beat the pants off of the Things Application.
  • No Sorting in Nav. Panel: You cannot automatically sort projects within the navigation panel.  If you sort them by name it will sort projects in the main view, but not in the navigation panel.

In summary, the task management application OmniFocus rocks, and is a superior tool for those of you that have a lot on your plates.  I’ve personally got over a hundred tasks in my list so far and OmniFocus makes managing them cake.

If you have any questions, comments or your own thoughts on OmniFocus, leave a comment and I’d be happy to get your feedback.

Other relative posts that may interest you:

Things Task Mgmt Review: ‘Gets Thumbs Down’

Read Full Post »

With an heaping plate of To-Do’s piling up, I recently decided to start looking for a good task management application and recently downloaded a free trial for the Things Application for Macs. I was originally attracted to the Things application for its simplicity in design, the good online reviews, and admittedly the price ($49.95). I used the application for about a week trying to test out the advantages of the features modeled after the Get Things Done (GTD) method made popular by David Allen. The following is a review of what STOPPED me from buying Things.

Here is a screenshot for the Things Application:

Things App. Screenshot

Things App. Screenshot

The Fallout: No Sub-Folders, No Sub-Tasks!?!

Things is a sufficient tool for simple task management and probably a decent system for some. However, after a few days of using Things, I noticed that I could not make sub-folders or sub-tasks. Perhaps it is only a personal preference, but I am big on organization and want to use task management software to not only organize my personal tasks, but also my thoughts, upcoming events, business tasks, and all my entrepreneurial irons in the fire as well. Not having the ability to break tasks down into its counterparts was a big turn-off.

The ‘Get Things Done’ System (GTD)

I believe that the developers of the Things application were trying to follow the GTD system as close as they could and this is the reason that they set Things up this way. In the Get Things Done system, tasks are defined as single-action items. Anything requiring more than one task is considered a project. Therefore, a task could not have a sub-task because then it would be considered a project and a new project would need to be set up.

Things ‘Gets Thumbs Down

But for me, I have quite a bit of ‘things’ going on in my life and many projects that I am working on. I am in need of a task management application that can help me with some heavy lifting and organize not only my personal life but my multiple businesses as well. With so much going on, I can’t create a new project for anything I need to do that requires more than one step because I would have over a hundred projects going on at one time. This would make Things very difficult and cumbersome for me the way it has been set up.

Conclusion on Trial

If you are looking for a Task Management application for only limited personal use, Things may be a sufficient option for you. But if you have a FULL PLATE and will demand more of your task management tool I suggest you look elsewhere.

Right now I am testing a trial version for The Omni Group’s OmniFocus Task Manager and for an extra $30 ($79.95 Total) so far it is definitely worth it. I’ll be writing a review for the OmniFocus application in an upcoming article.

Read Full Post »

Internet Riches, by Scott Fox Book Cover
Written for the Internet novice, Scott Fox does a good job laying the foundation for someone just getting into or thinking about starting an online business. Although Internet Riches seems to target the beginner audience, those with more intermediate experience will still find it both informative and helpful as a reference to the various aspects an entrepreneur faces from idea generation to launch.

THE UNLIMITED OPPORTUNITY OF THE INTERNET: Fox begins with a thorough introduction to the opportunities available online, discussing the advantages of choosing the Internet as your business medium over the traditional brick-and-mortar model. He breaks these opportunities into what he refers to as, the three “waves of internet millionaires”. The first wave, Efficiency, covers models that have used the inefficiencies and annoyances of everyday life as a catalyst for the increased convenience the Internet can provide. In second wave, Products, he shares a glimpse into the world of resale and the sale of invented or improved products. Finally we are introduced to Niches and the potential that even the most obscure topics and products can create.

DEVELOPING YOUR OWN E-BUSINESS MODEL: Using Fox’s ICICLE Formula (I+C+I+C+L=E shown below), we are guided through the evaluation of possible business ideas.

I: Your Interests & Ideas +
C: Customers in Target Market +
I: In Demand Products, Services or Information +
C: Competitive Advantage +
L: Leverage =
E: Your E-business Model

BUILDING YOUR INTERNET MILLIONAIRE E-BUSINESS: In this section of Internet Riches, Fox takes us through the steps of choosing a domain name, a hosting company, web designer, an e-commerce shopping cart versus an eBay model, and developing content for your site. In this section, Fox will also ask you to face tough questions regarding the viability of your business and help to put together an action plan to get started. Although, I do think Fox’s promise of the ability for anyone to “start a professional business online” for under $25 a month is pretty aggressive, he does drive the point home that it is possible to get started with little experience and a limited budget.


Scott Fox does a great job of covering all the bases that need be considered for entry-level entrepreneurs into the e-World of business. However, even though many practical tips are provided I would suggest those new to e-Business to continue their research beyond this book for more in-depth and updated information while pursuing their online ventures. Overall, I enjoyed Internet Riches as a resource to getting started but would recommend other books for more detailed and advanced information and strategies.

Looking for more info on Scott Fox’s, Internet Riches

Read Full Post »