OmniFocus 2 – what’s missing?

apps-iconI am very fussy it seems. I can never seem to find applications that do exactly what I want them to. There’s always some functionality I want that’s missing. What’s really annoying is that it’s often just a small thing, but it’s missing nevertheless and quite aggravating.

I love productivity apps. I have no idea why because I’m monumentally lazy and not particularly productive, although that’s my fault rather than the fault of any app.

I thusly like OmniFocus 2. I think this is a great little app. I like the project management bits, the perspectives, the contexts and the whole look and feel of the thing. I also like the way it can sync data smoothly between my MacBook, iPhone and iPad.

So what do I think is missing?

I’ll tell you.

It’s the forecast perspective and the way it deals with estimated time, defer dates and due dates.

omnifocusOmniFocus 2 can link to your calendar and set an alarm for due dates but that’s pretty much it. What I’d like to see is a bit more flexibility and choice here. I’d like to be able to set alarms for defer dates as well as due dates and I’d like it to blank out sections of my calendar based on the estimated time I enter. I could then see at a glance – either in my calendar or the portion of my calendar shown in the OmniFocus forecast perspective – how my time is being used up for a particular day.

Maybe OmniFocus should run its own calendar. I don’t know the inner workings of the app so I don’t know if that’s more feasible (or even a better idea) than linking to the OS X Calendar.

Here are the features I’d like to see, itemised:

  • the ability to set alarms on defer dates as well as due dates,
  • the ability to indicate blocks of time based on either the estimated time (and a choice as to whether I block it out from defer date onwards or due date backwards) or to reserve blocks of time from the defer date to the due date,
  • a choice as to whether I want to remove that blocked out time from the calendar when the task/project is complete or keep it there as a record of what has occurred.

You see, in order to meet my GTD (Getting Things Done) requirements I currently have to operate both OS X Calendar and OmniFocus, often repeating things twice. I don’t want that. I just want to use one app.

OmniFocus is a pretty good app and ticks the boxes in almost all areas but it’s not quite perfect for my requirements.

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