If you are serious about task management, there are few apps that beat OmniFocus by The Omni Group. OmniFocus has an app for iPhone, iPad, and Mac. Each of these will sync with WebDav, Bonjour, MobileMe, and OmniGroup’s own free Sync Server so that your tasks will be available on your Mac, iPhone, and iPad.
OmniFocus is build on the Getting Things Done (GTD) paradigm by David Allen. If you are a task management guru, this paradigm is a popular and very effective way to manage your tasks. The OmniFocus interface is built on tasks, projects, and folders. Tasks are individual one-step actions that you can take towards projects, which David Allen defines as anything that requires more than a single action. Folders can be used in a variety of ways and can be nested to create Areas of Responsibility, Goals, or other aspects of the GTD paradigm.
Each task is assigned both a project and a context, as well as other attributes like start dates and end dates and can be set to be flagged or repeat. Projects can be set to be lists of single-action items, parallel, or sequential.
OmniFocus has some powerful features to help make maintaining your GTD-inspired system easier.
Forecast view allows you to see your tasks spread out over the week. This feature allows you to quickly and easily see if your schedule is unbalanced and to assess your upcoming projects. The Forecast feature is available on the iPhone and iPad and is a planned update to Omnifocus for Mac, version 2.0.
Review mode makes doing your weekly reviews a breeze. Each project has a meta tag that identifies when it was last reviewed. You can set the standard review interval (set to one week by default) as well as individual review periods for each project. When going into review mode, OmniFocus will take you through each project due for review, and allow you to approve, drop, or hold the project. Review mode is available on the iPad and Mac versions.
Map view allows you to quickly see nearby tasks either in list form or in a map form. This helps the travelling GTDer make most efficient use of their time at each location they regularly visit. Map mode is available on the iPhone and iPad.
Perspectives are essentially custom views. They allow you to make lists focused for work, play, school, family, and more. They allow you to create daily lists as well as context-oriented lists. Perspectives can be set on the Mac and viewed on the iPhone and iPad.
OmniFocus is ideal for brain dumping. It has quick entry options fine-tuned to each interface. Allowing you to email tasks to yourself on the fly or quickly dump a lot of tasks into your Mac. It also has a slew of other powerful features: Geofencing for location-based tasks, task input through Siri, clipping shortcuts for the Mac, and powerful syncing options. OmniFocus is an excellent addition to any GTDer’s bag of tricks.
To learn more about how to use OmniFocus to implement GTD, checkout this white paper from The Omni Group.