I’ve been using Things since the beta, and was one of the first to buy it when they started accepting money. I bought the Things Touch app for the iPhone the minute it came out. Unfortunately, I’ve just hit the point where Things doesn’t support me in my GTD life, so I’ve had to move to something else. Why? Because the biggest hole in my GTD system is the weekly review, and unfortunately Things doesn’t do anything to make the weekly review any easier.
I’m pretty good at capturing things I need to do – not as good at actually doing them, and horrible at completing my reviews. I’ve tried some Things tricks like making a new tag for the review date, so it’s relatively easy to go through and mark things as reviewed, but there’s no way to filter for things that don’t have a certain tag, so you can’t filter it down to the things that still need reviewing. In addition, when you mark something done, Things doesn’t give the focus to the next thing on the list, so if you forget to click the next one you wind up all the way back at the top of the when you hit the arrow key and have to start scanning for the next unreviewed item again. I tried using Midnight Inbox, which had a fantastic review mechanism, but the rest of the program seemed a bit buggy (it’s been a while, it may be better by now), and I had already wandered away from iGTD. The Hit List looks promising, too (great look and fantastic interface), but it doesn’t provide any review mechanism either.
So this week I finally took the plunge and paid for Omnifocus. Yeah, I’ll agree with everyone that says it’s too complicated – it is definitely more complex than Things – but I’ve already found ways to arrange items in Omnifocus so that I can quickly and easily pull up tightly focused lists of task repeatably, and there is a Review menu item that will march me through all of my projects that need reviewing and give me a chance to mark each as reviewed. It even lets me set different review intervals, so my Someday/Maybe list only has to get looked at every month or two, while my active projects get the once a week treatment, and my higher altitude objectives can get the semiannual or annual once over. I’m still learning the ropes, but with Omnifocus it’s pretty clear that I’m going to be able to make it do what I need it to do, while I’m still struggling to make Things really useful these many months later.
So that’s the good news: I appear to have found a tool that will support me in my GTD lifestyle. The bad news is that one of Things other shortcomings is its inability to export its contents in any useful fashion. I’ve spent all this time moving from iGTD and my paper lists into Things – now there’s not easy to get out short of moving each item over manually, at least far as Google and I can tell. If you have any tips for how to do it I’m all ears.
Oh well. What better review could I possibly perform than taking each item, one by one, from one software package to another?