Sick and tired of the lack of “cross-platform-goodness” of OmniFocus but too afraid to switch to something that isn’t as “powerful”? And what about that little change in the new iPhone icon? Wait, that may be just me.
Anyways, these 11 alternatives to OmniFocus give you the power to get things done no matter what platform or operating system you use.
Asana is the new kid on the block and we here at Lifehack have really grown fond of it (especially Mr. Vardy). You can use Asana as a personal productivity system just like you can OmniFocus, but you can also use it for team and group based projects.
Asana is fast, has keyboard shortcuts, an iPhone and mobile app (although lacking at the moment), and is easy use.
Toodledo has been one of my favorite todo/GTD/project/task apps for many years. Jake at Toodledo has done a great job of making TD flexible, powerful, and ubiquitous (mostly because of TD’s awesome iOS apps and great API).
Toodledo doesn’t necesarrily support “projects” right out of the box, but you can set up folders, tags, or even use the subtasks function that is offered in the Pro version. If you want a decent workflow, you can check out my forum post explaining my GTD setup.
Remember The Milk
Remember The Milk (RTM) is a very powerful and “light” feeling task manager. Once again, RTM doesn’t support projects right out of the box, but you can do some pretty unique things with tags, saved searches, and locations to make it work in that light.
RTM is free, fast, and has dedicated iOS and Android apps. If you are looking for a dead simple task app to get into, RTM is the one to choose.
Appigo Todo has shown some real growth in the task management space with iOS, web, and Mac apps that all sync together using their over-the-air-sync. Todo supports projects and checklists, multiple task alerts, contexts, and much more.
You can use Todo’s OTA-sync service free for 14 days and then you have to pay $19.99 a year for continued access. The web interface is not as good as some of the other’s on our list, but for a simple GTD system it works well.
If you are afraid of keeping your data in the cloud and you want to customize your system anyway you want, then go for making a custom spreadsheet. You could use Excel, OpenOffice, or Numbers to whip one up. And if you are real macro-head and VBA junky, you can do some pretty neat stuff by programming your own methods and functions for grouping and handling projects, doing weekly reviews, and much more.
Orchestra is more about team and group task management, but you can use it for personal projects as well. You can tell that the creators of Orchestra like well designed things because the app is beautiful. It’s also intuitive and easy to use with its counterpart iOS app.
We at Lifehack tried it out for team based projects, but decided to stick with Asana instead. Not because Orchestra isn’t good; it’s just not as polished or fully-featured as other team based managers out there. Orchestra lets you create grouped lists, has tag support, due dates, and the ability to assign tasks to memebers of your team or group. It is actively developed, so new additions are being added as we speak.
If you are a geek and like plain text files, then look no further than the system developed by the much loved “Lifehacker” herself, Gina Trapani. Todo.txt now runs on Android, iOS, and any operating system that can open a text file. On Linux and Unix boxes you can use the todo.sh script to interface with your todo.txt file with some command-line goodness.
Todo.txt supports priorities, contexts, and projects. The nicest part is that with the help of Dropbox, your todo.txt file can be seen by your main OS as well as your Android or your iOS devices to provide you your todos wherever you go.
When I was an Android kind of guy one of my favorite apps for interfacing with Remember The Milk was Astrid. Since then, Astrid has grown to not only be an Android app, but is now supported on iOS and features an entire webapp experience that you can sync with.
Astrid supports multiple task lists, repeats, due dates, priority (importance), notes, and sharing with others. It’s a pretty little app too, not to mention it has a cute mascot.
Evernote can be used for anything. Yes, even a GTD system. I never was one to believe that you could use Evernote that way, even after some of the “implementations” I found online over the years. That was until I came across The Secret Weapon tutorial series. This tutorial shows you how to setup a GTD system with Evernote. It’s very creative and looks like it could work for many people, especially the ones that use Evernote like crazy.
The implementation supports projects, priorities, contexts, and even agendas. What is really nice is how you can use Evernote’s email plugin with Outlook to move all of your emails over to Evernote and to act on them there, allowing you to empty your inbox.
I’ve been watching Doit.im for a couple of years now. It has gone through a bunch of design changes and I think its latest is by far the best. Doit.im is free and can be used on the web, Windows, Mac, iPad, iPhone, and Android. You can setup projects, next actions, tags, due dates, notes, etc. and it all syncs using doit.im servers.
Producteev is another team based webapp for getting things done. It uses the idea of workspaces (sort of like Asana) and gives the user some great ways to view their data. One of my favorite parts of Producteev is that they now have Windows, Mac, iOS, and even Android clients.
Producteev supports labels, smart tagging, due dates, and has some of the best email and IM integration I have found for any todo application.
Although OmniFocus is one of the best GTD tools I have ever touched in my life, there are definitely some great alternatives out there for every platform. Are there any other alternatives to OmniFocus that you have been using? Let us know in the comments.
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