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11 Alternatives to OmniFocus You Can Use To Get Things Done

11 Alternatives to OmniFocus You Can Use To Get Things Done

    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

    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.

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    Toodledo

    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.

    Todo

    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.

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    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.

    Custom spreadsheets

    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

    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.

    Todo.txt

    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.

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    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.

    Astrid

    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

    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.

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    Doit.im

    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

    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.

    Conclusion

    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.

    More by this author

    CM Smith

    A technologist and writer who shares advice on personal productivity, creativity and how to use technology to get things done.

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    Last Updated on February 15, 2019

    7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

    7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

    Now that 2011 is well underway and most people have fallen off the bandwagon when it comes to their New Year’s resolutions (myself included), it’s a good time to step back and take an honest look at our habits and the goals that we want to achieve.

    Something that I have learned over the past few years is that if you track something, be it your eating habits, exercise, writing time, work time, etc. you become aware of the reality of the situation. This is why most diet gurus tell you to track what you eat for a week so you have an awareness of the of how you really eat before you start your diet and exercise regimen.

    Tracking daily habits and progress towards goals is another way to see reality and create a way for you clearly review what you have accomplished over a set period of time. Tracking helps motivate you too; if I can make a change in my life and do it once a day for a period of time it makes me more apt to keep doing it.

    So, if you have some goals and habits in mind that need tracked, all you need is a tracking tool. Today we’ll look at 7 different tools to help you keep track of your habits and goals.

    Joe’s Goals

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      Joe’s Goals is a web-based tool that allows users to track their habits and goals in an easy to use interface. Users can add as many goals/habits as they want and also check multiple times per day for those “extra productive days”. Something that is unique about Joe’s Goals is the way that you can keep track of negative habits such as eating out, smoking, etc. This can help you visualize the good things that you are doing as well as the negative things that you are doing in your life.

      Joe’s Goals is free with a subscription version giving you no ads and the “latest version” for $12 a year.

      Daytum

        Daytum

        is an in depth way of counting things that you do during the day and then presenting them to you in many different reports and groups. With Daytum you can add several different items to different custom categories such as work, school, home, etc. to keep track of your habits in each focus area of your life.

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        Daytum is extremely in depth and there are a ton of settings for users to tweak. There is a free version that is pretty standard, but if you want more features and unlimited items and categories you’ll need Daytum Plus which is $4 a month.

        Excel or Numbers

          If you are the spreadsheet number cruncher type and the thought of using someone else’s idea of how you should track your habits turns you off, then creating your own Excel/Numbers/Google spreadsheet is the way to go. Not only do you have pretty much limitless ways to view, enter, and manipulate your goal and habit data, but you have complete control over your stuff and can make it private.

          What’s nice about spreadsheets is you can create reports and can customize your views in any way you see fit. Also, by using Dropbox, you can keep your tracker sheets anywhere you have a connection.

          Evernote

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            I must admit, I am an Evernote junky, mostly because this tool is so ubiquitous. There are several ways you can implement habit/goal tracking with Evernote. You won’t be able to get nifty reports and graphs and such, but you will be able to access your goal tracking anywhere your are, be it iPhone, Android, Mac, PC, or web. With Evernote you pretty much have no excuse for not entering your daily habit and goal information as it is available anywhere.

            Evernote is free with a premium version available.

            Access or Bento

              If you like the idea of creating your own tracker via Excel or Numbers, you may be compelled to get even more creative with database tools like Access for Windows or Bento for Mac. These tools allow you to set up relational databases and even give you the option of setting up custom interfaces to interact with your data. Access is pretty powerful for personal database applications, and using it with other MS products, you can come up with some pretty awesome, in depth analysis and tracking of your habits and goals.

              Bento is extremely powerful and user friendly. Also with Bento you can get the iPhone and iPad app to keep your data anywhere you go.

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              You can check out Access and the Office Suite here and Bento here.

              Analog Bonus: Pen and Paper

              All these digital tools are pretty nifty and have all sorts of bells and whistles, but there are some people out there that still swear by a notebook and pen. Just like using spreadsheets or personal databases, pen and paper gives you ultimate freedom and control when it comes to your set up. It also doesn’t lock you into anyone else’s idea of just how you should track your habits.

              Conclusion

              I can’t necessarily recommend which tool is the best for tracking your personal habits and goals, as all of them have their quirks. What I can do however (yes, it’s a bit of a cop-out) is tell you that the tool to use is whatever works best for you. I personally keep track of my daily habits and personal goals with a combo Evernote for input and then a Google spreadsheet for long-term tracking.

              What this all comes down to is not how or what tool you use, but finding what you are comfortable with and then getting busy with creating lasting habits and accomplishing short- and long-term goals.

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