Moleskine vs. Omnifocus

by Mike Shea on 24 June 2011

30 second summary

For some unknown reason, I'm jonsing to try Omnifocus, the online GTD system of choice for Mac users. That said, my own Moleskine-based GTD system works just fine already. There are certainly advantages to the digital system including easy refactoring of projects and actions and delaying actions until you actually want them to show up in your path. It was these advantages that got me to drop the $80 for it.

Considering Omnifocus

I'm becoming more and more fascinated with Omnifocus for a personal organization system. When considering the steep $80 price tag and the extra potential complexity it adds to my life, I want to make sure I choose it for the right reasons. Why exactly would I buy this program when I already have a smooth paper-based GTD system? Am I just delving into productivity porn at this point? Am I just tweaking a system for the sake of tweaking and will such tweaking end up breaking my already well-working system, not to mention take away my $80? That's what I want to investigate. Let's jump in to the criteria.

Advantages of Omnifocus

Disadvantages of Omnifocus

There's one big advantage that I have when it comes to Omnifocus. I use macs exclusively now. With my recent upgrade to a Mac Pro at work, I can use Omnifocus at each of my computers and each of my portable devices. That level of ubiquity is really required to switch to a system like this. If I didn't work exclusively on a mac, I probably wouldn't buy it.

Advantages of the Moleskine GTD system

Disadvantages of the Moleskine GTD system

So where does all this get me?

This analysis is probably overkill. As I write this, I'm just about to hit the "buy" button. The big factors for my purchase are the bolded items above in the advantages. I handle a ton of repeated tasks and having a system that removes them from my sight until it's time for me to look at them is very handy. My wife brought up a good point, that repeatedly writing tasks can be useful to sharpen your memory of them, but I usually just don't bother writing them at all. In the few days I've gone into the trial, I'm already seeing a lot of utility in refactoring projects so I can more easily store repeated next actions.

Anyway, expect more blog articles about my use of Omnifocus.