It’s “Try new things” morning, so it seems. So I’m typing this in the WordPress app on my iPad. I’m even trying ten finger typing, which works amazingly well in fact, in combination with the autocorrect features. Certainly not as fast as a regular keyboard, but it works.

Yesterday OmniFocus for iPad was released, and while I was waiting for this release I was kinda put off by it’s high price: €31,99. Considering I already bought the Mac version ($79,95) and the iPhone version (€15,99 and not really usable sync-performance-wise for the first year) this just seems a lot. In comparison: Things, which is a fairly comparable program, is only €7,99 for iPhone and €15,99 for iPad (unfortunately also not a universal app); so I could buy both mobile Things versions for less than just the iPad version of OmniFocus! The only major difference I could see is the inability of Things to sync using anything else than a local WiFi network, although they say this would be coming sometime this year.

And here’s the Thing (pun intended): I do have a license for the current version of Things, given to me by the nice people from CulturedCode because once I donated to one of the earlier GTD Mac applications iGTD. So I think now is the time to seriously try out this much appreciated program, starting with just my personal/home todo’s and possibly followed by my much much bigger list of work-related tasks.

So I set off, and while discovering the basic divisions of work used in Things called Areas of responsibility and Projects, I soon discovered that the perceived simpleness of Things in comparison to OmniFocus was a bliss – it all fell nicely into place, defining more general tasks in the Areas and grouping lists of tasks in Projects, which can go into Areas themselves. Tasks can be ordered within its container as a means of defining dependencies or maybe priorities. I didn’t even yet started using tags, but I did use the quick entry feature fairly similar to OmniFocus’ one to add a mail message directly into Things, which worked seamlessly.

Things provides you with a couple of predefined lists among which is the Next list, displaying tasks that should be done next neatly grouped by Area and Project, making it easy to choose among them. Another list is the Today list, which displays tasks marked for Today ungrouped (as set by default in the preferences) which makes it possible to order all tasks for today unrelated to their Area or Project. That is a mighty handy feature!

This is roughly how far I got using Things today, and I must say it was easy, fun and most importantly: non-distracting from the actual task-management process. It makes me trust this little application to show me what I need to see when I need it, which in my opinion is one of the most important aspects of the Getting Things Done methodology. The most obvious feature missing is indeed syncing to a mobile device over internet using e.g. MobileMe – I would miss this at work while walking around with only my iPhone, although I must say the OmniFocus experience in this regard is not perfect either (mostly due to waiting for syncs to finish, forgetting to sync before quitting the app or closing your Mac’s lid). And wait, don’t I have WiFi at work so this might not even be a problem?

Looking at my limited experience with Things so far I would say I can do anything I can do with Things with OmniFocus also. It strikes me however that I’ve been long looking for a good way to use OmniFocus corresponding with how I work, and in Things it seemed to just fit. Undoubtedly this depends on how you actually manage your tasks and the diversity or complexity of your work (I think in my work I have both high up any scale). I would say OmniFocus provides more flexibility in this matter, however the key question remains: do you actually need it?