Leaving the Omnifocus fold (and Checkmark review)

About 6 months ago I spent a shitload of money on Omnifocus for all my iThings and MacBook because I was swayed by reports of its fabulousness and liked the possibilities for infinite customization plus the many easy ways it provides to capture stuff. Turns out it's too much for me. I spent more time messing with Omnifocus than I did actually doing stuff. It just has too many options that I wasted time tweaking and playing with instead of getting actual tasks done. I kept using it because I'd spent so much money on the apps, but a few weeks ago I decided that was the GTD version of throwing good money after bad. Also, I am on a project of trying to consolidate the number of tools I use. Largely this project is a total failure because iOS apps exist for so many single tasks. It's like having the perfect tool for one specific thing and I end up using the perfect tool for what I need rather than forcing a more generic tool to work. I have therefore gone to plain old Reminders. They sync across the cloud to all my stuff and the app integrates with Siri, which Omnifocus did as well but only for one default list. I use Reminders constantly for things like "add tofu to my shopping list." Priceless. I have only four lists: Inbox, Shopping, Projects, and Forecast. Much tidier than the zillions of projects, contexts, and so on in Omnifocus. Projects includes stuff I need to do in the next few weeks, and Forecast is stuff I need to keep on my radar but not necessarily be doing right now. My "bucket list" type of capture system is in Evernote, which works better for my brain because I start a note with each idea and then I can just pull it up and add to it as things occur to me, but I don't have to keep looking at a checkbox in my Reminders about it. It's a nice mental separation between "things I need to actually do" and "things I might do at some point."

In keeping with the issue of using the best tool for the job, which on the face of it doesn't seem any simpler than using heavy artillery like Omnifocus but feels like it anyway to me, I also use Checkmark. Checkmark is nearly a Reminders clone---it allows creation of tasks to be done at a specific place or a time---but it does some things better, does not sync across the cloud, and does not integrate with Siri. I find its geofences work MUCH better than those in Reminders, and you can tweak the radius, snooze the reminders, and, incredibly usefully, have it remind you a certain amount of time after you get somewhere. Uses for this just increase and increase. Often if I'm reminded of something right when I get somewhere, it isn't helpful because I'm too busy to do it. If I'm reminded an hour later, conversely, I'll actually do it.

Checkmark allows repeating tasks and simple timed tasks as well. I've gravitated toward using it for the things I absolutely have to do when the time comes, compared with Reminders, which I am using for lists more than tasks, to make a vague distinction. IT ALL MAKES SENSE TO ME. Checkmark has the repeating things like "Put the trash out" and "Give dogs their heartworm medicine" and the things like "Wash scrubs." This is all sort of minutiae that I don't want to clutter my main system with.

Omnifocus can do all of this in one app, except the geofencing, but somehow it just seems too complicated to figure out how to make it do these simple things. So...I could've saved the truckloads of money I spent on it and just paid the $4.99 for Checkmark. Checkmark is worth a look for anyone with an iDevice.