This is not a review of 2Do. Go read Federico's review if that's what you're looking for.

I switched to OmniFocus in 2011. I used Things1 before that. OmniFocus was significantly more powerful than Things. And it was significantly more complex. It was a worthy trade off, and it worked well for a while.

Eventually, the complexity started to grate on me. I started to hate the complexity, even though I needed it.

I experimented with TaskPaper. A lot. I love the idea of TaskPaper. And maybe if I used a Mac full time, it would work for me. But I live in a Windows / iOS world at work, and I just couldn't make TaskPaper work for me. It was too free form. I need more structure.

Enter 2Do. Lots of smart people, like Federico, Tim, Julia, Justin, and Ben, had been talking about how great it was. In early December, I was accepted to the 2Do beta. It did not start well.

See, I don't like change. That's the biggest reason that I stuck with OmniFocus for 4 years. It worked for me, mostly, and kept me sane, mostly. And I knew how to use it.

2Do thinks a bit differently than OmniFocus. It assumes some different things. It has a slightly different philosophy. None of that is bad, but it is different. Having spent 4 years deep in the OmniFocus world, it was a struggle to wrap my head around things at first.

Fortunately, some of the smart people I mentioned earlier kept me on track. Stick with it, they said. It will click,they said.

Boy, did it.

In early January, I had finished moving my massive OmniFocus task system to 2Do. I had to re-think a lot of my conventions, since 2Do works differently. Moving was not fun. But once the move was complete, it only took a few days of using 2Do full time to know that it was a clear winner. I disabled OmniFocus notifications on all my devices, and moved the apps into folders. At some point, I will delete the apps.

Why I like 2Do

I am not going to write a love letter to Smart Lists. They might be amazing, but I haven't even set one up yet. Instead, I want to touch on just four things.

  1. Start dates work the right way. In 2Do, if I set today's date as the start date for a task, then that task shows up on the Today list. This sounds so obvious. Of course it should work this way. OmniFocus does not work that way. You have to set up a custom perspective. I hate setting up custom perspectives.

  2. Tags are second class citizens, as they should be. In OmniFocus, contexts are front and center. You can use OmniFocus without using contexts, but damnit you're going to look at the context box every time you add a task.

add task

It's right under the Project box on iOS - clearly, OmniFocus thinks Contexts are very important. In 2Do, the Tag box is below the Notes box. Maybe that doesn't seem like a big difference, but I think it is. Tags feel entirely optional in 2Do. So far, I use one tag - Waiting, which is paused.

  1. Actions are brilliant. Actions are my favorite thing about 2Do. Maybe. I don't know, but they're great. I attach URL actions to my tasks all the time. Sometimes I attach message links. If I called people, I'm sure I would use the call action.

  2. Email to 2Do matches and exceeds OmniFocus Mail Drop. Mail Drop came first, but it never got smarter. It hasn't changed since it was released, as far as I can tell. Email to 2Do doesn't have quite as good of a name, but it works just as reliably, and does more. Don't believe me; read the developer's instructions.


OmniFocus is a great app. It's really powerful. If it works for you, use it. If you're thinking about a new task management app, try it out. But also try out 2Do. The developer has really done an incredible job, and continues to do so with frequent updates.

  1. Don't laugh.