What does it take to be a productive Android guy?

The one app I miss most on my Android phone is an app which will enable me to interface with OmniFocus on my MacBook. I have been using OmniFocus for a couple years now and it is the best GTD/task/productivity application I have come across and yet the OmniGroup people are Mac developers and the odds of them porting their awesome applications to a platform that did not originate in Cupertino is about the same as me winning the Lotto … next to none.

So what is an Android user to do if he or she wants to get pretty real with day to day and longer term tasks and even achieve some semblance of compliance with the GTD methodology? One of the nicest productivity solutions I have come across and which will work pretty much wherever I am is Remember the Milk. The problem is that replicating my OmniFocus setup on RTM would make RTM almost unmanageable. At the moment I have about 47 client folders. Those client folders can have multiple projects and those projects have multiple task items. It works just fine in OmniFocus (well, if I remember to check everything, do my weekly reviews and keep the system oiled and ticking over) but the methods I have come across which demonstrate how to turn RTM into a powerful GTD tool don’t seem to cater for the complex client/project/tasks structure I have to contend with in my practice.

Of course it is very possible I have just implemented my understanding of GTD poorly and I am the victim of my own failure to read the book properly and implement the methodology effectively but I don’t think I am that far off the path when it comes to GTD.

The problem at the moment is that as good as OmniFocus is, this sort of system works best when you have some extension of the system with you at all times. My solution, so far, has been to use RTM for tasks I may need to get through when I am on the go and OmniFocus as my main productivity tool to keep it all under control. The result is a fragmented system which requires even more effort and discipline to maintain and that isn’t a lot of fun at all. A big concern I have is that OmniFocus keeps me tied to the Mac platform and while I have no intention giving up my Mac, I would prefer to use a system which is more accessible. One of RTM’s big attractions is that it has so many access points. I can use it on the Web using just about any modern browser. I can use it on my Android phone, an iPhone and so on.

Productivity apps which interface with Evernote are pretty exciting (take a look at Egretlist as an example) but much of the development is focussed on the iOS platform.

So that leaves me pretty much where I am with a workable but not ideal productivity system. There must be better ways to keep on top of my daily tasks and get all my stuff done more effectively. I have even been looking at simpler, text based solutions like Gina Trapani’s todo.txt which may have an Android version which syncs through Dropbox soon. A GTD system doesn’t need to be fancy but it needs to work effectively and perhaps even become something you don’t need to think all that much about to make it work well.

So what do you all you smart Android users use? What am I missing? How do I become a black belt with powerful GTD-fu?




  1. Mediapathic avatar

    I’m in much the same position. Ironically, I came across your post searching for “omnifocus android”. 

    Right now I’m doing something similar to what you have described, using OF as the base line and using Toodledo and/or Evernote (still experimenting) as a sort of mobile inbox. But you’re right, it’s annoying and inefficient. What would be lovely would be if OmniFocus (or even Things or The Hit List) could sync with a web service (preferably Toodledo but I’d be okay with RTM also). That, I think, would be the best of all worlds for everyone. Also I would like magical flying ice cream ponies as well.

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