Opus Domini – Electronic Organizer Review

Crossposted on My Thoughts too

I have had Opus Domini, which is an electronic organizer on my computer for a couple of months now. When I downloaded it from the Mac App store back in February, I had just setup my Evernote as my task manager and didn’t want to try yet another task manager at that time. While I have looked at it from time to time and it has always intrigued me, but I just never got around to using it.

When I initially looked at it, I was extremely impressed with the graphical interface – it looks very similar to my old pen and paper “Daytimer” or “Franklin” organizers, which I used for years when I was in the Coast Guard and at the State Planning Office, which worked extremely well for me.

The past couple of days I have had a little extra time on my hands and decided to play around with Opus Domini to see if it would meet my needs. I was pleasantly surprised at how intuitive it actually was.  Enough so that I think I will give it a real test for the next few weeks to see how it works in actual practice and come back with an update later in May.

Product Name: Opus Domini
Company Name: Piso 13
Type: Desktop software

Website: Opus Domini for Mac

I really like that the developer is involving the users of Opus Domini to decide which features should be focused on, by using surveys to help decide what comes next. This product is still in the beginning stages of development and does not have all the bells and whistles that some others come with.

How much does it cost? $7.99 in the Mac App Store, but there is a lite version that you can try for free.
Is Opus Domini easy to use or is there a learning curve? If you have ever used a pen and paper planner Opus Domini feels quite comfortable to use and most of the time is very intuitive. There is a bit of a learning curve as far as what is in Apple’s task manager and what appears in Opus Domini – it is not bi-directional.
What I like: That Opus Domini acts as a shell that is beginning to neatly tie all the Apple productivity tools  (tasks, iCal for now) in one place, in a visually appealing way.  According to the developer’s website there are plans to include the add other functionality such as Address book, search, etc.
What I don’t like: That Opus Domini does not have search capability at this time. Also I noticed that when switching views between daily, weekly, monthly that sometimes the program will hang up, but all I did was change to a different page and the problem disappeared. Other than that, from my limited exposure so far, I do like what I see.  I found the difference between daily tasks and master tasks a little confusing at first, especially where there is no way to add/connect daily tasks to the master task.

You have to rely on backing up your computer regularly, so that if something happens (and it will) that you don’t lose all of your data. I wonder if you could put the file in Dropbox or SugarSync, I will have to look into that a lot more closely.
There is currently no sync with an iPhone or iPad.

How does Opus Domini apply to Special Education? Special Educators and teachers have many deadlines and commitments to keep track of and have to find a way to organize themselves so that they can keep on top of the myriad of things going on.  Opus Domini has the potential to solve some of the issues that I have with Apple’s productivity software and integrates them in a visually appealing way to become a very useful tool to help Special Educators do this.
The reality is that Opus Domini is in the beginning stages of development and shows a lot of potential for being a useful tool for anyone who uses a Mac and the developer has a lot of plans to improve it.
A real issue that the developer will run into will be program bloat, while researching for this post and looking at the comments on the Mac App site; people like what they see, but also want this and that capability. I would rather have a little leaner program that performs well, than one that has a lot of capabilities, but is sluggish. That is the balance that Opus Domini will have to find to be successful.
Recommendation: So far I am very impressed with Opus Domini, it has done what I wanted with organizing my daily tasks, is visually appealing and easy for me to use.  I would encourage you to give it a try and see how you like it. $7.99 very reasonable price for the product you are getting and being able to try a lite version will give you an idea on Opus Domini is about.
I am going to use it daily for the next few weeks and will find out how it actually works.
As of today: 4 out of 5 stars
FTC Disclaimer: No one has paid me or provided me with services or products to write this blog post. I have written this post based upon my experience with using this product and they are simply my thoughts about it
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8 thoughts on “Opus Domini – Electronic Organizer Review

  1. I have written to Piso13, asking them what the difference was between Lite and the paid version. I got a message saying that I should hear from them within 24 hours.That was 4 days ago. I don't think I'll be paying, if this is how they handle sales questions. Sad. But the Lite version is more than decent.

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  2. Hi Mandy – I am extremely sorry that I didn't get back to you earlier either, life just got in the way and I apologize for that. I really don't know the differences between the two, I was lucky and got the paid version as a download before they changed the pricing on it.I am surprised that they did not respond to you in a more timely manner? I haven't left messages at their website but have attempted to contact them on Twitter and Facebook – I got a response very quickly OpusDomini

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  3. Mark – I have been using Opus, but have had a lot of stuff on my plate this past couple of weeks and have not been able to test it the way that I really wanted to. The biggest complaint that I have so far is something being visible and marked as overdue when the task is still not due yet. Just a peeve more than a problem. It would be a nice touch to have a "today" button by the date in daily view, just a quick way to get back. For older (like me) or visually impaired being able to change the font size would help, the date in the calendar section is pretty small.Really minor things. I like the direction you are heading and plan to use as my primary planner once school is done.Harold

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  4. Thanks for your input, Harold. Appreciate your thoughts and comments…As for the today button, great idea, but in the meantime, you can just click on today's date (or any date in the calendar you want to jump to…) in the little calendar shown, right?I'll have to check, but I think you can adjust font size in the paid version….from one of the pull-down menus at top of Mac display, but will check that too…FWIW, recently, before discovering Opus, I purchased OmniFocus, which is quite different from Opus, but they both have task management functions….I think it will be interesting for me to see if I stick with OmniFocus or just use Opus or develop an approach to using both of them….While I miss the calendar view in OmniFocus, it does have very powerful and useful task management capabilities which I think for me are very useful as I manage some very large, complex building projects at work….We'll see…..Regards,Mark

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  5. Mark – I was thinking more the CMD + or – or using the pinch on touchpad – to change size simply a convenience factor .OmniFocus is a very powerful task management system, however, I got overwhelmed with what I could do with it. I like the task management http://www.onefootinreality.com/2011/02/evernote-as-task-manager.html system that I setup in Evernote because I can automatically file all of my tasks into a file that is easy to find either by folder or search.If Evernote integrated a calendar function in…I probably wouldn't look around too much further.

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  6. OK, I get it now, Harold….you're right using cmd + or – is very convenient….OmniFocus is one of those programs that is not that obvious as to how to use it by looking at it. However, what helped me 'get it', ie, understand the logic behind the program, was watching several videos online, then the light bulb went off and now I find the program is actually very simple and straightforward. If you have a chance and interest, I'd recommend looking at David Sparks videos part I & II (part III to be posted next week…) over at MacSparky.com or MacPowerUsers.com. David has a very good presentation style and makes things very easy to understand….I will check out your Evernote post…have only dabbled briefly with that program….another interesting program is NoteBook by CircusPonies….sort of like MS OneNote, but for the Mac….Thanks,Mark

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