Planners have become a symbol of security in our hectic life: everything will be ok as long as you have your organizer and stick to the program. Opus Domini is designed to give the same comfort while eliminating the chore of carrying around voluminous agendas.
There are numerous planners out there that try to give you the tools to stay organized and efficient, but Opus Domini stands out thanks to its beautiful design and simplicity of concept: everyone knows and feels comfortable using a classic agenda.
Opus Domini not only allows you to monitor your day to day routine, but also gives you the possibility to keep in mind the long term tasks and goals while staying in touch with the outside world through the built-in weather tracker.
Still, my planners also contained an area for contacts which unfortunately is missing from the application: Address Book integration should do the trick while eliminating the use of yet another application (no worries though: this is already in the next features pool
, so it will probably be added soon).
The first thing you notice at launch is the beautiful, leather planner like design that looks so familiar for so many users. On the left side of the main window you can see vertical tags for each category (Daily Tasks, Master Tasks, Compass, Goals and Mission) and the switch between them will be animated, together with sound, in order to create the effect of a real organizer.
The main window cannot be resized but you can choose to hide it altogether when you switch to another application. The function should not be enabled at all times since you can drag and drop images, text, tables and so on from another app.
On the other hand, it is very useful if you want to keep your desktop uncluttered or quickly hide your schedule from prying eyes. Via the Preferences you can choose to password protect the application both on launch and when unhidden: unfortunately the feature works only in the first case.The Works
I am sure that you will have no problem finding your way around the Opus Domini interface even though some of its features are not so forthcoming.
In the Daily Tasks tab you will be able to see the calendar for the current month (and browse to any other), view/add/edit/sort the tasks for the current date or for the one you have chosen from the calendar, organize your daily schedule and write your own observations in the right side of the main window.
The contextual menu of each task allows you to set its status (Normal, Completed, In Progress, Delegate, Forward - which will move the selected one to a date of your choice, but you can also move all of them to the current date; Scheduled), delete it, add notes to it, send it to Master Tasks or Re-Sort all of them.
Once a task is created it can be easily scheduled (set a certain start and ending time in the Daily Scheduler) for the current date or moved to another through a simple drag and drop. The only problem I detected when doing so was related to moving a scheduled task to another date: the item was indeed moved as far as the tasks list was concerned, but it remained displayed in the Daily Scheduler for the initial date.
The interesting part is that Opus Domini supports iCal integration and any modification you make to your calendars, one way or the other, will be instantly visible in both applications. If you do not want to have a cluttered schedule you can choose in the Opus Domini Preferences window which calendars you want hidden. The same area allows you to change the time style and make week length related adjustments.
The Master Task tab helps you deal with long term projects and gives you the possibility to make plans for the next 1/5/7 days, for weekends, months or view the calendar for the entire year. If the “Show Weather in Week View” box is checked in the Preferences, you will also be able to see the weather forecast for each day.
The other three categories are intended to help you make long term plans and establish goals that will optimize your work and improve your performance, on both personal and professional level. Although in the Daily Tasks view you can clearly distinguish between events related to these areas, the calendar view does not make such a distinction and I believe this is an oversight.
The contextual menu of events selected in the Daily Scheduler area provides a tool that I personally find quite useful: the Meeting Planner. The planner will open in a new window where you will be able to see the scheduled date and time of each meeting and specify when it actually took place.
Furthermore, you can store and modify at any point details regarding the meeting title, purpose, location, desired results, group leader, attendees, etc. The only area where I had problems was the "Add New Task" panel: it’s not very obvious but the “title” is editable, so double click on the Add New Task zone, enter the text and then press the add button. The best part is that you can easily print the data contained here and use it in your reports. The Good
Opus Domini is a very good looking application that allows you to actually enjoy organizing your day while offering an intuitive and efficient workflow.
The fact that is able to integrate your iCal calendars will prove to be very useful if you also need to keep track of others schedules and so on.
Last but not least, you can see the weather forecast above your calendar which is quite useful to stay in touch with the outside world. I am sure that some will also find the Daily Quotes displayed right underneath the weather info in the main window rather inspiring.
Opus Domini has at least one feature that does not work at all and is actually related to security, which is never good: although you have the possibility to check in the Preferences to password protect the application when hidden, it only works when you open Opus Domini.
In the scheduler view the application only makes distinctions between calendars and does not signal the events related to your goals and so on, which might prove to be confusing if you need to keep your professional and personal tasks separated.The Truth
Opus Domini has been under constant development the last couple of months and things seem to be going the right way. All in all, Opus Domini combines efficiency with design and I am sure you will enjoy using it.
You can see for yourself by trying the so called Lite version, but note that Opus Domini is only available through the AppStore, which means that you need a computer running at least Mac OS X 10.6.6 and an AppStore account.Here are some snapshots of the application in action: