OmniFocus Ninja Tricks, Part 2

Part 2 of the OmniFocus Ninja Tricks screencast is in the Mac Power Users feed. It is 50 minutes. I went nuts. Download it from the Web here or, better yet, subscribe to the Mac Power Users in iTunes here.

In case you missed it, Part 1 is right here.

52 Comments OmniFocus Ninja Tricks, Part 2

  1. arnoutdrenthel@gmail.com

    Very nice to have a look in the workflow of other (experienced) OF users!

    I do have some small questions though on your approach. Is there a best place to start some discussion on your approach? (here perhaps?)

    E.g. I wonder how many tasks you manage in OF (I believe I heard you say thousands?), and how many NA's you have on your plate on a regular day? (i.e. how many show up in your morning view?). I can imagine that there are a lot!

    And do you really abandon the use of contexts (given your Day Start perspective, which is grouped by project? And what makes this in your opinion different from a Project View?)
    How do you manage tasks you keep putting off? (When do you kick them out/alter them/etc.).

    Just some things I keep running into…
    Kind regards from overseas.

    Reply
  2. arnoutdrenthel@gmail.com

    Very nice to have a look in the workflow of other (experienced) OF users!

    I do have some small questions though on your approach. Is there a best place to start some discussion on your approach? (here perhaps?)

    E.g. I wonder how many tasks you manage in OF (I believe I heard you say thousands?), and how many NA's you have on your plate on a regular day? (i.e. how many show up in your morning view?). I can imagine that there are a lot!

    And do you really abandon the use of contexts (given your Day Start perspective, which is grouped by project? And what makes this in your opinion different from a Project View?)
    How do you manage tasks you keep putting off? (When do you kick them out/alter them/etc.).

    Just some things I keep running into…
    Kind regards from overseas.

    Reply
  3. arnoutdrenthel@gmail.com

    Very nice to have a look in the workflow of other (experienced) OF users!

    I do have some small questions though on your approach. Is there a best place to start some discussion on your approach? (here perhaps?)

    E.g. I wonder how many tasks you manage in OF (I believe I heard you say thousands?), and how many NA's you have on your plate on a regular day? (i.e. how many show up in your morning view?). I can imagine that there are a lot!

    And do you really abandon the use of contexts (given your Day Start perspective, which is grouped by project? And what makes this in your opinion different from a Project View?)
    How do you manage tasks you keep putting off? (When do you kick them out/alter them/etc.).

    Just some things I keep running into…
    Kind regards from overseas.

    Reply
  4. arnoutdrenthel@gmail.com

    Very nice to have a look in the workflow of other (experienced) OF users!

    I do have some small questions though on your approach. Is there a best place to start some discussion on your approach? (here perhaps?)

    E.g. I wonder how many tasks you manage in OF (I believe I heard you say thousands?), and how many NA's you have on your plate on a regular day? (i.e. how many show up in your morning view?). I can imagine that there are a lot!

    And do you really abandon the use of contexts (given your Day Start perspective, which is grouped by project? And what makes this in your opinion different from a Project View?)
    How do you manage tasks you keep putting off? (When do you kick them out/alter them/etc.).

    Just some things I keep running into…
    Kind regards from overseas.

    Reply
  5. arnoutdrenthel@gmail.com

    Very nice to have a look in the workflow of other (experienced) OF users!

    I do have some small questions though on your approach. Is there a best place to start some discussion on your approach? (here perhaps?)

    E.g. I wonder how many tasks you manage in OF (I believe I heard you say thousands?), and how many NA's you have on your plate on a regular day? (i.e. how many show up in your morning view?). I can imagine that there are a lot!

    And do you really abandon the use of contexts (given your Day Start perspective, which is grouped by project? And what makes this in your opinion different from a Project View?)
    How do you manage tasks you keep putting off? (When do you kick them out/alter them/etc.).

    Just some things I keep running into…
    Kind regards from overseas.

    Reply
  6. jarrod.job.social@gmail.com

    Thanks David.
    Questions:
    Do you create start dates for both projects and action items? The way that dates work with actions and projects is confusing in OF, and I wish they would simplify this (or give you the ability to toggle project/action start dates so that you could focus on ensuring all projects have a date or all actions have a start date, but both is so confusing IMO). Especially if a project and an [child] action has different start dates.

    Do you use the same methodology for "due dates" [use only if 100% necessary] for your calendar too? Picking tasks every morning seems reactionary and less intentional then scheduling out important projects. How do you schedule a meeting in OF / sync up your calendar?

    If there is an item in your inbox that is less than 2 minutes to complete (for example: write quick email to David), do you simply punch it out and check it off as you are processing inbox?

    Thanks for taking the time to read these.

    -Jarrod [Seattle]

    Reply
  7. jarrod.job.social@gmail.com

    Thanks David.
    Questions:
    Do you create start dates for both projects and action items? The way that dates work with actions and projects is confusing in OF, and I wish they would simplify this (or give you the ability to toggle project/action start dates so that you could focus on ensuring all projects have a date or all actions have a start date, but both is so confusing IMO). Especially if a project and an [child] action has different start dates.

    Do you use the same methodology for "due dates" [use only if 100% necessary] for your calendar too? Picking tasks every morning seems reactionary and less intentional then scheduling out important projects. How do you schedule a meeting in OF / sync up your calendar?

    If there is an item in your inbox that is less than 2 minutes to complete (for example: write quick email to David), do you simply punch it out and check it off as you are processing inbox?

    Thanks for taking the time to read these.

    -Jarrod [Seattle]

    Reply
  8. jarrod.job.social@gmail.com

    Thanks David.
    Questions:
    Do you create start dates for both projects and action items? The way that dates work with actions and projects is confusing in OF, and I wish they would simplify this (or give you the ability to toggle project/action start dates so that you could focus on ensuring all projects have a date or all actions have a start date, but both is so confusing IMO). Especially if a project and an [child] action has different start dates.

    Do you use the same methodology for "due dates" [use only if 100% necessary] for your calendar too? Picking tasks every morning seems reactionary and less intentional then scheduling out important projects. How do you schedule a meeting in OF / sync up your calendar?

    If there is an item in your inbox that is less than 2 minutes to complete (for example: write quick email to David), do you simply punch it out and check it off as you are processing inbox?

    Thanks for taking the time to read these.

    -Jarrod [Seattle]

    Reply
  9. jarrod.job.social@gmail.com

    Thanks David.
    Questions:
    Do you create start dates for both projects and action items? The way that dates work with actions and projects is confusing in OF, and I wish they would simplify this (or give you the ability to toggle project/action start dates so that you could focus on ensuring all projects have a date or all actions have a start date, but both is so confusing IMO). Especially if a project and an [child] action has different start dates.

    Do you use the same methodology for "due dates" [use only if 100% necessary] for your calendar too? Picking tasks every morning seems reactionary and less intentional then scheduling out important projects. How do you schedule a meeting in OF / sync up your calendar?

    If there is an item in your inbox that is less than 2 minutes to complete (for example: write quick email to David), do you simply punch it out and check it off as you are processing inbox?

    Thanks for taking the time to read these.

    -Jarrod [Seattle]

    Reply
  10. jarrod.job.social@gmail.com

    Thanks David.
    Questions:
    Do you create start dates for both projects and action items? The way that dates work with actions and projects is confusing in OF, and I wish they would simplify this (or give you the ability to toggle project/action start dates so that you could focus on ensuring all projects have a date or all actions have a start date, but both is so confusing IMO). Especially if a project and an [child] action has different start dates.

    Do you use the same methodology for "due dates" [use only if 100% necessary] for your calendar too? Picking tasks every morning seems reactionary and less intentional then scheduling out important projects. How do you schedule a meeting in OF / sync up your calendar?

    If there is an item in your inbox that is less than 2 minutes to complete (for example: write quick email to David), do you simply punch it out and check it off as you are processing inbox?

    Thanks for taking the time to read these.

    -Jarrod [Seattle]

    Reply
  11. tesaccounts@mac.com

    Thanks for the OmniFocus Screencasts, David! I made the move from Things to OmniFocus a couple of months ago, thanks in part to what you've shared on MacSparky and MacPowerUsers. I"m very happy with my choice and your Screencasts are helping me to fine-tune my setup.

    A few things to clarify on the GTD side of things:

    • GTD is a systematic approach and not a system – a subtle but important distinction. The system is the actual implementation of GTD, that includes OmniFocus in your case.

    • I don't see how your "cheating" at GTD. In the case of your "Cupertino Project" putting an item in your inbox for later clarification is very much in line with this approach. Stopping to clarify everything that pops into your head would feed distraction.

    • The idea of Someday/Maybe lists is to have a place to park things that are grabbing your attention…but that you don't have a specific commitment around. It sounds like you're already doing this in a sense and are creating a reminder for yourself to revisit these items within a finite amount of time (e.g. 3 months). An alternative would be to revisit these items as part of a weekly review…or even once a month in some cases.

    Reply
  12. tesaccounts@mac.com

    Thanks for the OmniFocus Screencasts, David! I made the move from Things to OmniFocus a couple of months ago, thanks in part to what you've shared on MacSparky and MacPowerUsers. I"m very happy with my choice and your Screencasts are helping me to fine-tune my setup.

    A few things to clarify on the GTD side of things:

    • GTD is a systematic approach and not a system – a subtle but important distinction. The system is the actual implementation of GTD, that includes OmniFocus in your case.

    • I don't see how your "cheating" at GTD. In the case of your "Cupertino Project" putting an item in your inbox for later clarification is very much in line with this approach. Stopping to clarify everything that pops into your head would feed distraction.

    • The idea of Someday/Maybe lists is to have a place to park things that are grabbing your attention…but that you don't have a specific commitment around. It sounds like you're already doing this in a sense and are creating a reminder for yourself to revisit these items within a finite amount of time (e.g. 3 months). An alternative would be to revisit these items as part of a weekly review…or even once a month in some cases.

    Reply
  13. tesaccounts@mac.com

    Thanks for the OmniFocus Screencasts, David! I made the move from Things to OmniFocus a couple of months ago, thanks in part to what you've shared on MacSparky and MacPowerUsers. I"m very happy with my choice and your Screencasts are helping me to fine-tune my setup.

    A few things to clarify on the GTD side of things:

    • GTD is a systematic approach and not a system – a subtle but important distinction. The system is the actual implementation of GTD, that includes OmniFocus in your case.

    • I don't see how your "cheating" at GTD. In the case of your "Cupertino Project" putting an item in your inbox for later clarification is very much in line with this approach. Stopping to clarify everything that pops into your head would feed distraction.

    • The idea of Someday/Maybe lists is to have a place to park things that are grabbing your attention…but that you don't have a specific commitment around. It sounds like you're already doing this in a sense and are creating a reminder for yourself to revisit these items within a finite amount of time (e.g. 3 months). An alternative would be to revisit these items as part of a weekly review…or even once a month in some cases.

    Reply
  14. tesaccounts@mac.com

    Thanks for the OmniFocus Screencasts, David! I made the move from Things to OmniFocus a couple of months ago, thanks in part to what you've shared on MacSparky and MacPowerUsers. I"m very happy with my choice and your Screencasts are helping me to fine-tune my setup.

    A few things to clarify on the GTD side of things:

    • GTD is a systematic approach and not a system – a subtle but important distinction. The system is the actual implementation of GTD, that includes OmniFocus in your case.

    • I don't see how your "cheating" at GTD. In the case of your "Cupertino Project" putting an item in your inbox for later clarification is very much in line with this approach. Stopping to clarify everything that pops into your head would feed distraction.

    • The idea of Someday/Maybe lists is to have a place to park things that are grabbing your attention…but that you don't have a specific commitment around. It sounds like you're already doing this in a sense and are creating a reminder for yourself to revisit these items within a finite amount of time (e.g. 3 months). An alternative would be to revisit these items as part of a weekly review…or even once a month in some cases.

    Reply
  15. tesaccounts@mac.com

    Thanks for the OmniFocus Screencasts, David! I made the move from Things to OmniFocus a couple of months ago, thanks in part to what you've shared on MacSparky and MacPowerUsers. I"m very happy with my choice and your Screencasts are helping me to fine-tune my setup.

    A few things to clarify on the GTD side of things:

    • GTD is a systematic approach and not a system – a subtle but important distinction. The system is the actual implementation of GTD, that includes OmniFocus in your case.

    • I don't see how your "cheating" at GTD. In the case of your "Cupertino Project" putting an item in your inbox for later clarification is very much in line with this approach. Stopping to clarify everything that pops into your head would feed distraction.

    • The idea of Someday/Maybe lists is to have a place to park things that are grabbing your attention…but that you don't have a specific commitment around. It sounds like you're already doing this in a sense and are creating a reminder for yourself to revisit these items within a finite amount of time (e.g. 3 months). An alternative would be to revisit these items as part of a weekly review…or even once a month in some cases.

    Reply
  16. jeffreyhfischer@gmail.com

    David – Another great OmniFocus screencast! I'm enjoying these greatly, in no small part because I'm a fairly new OF user, I'm still trying to get my head around how to actually focus the tasks I have, and the screencast format is a great way to see the program in action. Even though your way of doing something might not be what I end up adopting, it's so useful to see someone's workflow in action, rather than simply reading about different commands. Thanks for taking the time to do this series.

    – Jeffrey

    Reply
  17. jeffreyhfischer@gmail.com

    David – Another great OmniFocus screencast! I'm enjoying these greatly, in no small part because I'm a fairly new OF user, I'm still trying to get my head around how to actually focus the tasks I have, and the screencast format is a great way to see the program in action. Even though your way of doing something might not be what I end up adopting, it's so useful to see someone's workflow in action, rather than simply reading about different commands. Thanks for taking the time to do this series.

    – Jeffrey

    Reply
  18. jeffreyhfischer@gmail.com

    David – Another great OmniFocus screencast! I'm enjoying these greatly, in no small part because I'm a fairly new OF user, I'm still trying to get my head around how to actually focus the tasks I have, and the screencast format is a great way to see the program in action. Even though your way of doing something might not be what I end up adopting, it's so useful to see someone's workflow in action, rather than simply reading about different commands. Thanks for taking the time to do this series.

    – Jeffrey

    Reply
  19. jeffreyhfischer@gmail.com

    David – Another great OmniFocus screencast! I'm enjoying these greatly, in no small part because I'm a fairly new OF user, I'm still trying to get my head around how to actually focus the tasks I have, and the screencast format is a great way to see the program in action. Even though your way of doing something might not be what I end up adopting, it's so useful to see someone's workflow in action, rather than simply reading about different commands. Thanks for taking the time to do this series.

    – Jeffrey

    Reply
  20. jeffreyhfischer@gmail.com

    David – Another great OmniFocus screencast! I'm enjoying these greatly, in no small part because I'm a fairly new OF user, I'm still trying to get my head around how to actually focus the tasks I have, and the screencast format is a great way to see the program in action. Even though your way of doing something might not be what I end up adopting, it's so useful to see someone's workflow in action, rather than simply reading about different commands. Thanks for taking the time to do this series.

    – Jeffrey

    Reply
  21. durbrow@gmail.com

    Dave: Excellent podcast. This was extremely useful for me. May I echo a question from above? Why no single action lists?

    Secondly, do you use OF to keep lists of books to read, videos to watch or is OF not really ideal (ironically) for lists of potential items?

    Thanks again.

    Reply
  22. durbrow@gmail.com

    Dave: Excellent podcast. This was extremely useful for me. May I echo a question from above? Why no single action lists?

    Secondly, do you use OF to keep lists of books to read, videos to watch or is OF not really ideal (ironically) for lists of potential items?

    Thanks again.

    Reply
  23. durbrow@gmail.com

    Dave: Excellent podcast. This was extremely useful for me. May I echo a question from above? Why no single action lists?

    Secondly, do you use OF to keep lists of books to read, videos to watch or is OF not really ideal (ironically) for lists of potential items?

    Thanks again.

    Reply
  24. durbrow@gmail.com

    Dave: Excellent podcast. This was extremely useful for me. May I echo a question from above? Why no single action lists?

    Secondly, do you use OF to keep lists of books to read, videos to watch or is OF not really ideal (ironically) for lists of potential items?

    Thanks again.

    Reply
  25. durbrow@gmail.com

    Dave: Excellent podcast. This was extremely useful for me. May I echo a question from above? Why no single action lists?

    Secondly, do you use OF to keep lists of books to read, videos to watch or is OF not really ideal (ironically) for lists of potential items?

    Thanks again.

    Reply
  26. lenow@masslaborlaw.com

    David: Once again, you are an amazing resource for us Mac Lawyers. I started using OMniFocus after reading your book and swear by it. I am using Projects for my clients and am curious why you use Folders instead. Thanks again.

    Reply
  27. lenow@masslaborlaw.com

    David: Once again, you are an amazing resource for us Mac Lawyers. I started using OMniFocus after reading your book and swear by it. I am using Projects for my clients and am curious why you use Folders instead. Thanks again.

    Reply
  28. lenow@masslaborlaw.com

    David: Once again, you are an amazing resource for us Mac Lawyers. I started using OMniFocus after reading your book and swear by it. I am using Projects for my clients and am curious why you use Folders instead. Thanks again.

    Reply
  29. lenow@masslaborlaw.com

    David: Once again, you are an amazing resource for us Mac Lawyers. I started using OMniFocus after reading your book and swear by it. I am using Projects for my clients and am curious why you use Folders instead. Thanks again.

    Reply
  30. lenow@masslaborlaw.com

    David: Once again, you are an amazing resource for us Mac Lawyers. I started using OMniFocus after reading your book and swear by it. I am using Projects for my clients and am curious why you use Folders instead. Thanks again.

    Reply
  31. arnoutdrenthel@gmail.com

    Hi David, another question I ran into: how do you postpone projects? Do you pause them or use a future start date?

    Reply
  32. arnoutdrenthel@gmail.com

    Hi David, another question I ran into: how do you postpone projects? Do you pause them or use a future start date?

    Reply
  33. arnoutdrenthel@gmail.com

    Hi David, another question I ran into: how do you postpone projects? Do you pause them or use a future start date?

    Reply
  34. arnoutdrenthel@gmail.com

    Hi David, another question I ran into: how do you postpone projects? Do you pause them or use a future start date?

    Reply
  35. arnoutdrenthel@gmail.com

    Hi David, another question I ran into: how do you postpone projects? Do you pause them or use a future start date?

    Reply
  36. andrew.halfacre@me.com

    David

    Very many thanks for this, it has made a real difference to how I understand and use Omnifocus. I found the three example perspectives you explained really helpful and now have them on my iPad and iPhone.

    Looking forward to the next one.

    Andrew

    Reply
  37. andrew.halfacre@me.com

    David

    Very many thanks for this, it has made a real difference to how I understand and use Omnifocus. I found the three example perspectives you explained really helpful and now have them on my iPad and iPhone.

    Looking forward to the next one.

    Andrew

    Reply
  38. andrew.halfacre@me.com

    David

    Very many thanks for this, it has made a real difference to how I understand and use Omnifocus. I found the three example perspectives you explained really helpful and now have them on my iPad and iPhone.

    Looking forward to the next one.

    Andrew

    Reply
  39. andrew.halfacre@me.com

    David

    Very many thanks for this, it has made a real difference to how I understand and use Omnifocus. I found the three example perspectives you explained really helpful and now have them on my iPad and iPhone.

    Looking forward to the next one.

    Andrew

    Reply
  40. andrew.halfacre@me.com

    David

    Very many thanks for this, it has made a real difference to how I understand and use Omnifocus. I found the three example perspectives you explained really helpful and now have them on my iPad and iPhone.

    Looking forward to the next one.

    Andrew

    Reply
  41. davidwsparks@mac.com

    Gang,

    Great feedback and questions. I'll be posting answering a bunch of them. Soon.

    Reply
  42. davidwsparks@mac.com

    Gang,

    Great feedback and questions. I'll be posting answering a bunch of them. Soon.

    Reply
  43. davidwsparks@mac.com

    Gang,

    Great feedback and questions. I'll be posting answering a bunch of them. Soon.

    Reply
  44. davidwsparks@mac.com

    Gang,

    Great feedback and questions. I'll be posting answering a bunch of them. Soon.

    Reply
  45. davidwsparks@mac.com

    Gang,

    Great feedback and questions. I'll be posting answering a bunch of them. Soon.

    Reply
  46. Scott

    Hi, David-

    Very nice screencast. Makes me a bit jealous that I am not as efficient as you, or as I could be…

    A quick question-I really appreciate your approach to using start dates, and your sparing use of due dates. But how does this affect your perspectives, in particular since the 'Status' selection does not include the option of start dates?

    Cheers!

    Reply

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