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Philsy 2008-08-05 04:07 AM

Do I have to use GTD?

I'm looking for a to-do app for the Mac and iPhone and have been very pleased with Things for the Mac, but as yet it doesn't sync with the iPhone and, when it does, it won't be via MobileMe but just wifi, which is limiting.

Therefore, I thought I'd look at Omnifocus but I'm concerned it's too complex for my needs. I've tried GTD processes in the past (using iGTD software) and just didn't get on with it.

So, can I use Omnifocus as a more traditional to-do list, much as I do with Things?

I want to be able to order tasks into categories according to what area of my work/home life they relate to, possibly into context (writing, phone etc), and be able to move tasks into a 'Today' folder so I can organise my day.

Edit: I've now downloaded Omnifocus and had a look at it. I've set up folders for my areas of work (I work in publishing, so I have, say, 'Mag X, Mag Y, Mag Z, Home, Admin, and so on). Then I have a task (say, 'Write feature 1') which relates to, say 'Mag X', so I want to be able to put it into this folder. However, I can't see a way of doing this, unless I create the task as a project.

You see, for me, 'Write feature 1' is all I want. I don't want or need to break this down into 'Call x for info', 'do research', 'sharpen pencil,' etc.

Any suggestions?



whpalmer4 2008-08-05 09:57 AM

If you don't care about the ordering (and it doesn't sound like you do), instead of making folders, make Single Action Lists. They are containers of potentially independent items. If at some point you decide that you do need to break down one of those tasks, you can always convert it to an action group inside the Single Action List.

Philsy 2008-08-05 12:34 PM

Hi thanks for the reply.

I've looked into doing this, but it appears that it's not possible to set due dates to actions. Is this correct?

Also, how do I set up a 'today' list? That is surely an essential.



whpalmer4 2008-08-05 01:59 PM

[QUOTE=Philsy;43860]Hi thanks for the reply.

I've looked into doing this, but it appears that it's not possible to set due dates to actions. Is this correct?
Of course you can set due dates to actions! It would be pretty useless without that function! It's possible that you don't have the due date column showing (see the Columns entry in the View menu) which might lead to this conclusion. Or select an item (or group of items) and open the Inspector (click on the lowercase "i" in a blue circle in the toolbar, or use the Inspectors menu) and you'll be able to manipulate star dates, due dates, duration estimates, etc.
Also, how do I set up a 'today' list? That is surely an essential.
Hmm, a by-the-book GTDer would perhaps argue otherwise. But we're not here to argue dogma, so here are some suggestions. I'm assuming a 'today' list is simply a list you create by hand to show you what you are going to work on today.

Switch your window to context mode. Make sure the view bar is visible (View->Show View Bar if needed). Select "Remaining" or "Active" for the selector over the sidebar (which contexts to filter). Group actions by ungrouped. Sort by due, if you like, or whatever else seems appropriate. Show actions with state remaining or available. Any duration. Flagged. Use the Perspectives->Save Window as New Perspective command to save that window as a perspective, name it something like "Today". Now, each day when you plot out your day, you'll go through your list of actions (do Perspectives->Remaining Items to get a view of everything yet to be completed) and flag the things you want to work on that day. Just click on the little ghost flag emblem at the end of the line to toggle the flag status. When you are ready to work, just open your Today perspective and start ticking off the tasks as you accomplish them. Anything you don't complete will still be on the list for the next day.

Philsy 2008-08-07 12:51 PM


Thanks again for your very thoughtful reply - much appreciated.

After much deliberation and playing with Omnifocus, I've decided it's just too complex for my needs and I'm going to go back to Things, which suits the way I work. Apparently, iPhone syncing for Things is coming soon.



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