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-   -   Your Setup / GTD Integration (http://forums.omnigroup.com/showthread.php?t=7992)

passionado 2008-05-15 02:36 PM

Your Setup / GTD Integration
 
Hello folks,

first off sorry when my English isn't that good i'm German :-)

I'd like to ask some of you how you'd set up your omnifocus to keep things going. It would be espeacially nice to hear / see concepts of usage by people who freelance and organize nearly everything via omnifocus.

I'm a student, and i work as a graphic design freelancer @ home.
I've got difficulties to establish a setup which makes it easy to have a permanent overview plus some problems with the GTD-system, espeacially when it comes to setting priorities when handling many tasks at once. Additionaly, i'm also facing a problem when deciding how to split up projects when planing them, because especially when it comes to the design process of cetrain things, many factors play a role and also may come in unplaned / unforeseen.

thanx for your answers!

Sigurdur Armannsson 2008-05-16 04:05 AM

My experience working in the same field is that it is nearly impossible to use GTD to control your worklife in graphic design or advertising. The pace is simply too fast.

I have tried many GTD apps to solve this. If OmniFocus could paste lines of text as tasks it would come closer to this (iGTD can do this). The you would have the option of saving "Templates" of frequently used projects and would save a lot of time.

My way of coping with this problem is to use GTD on everything but the work and it still helps a lot. Nice to have one place to keep projects and tasks so they can stay out on my head while working.

Ken Case 2008-05-16 05:21 AM

[QUOTE=Sigurdur Armannsson;36717]I have tried many GTD apps to solve this. If OmniFocus could paste lines of text as tasks it would come closer to this (iGTD can do this).[/QUOTE]

OmniFocus does paste lines of text as tasks when you're in row-selection mode rather than editing a single field value. You can get to row-selection mode by either clicking on the left edge of a row or by pressing the Escape key to stop editing a field.

[QUOTE]The you would have the option of saving "Templates" of frequently used projects and would save a lot of time.[/QUOTE]

You can also set up template projects within OmniFocus, by creating a "Templates" folder and marking it Inactive using the contextual menu (so that none of the projects inside are treated as active projects). Then you can copy those projects out of your Templates folder each time you need a new one. (You can use Copy and Paste or Option-Drag to copy a project.)

Using AppleScript, Curt Clifton has created an even richer template system for OmniFocus that replaces placeholders with user-entered strings and adjust all dates by a fixed interval. Check out his [URL="http://www.rose-hulman.edu/~clifton/software.html#PopTemp"]Populate Template Placeholders[/URL] script (which includes instructions for installation and use).

Hope this helps!

Toadling 2008-05-16 08:14 AM

Yeah, I would encourage Sigurdur Armannsson and passionado to give this a try again. I frequently paste lines of text to create new actions with no problems. I also use the same template folder approach mentioned by Ken, and it that's worked great for me too. I've got almost a dozen different templates now, and I haven't even started exploring Curt Cliffton's fancier template system.

As for some work being too fast-paced for use with OmniFocus, I'm a bit surprised. I'm not in graphic design or advertising, but my work (software development) gets pretty fast-paced and high-stress on occasion, and that's when I find OmniFocus [I]most[/I] useful.

I just keep it running in the background and dump ideas/issues to the Quick Entry panel as they come to mind. As I knock them off, I often just check them off while still in the Inbox. Anything left over at the end of the day, I organize and plan when I have a chance to breath.

Sigurdur Armannsson 2008-05-16 01:53 PM

Thanks very much for this information. Sounds feasible.

Regards

Jody Severson 2008-05-17 10:59 AM

[QUOTE=passionado;36700]Hello folks,

first off sorry when my English isn't that good i'm German :-)

I'd like to ask some of you how you'd set up your omnifocus to keep things going. It would be espeacially nice to hear / see concepts of usage by people who freelance and organize nearly everything via omnifocus.

I'm a student, and i work as a graphic design freelancer @ home.
I've got difficulties to establish a setup which makes it easy to have a permanent overview plus some problems with the GTD-system, espeacially when it comes to setting priorities when handling many tasks at once. Additionaly, i'm also facing a problem when deciding how to split up projects when planing them, because especially when it comes to the design process of cetrain things, many factors play a role and also may come in unplaned / unforeseen.

thanx for your answers![/QUOTE]
I am also in free lance advertising and political consulting, and the latter moves at least as fast, if not faster, than graphics design when it gets down to insane deadline time.

You might consider this suggestion on days when the pace is crazy: get real good at using the quick entry to enter every new task the instant it comes to you. It takes only a few seconds. Then keep working as you normally do.

When you get a chance, go to the inbox (try to do so at least once a day) to check off the things already completed and make sure nothing fell through the cracks. Then process the remaining tasks into projects and contexts the way you would normally per Getting Things Done.

The point is to use OF to capture everything on the fly and at least spare yourself the worry and stress that some important task is likely to be missed, overlooked, or forgotten.

Toadling 2008-05-17 12:31 PM

[QUOTE=Jody Severson;36760]The point is to use OF to capture everything on the fly and at least spare yourself the worry and stress that some important task is likely to be missed, overlooked, or forgotten.[/QUOTE]

Very well said. That's exactly how I try to use OmniFocus and one of the ways it helps me reduce stress in my work and the rest of my life.

In fact, for me, GTD and OmniFocus are more about reducing stress and regaining control rather than getting more done or being super productive.

brianogilvie 2008-05-17 04:32 PM

[QUOTE=Toadling;36763]In fact, for me, GTD and OmniFocus are more about reducing stress and regaining control rather than getting more done or being super productive.[/QUOTE]

I'll second that! Before I discovered GTD, I was just as productive, but I was a lot more stressed. I assigned every task to a due date and watched the "overdue" counter go up unless I took the time to change the dates. I didn't have a routine for capturing every new input and had to waste a lot of my brainpower keeping track of what I had to do or doing damage control when I forgot something.

I wouldn't say that I have drunk the GTD koolaid, but I have tried several approaches to managing my life and I'd say that GTD works best for my career and life, and that OF is a great application for implementing it (along with lists in OOP, and an Automator workflow that runs me through my weekly review).

webalstrom 2008-05-18 05:44 PM

[QUOTE=brianogilvie;36764]...d that OF is a great application for implementing it (along with lists in OOP, and an Automator workflow that runs me through my weekly review).[/QUOTE]

This Automator review workflow sounds intriguing. Would you be willing to share it or perhaps tell us some of the various elements you've used to create it?

Thanks,
Eric

brianogilvie 2008-05-18 06:39 PM

[QUOTE=webalstrom;36779]This Automator review workflow sounds intriguing. Would you be willing to share it or perhaps tell us some of the various elements you've used to create it?[/QUOTE]

Right now it's very simple: a series of "Ask for confirmation" actions that instruct me to check my iCal ToDos (in case I entered something on my Palm that got synced there), check notes on my Palm, process my inbox (OF and physical), clean up my desk, review my completed actions (for a progress report), review my projects, and write a brief synopsis of the week in Journler.

My goal is to combine those actions with other actions that launch the appropriate applications or otherwise prompt me better. For instance, I use DevonThink Pro for my research notes, and I'd like to introduce an action that would open my Inbox folder in that app so I can process any new notes that didn't get taken care of earlier.

For the moment, though, the workflow is a skeleton that simply puts up dialog boxes telling me to do all those things. I had meant to work on it more this weekend, but somehow my coreservicesd got corrupted and I had to spend 3 hours archiving and installing Leopard instead... :-(


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