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Hi -

The other day I installed the trial version of OmniFocus. I'm hoping I can get some guidance with getting the proper structures set up for using this fine-looking program. I hope you don't mind a long first post, but I think it might be helpful to explain what I do.

I'm a one-man-show computer service business. I go to people's homes and offices to help them with their computer needs: wireless networks, virus removal, tune ups, teach 'em how to do things, fix broken computers, help them buy new ones, etc. I position myself as a consultant and charge for my time only. If a client needs something I'll often buy it for them and charge my cost, so I don't have a lot of inventory or spend time bidding systems.

A look at my to do list shows several key areas. The most important, and fluid is the list of what I need to do for what customers. I've got my customers separated into two groups (Projects): "Customers A" and "Customers". "Customers A" are my most valued, repeat customers. "Customers" is everyone else - the 80/20 rule so to speak.

Customers and Contexts

My "Customers A" presently has about 20 items on the list - many of them single actions, others are small projects. The contexts fit mostly with OFs predefined contexts, but I've added "Onsite" for work I need to do at their home or office and "Remote" for things I can do via remote control.

Under the "Customers A" project I have listed individual client or business names and below that the unique to-do items or small projects for that client.

Customers A
- Jane Doe
- - research best DVD recorder
- - order RAM upgrade
- - fix problem emailing from Jane to Joan

- John Smith
- - order wiring parts for farmhouse
- - talk to hosting provider about forwarding email

The first problem I run into is when I view my "Mac:Online" context it lists all the things I need to do but next to each item it just says "Customers A", not "Customers A:Jane Doe" or something that identifies the customer.

Finding the most value for my time

Of all the little to-dos I have, I'd like to be able to sift through and find the highest value. It would be nice to assign a dollar value to each project or to-do for a customer. This could be done with just assigning the amount of time it might take since I charge by the hour for just about everything I do.

All the other little areas of responsibility

If just taking care of customers was all I had to do it would be great. But, I also have to bill them, collect the money, deposit it, make appointments, return phone calls and emails, file taxes and every other little detail of running a small business. Plus, we've moved within the last year and will be finishing the basement in our new home (my office is down there). Not to mention all the personal responsibilities and commitments.


I've watched several of the readily available videos including the intro Screencast and a few videos through I've been plugging in items into the system from my Things program (been using minimally effectively for almost a year). I've been trying to follow David Allen's GTD philosophy for about two years (again with limited success) and have read his book, audiobook, etc. about 1 1/2 times.

I use a new MacBook Air that I just purchased. Have a desktop Mac at home office as well as an iPhone and iPad (I know, I'm sick :) ) I'll probably wait on the iOS apps until I master the regular Mac app.

I'm hoping that if I can create the right system with OF I can really get down to business.

Thanks in advance for any and all advice in this matter!

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