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OmniFocus Lite? or just simplified Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Quote:
Originally Posted by wilsonng View Post
spent some time watching some OF screencasts to figure it out. The time I invested in watching the screencasts really paid off.
Are you referring to the Lynda.com screencasts? I've been wondering whether they would be worth a month or two subscription.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GrumpyDave View Post
Are you referring to the Lynda.com screencasts? I've been wondering whether they would be worth a month or two subscription.
There are free shows that you can download here:

http://www.screencastsonline.com/ind...-omnifocus.php

Didn't see the Lynda.com screencasts but that might be interesting...

But you can't beat the price of free!


It's like a quarterback in the National Football League. You can have the strongest arm and throw a football 70 yards; you can have top level physical talent; but if you don't stick your nose in the playbook, you'll never be an elite quarterback.

It's the same with OmniFocus. If you don't really set aside some time to learn it at a deeper level, you'll never be able to wrap your head around it.


With that being said, I do agree that some things like contexts will not fit everyone. Maybe OmniGroup can come up with a "GTD" mode and a non-GTD mode?

I think I saw something like this in the Pocket Informant for iPhone edition. It changed task management just a little to fit the terminology of different systems.

I see that the term for Context in Daylite Touch is called "Location" as an example of changing terminology and it makes sense to many people. For hardcore OF users that are accustomed to using the word "Context" instead of Location might feel more comfortable with that.

In the UK, you would say "take the lift to the fifth floor." In USA, you would say "take the elevator to the fifth floor." We just speak a little differently.


I think a bit more of a "guided" assistant would make sense for GTDers. I believe there was an OF project for doing the weekly review. It was an OmniOutliner file that can be imported into OF. A search of the forums would yield results. But I think this might be easily incorporated into a workflow.

Maybe many folks will need to have workflows created for them? When it's time for a weekly review, select the menu command or toolbar button for review and it guides you through the weekly review. Maybe there would be another workflow or perspective for "Today".

I was reading a brief sample of "Master your Workday now" and saw a different workflow with "Over the Horizon" which can be switched for Someday/Maybe, "On Deck" as projects that are coming up, and "Now!" which are tasks/projects that need to be done today!

It is probably the power of OF and its flexibility in letting you develop your own workflow that makes it so powerful yet so daunting/scary. Some people would like to be led by the hand with assistants/wizards until they are more comfortable with task management.

Last edited by wilsonng; 2010-12-20 at 01:03 AM..
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by wilsonng View Post
In the UK, you would say "take the lift to the fifth floor." In USA, you would say "take the elevator to the fifth floor." We just speak a little differently.
Actually, they'd say "Take the elevator to the sixth floor" :)
 
lol.... I forgot about the cultural differences about numbering the floors. Thanks :-D

I'll bet that if OmniFocus gets customizable columns and tags, it'll be more flexible and adaptable to different task management systems. With this in place, OF will probably be usable to folks who don't really follow the GTD dogma.

Many new users to OF may be intimidated by the GTD-oriented nature of OmniFocus and will shy away from it after exhausting the trial period. It appears that folks are clamoring for OF Lite because they just want a task management program that is fast and easy to set up without getting into GTD. GTD by itself is a monster to learn/adapt. I know it took me a good two years before I actually felt comfortable with all the pieces of GTD.

I do like Pocket Informant's ability to switch between Toodledoo, Franklin-Covey, and GTD by showing or hiding the relevant categories for their system (context, location, priorities, A1...B1....C1, etc.). Some columns are used by one task management system but not the other.

I'm looking forward to the mythical OF 2.0 with its much-sought-after tags and/or customizable columns. Maybe this will appeal to folks who are looking for OF Lite. Users would be able to create/show/hide the relevant columns that applies to their task management system. Maybe OF 2.0 will have some pre-designed task management system templates for folks who like to use other systems like AutoFocus, Do-It-Tomorrow, Franklin-Covey, ToodleDo, and others. Having a system template might help jumpstart newbies into using OF. Otherwise, OF seems to be designed specifically with GTD in mind and it takes a bit of work to adapt it to other systems.

It would probably be best to send an e-mail to OmniGroup and make a shout-out for customizable tags and/or customizable columns. Hopefully that will shoot those feature requests even further up their already tall order of feature requests for OF 2.0.

Last edited by wilsonng; 2010-12-26 at 03:54 AM..
 
I've been considering this issue a lot lately. I really like the idea of GTD, but I'm not that great at keeping up with it: as soon as I have too many things to worry about, I stop putting time into maintaining my system, and everything fails. I know that this is illogical, and putting the time in would actually make things more likely to work out OK, but I can't seem to think that when I'm drowning under deadlines.

Hence, I present a GTD app mockup that forces you to stick with it.

Key features:
  • The Process step every morning, and the Review step every week, are done in full screen modes, and they lead you through all the things you have to do to maintain your task management system.
  • These modes start automatically the first time you use your computer on a given day. (I know that's probably not for everyone, but I'm describing my ideal app here!)
  • When you're actually working, the app shrinks to a bar at the top of the screen, showing the current task and a few options. That way there's no temptation to fuss with the list when you should be working.
  • It has a built in email client, which shows you each email as part of the processing stage, and makes you decide whether it needs actions adding.

Comments are welcome. I know this app wouldn't be for everyone, but for me it would be great for helping me keep my task system up to date.

Amorya
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by wilsonng View Post
I'll bet that if OmniFocus gets customizable columns and tags, it'll be more flexible and adaptable to different task management systems. With this in place, OF will probably be usable to folks who don't really follow the GTD dogma.

Many new users to OF may be intimidated by the GTD-oriented nature of OmniFocus and will shy away from it after exhausting the trial period.
IMO, adding even more customizable elements isn't going to answer the call for a simplified OF. I don't think the GTD orientation is the issue for most new users; it's the nebulous effort needed to go from scratch to a functional system no matter the preferred methodology. OF simply doesn't have one of those clean intuitive interfaces that Mac software is known for. It's the kind of interface you get when techie programmers get together and decide what the feature set should be and then roll an interface to match. Good UI design is an art unto itself.

OF is like someone handing you a box of pens, a stack of paper, a filing cabinet, and a pile of file folders and saying, "there you go, GTD". You know it's all the tools you need but setting it up and making it work is up to you. Then you realize you need access to some of this remotely so you buy the iPhone app which adds a stack of index cards and a digital voice recorder. Finally you get the iPad app to bridge the two and it includes a day planner and a handy project review template.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GrumpyDave View Post
IMO, adding even more customizable elements isn't going to answer the call for a simplified OF. I don't think the GTD orientation is the issue for most new users; it's the nebulous effort needed to go from scratch to a functional system no matter the preferred methodology. OF simply doesn't have one of those clean intuitive interfaces that Mac software is known for. It's the kind of interface you get when techie programmers get together and decide what the feature set should be and then roll an interface to match. Good UI design is an art unto itself.
I couldn't agree more. I think that if presented in a simple, straightforward way, the UI could actually help people visualize and understand GTD. As it is, you kind of have to understand GTD first in order to start taming the Omnifocus UI.

Quote:
Then you realize you need access to some of this remotely so you buy the iPhone app which adds a stack of index cards and a digital voice recorder. Finally you get the iPad app to bridge the two and it includes a day planner and a handy project review template.
I think the limitations of the iPhone interface forced a bit of minimalism onto OF designers and I find it A LOT cleaner and easier to work with. No various sized windows, no complex view options -- just one unified UI. I'm glad to have the desktop app to capture stuff while I'm on my Mac (and as a backup in case I lose/break my iPod), but I tend to see everything a bit more clearly in the mobile interface.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GrumpyDave View Post

OF is like someone handing you a box of pens, a stack of paper, a filing cabinet, and a pile of file folders and saying, "there you go, GTD". You know it's all the tools you need but setting it up and making it work is up to you. Then you realize you need access to some of this remotely so you buy the iPhone app which adds a stack of index cards and a digital voice recorder. Finally you get the iPad app to bridge the two and it includes a day planner and a handy project review template.
That's why I would like to see a UI that incorporates wizards or an assistant..... Something that helps with the workflow...... We see it in Pages, Numbers, and other programs to great effect.

By providing pre-designed templates for different task management systems, it would probably suit folks who want a pre-designed workflow. That's why customizable columns and pre-designed templates may be an answer.

But of course we can all agree to disagree.....

Otherwise, Things might be better suited for those who want a lightweight task manager.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by avandelay View Post
I think the limitations of the iPhone interface forced a bit of minimalism onto OF designers and I find it A LOT cleaner and easier to work with. No various sized windows, no complex view options -- just one unified UI. I'm glad to have the desktop app to capture stuff while I'm on my Mac (and as a backup in case I lose/break my iPod), but I tend to see everything a bit more clearly in the mobile interface.
I agree with you 100% on this. I bought the iPhone version before the Mac version and I prefer it. It's much faster (for me) it's clean, minimal. Funny enough, I have read many reviews in other forums where people actually dislike the iPhone UI.

My only gripe, the only one that I have with OF is knowing that Things exists. Had I not ever used Things, I would even welcome the desktop version. However, I have made my mind up and I am staying with OF.It's a powerhouse and everything you do with Things can be done with OF. Things can't boast that!
 
 


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