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My months with OmniFocus Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
I really love the concept of GTD. My problem is, I have stuff in OmniFocus from 4 months ago still to do.

I just don't find myself checking it often enough. Maybe some of that will change with the iPhone version, but for the computer, I have issues such as:

* I need to look up a manual for an old appliance. I don't want to do it now.

What is the context for this? Web? Google? Free time? I know this is a GTD issue in general, but OF does not help me figure this out.

For example, if it was "Web" then maybe OF could have a little badge on its icon, a menu widget, that could scroll and show me some of the parallel items for this app context.

Same with mail, or what not. How many of those special contexts are there? I don't know.

* The UI confuses the hell out of me

For some reason I have a gray "1" badge on the dock icon. Why? I click to bring OF forward, it does not let me know what it is for.

So I poke around, oh I see, there is a gray 1 in inbox. Why? I added this action by:

* Selecting my Home context
* Pressing return
* Entering action
* Chose a project
* Chose a context
** WHy did I need to chose a context? I had one selected when I pressed return.
* Accepted the action

So if i chose a project and a context, why is it in the inbox?

This little annoyances keep me from using OF as much as I should. Filtering contexts, I am always switching between Active and all. All has too damn many contexts, active not enough.

I think the best thing I could use is guidance, in the form of GTD lessons, and examples, maybe in screencast form, of how people efficiently use OF.
 
One of the answers probably is to sort your list by added, take the tasks that you added a year ago and never touched, and delete them.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucas View Post
One of the answers probably is to sort your list by added, take the tasks that you added a year ago and never touched, and delete them.
Which is just what I did with the boxes in the garage :)
 
We definitely want to make more videos, but it's a fairly labor-intensive process, and some of the questions you're looking for don't have a lot of hard-and-fast answers. Which contexts someone should set up tends to vary a lot from person to person, for example. For stuff like that, I think you've hit on the right solution - there's a ton of material here on the forums.

Now, I'm looking over your other questions, and I'm actually writing up a couple of bugs vs. our documentation; we explain the 'overdue' and 'due soon' badges, but we do so in the context of the menu bar badge, not the dock badge. We also don't explain the 'items in your inbox' badge, which is the specific one you hit. (FYI, if you click and hold on the dock icon, the menu that appears does explain what that badge means, but there's no way you could have known that in advance.)

In any case, if you haven't checked it out, the printed manual may be helpful; it starts off with a tutorial like you're looking for, and it does do a good job of explaining the general things you're struggling with. ;-)

Now, the item creation problem you hit sounds like a bug, but it sounds like one that should be fixed in version 1.0.2 - are you using that build? If so, there's some edge case of that bug that we need your help to track down and fix.

Last edited by Brian; 2008-06-19 at 05:18 PM.. Reason: 'don't have' is very different from 'have'
 
Documentation? Who uses that! :)

I am on 1.0.2, yes.

I'll try and dig through for other's examples on how they organize OF. I have talked to some friends. One said "it's so confusing I just use one context for everything."

I think an application like OF needs to go beyond a powerful outliner and help people organize.

For example, have you seen del.icio.us? It suggests tags as you type, based on uri, context, etc. Quite nice so people are not making up 500 different tags that are synonymous with "Development"

Anyway, just feedback that I bet OF could go well beyond super GTD outliner. the iPhone location based ideas, that is what I mean, that goes beyond the organization and starts helping the user with their content. That rocks!

I'll go dig through the forums now, thanks!
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sriggins View Post
I have talked to some friends. One said "it's so confusing I just use one context for everything."
Wow, what a shame. That's like using a new widescreen HDTV for nothing but shadow play because the buttons on the remote are so confusing. And most TV remotes are far more complicated than OmniFocus. :)

I'd hate to talk someone out of buying an OF license, but maybe your friend would have been better off with TextEdit or iCal's to do list?

I'm puzzled by this seeming perception that OmniFocus is so complicated. Why are people so intimidated? I guess there's a lot of flexibility that can maybe seem a little scary at first. But I don't see what the big deal is. And I wonder what could be done to alleviate people's fears.

But I guess these questions are better discussed in another thread. Sorry for the digression.

-Dennis
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sriggins View Post
I'll try and dig through for other's examples on how they organize OF.
Sorry, I meant to include more info here, but I had to run to an appointment.

My contexts are:
Job
Desk
Roaming
Mailbox
Other
Errands
Portland
Seattle
Home
Phone

I'm pretty minimalist; you may want more.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sriggins View Post
I think an application like OF needs to go beyond a powerful outliner and help people organize.

For example, have you seen del.icio.us? It suggests tags as you type, based on uri, context, etc.
This would be handy; you should use the Send Feedback item in OmniFocus' help menu to make sure that gets recorded properly. (Not being a jerk here - see this thread for reasons why email is better.)

Also, remember that every feature that we add is more that the user has to learn how to use, so your desires seem to be somewhat in competition with each other. Not that you're unique in this regard. :-)
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Toadling View Post
I'm puzzled by this seeming perception that OmniFocus is so complicated. Why are people so intimidated? I guess there's a lot of flexibility that can maybe seem a little scary at first.
There's a lot of flexibility in the app, and if you haven't read David Allen's book, you've actually got two simultaneous learning curves to deal with. It's also fundamentally not a document-editing application, which folks are a little more used to starting from scratch in. It's a 'figure out how to run my life' app, which is somewhat daunting all by itself.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Toadling View Post
And I wonder what could be done to alleviate people's fears.
Well, more tutorials and videos, probably. If Apple would refrain from throwing total game-changing curveballs like new hardware platforms at us, we might have a chance to make some. :-)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Toadling View Post
But I guess these questions are better discussed in another thread. Sorry for the digression.
Apology accepted but unnecessary, in my opinion. :-)
 
 


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