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OmniFocus and 20,000ft+ levels of GTD? Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
David Allen actually states in "Making it all work" that one of the *major* flaws of most GTD software implementations was that they only help you get into the 'micro manager' quadrant of his matrix - people were only implementing the runway and 10,000ft level of GTD and this was a recipe for disaster long term.

I am coming from using php-gtd which is a *almost perfect* and *complete* implementation of GTD. I have switched to OF mainly due to the desktop client and iPhone client sync (php-gtd is only web based).

While I find OmniFocus great at managing 10,000ft and runway levels of GTD, I am having trouble understanding how people manage their 20,000ft and upwards areas of GTD?

Can anyone share their experiences and how (if?) they dealt with it?

Is it even possible to do this properly in OF? Or is it necessary to use something else to fully implement GTD while keeping OF only for runway and 10,000ft?
 
Hi gazhayes,

it took me a while to work out what Areas of Focus (20k) are, and more still what they can do for me. Now I call them "processes" which makes more sense in my little world.

I am fairly new to OF myself but I treat AoF as Projects that just don't complete. I have added a context called "Altitude" for the AoF-"projects" and that's where I am at the moment. Next action: "look into perspectives menu functions"...


Maybe you could use similar non-finishing projects with their own (sub)-context as 30k goals, I haven't tried it as I am not so good with goals. However for higher level stuff, it makes conceptual sense for me to keep them separate from the lower level tasks, projects and AoF.

There is a contestant to OF called Things which has Areas of Focus implemented, but it didn't work for me.

And one of the reasons why I am happy with OF is this forum... so let me know how you got on, ok?

Regards, Chris.
 
Hi Chris,

I am basically going to use a separate system for 20,000ft+ management. I have looked at managing them as 'projects' but I don't think this is robust enough. I have been using GTD for a few years and have tried 50+ different tools like OF, the thing that really knock me off GTD are workarounds etc in the software which end up making you 'dead' to it. I would prefer to use different software and not be able to sync 20,000ft+ than to do it in a flimsy way and have it end up as something I don't want to look at.

If you are having trouble with setting goals etc, you might want to read some of Brian Tracy's stuff or someone like that in conjunction with GTD and also forget about *all* software for managing goals to begin with, use paper and pen. In 6 months when you have become more adept at using goals then revisit the software based approach.

Hope this helps!
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by gazhayes View Post
Hi Chris,

I am basically going to use a separate system for 20,000ft+ management. I have looked at managing them as 'projects' but I don't think this is robust enough. I have been using GTD for a few years and have tried 50+ different tools like OF, the thing that really knock me off GTD are workarounds etc in the software which end up making you 'dead' to it. I would prefer to use different software and not be able to sync 20,000ft+ than to do it in a flimsy way and have it end up as something I don't want to look at.
Sorry, but stuff like long term goals is certainly something that fit in GTD software. Just look att http://www.toodledo.com/ for instance. I stoped using their services just because I needed something closer to a desktop client for my management of tasks, but the way you could set up goals and attach projects to them (as a way of moving towards that goal) I find really helpful in managing my time. Sure, you COULD have a separate system for that, but really - it should just be in OmniFocus, I think.

Consider this a feature request.
 
I initially created 20k' and up folders in OF, and used an outline format. It works, but they're not actionable; really just reference (20k' + can spawn projects, however), which can get in the way when you're engaged in doing. However one can set a future start date, place on hold, etc., and use filtering to keep the higher elevation stuff out of your vision (as well as made visible when you want to see it). I've since moved 20k'+ to OmniOutliner. Whether you keep 20k'+ in OF or any other app (even a text document) is, IMHO, far less important than how you interact with those higher levels, and how that interaction will influence your 10k' and runway.

I tried to create direct correlations between projects and single actions with the higher horizons, as well as between items in the higher level horizons, but from my experience and clarified understanding ("Making It All Work" is a good read), GTD isn't designed to work that way. You kind of shift your mind set when looking at 20k'+. That's not to say that projects and actions don't support higher level horizons, and that higher level horizons don't affect 10k' and runway -- there certainly should be alignment through the horizons, but it's pretty spider-webby (many relationships that could be drawn), and a lot of moving targets that maybe are best congealed in one's mind during higher level reviews, and then the results may affect your 10k' and runway.

Just my 2, I've been all over the board on this.

Bob

Last edited by omnibob; 2011-02-26 at 02:23 PM..
 
I had a hard time understanding that too until recently.

Everything that is 20K+ level is never a project but either an
Area of responsibility/focus (20K),
a goal (30K),
a vision (40K),
or a Purpose (50K)

I kept thinking that I want a mindmap to give me a better idea but struggled with setting one up.

Here is how I have it.

Purpose is something that you could write essays about but at the end of the day, it can boil down to a few bullet points right?
Example:
Provide for self & family
(Insert what you want here)

The examples are projects and they are grouped under a folder called Purpose/Vision

Similarly, I do the same for the rest......

Vision is something for where you see your life to be at a later stage - this is for you to feel cheery about
Example:
Where do you want to be in 5/10/15 years?
Where do you want to influence the world in? Where do you see you or your organization - where do you want to take it to?

Goals - these help me tremendously by reviewing them weekly because Goals are what when they are hit - you feel great!
Example:
lower body weight to xxx by end of semester
Apply for job to 10 companies by Mm/2011

etc etc

The whole point of using the bullet points as projects is because they are unattainable and while your projects come from your areas of responsibility, the areas of responsibilities/focus are supposed to serve as checklists so that your project inventory is complete/correct and fulfilling such and such areas.

Overall, yes OF does a great job of managing your projects/items and using it this way allows me to have the ability to view all the other things like my goals which remind me about what I need to be doing or checking in with myself.

Hope that helps!

Last edited by leo; 2011-02-26 at 09:15 PM..
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fredrik View Post
Sorry, but stuff like long term goals is certainly something that fit in GTD software. Just look att http://www.toodledo.com/ for instance. I stoped using their services just because I needed something closer to a desktop client for my management of tasks, but the way you could set up goals and attach projects to them (as a way of moving towards that goal) I find really helpful in managing my time. Sure, you COULD have a separate system for that, but really - it should just be in OmniFocus, I think.

Consider this a feature request.
Hi Fred,
That's exactly what I mean. There are MUCH better tools than OF for managing GTD, not a little bit better, but light years ahead. The problem is that none (of the 50+ that I have tested) have a good desktop app + mobile sync. I am willing to at least try to endure multiple system chaos so that I can manage runway and 10,000ft VERY well. That is assuming that OF does actually manage runway and 10,000ft perfectly, over desktop, iphone, and ipad. Otherwise it defeats the entire purpose of GTD.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by gazhayes View Post
Hi Fred,
That's exactly what I mean. There are MUCH better tools than OF for managing GTD, not a little bit better, but light years ahead. The problem is that none (of the 50+ that I have tested) have a good desktop app + mobile sync. I am willing to at least try to endure multiple system chaos so that I can manage runway and 10,000ft VERY well. That is assuming that OF does actually manage runway and 10,000ft perfectly, over desktop, iphone, and ipad. Otherwise it defeats the entire purpose of GTD.
I think it is assumed that you will take on projects that are taking on are meeting your goals or towards them or necessary stuff that you need to do otherwise.

As far as OF managing runway and 10K ft perfectly, I have seen no other software like it that allows web syncing (via webdav) and desktop management. So, that would go back to your requirements or wants that you want in a software.

There is php-gtd - i am not sure which thread it was suggested under but apparently that is a good implementation of gtd.
 
 


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