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Need Help Transitioning from Life Balance Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
I'm hoping someone can help me in making a switch from Life Balance to OmniFocus. I have spent a few days using OmniFocus now. I can see that it offers a mature functionality not to mention significant usability/UI benefits which LifeBalance can't (and probably never will) approach.

I have ADD. As a self-employed parent with an attentional disorder, I rely heavily upon systems to help me maintain focus and keep things moving along. I have used Life Balance to take an overwhelming mountain of tasks (projects, goals, etc.) and serve them up as single actionable tasks. What I need is a “just do this one thing next” approach to chipping away at my stuff. Is there anyone who has used LifeBalance or who uses OmniFocus in this way? Perhaps you could shed some light on how to smooth this transition and maybe make OmniFocus even just a little more LifeBalance-ish in this way?

I have created folders and contexts. I have populated my projects with actionable tasks. But so far, with OmniFocus, I still feel as if I am looking at big lists of projects. Prioritizing and identifying my next actionable task is still not feeling natural. I need some help.

I’ve been through the help files, watched a few tutorials, and read through quite few posts on this forum. I suspect I’m going to have to make better use of “Perspectives” and implement some reviewing strategies. I am aware that Omnifocus is primarily a GTD app. I have a superficial understanding of the GTD paradigm and while some of it is a good fit for me, I am not sure that all of it is. I am hoping that OmniFocus will offer some flexibility in this regard.

I am primarily using my iPhone but for the time being I am also evaluating the desktop version of OmniFocus. Any thoughts? Thanks, Nathan
I haven't used Life Balance and I'm no expert at all, but I can give you some things to look into, to "serve up your one next thing to do". You'll want to be familiar with the view bar's Status Filter, setting it to Next Action (works both in project mode and context mode) on the desktop version. You can view just next actions in context mode on the iphone.

What I find most helpful is focusing on just one project or just one or two contexts (double clicking on it/them in the sidebar on the desktop version). You can make it come up in a separate window and get rid of the sidebar and other stuff too, if those are still a distraction.

I'm transitioning back to using OF after using paper for a while, so I'm a little rusty on how exactly to do things, but I tend to remember the types of things that it can do.
Thanks so much for taking the time to help. I have found that filter to be helpful, but I must still have some conceptual work to do. I'm just not able to make the simplified type of list that I would like to see. Maybe it's because, in part, I'm doing this on the iPhone app and can't view 'Next Action' in project mode. I wonder if I should cross post this into the iPhone forum?
  • But, for example, I'm seeing things in my list that I don't need to worry about until a year from now. (Will a start date address that?)
  • Sequential task lists collapse nicely, but parallel ones still take up more room than I'd like.
  • When there are things that I am not able to do right away, I'd like to be able to postpone them and get them off my visual 'plate' for a configurable amout of time.
  • I still feel like I have to page through all my projects to find items that I should be doing.
  • When I see my list in context mode, I'd like to be able to reorder it. Maybe I'm missing some kind of priority setting (I understand this has been a debated topic).
I really love a lot of things about this software, but I must say I am also appreciating what Life Balance actually did for me. I just wish there were a future in it. Do you think OmniFocus is a suitable replacement for my (admittedly specialized) needs? If anyone has used it (to good effect) I would love to hear their experiences about making the switch.
I have come from Life Balance as well.
GTD and the life balance system are really quite similar. What Life Balance tries to do that OmniFocus doesn't is the prioritising part, in GTD parlance the higher horizons of focus. Basically these are the top level items in the life balance outline.

There are various ways in which you can do them in OF. You could have folders and subfolders until you reach the level of completable projects, or you can just have several layers of sub projects, which is basically what LB does.

What you can do in OF that you can't as easily do in LB is postpone things.
You can out entire projects on hold for infinity. Stuff that you want to do, but aren't sure when yet. Travel the world, learn japanese, etc.
You can use start dates. Not as easy to filter for in perspectives for reviewing, but more in your face when the time comes.

For resorting your contexts there are several options in the view bar. Grouping and sorting are the most relevant ones. If your context list are unwieldily, no matter how you sort them, you might need more contexts.

Don't be afraid to do a lot of shuffling. I always need to give myself plenty of playtime with any new tool/toy :)
Thanks Rob- That is indeed one of the kinds of things that has been stalling me. But custom AppleScripts? I'm normally not such a technophobe but I'm starting to wonder if maybe I have bitten off more than I can chew. I'll take a deep breath and try working through this some more lol.

Thank you to all for your kind suggestions.
Originally Posted by Natdog View Post
Thanks Rob- That is indeed one of the kinds of things that has been stalling me. But custom AppleScripts? I'm normally not such a technophobe but I'm starting to wonder if maybe I have bitten off more than I can chew. I'll take a deep breath and try working through this some more lol.
The need to use AppleScripts to identify projects that are "stuck" is a Known Issue. There are threads elsewhere on this forum about it and the way I read it OmniGroup staff have given strong hints it will be sorted in 2.0. Interestingly, and I haven't had a chance to really look at this systematically, the problem appears to have been addressed at least in part in the latest release of OF for iphone 1.6 where I *think* I've seen more LifeBalance-type behaviour (i.e. when all subtasks of a task group are completed the parent item appears in the context views.

Last edited by Brian; 2010-01-26 at 02:15 PM.. Reason: fix broken quote closing markup

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