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We've got a twitter account for OmniFocus (it's @omnifocus, if you want to follow it), where we answer questions, send out tips, and so forth.

Twitter isn't everyone's cup of tea, and it's not a very permanent medium, so this thread is meant to serve as an archive of the various tips and tricks that we've broadcasted.

These go all the way back to February of 2009, so it's possible that some of them no longer apply in exactly the same way they did when they were first posted.

We'll try to filter those out, but if you see anything confusing or which doesn't appear to make sense, please ask here on the forums on send us an email so we can straighten them out.

We may combine multiple tweets if they were sent on the same day about the same topic. We'll also do our best to un-do abbreviations and such, but please excuse any which remain. Twitter imposes a 140 character limit on messages, and we sometimes have to get a bit creative. :-)
  • If you flag a project or action group, all the items contained within will be treated as if they were flagged themselves.
  • File->Archive Old Data on your Mac keeps the sync database small; prevents your iPhone from running out of RAM while loading the DB.
  • Using OmniFocus for iPhone v1.2 without the Mac app? The "Compact Database" button in Settings should give you faster app launches.
  • Mac tip: The "Focus On" command (w/1 or more projects selected in the sidebar) sets all the other ones aside temporarily. Aids concentration.
  • The toolbars in OmniFocus' windows can be tailored to suit you; control-click it and select "Customize Toolbar" from the context menu.
  • To sort actions in a project on the Mac, select the rows, then choose any of the menu items under Edit -> Sort (Ex: Completion Date)
  • Set start dates for actions you can't work on yet, then select View->Status Filter->Available; OmniFocus won't show them until then.
  • OmniFocus' Clipping Preferences can set up a keyboard shortcut that sends any text you have selected straight to the inbox.
  • Use send settings (in Sync Prefs) to send an email with your sync settings to all your devices. Then unregister ones you rarely use. With the email, you can quickly start them syncing again. In the meantime, the other devices will all sync more quickly.
  • "Repeat from: Assigned date" is handy for tasks that you'd like to come due at the same time, regardless of when you actually do it.
  • "Repeat from: Completion" is handy when you want an amount of time to pass between each version of action. Examples - Watering plants, haircuts.
  • In project view, create folders to organize your projects into categories like "Home", "Health", or "Work". (Select File -> Add Folder)
  • You can sort actions in a project by selecting them in outline view, then choosing one of the options under Edit -> Sort from menu bar.
  • Need to find actions you've checked off? Easy! Select Perspectives->Completed Items, then filter the window with the Search field.
  • Nice tip from @jbrains: display actions Ungrouped and sorted by Added to find oldest actions. Maybe you can remove a bunch you'll never do.
  • Give your project list a quick look before checking your email in the morning. Can help to start the day with forest, rather than trees...
  • On the Mac, you can use the various options under Edit -> Sort to re-order the actions in a project to your liking.
  • Older (but still handy) blog post about using Perspectives to control the appearance of printouts. (March 20, 2009)
  • turn mail or web page content into OmniFocus actions, directly from another application. Details in the "clipping" help.
  • SmartMatch guesses what project/context you're typing after a few characters. (Ex. - "pf" finds "personal finances")
  • Date fields can convert entries like "next Friday", "+2w", or "Thu" into the corresponding calendar date.
  • By default, OmniFocus makes a "Miscellaneous" project for inbox items w/none specified. Prefer another? Visit Data Prefs.
  • Attach a Business Search location (like "pharmacy") to contexts you might need to find in multiple cities. Quote business names you want to match exactly; use OR (in caps) between options. (Example: "Lowes" OR "Home Depot") To exclude a result from the search, use minus symbol. Example: "Lowes" OR "Home Depot" or hardware -"Restoration Hardware"
  • When you think of an action, if doing it would take less than 2 minutes, just go ahead and do it. (via @gtdguy)
  • Add an action-oriented objective in notes of new projects to help weed out dead-end ones. (via @ee99ee)
  • Right click dock icon; a menu of contexts appears. Clicking one brings up a window on that context. (Thx @CocoaSamurai!)
  • On the go, need to capture thoughts, no iPhone? Check OmniFocus for Mac's "Processing Mail messages into actions" help menu article for what to do.
  • Good tips here on using reviews (instead of false deadlines) to ensure things get done in a timely manner:
  • Going from Failing to Straight A's with OmniFocus & GTD: A nice read from @cocoasamurai to welcome you back from holiday.
  • Yep, @kiranmaxweber - select several items and you can edit start/due dates, context, etc using the inspector; change applies to all of 'em.
  • In start/due date fields of the inspector, up/down-arrow increments the date 1 day; shift-up/down arrow increments 1 month.
  • Answering @Shakti672: Good question! You can group projects into folders - we recommend using those for Areas of Focus.
  • Got requests for info on why/how to do reviews. @gtdguy on why: & @kouroshdini on how:
  • Option-click a folder, project, or action group to expand/collapse it & any projects/action groups it contains.
  • New Blog Post! OmniFocus for iPhone: the Coolest Feature You're Probably Not Using
  • Tap-and-hold on an action's checkbox to bring up the cut/copy/paste controls. Shake phone to activate undo.
  • Folks that use DevonThink & OmniFocus may find this handy: (via @devontech)
  • If you want to see just one action for each project (even if parallel actions are available), try View->Status Filter->Next Action.
  • add context "Doctor" to track questions/newly learned family medical history for discussion @ next appointment. (via @ExpediterSF - great idea!)
  • Projects & Contexts can be nested. Tap "Edit" in list view, tap item to nest, tap rightmost TB butt. on next screen.
  • You can adjust the width of the Start and Due Date columns by showing the view bar and dragging the column separators.
  • While meeting with someone, use the search tool to find any actions related to them. (via @dj2ndnature)
  • Projects have a "Mark Complete when completing last item" box in the inspector. Check last action -> finish project.
  • You can promote an action to a project by outdenting it (the shortcut is Command-[) or by dragging it to the sidebar
  • For folks getting an incompatibility error with 10.6.2 and Mail 4.2: Try re-installing the Clip-O-Tron from Prefs>Clippings.
  • Add the Switch button to your toolbar to show current selection in opposite mode.
  • Playing the Waiting Game: John Kendrick's thoughts on delegating tasks in OmniFocus -
  • Another great post from @jbkendrick , this time on the benefits of contexts for the people around you:
  • We're very pleased to officially announce our partnership with the David Allen Company …and the first fruits of that partnership, a white paper to help people get started with GTD in OmniFocus:
  • Double-click an action's drag handle to open new window focused on the project it's from. Works in Planning & Context modes.
  • OmniFocus for iPhone's "across all versions" rating cracked the 4 star barrier on the App Store this week. From all of us here: thank you.
  • Great article here from @jbkendrick on setting up reviews for your projects in OmniFocus:
  • OmniFocus Syncing Tip: Use File -> Archive Old Data monthly on 1 of your Macs for faster application launches and sync times.
  • Good question, @csreed - by default OmniFocus for Mac links to files, but option-dragging one into the app will embed it in your database.
  • Drop projects on the inbox to demote to actions. Drop actions into planning view sidebar to make into projects.
  • Great video from @boagworld: perspectives & contexts, capturing actions from paper... 17mins, all great tips!
  • Having trouble wrangling your contexts? Good suggestions here: (via @kouroshdini)

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