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Okay, this is going to sound like a complete newbie question, and it is, but here goes:

How do I use it?

I don't mean how to actually use it as in "RTFM", because I have. :) I meant...what's the practical use?

I'm asking because I bought OO3 Pro about two and a half years ago when a friend convinced me that it's even better than OmniFocus for changing your life. But, after having spent the money and installed it, and playing with it a few times, I haven't actually used it for anything since then.

Now that OO4 is out, I have an excuse to get my butt in gear and use it to organize things and my life.

So my question is: Is there anyone out there with tips, or a tutorial, or suggestions, on how to basically use it to organize your daily life and work? I never, ever, was big into spreadsheets and outlines. I actually am a writer but I always have done it off the top of my head, as I generally write op-eds. Outlines don't usually come into my life.

But I would really like them to. I've been a supporter of Omni products since around 2005 (Omniweb was the thing for me). I'd like to use this thing. So any feedback would be seriously appreciated. :)


P.S. I know that it sounds like I'm a newbie and full of stupid questions, but I really just enjoy the look and feel of it. All I need to know is what I should be doing with it on a daily basis. Please be gentle. :)
This may be a silly reply on my part, but it would seem OmniFocus would be a better fit for you needs. Is there some specific reason it's not a good match? (BTW I would not think of using OO4 for your needs, though I'm sure it could be adapted. I'd be thinking of other things include OmniFocus and some other products first.)
Hi Nat,

I agree with Mitchell - the need you're describing sounds like it would be better met by OmniFocus. That said, I find almost endless uses for OmniOutliner.

I have one outline for each project I'm working on, to keep research, thoughts, related materials, drafts, etc.

If I'm hiring, it's where I keep lists of positions to be filled, indented under that is an item for each applicant, indented under each applicant is their resume and notes about them.

I've got outlines for planning trips - where I can store destinations, with sub-items for each including hotels, photos, restaurants, maps, etc.

I've got an outline for family history research (which I like much more than the commercial genealogy software).

I recently thought about buying a telescope. So I made a quick outline to store all the different articles (explaining what an amateur like me needs to know before buying), photos, and examples of different telescopes from various shopping sites. So the outline includes text, web pages, photos, a variety of data. The outline provides me a really easy way to keep all this information together and easily viewable.

All told, I really the outlining metaphor for pretty much anything I get interested in that involves collecting information. I find it easier to store and categorize information of all kinds than putting files into folders - it's also easier to see everything at once, compared to opening different files and arranging them around the screen. I just create hierarchies in the outline, and use Expand All or Collapse All to show everything and then easily fold them up and out of sight.

Other people like Evernote for this sort of thing. I like Evernote, too, but for anything I'm actively working on, I keep it all in an outline, as I've found it much easier to work on, and MUCH easier to see everything at once.

Of course, your mileage may vary.
I just want to thank both posters for your input. I actually decided I'm still going to try using it, starting with "To do lists" (as I do have a lot to do lately). Perhaps that'll get me working with it and give me a better understanding of its use. :)
I think you'll find that you'll really like the ability to easily drag items up and down the list, or indent them under other items. It's much easier than creating a list in a word processing document.

Before OmniFocus, I always used outliners for my To Do lists. You can create Level One items as, say, contexts, such as Home, Phone Calls, Computer, Errands, etc., and enter the appropriate tasks under each Context as Level Two items, and then prioritize the items in order of importance under each context.

Or, you can use the top level for Projects and place tasks under each as the second level items.

If you want to assign both Project and Context to an item, you can create a text column and associate each item with a value in the column. For instance, If you organize items by Project, you could have a Pop-Up list column in which you can easily add "Phone call", "Errand", or whatever context you like, to each item.

Play around with it - no doubt you'll find your own ways to set things up.
That's what I'm thinking. I'd get OmniFocus, but I'm not sure that I'm disciplined enough to go all ahead on GTD methodology.
I hear you. I use and like OF, but it is a commitment. For a simpler approach, OmniOutliner works great, and I'd still be using it happily as my To Do list if they hadn't made OF.
One thing which I do like about OmniOutliner is that you can do spreadsheet type of stuff in there, and that it is:

1) Very low on resources to run even on startup while running other big apps which I do such as Maya and Photoshop and

2) Not made by Microsoft. :)
Strangely enough this is not a bad thread and i'd certainly be more interested in the varied uses that OO is being put.

Id certainly be interested in how it is being used in a more creative way and expanding the use of columns and their attributes.

Maybe it will inspire ideas into new ways of using OO.

Why is it so strange? I started this thread, after all, and I'm not such a bad guy. :D

I do agree with you: It would be interesting for people to list other interesting ways in which they put OO to use. It might give some of the rest of us new ideas.

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