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What goes in iCal and what goes in OmniFocus? Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
I just got OmniFocus and love it. I read GTD and want to make sure I am doing everything properly. I am having a tough time distinguishing what goes into ical as an event and what goes into omnifocus as an action. For example, if I have a conference call scheduled to go over a project I am doing. Does that go in OmniFocus or iCal? Just need some clarification as to what goes where. Are there any other threads or resources discussing this? Thanks!
 
It should go into OmniFocus, under the project, but that project should be synced to your iCal
 
I do this: if it must happen at a specific date/time, then it goes in iCal, otherwise it goes in OmniFocus. I believe this is what David Allen recommends.

Some examples:

1) If I need a haircut, the action goes in OmniFocus. However, if I have an appointment for Thursday at 12:30 PM, then it goes in iCal instead.

2) I try to mow the lawn every Sunday afternoon, but if I miss a week, or end up doing it on Saturday instead, it doesn't really matter. So that goes in OmniFocus as a repeating action based on completion date (it starts every 5 days, giving me a couple days lead time to allow me to cut the grass early if I want).

3) Garbage pickup in my neighborhood is every Tuesday morning, so I absolutely must get the trash out Monday. But it doesn't really matter what time on Monday, so it goes in iCal as a repeating, all day event on Mondays.

4) In your example, it sounds like you have a conference call scheduled for a specific date and time. In my system, that would go in iCal.

Hope this helps.

Last edited by Toadling; 2008-03-25 at 01:01 PM.. Reason: Clarified my examples
 
Quote:
I do this: if it must happen at a specific date/time, then it goes in iCal, otherwise it goes in OmniFocus. I believe this is what David Allen recommends.
What do you do for for something that must happen by a specific date/time? For example, if I have a report due at the close of business next Thursday -- but I can submit it anytime before that -- should it be calendared in iCal as part of the "hard landscape" or left in OmniFocus as a task?
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by acollins View Post
What do you do for for something that must happen by a specific date/time?
I put that in OF with a due date, since it's a task that can be worked on prior to the due date.

iCal appointments are "hard" events - they happen on a particular day/time. For tasks which can be worked on at any time (beginning on a start date, if that is appropriate), they go in OF.

The general rule of thumb that I use is - tasks are things that need doing, I can do them in the appropriate context, and if I can't finish them, or don't have time today, I can put them off until tomorrow, etc. Some tasks do have an "ending" date, so I add a due date. Some tasks can't be started until some date in the future; I put a start date on these.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by acollins View Post
What do you do for for something that must happen by a specific date/time? For example, if I have a report due at the close of business next Thursday -- but I can submit it anytime before that -- should it be calendared in iCal as part of the "hard landscape" or left in OmniFocus as a task?
For this example, I'd do both: make a project called "Prepare Report" in OmniFocus, with a due date for this friday. But I'd also put a reminder in my calendar to "Turn in Report" on friday. This way, I'm reminded to work on it before friday, but there is also an "appointment" that must take place on friday.

You could also put another reminder note into iCal for wednesday: "Begin working on report". A better option would be to set the project start date to wednesday in OF. This will work only if you're faithfully reviewing your projects every day. A calendar works best when it's only for things that absolutely must get done today or not at all...

Now, if I could only work on the report the same day it was due, I'd probably put both of those items on iCal... they'd not really even have to go into OmniFocus. Ultimately, your best strategy depends on how you work: if you have lots of deadlines and therefore your normal mode of operation is to use OmniFocus to display and work on projects "due today", then you'd probably just put it into OmniFocus, as that has the best chance of giving you the needed reminder at the right time. But for me, I don't always check my OF tasks like clockwork everyday, but I DO always check my calendar every day. For me, OF is for those projects to do "as soon as possible but not necessarily today".

So, the answer is: however it best fits into your trusted system. If iCal is the thing you trust for getting things done on a certain day, then put it there, if OF is, then put it there (in which case OF is also performing the function of calendar).
 
Other ways of reminding yourself of an upcoming deadline include flagging a task and reducing the review frequency of a task (from the default week). With both approaches you would enter the current due date in the comments field.

Including the other approaches (start date, due date and iCal), you should have sufficient reminder capabilities to deal with project due dates depending on how busy you are, how proactive you choose to be, or how important a project is.

Last edited by yucca; 2008-03-31 at 07:47 PM..
 
Another option that would add a great deal of power to OF would be to be able to choose where/how an OF item is treated within iCal - as a task OR as an event.
Some of us work better with task lists as iCal presents them, and some better in events. I happen to use both, but lean more heavily on events. Generating enormous iCal task lists doesn't do me much good.
My 0.02 for Omni
 
 


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