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I'm thinking of buying OmniFocus for the iPhone alone, so i have a few questions. I own an iPhone 3G, and mainly use Windows for my laptop.

I know that OmniFocus allows us to take pics and recordings for reference, but does it also allow you to have Contacts for reference? So selecting their name would bring me to their contact information so i could send them an email, or call them up.

Is it easy to look at notes, and do they support clickable URLs, such as Things?

I'm going to University next year, and so i was wondering if it'll be useful for me. How can I use it to its fullest potential? I'll be very active in the community and will have lots of assignments, readings, lectures etc to do as well.

Any feedback would be appreciated, thanks!

Shine.

Last edited by Shine.; 2009-06-19 at 09:44 PM..
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shine. View Post
I know that OmniFocus allows us to take pics and recordings for reference, but does it also allow you to have Contacts for reference? So selecting their name would bring me to their contact information so i could send them an email, or call them up.
Right now, you can put a phone number in the note for an action, and tapping on it will dial that number. You can also put a mailto: link with an email address into a note, and tapping on it will compose an email. There is no means at the moment for linking directly to an address book contact that I have seen. Of course, with iPhone OS 3.0, you can use the global search feature to pull up a contact by copying the name from the note and pasting into the search field....

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Is it easy to look at notes, and do they support clickable URLs, such as Things?
Yes, notes are just a tap away from the actions. They do support clickable URLs.
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I'm going to University next year, and so i was wondering if it'll be useful for me. How can I use it to its fullest potential? I'll be very active in the community and will have lots of assignments, readings, lectures etc to do as well.
It could certainly help you stay organized, no question of that. I use it on both iPod and Mac, and I'm not entirely sure if I would be happy using it exclusively on the iPod/iPhone. Sometimes the small screen and lack of a keyboard where I can type as rapidly interferes, though given the alternative of using Windows, I'd count my blessings :) Your mileage may vary, as they say...

There have been some rumblings about making a web application that would allow people without access to Macs to manipulate their data, though no details on when such a thing might happen have come out. Maybe you'll see it before graduation, though I wouldn't make any plans that relied on it.

OmniFocus for iPhone 1.5 adds some crucial features (for the standalone user) that weren't present in earlier versions, such as the ability to set up repeating actions. Previously, it understood them, but they could only be created or their repeat functionality modified on the desktop client.

I'd say if you can afford the monthly costs of an iPhone, the price of OmniFocus for it is a low hurdle.

Have you watched the introductory videos on the OmniFocus product page and the 2 ScreenCastsOnline shows? They should give a good idea of what the program is like. It's unfortunate that the App Store doesn't allow demos for richly-featured programs like OmniFocus.
 
hey whpalmer4. Thanks for the feedback, it helped me a lot.

Yes, I have watched the introductory video, mind you the voice became a bit annoying after hearing it over and over again to understand its features. I haven't watched the ScreenCastsOnline shows, but i'm downloading them right now.

A web application would be perfect, that's wishful thinking, but i would love to see that it would help us non-Mac users a lot.

I'm mainly looking for a product which will keep me organized, on top of things that need to be done, and something that i can treat like an agenda. I'm leaning towards the OmniFocus.

Now if only the Calendar application on the iPhone supported Weekly view, it would be perfect as well. I doubt there is anyway OmniFocus can support that feature, is there?

Also, is there any news on the price of OmniFocus dropping? I just don't want to buy it, and then see that it has dropped to 10$ a few weeks later.
I'm gonna head on over to my local Apple Store to see if I can get my hands on a demo of this application for sure.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shine. View Post
Yes, I have watched the introductory video, mind you the voice became a bit annoying after hearing it over and over again to understand its features. I haven't watched the ScreenCastsOnline shows, but i'm downloading them right now.
When that video came out, Michaela's voice got rave reviews from many...but if you don't like it, the good news is that Don McAllister's voice is completely different :)
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Also, is there any news on the price of OmniFocus dropping? I just don't want to buy it, and then see that it has dropped to 10$ a few weeks later.
It's been out for a year without a price drop. Given the effort invested in it, I doubt they plan to cut the price.
 
ah yes, Don McAllister's voice is more pleasing to hear. I'm glad that there isn't a price drop, but i was wonder exactly how i'd be able to incorporate this into my University life.

What is 'context'? I'm still confused, thanks.
 
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Originally Posted by Shine. View Post
ah yes, Don McAllister's voice is more pleasing to hear.
De gustibus non est disputandum
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I'm glad that there isn't a price drop
I can't promise you that there won't be one, I just don't think it is likely. I don't work for Omni.

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but i was wonder exactly how i'd be able to incorporate this into my University life.
The same way you would incorporate it into any other stage of life? It is well-suited for implementing a Getting Things Done system, after the book by David Allen of the same name. It would be well worth your time to buy or borrow a copy of the book.
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What is 'context'? I'm still confused, thanks.
A context is a situation or mindset necessary to work on a given task. For example, to make a phone call, you'll need a telephone of some sort, right? (Let's ignore Skype and friends for the purposes of a clearer picture.) So one might have a context named Calls or Phone or something like that. To work on a spreadsheet, you need to be at a computer, and to work on your chemistry experiment, you need to be in the chemistry lab, so contexts such as Computer and Chem Lab might be appropriate. With GTD, you classify your actions by the context in which you need to be to work on them, so that when you finish a task and are ready to begin another, you can simply look at the list of possible tasks to work on based on the context(s) in which you find yourself at the moment. You may occupy many contexts at once, in which case you can use the context idea to group your work for efficiency. For example, an Online Shopping context might allow you to bunch up your book purchases to save on shipping vs. placing multiple orders. I'd suggest you spend some time reading in the Applying OmniFocus forum, where this is a frequent topic of discussion.
 
ah i see, thank you.

I think i understand is, correct me if I'm wrong but is Calculus (a class) a proper example of a context?
And then I'd have projects for that class which will be in that context right?
And in that project I'll have tasks, correct?
Is it possible to have contexts in contexts? Thanks!
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shine. View Post
ah i see, thank you.

I think i understand is, correct me if I'm wrong but is Calculus (a class) a proper example of a context?
And then I'd have projects for that class which will be in that context right?
And in that project I'll have tasks, correct?
Is it possible to have contexts in contexts? Thanks!
No, Calculus wouldn't normally be a context, unless you had some weird actions that could only be worked on while you were in your Calculus lecture or exam. More likely would be a structure something like this:







Contexts I used are:

Registrar: place where you pay the tuition bill, turn in paperwork to register for classes, etc.

Engineering bldg: your advisor is here, engineering classes, lab, etc.

Dorm room: hopefully self-explanatory

Errands: top of a hierarchy
Errands:Grocery store: place to buy food, etc.
Errands:Hardware store: place to buy tools, etc.

VV Network Analysis: Van Valkenburgh's text on Network Analysis, textbook for the EE101 class example

EE101 Notes: class handouts provided by your professor

EE101 Lab: room/bldg where the lab portion of the class takes place

Calculus book: unnamed text for the calculus class

MATLAB: software program used for all sorts of math and engineering tasks

Hopefully you can see that those are all things or places that you might either need to have, or be at/in to work on the task to which they were assigned. I know that you aren't going to have the Mac desktop version that I used for these examples, but it's easier to show the structure here. I'll attach a few screenshots of how the structure looks in the iPhone/iPod version, but won't cover everything.
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Thank you for spending so much time and effort on helping me out, i truly do appreciate it and i should've said it earlier. I apologize, its just that i haven't fully grasped this concept of OmniFocus but because of your explanations I understood a lot, this topic is bookmarked in my browser. Thank you, i appreciate it.
 
whpalmer4,

Your posts, screenshots, and explanations were extremely helpful. Thanks for taking the time to post. Any change in the last months in how you're using OmniFocus to manage school?

Thanks again!
 
 


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