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Bird's-eye view of the OmniFocus App? Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Hi. New user here. Computer adept. I'm looking for a concise primer on OmniFocus, but in particular one that offers the most encyclopedic and widest perspective. Something along the lines of: OF is a database. You can only have one OF database. OF calls your database a Library (yes, I know this isn't completely correct). The core record of your database is the Action. Every action can have ## attributes. The attributes are: a, b, c, d, e, ... . You create Actions the following ways: 1, 2, 3, 4, ... . You can view your Actions ... .

Is there such a thing?

Barring that, what is the standard method, using what resources, to make the most of OF? I want to know all of its parts and how they interact so that I can best match its functions to my needs.

Thanks in advance.


There is no standard method of using OmniFocus. It will bend to your methods. You may wish for a more rigid structure and OmniFocus won't offer that.

But you will gain much flexibility and power if you take the time to learn it. I think OmniFocus is almost like the martial arts. If you really want to excel in it, you need to take the time. Don't expect to automatically go up a belt because you wished it. You need to put some time into finding a workflow that will work for you.

A great place to start is this book:

Click on the resources button at the top to get a peek at some articles on using OmniFocus. Then the book is the real cash cow. It is worth every penny that I paid.
wilsonng -- Many _many_ thanks. The book looks superb (I signed up on the site and got a 28-page sample). Will buy it -- perhaps tonight, or perhaps after I find out if there is an iBooks version.

Super-useful -- the other links as well -- and just the kind of information I was looking for.

I'm currently hung up a bit on the top-to-bottom hierarchy of OF, but working through that. (The Action is the atomic unit, and the Project is -- using that metaphor -- the biggest molecule one can create. I'm having trouble conceptualizing running very small and very large Projects at the same time, but this is one of the chapters in Dini's book.)

Thanks again -- I feel you have early on my walk pointed me in the right direction. Cheers.
You are welcome. I have a larger unit. The folder can act as Areas of Responsibilities.

At the moment, I have several folders:

- Work

- Family

- Community/Volunteer

- Personal Development

Each folder is a different focus of my life. Inside each folder, I put projects related to each folder.

The program called Things offered a more rigid structure that helps beginners with a predefined structure.

OmniFocus does not really have a predefined structure and may be very difficult to understand. But you will eventually understand and define your own personal workflow. My workflow has changed over the years as my demands, work conditions, family conditions slowly change.

I think I use a combination of OmniFocus for Mac and OmniFocus for iPad to feel more comfortable.

Learn to use perspectives. You can use OmniFocus to create a master list of projects and tasks. But then use perspectives to see different parts of your master list.

You can read one of my posts here:

Most of this is based on the Creating Flow with OmniFocus book. The book has a PDF version and an ePub version. You can download either one to iBooks and it will work.

My current perspectives includes:

Today - All Due Soon and Flagged. This is the list I use most. It has everything that is due and any tasks/projects that have been flagged. I will always try to finish everything in this list first.

Next Actions - A list of all available actions that I can work on after I complete as many of my Today items as possible.

Due - A list of all due soon items. This shows due soon and overdue items. If the task has a due date, I will always work on these items first.

Review - It is the most important step to keeping your master task list manageable.

The Creating Flow book will give you more information about creating your perspectives and also provide a variety of workflows and perspectives for you to try.

Hope you finally get your projects and tasks under control. Good luck!

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