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After a year and a half of tinkering, trying and messing around with GTD and OmniFocus I feel ready to put my two cents in.

I have found an incredible amount of information on these forums and hope that, by sharing the information in this post, I can return something to the community.




How I set up my perspectives


After experimenting with many different perspectives, I realized that less is more.




Focus, expansion, layout and selection, are all selected in the perspective inspector window. Context and Projects have the “settings from a Project/Context mode perspective” Selected as well. Each perspective opens in the same window, if I want to open one in a separate window I keep the option key depressed while clicking the perspective icon.



How I use OmniFocus


The most important lesson

No matter how much you tinker and mess around with GTD and OmniFocus, in the end it actually comes down to completing the next action.


Capture

To capture my thoughts I mainly use the OmniFocus quick entry window, OmniFocus on my iPod touch or good old pen and paper.


Process

I used to try and plan the entire project in detail but one of my biggest productivity boosters has been not to try to plan the entire project in the process stage.

To process I ask myself
What is the ideal outcome? - The answer to this gives me the names for my projects

If the project is a someday/maybe project that I will likely do I will put it on hold. If it is something really outrageous I keep it in a separate someday/maybe list outside of Omnifocus.

What is the next physical action? - Written as if I am delegating the task to somebody else and beginning with an action verb.

If an action requires a telephone number, email address or a specific file I do a quick search in quicksilver and drag the appropriate information from the quicksilver popup window directly into the OmniFocus action.

If necessary I will add a start date in the future so I will not see the action until I actually need to see it.

I will only set a due date when absolutely required. Paying the rent on the first of the month is required, if I don't I will be evicted. Washing my socks on Monday is nice but doesn't require a due date, if I do it on Tuesday there is no harm done.


Organize

To organize my projects I set up as many folders as I need and as little as I can get by with, I especially try to limit my sub folders.

My main folders are:
Finance
Health
Household
Maintenance
- House
- Bike
Organization
Recreation
- Photography
- Music
Relationships
- Family
- Friends
Shopping
Travel
Work

And a single actions list, very inspired called; single actions.


Do

I try to check my contexts whenever I make a transition, coming or going somewhere. I do a quick scan of the appropriate context and pick what I want to work on.

As with the folders I set up as many as I need an as little as I get by with.

My main contexts are:
Daily
Chores
Home
Mac
Email
Online
Errands
- Post office
- Bank
- Groceries
Shopping
- Office
- Clothing
- Hardware
People
- John
- Janet
Office
Waiting for

The first two contexts are not true contexts in the GTD sense since they do not represent a place, tool or person you need in order to get your action done. I do find them to be very useful for my daily routines and recurring chores.

Also the last context is not a true context but really helpful for parking waiting for actions. When I send an email requiring a response I add an action like: Waiting for email from John regarding project x (date send). The command+/ shortcut is really handy for adding a short date to your action. I use a similar approach if I lend people items: Waiting for Janet to return the lawn mower (date lend).


Review

This took the longest for me to figure out, I look trough my active projects one by one and see if each one has at least one next action.

If the project is not moving forward, I ask myself if the available next action is really the very next action or is there still an action before it?

I also ask myself if this project is still relevant, and if so is doing this project the best use of my time?

On hold projects (someday/maybe) I review monthly.


Support files

Support files and reference materials are all stored in one folder (called projects) with a sub folders for each project. Those folders are accessed mainly by quicksilver. When I finish a project I move it to a separate archive folder.

Regards,

Jhn

Last edited by jhncbrwn; 2009-11-11 at 03:12 PM..
 
Really helpful, thank you.
What perspective do you find yourself in the most?
 
Hi alexjander,

I used to spend a lot of time planning in projects, now it has shifted to executing in contexts.

Usually I check due, flagged and waiting for at the start of the day.

Regards,

jhn
 
A lot of great ideas in here jhncbrwn but I can't let it go without saying thanks for the quicksilver tip. I use QS too and never knew I could drag straight from it let alone into the OF quick entry window ;-) brilliant !
 
I don't know how I missed this before, but it's really great! Thanks, jhncbrwn, for writing it, and thanks warwick for giving it a bump. :-)
 
I'm a little late. If this thread is still alive, I'm a bit unclear as to which of these perspectives are based on project vs. context mode.
 
Great to see your workflow. Thanks for writing it up!

- Kourosh
 
thanks for that! nice to hear, uh... read.
 
Thank you for sharing such useful information
 
 


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