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As a new user to OF (day 2 of 14-day trial), and someone not familiar with GTD, a manual for the current version will be hugely important in getting off on the right foot. There's clearly an underlying philosophy or ethos to the program, and I have a chilling sense that if I don't "get" it, I won't be able to use OF effectively.

I watched the intro video, and thought the Focus button seemed like an important tool, but when I started using the app, it wasn't on the toolbar! Eventually I discovered that the feature still existed, but it had been visually demoted to a menu item only. I was left feeling a little unclear about how Omni feels about the Focus feature, and how or if the system may rely on it for my efficiency.

As I try to learn the program, I continue to run into discrepancies between what's on my screen and what's in the 1.03 manual. It's definitely hindering the process.

The biggest challenge of any task manager for me is that it has to save more time than it consumes in administration. (There seems to be a whole class of people who don't mind spending lots of time administering their organizational tools; it provides them with compensatory peace of mind that makes the time seem like a worthy tradeoff. I'm not among them.) OF looks like it could be the one I've been looking for, but I do have this sense that effective use of it may be a rather nuanced thing, and I want to learn the underlying model as well as the tool.

But I won't ever read an entire book like the GTD book by Allen in order to understand an organizational system. It would take a year for any system to save me enough time to make up for reading the book, and there's no guarantee going in that it will do so.

So please, push to get your up to date manual out at the very least, and keep producing good tutorial videos.


We hoped to have the updated manual ready much sooner, but our page-layout expertise is all tied up in Macworld preparations right now! The good news is that I just posted an interim version of the manual (not that pretty, but certainly readable). Here's a direct address, as it's not linked from the OmniFocus web page yet:

Thanks very much for your feedback, and I hope this helps you become more familiar with OmniFocus. By the way, the searchable onscreen help in OmniFocus is always up to date for the version of the application you're using, and for the most part it has the same content as the manual; just choose OmniFocus Help from the Help menu.

As for the Focus button, it's still there, but we revised the default toolbar in version 1.5. You can see all of the available toolbar buttons by choosing Customize Toolbar from the View menu.

Thanks again, and let us know if you run into any other problems.
The GTD book is a pretty quick read, especially if you are only planning to use OmniFocus and can just skim over all of the pages devoted to how to organize your filing cabinet, etc. The actual mechanics of GTD aren't very complicated. The new screencast mentioned here is also good.

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