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GTD versus getting things done Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
The program _is_ surprisingly hard to understand for such a simple thing.

Hopefully there will be some good documentation coming down the line. At this point, the forums are the only real source, and there is a large noise to signal, and older posts are not necessarily accurate because the app has evolved.

As someone who has read a ton of forum postings and as someone who uses OmniFocus every day (and has preordered it), I still have to confess that I don't get the subtle distinctions between project and bucket and ?folder, or the way that settings cascade or not to child tasks.

Another thing: I have no problem with GTD orthodoxy -- the app shouldn't be be all things to all people. But I hope that the documentation isn't too Ethan-centric, because his take on GTD is a bit narrow and doesn't reflect the only orthodox approach.
Originally Posted by VicDiesel View Post
Yeah, but filters are globally over a perspective, not per project.
And for a sequential projects Available and Next Actions are one in the same. So, the Available filter will also do what you want for sequential projects.

Originally Posted by iNik View Post
As a former Kinkless user, computer guru, etc., I agree 100%. As powerful as OmniFocus is, it is rather opaque to new users. I found it INCREDIBLY intimidating, and didn't even mess with the alpha versions for quite some time, since I just didn't feel like I had the energy to learn such a complex program.

For starters, OmniFocus has a very defined workflow built into it. (I have to disagree with "it's flexible enough to handle [non-GTD]" as it's extremely tightly married to GTD methodology.) This integrated workflow makes OF extremely jargon-heavy, with contexts and projects that mean VERY specific things, perspectives, review dates, two different kinds of repetition, "focusing", the view bar (which continues to convince people that they've lost data), buckets, completed vs. held vs. next vs. available, and more.

Some of its features are probably alien to novice users (quick entry, mail rules, even iCal synchronization), too. And none of this even includes the massive ability to customize the look of it, the options of folders vs. sub-projects vs. sub-contexts, etc.

So, what to do?

Well, firstly, this is without question a "power user" application, and one with a moderately steep learning curve. If you just want to check off items, you'll find lots of alternatives.

Secondly, it needs documentation, and probably two forms of documentation. A reference for all the features, and also a nice hand-holding guide through the methodology, jargon and features of OmniFocus. (Ethan's screencasts are a great step in this direction!)

Since it's in beta, documentation is pretty sparse. This will improve, as Omni has very high standards for documentation.

It also might be possible to generalize some of the jargon (OmniOutliner hardly requires you to understand outlining terms like ancestor, sibling, cousin, etc.), and I think the view bar needs some usability polish (although I couldn't begin to say how, only that it's a bit confusing). But, in the end, this program is ideal for folks who take the time to learn it. It's a very powerful tool, and the time spent getting up to speed pays off handsomely.

I'm sorry you found it so frustrating, but I hope you find some comfort in the fact that many of us found OF intimidating, but got used to it after a few days of monkeying around.
I am looking at OmniFocus for the first time and it is a very steep curve I see before me and potentially addictive into the bargain.

All my work is divided into Projects (Individual Client Jobs) and various Home, Family, Education etc have specific iCal Calendars which are placed in groups Projects Active/Projects Inactive/Family/Property/etc

In OF ideally they should be identified by the same project names as I use in iCal.

I have just come to Sync and it would appear that if I am to Sync I should of called my "Projects" "Contexts" when setting them up in OmniFocus

It would be helpful to get some pointers on how best to set up OF given one already has a up and running iCal At the present I have both a <context> and a <project> with the same name so as to be able to sync but this seems both counter intuitive and blocking all at the same time. I have read the OF texts and seen the video and it still looks a little beyond easy grasp.

Any advice? or do I hace to invest in GTD and read the manual? before I start?
IMO, you will spend a great deal of time fighting against OF if you don't buy into GTD task management principles. If you want a todo app to hold you over until you have made your mind up about GTD, I would suggest OmniOutliner. If you get the Pro version, you can even load KinklessGTD onto it for a GTD friendly stop gap solution. I think you will be able to import from Kinkless into OF if and when you are ready to take the plunge.

At this point in time, you need to at least be familiar with GTD to "get" OF. You can get the book of course, but check out if you are good at picking things up from forums. It is the poor mans place to go for GTD help without paying through the nose for a DA class or for a pricey login to the official GTD web site.

Re: OF & iCal
You will get better results if you make OF your task management hub, and use iCal for scheduled appointments (and for collecting tasks on your iPhone for tracking things when away from your Mac). BTW, Kinkless does a great job of syncing context-based task lists to iCal.
Agree with Yucca... OmniFocus was really made with the GTD principals in mind and there are hundreds of other "task lists" out there from websites to applications that will do if you don't want to follow GTD.

I agree with the initial request...

An option to see an overview of everything due that day on ONE list.

JUST what I have to do today:
next actions
scheduled due today

Maybe the makers of OF could give David a call; and ask him if it is within His guidelines for a computer software to have the option to generate one list with everything due that day.

Thank you for considering it.

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