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With the backup and mobileme sync, I fully trust OmniFocus with my data.

I LOVE the way I can organize projects and create dependencies.

I like how it the context lists work but sometimes I wish I could reorder actions within them.

The only thing that I'm really missing in OmniFocus is the ability to create an ordered list of actions that I need to do today.

The way I work with Omnifocus now requires me to go from context list to context list looking for things that I need to do which means I have to reevaluate each list everytime I look at them. I'm very busy and this is kind of exhausting. It would be awesome if I could choose the actions that I'm going to do (out of any project or context) and place them in the order I need to do them so I have a single, correctly ordered list to work from. Is this possible in OmniFocus? I follow the GTD method very closely (just to head off those that say there is no such thing in GTD) but find that only looking through context lists keeps me from building a focused plan for the day. Any advice would be great! Maybe there is another way I can solve my problem without at "Today" list. Thanks for listening.
 
One tactic for doing this is to devote the Flag to marking the items you want to do today. Then you just use the "Due or Soon" action selector in the Context view to show those actions. You'll get all actions which either have a due date in the past, in whatever upcoming period you've designated as "Due Soon" (see the Preferences), or are flagged. You can narrow it down to only the flagged items by using the Flagged items only selector, then turn it off to work the due items, then go to Available items if you've still got time and energy left in the day.
 
Thanks for the reply whpalmer4. It seems that I have no trouble capturing, processing and organizing my actions but… then there is the doing part. I've been struggling with how to deal with doing in a focused manner using OmniFocus. Do you have any advice? How do you do the "doing" phase with OmniFocus?
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sriggs View Post
Thanks for the reply whpalmer4. It seems that I have no trouble capturing, processing and organizing my actions butů then there is the doing part. I've been struggling with how to deal with doing in a focused manner using OmniFocus. Do you have any advice? How do you do the "doing" phase with OmniFocus?
It depends on how flexible your schedule is. If I have to be somewhere (i.e. in the office, on days I teach or have morning meetings), I'll go there and then select all available contexts. If I have more flexibility, I tend to begin my day by looking over a few perspectives: Due Soon/Overdue; Flagged (for important things); and Tickler (projects & actions with today as a start date). Based on that, I'll decide which contexts are most important, and therefore where I need to go--my study at home, my office at work, the library, or somewhere else. I'll select the appropriate contexts and work from them. Or, if I need to work in only one or two areas of responsibility, I'll first select those folders in Planning mode, then switch to Context mode and select the contexts that are available.

Then, when I get to where I think I should be, I start to do actual work. That takes will power. It's easy for systems like GTD or software like OmniFocus to become excuses for not working. At a certain point you have to turn away from the system and do what it tells you to do.

A regular review is important too, because that's where you can decide whether you've been spending your time wisely. If you review your projects regularly, you'll feel a lot better about the decisions you make about what to do at any given moment.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sriggs View Post
How do you do the "doing" phase with OmniFocus?
Doing? Who said anything about doing?!? No wonder my database is so big :-)
 
@brianogilvie: Thanks for the detailed description. I suppose what is getting me is how to make a list of the things I have decided to do so I don't have to keep scanning my context lists while I'm trying to get actions completed.

@whpalmer4: Thanks for the laugh. I've been thinking about your comments earlier and I've not liked the flagged perspective because I couldn't manually reorder it. I've been thinking, since I don't use folders in my project view, my projects are naturally in order from oldest to newest. This means that flagged items end up in that same order, oldest first from the top. This is actually somewhat useful.
 
You know, I forgot about your wish to be able to order the list arbitrarily, sorry about that! I often find myself quickly glancing over the short list until something catches my eye as what I want to do next, somewhat akin to Mark Forster's Autofocus system, perhaps, or maybe just an interest in avoiding the unpleasant stuff for a little bit longer!

If you really want to make a list in a specific order, you can copy and paste or drag and drop the actions into TextEdit or OmniOutliner. They'll turn into links back to the actions in OmniFocus, so as you do each one, you can click on it to go check it off in OmniFocus, then delete it from the TextEdit doc.
 
 


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