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Another attempt at implementing GTD horizons in Omnifocus Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
I took the document example from the end of David Allen's Making Things Work and shaped my OmniFocus document to match for each major domain I am tracking. It's working really well so far. The best part is that the context view will culminate all the purpose, principals, visions, goals and areas of focus into one list. It took some work to setup but it seems like the most reasonable implementation of the GTD horizons I've tried so far. So far, every time that I do something like this, I end up going back to the no folders, all single actions go into Miscellaneous setup. It's so much simpler when things are really busy. It seems that I can get turned off by too much organization. Especially if it takes too much time. But I've always been missing the upper horizons. Comments, criticisms, other ideas? Enjoy...

This is also something I've never been able to implement.

My opinion on this... is it could be done in an outlining fashion.

The way I work with outlining is, create a project, then list all actions that I know it would take to complete the parent.

If I get to an action that isn't really an action, then I create children of it that move that parent toward completion.

In my ideal world, this is how I see horizons of focus working. It's not implementable in OmniFocus. It's not implementable because you can't complete folders, and to attempt to organize by using folders to create an outline appears maddening. I've tried this a couple times but it breaks down when I attempt to list my life purpose and principles. I create a folder for each of the visions, then a folder for the goals and objectives inside of the vision, then areas of focus, but when I get down to the project level I have so many different nests of folders that it is difficult to see all the projects easily. It's also difficult to remember what horizon I should be listing out at that folder outline level. Even having the ability to change folder colors would help. The other difficulty is to easily find horizons of focus that don't have any projects in them and are not moving forward.

Visions and life purpose may not be completable, as these are things for me to strive toward. For the 40,000 levels and down, those are completable long term goals. Putting them in a folder doesn't allow me to complete it. I know this is a small thing, but I want to be able to complete a long term goal.

In order to do this in OmniFocus, I think there would need to be some sort of outlining structure that would walk me through creating goals and life purpose. A structure that would not rely on folders, be outlineable, and have the different horizons labeled so I know what horizon I am working on.

I would like the ability to complete long term goals when I reach them. The ability to review long term goals like we do with projects so I can make sure they are on track. I envision being able to zoom in and out of those horizons, only looking at what is on each level and not seeing all the projects.

Starting with 50k, life purpose, I would only see the children of it... 40k, children. I would list out the children, then zoom in to that first child and only see the 30k, list out the children there. Then zoom into the 20k. However, this could be maddening as well. I would want to see the entire outline in case I needed to move a vision or goal around.

For example:
If I have a 50,000 level of life purposes. I take the first life purpose and then brainstorm... what would this look like in 5 years. This would be my 40,000 foot.

Then I take the first 40,000 foot level and ask, how can I move this vision closer to completion under 5 years.

This would be my 30,000 and ask, what can I do to move this forward in under 3 years. This would be my goals and objectives.

Then take that first goal and ask, what can I do to move this forward in under a year.

Then I take that first area of focus and list out what projects would it take for me to complete this. These would be my projects. Then I take the project and ask, what actionable steps do I need to do to move the project forward. These are actions.

One problem I've found with this method is GTD breaks at the 20,000 level. Allen calls this areas of focus. But when I've gone through this in the book, there seems to be a gap between areas of focus and the goals and objectives. That is to say, areas of focus don't tie into completing goals and objectives. They are more areas of responsibility, and some of those responsibilities fall outside of vision. Things like... changing the oil, and all the mundane things that we do. True, I could create a hierarchy with a vision of something like... be a responsible human or be self sufficient or just a maintenance vision or goal. However, every time I've attempted to do this, I hit a roadblock with the organizing of it all.

It's almost as if the areas of focus are outside of the goals or outside of the horizons all together. Projects are under the goals, vision and other horizons.

Completing a project should move me forward toward a goal, which should move me forward toward a Vision, which should move me toward my life purpose. Areas of focus is the red headed stepchild of things outside my life purpose.

In theory, I should be able to start at the bottom with all the things that are taking up psychic space, and then ask myself, where does this project belong in my 50,000, or any of the other levels. Then objectively look at the horizons and see what I want in my life, things that I don't want I can then say no to or just resign myself that they are things that I need to do to keep my life running. And then add visions, purpose and goals and brainstorm projects that move me toward those, working up and down the horizons.

Then again, maybe I have the answer and am just resisting using folders to implement. Thanks for stirring this up again for me. Maybe it's time for me to try it again.
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Thanks for the response spiral. I see I'm not alone. Well, I was right. I have abandoned this model already. Having all of my projects organized this way is just not flexible enough for the speed that my world changes. Also, I found myself spending too much time figuring out where things are supposed to go when processing my inbox. Oh well, back to my trusted documents outside of omnifocus. Seemed like a good idea at the time. :-) Good luck to you!
I've been back and forth with this too. As I just said in another thread, I've found that this time when I've re-set up OF, I'm only putting in "true" projects (writing Successful Outcome: xxxxxxx into the note of the title). I have one SAL for maintenance type things, but that's it.(And even that isn't the big, giant list of maintenance...I keep it in OO but choose a few things to get done and put them into the SAL.)

I'm using OO for 'everything else'. So far, so good. But on what Spiral brought up about Areas of Focus being the stepchild...I've resisted the Areas of Focus label somewhat. Like you said, I don't consider it a Focus that I have all my medical info, prescription info, insurance info etc. organized and accessible. It's more an Area of Responsibility.

I'm still re-building my system. I have one OO document called Areas of Focus, but I don't like Medical living alongside of Photography. I think I'll either rename it to Areas of... and separate things that I consider to be responsibilities from things that I choose to spend my time on (Photography, Outdoor Activities, etc.). Or I may make it into two separate lists.

Thanks for the discussion.
My apologies to any red headed stepchildren out there. It was just an expression. :)

I think it's possible to do this with folders. I have some hang-ups about not being able to complete folders and what not. Along with not being able to put a folder into an 'on hold' status. But maybe these are excuses for not wanting to think about life purpose.

What stopped me before is typing out the GTD descriptions of what the horizons are. I was then creating folders underneath those descriptions and that let to over organization. That and resisting going through the 'work' of setting up the organization and thinking about what I want to shoot for in life.

Here is a mock up of how I think this could work with the current implementation of folders. I would probably get use to the indentation of folders and may not need to put 50k in front. This is where I think folder colors could come in handy to help me organize.

One nice thing about OmniFocus is the ability to focus on a folder by double clicking or selecting and then clicking on the focus button. This would allow me to zoom in and out of horizons.

Another nice thing about using folders is... everytime I create a new project, I would need to place it into the hierarchy. I would be reminded why I'm doing the project and how it relates to the big picture.

I chose End World Hunger as a life purpose for this example. While this goal is full of hubris, it was the first thing that popped into my mind. I won't have this as a life purpose in my own focus, but encourage others if they feel led. :)

Why not shoot big for life purpose? Life purpose doesn't have to be attainable. It's a driving force that propels you through life and helps to motivate. Anyway, enough rambling... here is an example of what horizons could look like in OmniFocus.

I haven't gone through this with my own projects. My plan is to go through each project and ask myself... why am I doing this project, then create the goal, vision and life purpose. Just like GTD, I'll start from the bottom up. Then look at the life purpose, and weed out what doesn't feel right to me. Work my way top down to bottom.

The real test is to see how much overhead this adds to daily living and processing of GTD.
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Originally Posted by daymnaf09 View Post
Not to sound too harsh, but WHY would you even come here to try to secure interviews after all of the hard facts that have just been presented to you? Your chances of finding legal work are zero.
Did you post this in the wrong thread?
Originally Posted by SpiralOcean View Post
Did you post this in the wrong thread?
If you look at the other posts from this user, you'll see that they are all equally nonsensical, and that the homepage linked in the profile offers Russian mail order yes, they posted in the wrong thread :-)
Originally Posted by whpalmer4 View Post
If you look at the other posts from this user, you'll see that they are all equally nonsensical, and that the homepage linked in the profile offers Russian mail order yes, they posted in the wrong thread :-)
Brilliant work whpalmer4! :)

Such an odd thing to do. I wonder what payoff the forum member gets from this? Posting in the forum doesn't give them any clicks unless a user goes to their homepage and orders a Russian bride. It's a strange world we live in.
I've been suspicious of this poster since their first post, but they never had any of the usual links in their signature or posting. I only saw the homepage due to a trackpad accident, to be honest :-)
To bring this back on topic, I suspect the user has a short term goal of improving their rank in search engine results by building a network of links. Perhaps that's part of a longer term goal of seeing more lonely Russian women find happiness and fulfillment.


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