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Coaching? -I Need some for Omnifocus Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Dear Omnifocus community,

I am a pretty new user who needs a bit of coaching or someone to ask "how do I do ____" to help me get from klutzy and stymied to "oh I get it". I expect to compensate you for your time- let me know if you are available.

John aka prospterjohn
Why haven't there been more screencasts for OF??
I thought there were more planned; it would be of great help to see the program in action. I'm sure it would get many of us up to speed being able to see how it should work instead of guessing.
It's only with hindsight and having traveled (some!) of the path,
that I'll be bold enough to say that for me the currently available screencasts bear little resemblance to the actual use of the application.

I know that it must be difficult to decide on "what to cover" in a screencast, because:-
- People have different approaches to organising and interpretation of GTD.
- Copyright infringement occurs, if you talk in terms of the GTD method (so you can't cover much of the David allen approach).

The observations that I make about omnifocus are as follows:-

1) It was an extremely reliable application (it did Not crash or lose any of my entries-ever!)
2) data-base was rock solid and it had excellent automatic backup features.
3) It appearance was immaculate - looked beautiful
4) The tools and filters were extensive.
5) moving and arranging data was a breeze
6) operation in "context" mode was intuitive, instinctive and intelligent!

1) NOT flexible - I wasn't familiar with the GTD methology & omnifocus was harsh on me - from day 1. I tried to see if i could approach it from my way of working instead of the "absolute GTD approach", because of this It became a "low-level application" as i'd lost some of the powerful featues.

2) NOT instinctive/intuitive (without a GTD understanding) -
without a GTD understanding, my productivity got worse from the moment that i started using OF. The experience was a very long winded & frustrating one (hundreds of hours, months and months). If you decide to implement your own approach (instead of a GTD approach) then you may experience what i experienced (a daily struggle with the application).

3) I thought that I could learn the application in "tandem" with learning GTD. But it was an almighty struggle. (see 6)

4) I thought that OF could instinctively teach me (Learn-by-doing) the GTD method. I was sadly mistaken.

5) I found the tools powerful, but only once you apply them in a GTD fashion.

6) I believe that The planning mode is omnifocus' is the "weakest link". It behaves illogically and irrationally on many fronts (probably because it will NOT function outside the GTD approach) - I make this point in another post

7)The context mode seems to be smooth and rational

8)My personal journey has been painful and I wouldn't want anybody to go through what I have gone through.

9) So my advice is:-
- If you have the time and you have the ambition to learn how to use omnifocus effectively then learn the GTD methology first.

- If your life is so busy and you are sinking with the tasks that you need to do, then for the moment use another application (maybe have a look at omnioutliner) as OF for me did nothing else other than make me more unproductive.

- At some future date come back to OF once you have the time that you wil need to master the ideas.

- Omnifocus is NOT a testing bed for experimenting and trialling different ideas and ways of working. I have found out this the hard way. It will only work in one way - the GTD way !!

- Discriminative- I was willing to change and adapt and learn the new methods, but my entry point had to be from my current way of working. In that sense OF is NOT a very accessible application - It is very discriminative.

Finally - I don't want anyone to be under the illusion that the GTD method can be mastered quickly either - its taken time (quite a lot of time for me) to assimilate the ideas and apply the ideas to my way of thinking and doing. You will have to do the same. The GTD method is complex - but maybe others will disagree?
I respectfully disagree. I hadn't read GTD before using OmniFocus but it didn't take me long to use OF productively.

I that one thing that helped is that my expectations were not outrageous. It's just a task manager. It helps you sort them into categories. That's it.

I think I've noticed that people go wrong with trying to make the software come out with a perfect list or to come up with the perfect set of contexts.

I think it's easier (for me at least) to come up with just a few contexts that make sense to you and kind of try a couple different sorting options in the context view. Or maybe try hiding the unavailable tasks. But just try out that view for a while and see if it makes you feel comfortable with what you're doing.

I remember that in the beginning there were a couple things about the way OF sorted things that confused me. I think that once you get comfortable with the fact that all of your things to do are in there, you end up enjoying it a lot more.
Originally Posted by wayne4 View Post
The GTD method is complex
No, it isn't. At its heart, the GTD premise is this: Tasks are more successfully completed if you break them down into smaller pieces, or action steps. And those action steps are more efficiently completed if they are grouped together by common location or work area.

And here are the five basic working elements of that premise:

1. Any task that involves two or more action steps is called a project.

2. Think through (and list) the action steps that will be needed in order to complete the project, and determine where, how, when, and with whom you will complete each step.

3. That where/how/when/with whom part is what's known in GTD parlance as "context."

4. "Contexts" is where the actual work is done, where each step of every project is grouped and worked through to completion (phone calls, errands, emails, etc.).

5. Perform weekly reviews of all your projects to make sure that you keep them moving forward. During these review sessions you will drop a few projects, push others back, and modify some (dates, action steps, etc.).

That's it. I think you're making OF and GTD far more complicated than they really are. As Lucas said, OF is a task manager, simple as that. It's not a database manager like DevonThink, or a project manager like OmniPlan. It's a GTD-based task manager (a very good one), that's all.

And as for GTD? Well, if you try to organize your work in line with the basics I've listed above, maybe you'll eventually discover that it is a lot easier than you think.

One last point. You've written many posts here, wayne4, asking for help and guidance with OF. And many of us have taken the time to offer you suggestions. Have you even tried any of those suggestions? Because your reply here to prosperjohn suggests otherwise.
You make a valid point Keone!

I am fully aware that I seem to be in the minority.

"the collective opinion of many is worth far more than the single opinion of one"

I needed to know if others were having the same struggle as me. I was prepared to be in the minority.

Although I have not (personally) had much joy with omnifocus, I have been really appreciative for the advice (from you and others).

I was slowly "learning the ropes" of GTD & OF as time went by (I learnt something new each time i posted)

You may have have missed my intentions with the series of posts that I posted recently.

I wrote NOT about the present situation, but about the journey that I had traveled.
It was more about MY misconceptions and difficulties that I faced as a new user.

The intention was to inform, give feedback, help others.

I was trying to save others from the difficulties that I had struggled with. (anybody searching the forums would never see my postings unless they used the keywords in my postings).

I'm sorry if you thought that I was NOT LISTENING to your advice.

Your advice to me (along with many others) has been hugely appreciated and highly effective in shaping my mind. I was seeking the answers to my questions? from people with a higher understanding (yourselves)

So, Thank You

P.S. This will hopefully be MY last posting for a long time (unless i feel the urge to reply to further comments)

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