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Non-GTD workflow using OmniFocus Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
I've been using OF since it was first released, and bought the iPhone version when it was released. I learned the GTD process and made a serious try at using. It just didn't make sense for me. The vast majority of my work is structured for me. The number of tasks I have is relatively small. I don't have many, if any, large complicated projects. I've come to the conclusion that all I really need is a simple straightforward task list.

But I've got OF and I still use it. I've tried others, including the to do list in iCal. But have come back to OF.

The main reason is the event capture capability and the linking to email. Most of the stuff that I really need a task manager for comes to me in email. Most of it is peripheral to my main job. Being able to process the email, identify the task to be completed and put off in OF to deal with later when I have time is really important to me. And it is crucial that I have a solid link back to the email, as it usually contains information or documents I need to complete the task.

The clip-o-tron 3000 feature is the best I've tried. It and the quick entry feature make OF worth it for me. And being able to capture tasks with my iPhone when away from my MBP is another plus.

The display of the task list is preferable to more simplistic task managers, even though I don't need to do anything with "focusing" or creating a bunch of perspectives.

After trying to use a variety of contexts, I've gone to a simple list. I have four contexts. The major one is "Anywhere". It is what I use for most tasks.

I have another that is labeled "Email". This is pure personal preference. I use it for emails that I get that I can't deal with immediately, or establish a task from. It is for email that I want to read and deal with later. I could use a folder in, but have found that I prefer to create a task with the clip-o-tron that gets put in with the rest of my other tasks.

The third context is "Waiting" for tasks that I am waiting on someone for a reply.

The last is "Maybe" for those ideas and tasks that I might do someday.

With essentially one context, Anywhere, I've created a simple task list.

I still have several life areas of responsibility in the project view and under each I have a Single Action list folder titled with "(area of responsibility) - to do" and use these as the projects assigned to tasks. I may eventually abandon this and just have one project folder of single action lists titled to do.

As an aside, I also use OmniOutliner as an organizer and copy emails into outlines on numerous topics to which they apply. Between OF and OO I am able to be very organized and follow inbox zero technique easily and very quickly.

OmniFocus is probably overkill for me. I don't know if I would spend the money if I had to do it all over again, but it is possible to structure it as a simple task list. And the powerful quick integration with is what makes it worthwhile for me.

I find the use of OF, OO, and iCal a better solution for task management, organizer, and mail management than the other good option, that is, going completely with Google Mail, Calendar and Tasks.
Yes I am also a relatively simple user at this point. I have around 20 projects, though my context list has started to grow and I even tried a few perspectives.

Like you I'm of the philosophy of learning to use the things your have paid for. I'm amazed (jealous?) at the people who seem to be able to afford to buy 6 similar products and then throw 5 away after finding the one they prefer. I just don't have that kind of personal research budget. :-)

Things for iPhone looked good probably would have done the job, but I had already bought OmniFocus for Mac so I figured I would stick with the one I had paid for and learn how to use it properly, rather than scouring the internet for more alternatives to buy.

Needless to say, the fruit this is bearing is that I am actually using OF to do things instead spending too much time on systems and ways to do things.

Merlin Mann walks a fine line between doing things and doing productivity systems. He seems to get it right personally, but I wonder if all the readers do.
Originally Posted by Rockyroad View Post
Merlin Mann walks a fine line between doing things and doing productivity systems. He seems to get it right personally, but I wonder if all the readers do.
Probably not... ;-) And I'm probably one of those who, in your view, spends too much time on the process and too little time on actually, well, getting things done.

That said, I do use the full suite of Omni tools (Focus, Plan, Graffle, Outliner) and I like to be able to plan and review at any of the horizons using these tools because they just look & feel and integrate so well with each other. I've implemented a GTD-like work flow and I use all the contexts and have added my own as well, but I sometimes wonder if it could be made simpler, so your post made me think... I guess I'll revise my contexts on my next 20,000 ft review :-)
The problem is - all these things starting with Omni are such fun to use :-)

I'm still scratching the surface of OO and OG. OO is my next goal to learn about after I bed-in with OF.

And don't all the staff at work love OmniDazzle when I use it in a presentation - I still haven't told them its free now ;-)
Make sure to check out the screencasts for OmniFocus to give you a better idea of how to utilize OmniFocus even more. There were quite a few features I didn't explore until I saw the screencasts.

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