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I'm not saying I'm an expert at OmniFocus, or GTD. But I thought maybe I'd talk through everything I did to get to Macworld '08 (booth #602 if you're in town), as a concrete example to help people who feel they're still missing the big picture. Please feel free to add your concrete examples, or ask further questions about mine.

1) At the bottom of my library, I have a folder called "Templates". Inside is a "Packing List" project in On Hold. I created this project a while ago, so a week before my trip, I just duplicate it and drag it up towards the top of my library. I change my copy to Active and rename it Macworld Packing List. Set the due date to January 13th, since I'm catching a flight early on the 14th.

2) My project is already in parallel, with several groups that are also in parallel. One group is "toiletries", another is "chores before I leave", etc. I add a new group (also parallel) called "Macworld-specific" and add some actions like "business cards" and "gel soles for shoes". Most things have a 'home' context, but these two get "work" and "errands" (respectively) so I'll remember to get them home before I need to pack them. Also, I set their due dates to Friday, so they are already handy when I pack on Sunday.

3) When I bring the business cards and shoe gels home Friday afternoon, I clear their due dates and change their contexts to 'home', so I will remember to pack them. (If I were more rigorous, I might have separate "buy shoe gels" and "pack shoe gels" tasks.) I also go through my "housekeeping" project and flag everything that I really need to do before I go, like "launder dark clothes". I also flag the Macworld packing project. Now I can turn on the "flagged" filter for the next couple days and make sure I take care of all this stuff.

4) As I start packing Sunday afternoon, I check things off my list. "Charge cell phone" reminds me to plug in my cell phone. Even though the phone is inches from my bag while it's charging, I don't check it off, because it's not in the bag. If I decide not to take something, I delete it, so next time I can look back and see what I brought. If I add something to the bag, I add it to the list.

5) Right before bed, I can look and see that I'm down to just a few tasks to handle in the morning:
* pack phone (it's still charging)
* check email
* pick up reservation print-outs (@work)
* empty trash (oops! hope my sweetie does it while I'm gone)
* pack computer

6) This morning I woke up and popped open OmniFocus. It reminded me to grab my phone, check email, and write "pick up printouts" on my hPDA. 14 hours later, I still haven't thought of anything I forgot.

7) When I get home, I'll think over the trip (and check my hPDA) to see if there's something I should have brought. Then I'll add it to my template "packing list" project.

Last edited by Lizard; 2008-01-14 at 08:11 PM.. Reason: adding details about flagging
 
This is a great example. I just started using Omnifocus two days ago. Till now I have just made a task dump and given a rough structure to my tasks. I visited these forums to get an idea of how to best organize everything. Your process flow will certainly help, especially at the beginning. I can incorporate such routines/methodologies right from the start. Thanks.
 
Lizard , I"m curious about your use of the hpda .. is it just strictly for things added when you're not near your computer , or does it contain items from your Omni Focus lists ?
Just for fun I printed a few of my lists into 3x5 format and they work quite well that way .
I'd like to hear more about how you make these work together .
 
I don't have a printer, so my hPDA is strictly handwritten at this point. My grocery list actually never goes into OmniFocus. I just write that stuff on my hPDA so it's with me in the grocery store. It's also my on-the-go capture that I *try* to transfer into OmniFocus when I get home.
 
I do pretty much the same thing, but using Clifton's script Populate Template Placeholders. The script works great and avoid almost all manual customization (i.e. changing dates, editing the trip destination, etc.).
 
Making a packing list and came across your post. Thanks!
 
 


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