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My GTD Set-up with Omni Focus Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
2 of the 3 mentioned sound more like reference material than actionable items, no? That's not to say it wouldn't be valuable to have them at your fingertips, but depending on how extensive your database ends up, and how static the reference material is, you might want to store them in a different fashion to keep the application as speedy as possible. At the moment, Omni recommends that the iPhone database be kept to 1,000 actions or less for performance reasons, though it isn't a hard limit. So, your quote collection, for example, you might want to maintain in a PDF file, still using OmniFocus' clipping services to snag quotes as you encounter them for later inclusion in the file, rather than having dozens of actions with one quote each.

My reading list I maintain as a couple of projects. I assign contexts appropriate to how I'll acquire the reading material (bookstore, various library branches, loan, Amazon, read online, etc.) I don't have a lot of material that I need to read by a specific date, so I'm mostly interested in keeping track of things that look interesting, and scheduling doesn't play much of a role for me.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SMDM View Post
I am just trying out Omnifocus. Previously, I implemented GTD using Palm and PC, but have now switched to Mac and iphone, getting severely disorganized in the transition. One specific question (of many floating around in my head): How do people manage lists such as "books to read," "travel items," "quote collections" in Omnifocus? Thanks for any suggestions.
I put that kind of thing in my "Just Info" folder, a folder full of single-action lists, with a "lists" context on each action. My List context is inactive, keeping the actions from ever showing on my lists of actions to work on.

If the list contains something that I actually want to trigger, then I tend to put a repeating task somewhere in my active hierarchy of projects.

So for example, I have a repeating "Activate something from Work To Read" action. When it comes up, and if I think I'll have time to read something, I go to the Work To Read list in Just Info, pick something, and give it an active context. Changing the context makes the item appear in my lists of actions to work on. I could also have moved the action to some active project, but I'm happy leaving it where it is. That way if it turns out that I was wrong and I won't have time to read it soon, I just change the context back to Lists and it retreats to its proper place again.

If I don't want the list to trigger anything, I just leave the stuff in Get Info and I know I'll see it in my weekly review. If it's a long list, I may instead just have a placeholder action that links to an OmniOutliner document containing the list. When I get a faster Mac, I may fold some of these lists back into OmniFocus, because I do prefer to have them there.

Gardener
 
Thank you Gardener and whpalmer for taking the time to write out those very helpful replies.

Does someday/maybe work best as a context or project?
 
How about as a folder of projects? No reason you can't do some planning on a someday/maybe project even if you aren't going to start executing right now.
 
Why a PDF file specifically?

Last edited by SMDM; 2008-10-03 at 05:20 PM..
 
Why PDF? Oh, that was just a file format that came to mind that is easy to produce and that I know the iPhone can display. I suppose if you are going to edit it, there are easier choices yet. My first thought was OmniOutliner, of course, but that doesn't work on the iPhone.
 
I have a folder called FUN under my 20,000 foot folder. I created a project called BOOKS where I keep a lot of different actions including books to read or buy.

Amazon Kindle - Might Buy
Organize books as a reading queue - Someday
Book title - Might Buy
Etc.

I tried using Amazon's Wish List as well as Outlook Notes but this method is the first one where I feel like the items are really a part of my GTD system.

- Mark
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by whpalmer4 View Post
How about as a folder of projects? No reason you can't do some planning on a someday/maybe project even if you aren't going to start executing right now.
I agree :) This is how I use OF. I have so many things I want to get to someday, it's nice to know they are already organized into projects when I am ready to tackle them. For me, placing them all in one folder with a Someday / Maybe context would be a mess and would take me a lot of time to look through.

Even for the "maybe I'll get to this someday" actions, I try to assign a context whenever possible (Errands, phone calls, design, maintenance, etc.). For me, this allows the someday / maybe things to happen sooner.

If the action really is for sometime in the future with no immediate need or deadline, I just don't assign a context. This lets me know it is not important, or doesn't have to be attended to relatively soon. If the action receives a context, it is more important, and if I assign dates to it, it is a must do :)
 
I've been a long time Life Balance user, but have begun looking at Omni Focus for two reasons.

1. Ease of Entry vs. Life Balance - Without a doubt, working within OF is the fastest of any of the products I have tried for quick entry of stray items. And if I don't get the information entered, the system will never become trusted.

2. The Review Perspective and ability to soar higher.

Given that, I'm starting with three TLF's (Top Level Folders).

Working for the Man - This is my day to day job focus. Things I do to put food on the table.

Working for the Future - There is a term from the Neal Stephenson novel, Cryptonomicon of F*** You Money. It is defined as "any amount of money allowing infinite perpetuation of wealth necessary to maintain a desired lifestyle without needing employment or assistance from anyone." This folder holds anything related to investements, savings, future careers, whatever it takes to hit that threshold.

Achieving Balance - I didn't want to fall into the Home/Work context again because I find that makes it hard to rise above the noise. So, this section is sort of zen like to me. It involves things I have to do to maintain a stress-free life (orderly and peaceful environment, staying healthy, taking time to sip the coffee (smelling the roses is highly overrated).

On a day-to-day basis, the TLF's don't really come into play. Where they do help is in the review sessions. I do a seperate review for each focus point, and really try to look at every activity from the perspective of that high level.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SMDM View Post
I am just trying out Omnifocus. Previously, I implemented GTD using Palm and PC, but have now switched to Mac and iphone, getting severely disorganized in the transition. One specific question (of many floating around in my head): How do people manage lists such as "books to read," "travel items," "quote collections" in Omnifocus? Thanks for any suggestions.
Personally, I create simple lists (in OmniOutliner). I have a "Quotes" list, a "Books to read", a "Travel checklist", a "Gift ideas", etc.

For some of these I have generic single-action "reminder"-type lists in OF:
I have a "Reviews" project with recurrent actions to remind me of higher horizon reviews. In the notes of this project I have links to my "Weekly Review" checklist, my 20-40,000ft mind maps (made with OmniGraffle), and my vision and goals documents, which means I'll have these just a click away when it's time to review.

Actually, I find myself using the notes a lot in OF, both for single actions and for projects for listing project support information and for linking to web pages or other documents on my Mac, e.g. in the note for "Arrange travel to Rio" I'll have a link to the OO doc "Travel checklist".

I've not at all reached a stage of coherent use of OF and GTD, but I feel like I'm steadily progressing.
 
 


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