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Does Only the Important Stuff Go into OmniFocus?...Or EVERYTHING? Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
I love doing my weekly review but when it comes time to implement my actions, I get somewhat stagnant.

When it comes time to do a Weekly Review, I throw everything in there. From that big important 10 page essay to the nitty gritty laundry, daily jogging/swimming and all goes into my inbox.

I'll create projects for everything but something about seeing such a long list in my available contexts kinda drowns me out. I'll see a bunch of available actions in many contexts and begin to think why I have such a long list, beginning to think that writing a 10 page essay does have reason to exist in my OF system, while writing in my journal doesn't really. (Though I consider writing in my journal to be of some importance as it helps me clarify thoughts concerning other areas in my life, such as health, wealth, love, etc.)

I guess i'm simply wondering how in depth people make their systems to be because I put everything in there and at the end of my WR I feel great, but the list is incredibly long when it comes time to look at my contexts and the truth is I just end up not looking at my list again till the next WR.
Surely you're not going to add such things as wash face, shave, brush teeth, check on the cat food, get out the milk, wash dishes, get paper on the porch, ... There has to be a line drawn. For me, since I'm a creature of habit, I leave all the things that are part of my daily routine (and that includes meditation) out of OF.
I use OmniFocus to help me create habits. I put projects and/or tasks on a repeating schedule until it becomes second nature to me. Then I don't bother putting it into OmniFocus.

I already know I have to pick up the kids from daycare after work. That doesn't need to be in OF. I already know that my gym routine runs Monday, Wednesday, Friday. These are habits that no longer need to be recorded.

I use OF to enter in tasks that are not on a daily or weekly schedule. Things like the one-off project for client A would go in. Or perhaps picking up a surprise gift for my wife. Any projects/tasks that don't really have a scheduled time. I do schedule things like "cut the grass". I set this task to repeat 1 month after the completion date. I had the grass scheduled to cut on March 1st. But I didn't really get around to cutting it until March 15th. So when I check off this task, OF automatically creates a new task set to start on April 15th.

I have a yearly project for my 1040 taxes. I only do my taxes once a year. So I keep it in OF. But daily and weekly tasks are automatic habits for me. I just put an alarm or an appointment in my calendar program for those types of things.

I remembered my sister used to record everything in her life - what she ate for breakfast, what time she fed the cat, how much time she spent grocery shopping, etc. It became an OCD thing for her.

I keep a journal for important thoughts, spur-of-the-moment-ideas, etc.
I saw someone online once refer to OF as "their brain" and I really like that description. Anything that I need to remember is something that I think should be entered into OF. My problems are: remembering to enter something into OF, integrating with other work-issued task management applications and using OF to manage what I enter into it.

How do you use your habit-making tool to make a habit of using the tool? Regular reminders a la "have you entered everything you need into OF today?"

And I'm still struggling with perspectives. I'm afraid that I'm either missing something I should be working on which forces me to just go through my entire list which isn't very efficient.
I use two things: an iPod touch with OmniFocus installed and a deck of 3x5 index cards held together by a small binder clip.

The 3x5 index cards is my all-purpose capture tool. I date-stamp and time-stamp every note or idea I write in. Then when I have the time, I'll enter it into OmniFocus on the iPod touch or on my Mac.

Oftentimes, I won't necessarily have the time to type it into OF on my iPod touch. It's much faster for me to just write it down and then type it in later.

So when I do have more time, I'll quickly type it into OF on my iPod touch. OmniFocus on my iPod touch is set up to sync to the Omni sync web server. So when I get in range of a wifi network, I quickly launch OF on the iPod touch and let it quickly send my new tasks to the Omni web sync server. When I get back to the office, I'll sync OF on my Mac and grab the new tasks.

I made a habit of doing a daily review.

Once in the morning to look at my calendar to see any due items within the next 7 days and my flagged items in OF (not due but some Big Rocks that I'd like to tackle today).

Then about an hour before I head home, I'll review what I accomplished today and see if there are any loose ends to tie up (i.e. inbox items that need to be processed, next actions that need to be made to advance any projects, e-mails that I will flag as something to do tomorrow). Then I'll review my calendar one more time to see what appointments, commitments I have for the next day.
I like the GTD idea of getting it off the mind. If it is something that is on your mind, then finding a way to have it off of your mind is useful. OmniFocus can help to the degree that it helps create lists that maintain things off the mind as well as helps to line present tasks alongside others.

You could use it quite well as mikegibb and wilsonng note for habit building. Personally, I have a number of tasks in there that are fairly maintenance in nature, and I largely can do without looking at OmniFocus. However, I keep them there as it helps me to look at the number of things going on as well as shaping/shifting the habits I have.
Originally Posted by HappyDude View Post
I love doing my weekly review but when it comes time to implement my actions, I get somewhat stagnant.

When it comes time to do a Weekly Review, I throw everything in there. From that big important 10 page essay to the nitty gritty laundry, daily jogging/swimming and all goes into my inbox.
Just curious. How do you use omni on health? Maybe on an exercise routine?

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Last edited by alvinpt; 2012-10-07 at 02:19 AM..
Wow. Great responses. I was surprised how many people use it so in depth for personal life. In regards to personal, I just used to remind of things like change air filters, fertilize lawn, repairs or any other things that aren't habit. For work, it's a total different ball game. I enter everything or I will forget. From purchasing materials, to quotes, individual project tasks, delegated actions, etc.

The best thing I think is one system and one system only. Also, as one poster said, initially you have to force yourself to use OF until it be ones we one nature. That's one of the pluses of OF, entry into the inbox is simple and fast and from any screen from within the app. I agree, enter more now rather than forget. Been there and done that.
Thx for the super hints here!
Originally Posted by alvinpt View Post
Just curious. How do you use omni on health? Maybe on an exercise routine?

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Hey, I have a few free hours to get myself composed and decided to scour these forums. I come here every once in a while and love opening multiple threads in tabs and have myself a good read while drinking tea or eating a chicken sandwich or something.

lol, anyways!

As for health, I've focused in the past on nutritional health and physical as well. The physical includes different action items and for the better part of summer and this fall i've had a swimming action, jogging, lifting weights at the gym and performing a pullup bar challenge with my bar at home. All are daily recurring actions except jogging as too much running stresses my left knee; no need to overdo it.

As for nutritional its a simple action telling me to input all the food items I ate that particular day. It was a recurring action that popped up every 4 hours, as I used to snack and graze quite a bit. Then that got annoying so it was a nightly action, more so part of a nightly review... and then after it became a habit so that action/project doesn't exist anymore.

The exercising actions are still present, and rightfully so primarilly due to the fact that if they were not then lifting heavy weights, swimming long laps and jogging fast miles can easily be be turned into an excuse not to go. The thing about exercising is that if you don't go one day, you'll most likely miss the second and then third and before you know it you've not exercised in two weeks.

I used to be an extreme tracker of everything and it's a bit pleasing to read this thread and compare my ever-changing perspectives on GTD and my approach with OmniFocus which is with me all the damn time. I created this thread so many months ago and the dynamic of GTD has changed in a more profound manner. I used to be (years ago in OmniFocus) all about tracking, capturing and cataloging, but for some months now I've enjoyed and looked forward in tweeking my OmniFocus system just for the sake of testing some new aspect out in hopes of getting better. I've fiddled with my contexts, project allocation and structures, etc, etc etc... and am estactic that the word DO & DOING is what its all about at the end of the day.

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