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Implementing "Making it Work." Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
A year ago I read David Allen's Getting Things Done and started to implement it. I then purchased OmniFocus. However after a shor while I was lost in a see of entries that swam before my eyes. I dropped the whole thing.

I just finished a very studied read of Making it All Work" and am giving this another try. As I try to use OF, I'm wondering how people are applying the concepts from Making It Work? Projects and actions are obvious. But he has a larger hierarchy.

But at one level higher he refers to Outcomes. Under Outcomes are Purpose, Principles, Vision,Goals & Objectives, Projects & Waiting for others.

At the same level as Outcomes are Actions, Incubating, Support etc.

Are people using OF to organize all this and if so, within OF how are people doing it.

I use OmniOutliner to create my project's outcomes, purposes, visions, etc.

Then I put my tasks/next actions into OmniFocus. I find it works better that way for me. OmniOutliner (or whatever outline program you choose) may be better suited to creating the outcome, purpose, vision statement than OmniFocus. OmniFocus is better suited as the task manager for your next actions.

Making It All Work basically expands on issues that were touched upon in the first GTD book.

If you're drowning in a sea of entries, use OmniFocus' review function. I remembered being in the same boat. GTD beginners like me would go wild and crazy about doing the collecting part. But once we got the collection phase down, we were drowning in a huge list tasks.

The weekly review is used to help us look at our list of tasks, activate which ones we will be doing today and bring more focus on what the next actions are.

I use the weekly review to start purging things that I once thought were important to me. These can be tasks that have no consequence if I do or not do them at all. I also purge by delegating tasks to other people who are better equipped or better skilled than me (such as doing my taxes).

I have a someday/maybe folder that holds all the projects and tasks that are on the backburner. During the weekly review, I can look at them and decide which ones to turn back into active status.

Then use the view bar and set it to show Next Actions instead of Remaining Actions. This helps narrow your focus down to what the next actions are.

Check out the OmniFocus screencasts. They're really helpful in learning about using the perspective function in OmniFocus.

Perspective are the way to go in using OmniFocus. Perspectives allows us to set up windows with particular view settings to fit different needs. I have a "Due" perspective that shows my next actions sorted by due dates. I have a "review" perspective that allows me to perform my weekly review. Then I have a "Big Rocks of The Week" perspective which basically shows tasks that are flagged. Then I have a "Next Action" perspective which shows only the next actions available to me.

Use perspectives help you to manage that huge task list down to a manageable size.
I've started a process like wilsonng (who is using OG), only I'm using Single Action Lists to represent each of the levels of horizon, AKA Perspectives (in MIAW). I'm using the notes of the those containers for my text. I think the main thing is to review those perspectives at intervals appropriate to your needs. I've set review intervals suggested in MIAW as baselines, but of course dive into any of those whenever I feel the need. I also use mind mapping, which I've found to be useful, and while there is some overlap in my mind map and perspectives, it hasn't bothered me; in fact it gives me new angles.

I'm certainly no master at the use of perspectives, but I think a key is to review and update them, and that will help with your action, etc., planning.

In terms of the long lists swimming before your eyes and having a numbing effect, setting varying review intervals for your projects is very useful. I.e., set a review interval of a week, month, 3 months, or a year for projects depending on their need. That will reduce the volume you review during your weekly review. I've found that when I run my review perspective, that just by looking at a project, I can often say to myself: 'I'm good with that for now', without even looking at the actions, and then press cmd-shift-R to mark it as reviewed. Next! The single-action lists are a bit more tricky, because each action has its own meaning.

Good luck.


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