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My OF Application, mostly "Rolling Actions" Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Hello OF aficionados, this is my first post on the forums after roughly a week of experimenting with OmniFocus. I have yet to read GTD, but have done a bit of online research (here and elsewhere) and personal tinkering and have come up with the following tentative workflow for my daily management needs. I post this here as a place where I can a) lay it out for personal reflection and b) possibly get some input from the GTD gurus.

My personal setup is a combination of several apps and ideas, namely Kinkless Desktop, OmniFocus, Evernote, DeliciousSafari, Quicksilver, and trusty pen and paper.

On the desktop...
  • My desktop contains the following folders: Archive, Inbox, Outbox, Pending, Projects, and Reference
  • All items I want to save for personal use go in the Archive folder
  • All downloads, incoming texts or items go in Inbox folder
  • All uploads, outgoing texts or items go in Outbox folder
  • All items that are not directly related to a Project go in Pending folder
  • All items that are directly related to a Project go in Projects folder (thanks nikpel!)
  • All completed Projects have their contents compressed and moved from Projects folder to Reference folder (thanks nikpel!)

In OmniFocus...
  • My Library contains the following folders: Rolling Actions, Today, This Week, This Month, This Quarter, This Year, Someday/Maybe, Academics, and Miscellaneous
  • The Rolling Actions folder contains several Single-Action Lists named Today, This Week, This Month, This Quarter, This Year, and Someday. These Single-Action Lists contain things I want to address within those time horizons, with "Today" generally containing actions due in three days or less.
  • Additionally, the Rolling Actions folder contains a Single-Action List named Shopping List which should probably be filed elsewhere, but I have moved it higher in the Projects view so I can see it more clearly.
  • The Today, This Week, This Month, This Quarter, This Year, Someday/Maybe, Academics, and Miscellaneous folders are where I place projects that I want to address within those time horizons.
  • Additionally, the Someday/Maybe folder contains a Single-Action List named "Future Purchases" for things I'd like to buy after they have fallen just behind the cutting edge, or I've accrued additional funds.
  • The Academics folder contains a project for each class I am taking this semester. Assignments for each class are placed as actions for those projects. When a conflict arrises between Academics and any other list, Academics takes priority (ie: "Buy PRS Clicker" is something I need for MAR3023, but could also go on the Shopping List. I file it under MAR3023)
  • The Miscellaneous folder contains thought patterns and templates like "OmniFocus Review" (found on an omni-blog, cannot remember the link right now... thanks all the same!)
  • Items with an asterisk at the end of their name have a subfolder in Projects folder (thanks nikpel!)
  • I have perspectives that let me see the Single-Action List and matching folder for each time horizon, but generally cycle from the standard Projects, Due, and Flagged views.

On paper...
  • I keep a red moleskine notebook and a favorite pen in my bag, and use it as my catch-all capture throughout the day. When I have spare time before class or sitting at home, I transfer items from paper to OF and tick each off on my handwritten list.

In conclusion... The "Rolling Actions" and time horizons are methods I've picked up from my father, who has had a legal pad in his briefcase broken down to "Today, This Week, Next Week" columns for as long as I can remember. For the most part, these are not rigid timelines, but guides for when to address actions as opposed to when to do them. Items can be shuffled from Today to This Week, to Next Week, and back, depending on their priority and how I feel about them. It is for this reason I like the term "horizon" instead of "due date." I realize I haven't utilized the idea of "projects" to it's fullest, but at this stage in my life I find my tasks are more standalone actions than full projects. I realize now upon reading it over that this looks complicated, and I am looking into simplifying the system, but for now it seems to be working. Any input and advice would be appreciated, so far I am loving OmniFocus. Thanks!

Additionally, screenshots of my OF layout:

Click for full size - Uploaded with plasq's Skitch

Click for full size - Uploaded with plasq's Skitch

Last edited by cfriend; 2009-08-31 at 12:06 AM..
Very interesting approach to timelines -- an area of OF which I haven't been happy with. I'm wondering if I can integrate this with my more standard Projects breakdown... Thanks for posting this.

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