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Review of "Creating Flow OmniFocus"? Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Hi,

Wondering if anyone here has purchased the PDF "Creating Flow w/ OmniFocus" by Kourosh Dini (usingomnifocus.com).

I'm a long time OF user and looking to freshen up my usage - I'm feeling pretty bogged down w/ the Mac version lately - and haven't had the time to really invest in significant changes. It seems that this guide might be useful for some real-world scenarios.

However, (on principle, I suppose) the $30 price tag seems unusually high, especially for having seemingly only one online review (there are other quotes on the website w/ no working links) and several Twitter announcements. This isn't about not wanting to spend money, if this is a great guide I think it's quite reasonably priced and the author should be rewarded for his many hours spent crafting the product.

I was about to buy the PDF but found it odd that there's nothing much at all about it on these boards (especially in light of all the requests for workflow help).

Please let me know if you've purchased the guide and what you think of it.

Thanks,

Tony
 
I purchased it and have been reading it. I'm only about 1/3 of the way through (have been very busy getting things done lately) and it has only covered the "mechanics" of using OF but so far I have enjoyed it. I have been using OF for about 18 months now but have been able to learn a number of things that I didn't know by reading this book, your milage may varry though. It is well written and easy to follow although I think having a good grasp on GTD (read the GTD book) helps if you haven't already. I am looking forward to the rest of the book as I am assuming the it gets into more of a systematic way to use OF. I'll let you know how I liked it when I finish it, although based on my present schedule you may hear from many others before I get there.
 
AJR,

I purchased the PDF after getting the free sample (http://usingomnifocus.com/download-preview/) and canvassing a few people on Twitter who had also purchased it.

I am happy I got it. I have found value in it after reading half way through its 500+ pages.

What makes this unique and a complement to the Users Manual is the fact that the author, Kourosh, takes real-world examples and walks you through them step-by-step. I think this is impressive and aids learning.

I consider myself near-black belt with GTD and have a very reliable work-flow with OF. After reading to the half way point, I not only picked up some new-to-me shortcuts and tips, but I also picked up some new ways of considering entering my actions and ordering my setup. I took the opportunity with these fresh insights to implement them right away into my system (one was cosmetic: changing my fonts to a more enjoyable-to-me appearance; another: to order my routine maintenance (recurring reminders) in their own folder by week, month, quarter, semi-annual and annual; among some others).

I am paused on the chapter on Perspectives at this point. I can tell having briefly skimmed ahead, I am going to get a lot out of this section, practically and philosophically. I will need to block off some more quality quiet time so I can dig into this.

I want to assume that you have read (or at least know about) Kourosh's other GTD work on his blog. He has a five part series (that starts here: http://kouroshdini.com/2009/04/23/ho...advanced-user/) on Advanced OF topics. There is also a seven part series he has done on GTD with OF and the Pomodoro technique.

I read both of these series when he was writing them... these are indicative of his writing style and in-depth content in the "Creating Flow with OmniFocus" PDF; except, I think he upped his game in the PDF :-).

In closing, I will suggest that the best "deliverable (as it were)" is the fact that Kourosh is a trained psychiatrist. Though he doesn't (in what I've read so far) pump this fact a whole lot, you can tell in his presentation that this is a contributing factor to his approach and style. I like it. It adds credibility and authority to his methodology, presentation, and teaching. It's also refreshing to have a different perspective like this on productivity and organization.

He has a host of other talents (musician and tech geek) that also make this PDF interesting. He describes projects along the lines of these other talents that make understanding real-world use of OF a good perspective to compare with my own usage.

Well, I realize now that I have given a pretty in-depth review of half a PDF when I only was looking to give you a few quick sentences, ha!

Let me close with another interesting point of the PDF, it is a delight to read because the layout is very clean and user-friendly. I really like PDFs that make use of white-space and graphics. This PDF has been well edited. I have only found two or three very minor typos in 250 pages. That speaks to me of the planning and careful attention to detail that went into the production of this work.

So, having been a tad skeptical at first, I am happy to endorse this work as a worthwhile read (so far). I am looking forward to more thought provoking time with it and more things that I can bring to my own workflow with OmniFocus.

Hope this gives you a little more insight into Kourosh's work. I'd be happy to speak to you more about it directly if you like.

Lee
 
Lee, thank you for that review! Having access to only the iPad and iPhone version, how useful would you say this book is?

Thanks!
Marc
 
Hi Marc,

Kourosh states in the beginning of his work that the PDF is MOSTLY geared to the desktop version. In what I've read so far, there have been 2 or 3 nods to the iPhone and iPad versions... short nods.

If I remember correctly, he does make mention in some of the earlier chapters to mentioning more about the iPhone and iPad versions later in the book. However, I have not read far enough to know how extensive that gets.

Sorry I can't be more definitive... maybe an email to the author at his site?

Lee
 
This is not so much a review, just a vote in favour of this marvellous book.

I was a little reluctant to buy it at first; with so much information and advice about using OF on the web I wasn't sure that the book would add value. I am not an OF newbie and have been practicing GTD for several years, so I was unsure whether this would be more of the same information.

I was wrong, I'm only 75% through and already the book has taken my Omnifocus use and GTD practice to a new level. I would recommend it as essential reading for any OF user.
 
I can only second this. I bought the book last week and it is really really great. I am using OF on my Mac, iPhone and iPad and the book helped to significantly improve the usage and hence the value of OmniFocus.

Last edited by sschultestrathaus; 2011-03-15 at 04:49 AM.. Reason: Typos
 
At first, I was hesitant to part with $30.00 for the book, "Creating Flow with OmniFocus."

But after reading it, I think it made OmniFocus ten times more valuable. If spending $30.00 to gain better productivity, it was well worth it.

I think this should have been the book that comes with every OmniFocus download.

The first half of the book covers more of the fundamentals and it illuminated a lot of basic features that I knew about but never really used until I read the book.

The second half of the book offers different workflows and ideas that will help you refine your GTD workflow. A lot of workflows and suggestions can often be found in the OmniFocus forums. But you have to have time and patience to wade through the thousands of posts in these forums to find that golden nugget. It took me years to stumble across a post or a workflow that benefitted me greatly. A lot of it is already here in this book.

I've got the book loaded up on my iPad and iPod touch and it's a pure pleasure to read.

"Creating Workflow with OmniFocus" has re-sparked my muse and breaks me free.

If you're unsure about the book, there is the free preview download. You can also check out the parent web site www.usingomnifocus.com to get an idea of the ideas and tips that will greatly benefit everyone.

I remembered pondering whether or not to go down the Things route or the OmniFocus route. I eventually decided to go the OmniFocus route but I had a rough time. Nobody showed me the ropes. I didn't have a mentor that would offer tips and ideas on how to improve my GTD workflow in OmniFocus. I would fall off the OmniFocus bandwagon and then jump back on when life became more chaotic.

I wholeheartedly recommend this book to anybody who wants to really harness the power of OmniFocus. This book is especially of great importance to a Things user who finally becomes frustrated with Cultured Code's offering and wants to step up to the major league.

I love practicing my Omni-Fu with OmniFocus.
 
 


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