Talking to OmniFocus

But one significant change I have made is to my morning routine. And it was made possible by OmniFocus' version 3.4 update last year. I'm sorry that I'm just now getting around to writing about this new workflow because it's a lot of fun. And it just might be my favorite new feature Omni has ever shipped. As a user, it's wowing me with the possibilities. And as an Apple developer, I'm amazed at how well done it is.

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Three Things Today

Every task management app has a feature that will let you postpone, delay, or snooze a task. You can tell them to push a todo item out by a day or a week, etc. But I like to think Three Things is smarter than that. It's designed to be flexible and forgiving - pragmatic and realistic. When you defer a task, it won’t accidentally reschedule it for a day that’s already overflowing with commitments. It literally will not allow you to schedule more than three tasks per day.

It fits my brain. Maybe it’ll fit yours, too.

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Better Recurring Projects Using OmniFocus and TaskPaper

The point of this story is to say that checklists – particularly ones that recur and involve multiple, detailed steps – can be an amazing tool to have at your disposal. And learning to use them was a huge part in my own journey towards letting go of all the crap in my head.

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A Faster Way to Create Multiple Tasks in OmniFocus (with all sorts of details!) Using Drafts.app

Following-up on my previous post about using Drafts to create new GitHub issues, here's another action I built and use all the time. This allows you to create multiple tasks in OmniFocus with defer dates, due dates, and tags in one step. It does this by parsing a compact, easy-to-write syntax that...

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Moving to a More Comprehensive Weekly Review

Your weekly review is probably the key to keeping your trusted system running smoothly and most importantly out of your mind. For years, my review was little more than going through my list of projects every Sunday morning and making sure each was in an acceptable state. But after reading Kourosh...

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Categories
Productivity OmniFocus

Creating a Daily Standup Perspective With OmniFocus

Like many of you in the software industry, every morning at 10am my team has a standup meeting. It’s meant to be a quick five minute meeting where everyone says what they accomplished yesterday, what they’re planning on doing today, and if anything is blocking them from moving forward. If...

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Categories
OmniFocus

Must, Will, Might

Last month I came across a clever post about using just two GTD contexts by Matt Henderson (by way of SimplicityBliss). Like many of us, he’s experimented with lots of different ways of managing contexts. There’s the traditionalist approach where your contexts mimic the tools or location available to you:...

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Categories
Productivity OmniFocus

Connecting Amazon Alexa's Todo's with OmniFocus

Last week Amazon Alexa and IFTTT hooked up in a big way. They now have triggers that allow you to do things whenever you add an item to your Alexa to-do or shopping lists. This is awesome because now those items don't have to live within Amazon's ecosystem. With a...

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Where do External Triggers Belong?

The great thing about blogging vs a shorter medium like Twitter, is you can have actual, in-depth conversations. There's nothing better than someone replying to a post you wrote with one of their own. So here's one... Last week I wrote about External Triggers in OmniFocus. Sven Fechner of SimplicityBliss picked...

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Categories
Productivity OmniFocus

Creating a Weekly Preview from your Weekly Review

I've long felt that the two most important aspects of following GTD are having an inbox where you can quickly record any task that occurs to you and then the regularly scheduled review that keeps your system on track and up to date with your priorities. For me, the weekly...

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Categories
Productivity OmniFocus

External Triggers in OmniFocus

In OmniFocus, and in other GTD systems I'm sure, there is the concept of a sequential project. A sequential project is any task with two or more steps that have to happen in a specific order. You can't move on to the next step until you've completed the first step. An...

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Categories
Productivity OmniFocus

Lowering the Project Threshold

One part of GTD and OmniFocus that I've always struggled with is the idea that any action that requires more than one step is actually a project. It sounds simple, and I agree with that definition in theory, but I've never followed through in practice. My OmniFocus project list has...

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Categories
Productivity OmniFocus

Handling Repeating Tasks and Routines in OmniFocus

After reading my last post about my OmniFocus setup, Evan Lovely asked Could you talk more about your Routines? What's in there? Does anything repeat? Do you set defer or due dates on them? He's referring to a Single-Action List I have inside my "Personal" folder called "Routines". Inside this project are...

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Categories
Productivity OmniFocus

"Not sure where he got that from"

I should probably explicitly say that much of...

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Categories
OmniFocus

My OmniFocus Habits - Four Years Later

I've been using OmniFocus since the Kinkless days. Over those many years, my life has changed in countless ways, and with it, so has the way I use OmniFocus. Perhaps the best compliment I can give the app, is that it's always managed to be exactly what I needed it...

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Categories
Productivity OmniFocus

Delegating Tasks and Outsourcing Your Indie Business

A few weeks ago there was some discussion online about hiring virtual personal assistants to help offload non-essential business tasks. Around that same time a Twitter user messaged me (and quite a few other indie devs) asking what sort of business tasks we would consider outsourcing. I'm pretty sure this...

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Assigning Relationships Between Tasks and People in OmniFocus

For years I've used on-hold "waiting" contexts named after coworkers and family members to denote tasks that I've assigned to other people and am waiting on them to finish. But a few weeks ago I had a realization that there are two other types of relationships between tasks and people...

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Categories
Productivity OmniFocus

Choosing the Right App

Just a quick reminder that occurred to me today. Always remember to use the appropriate tool. Don't be afraid to split your data across multiple apps and inboxes when appropriate. For example, I store all of my action items and tasks in OmniFocus. But last night I remembered I needed to buy...

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Categories
Productivity OmniFocus

OmniFocus for People Who Work From Home

Two and a half years ago, when I first wrote about how I use OmniFocus, I was working a full-time job in addition to my committments at home and my freelance work. A year ago this week, I left my day job and ventured out on my own — devoting...

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Categories
Productivity OmniFocus

How I Use OmniFocus to Organize My Life

I've noticed a resurgence on the web of people talking about OmniFocus and how they use the app to manage their task lists. Despite being a user for nearly three years — since the first public beta — for some reason I've never gotten around to writing about why I...

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Categories
Productivity OmniFocus