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Any tips for using omnifocus?

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  • Any tips for using omnifocus?

    I learned about GTD over 9 years ago and used it for a bit. Then I lost my job and things slowed down a bit and I lost my momentum. Recently, I picked it all back up again and have just started beginning to make the system work for me. My biggest problem in the past was getting the tracking system to work quickly and be edited easily. Back then I was on PC and outlook. Now I have a Mac and was thrilled to see the omnifocus software, which I bought right off the bat. Its taking me awhile learning how to use it. Basically I just go through the manual and read bits at a time. I haven't spent much time on the forums (first day looking around) but so far haven't found anything specifically on omnifocus. Can anyone point me to an ongoing discussion about how to get the most of of that program? I have the app for my iPhone as well, so it has to potential to really work well for me, but I'm not at the point yet. Thanks for any advice anyone wants to throw my way.

  • #2
    Omni

    Originally posted by horsesneverlie View Post
    I learned about GTD over 9 years ago and used it for a bit. Then I lost my job and things slowed down a bit and I lost my momentum. Recently, I picked it all back up again and have just started beginning to make the system work for me. My biggest problem in the past was getting the tracking system to work quickly and be edited easily. Back then I was on PC and outlook. Now I have a Mac and was thrilled to see the omnifocus software, which I bought right off the bat. Its taking me awhile learning how to use it. Basically I just go through the manual and read bits at a time. I haven't spent much time on the forums (first day looking around) but so far haven't found anything specifically on omnifocus. Can anyone point me to an ongoing discussion about how to get the most of of that program? I have the app for my iPhone as well, so it has to potential to really work well for me, but I'm not at the point yet. Thanks for any advice anyone wants to throw my way.
    I'm not sure there is an ongoing forum, but you can always enter it into the search bar and see what you get. I think a webinar is coming soon too.

    But a small piece of advice: It is difficult to learn both GTD and a new tool at the same time. Get a good handle first on GTD..then the tool, if at all possible. You may even want to start on paper so you really understand it. The tool can't do it for you.

    And welcome to our Forums!

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    • #3
      The Omni Group has several OmniFocus forums. They're not as active as this forum, but there is activity.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by horsesneverlie View Post
        Its taking me awhile learning how to use it. Basically I just go through the manual and read bits at a time.
        I've been running Omnifocus since January 2010 and I only just now feel that I am really starting to use the power of the program. It is very powerful and while simple to get going on initially gan take a long time to really start to use all the built in features and tricks.

        Plan on your first couple of months being just getting used to stuff and then about a year of playing with things to get the set up that works for you followed by a year of learning how to do all sorts of advanced stuff, like custom scripting, really using perspectives and so on.

        There is an "Implementing the GTD Methodology with Omnifocus" PDF I have that I think I got either from Omni or from David Co. It's good for getting you going.

        I also got the book "Creating Flow with Omnifocus" by Kourosh Dini and it's quite useful for taking you that next step up. My first time reading it I was not prepared to use all the tools in it but I'm about to review that book and see what new stuff I can learn.

        The Omni forums are also helpful but for me initially I didn't understand the Omnifocus terminology and so I got less out of it than I was hoping. I learn a lot more there now that I've been using the program for a long time.

        Also setting up sync is easy and I now sync my OF system to my iPhone and iPad using my own sync server flawlessly.

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        • #5
          While Omnifocus has many powerful features, such as parallel and sequential next actions, it has a lot of quirks too, like a lack of bidirectional sorting. In the end, I think it's more important to have the contexts you need and well-defined projects and next actions than to use all that power.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Oogiem View Post
            There is an "Implementing the GTD Methodology with Omnifocus" PDF I have that I think I got either from Omni or from David Co. It's good for getting you going.

            I also got the book "Creating Flow with Omnifocus" by Kourosh Dini and it's quite useful for taking you that next step up.
            I'd second both of those recommendations. I've used it from its origins in the Kinkless GTD OmniOutliner scripts, right through the beta versions, and yet I still picked up some good tricks from both of those books/papers.

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            • #7
              My friend and I have written a series of articles on how to get the most out of Omnifocus. You can find it here:

              http://www.asianefficiency.com/omnifocus/

              The program does have a steep learning curve so grab any resources you can to learn the program. However, once you have a good grasp of it, it's amazing. It does take a lot of time and experimentation to see what style of usage fits you, so don't be afraid to carve out some weekends to experiment. Hopefully some of our tutorials can help you. And for any questions, just ask away in this thread.

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