Forum

  • If you are new to these Forums, please take a moment to register using the fields above.
Announcement Announcement Module
Collapse
No announcement yet.
How do you use omnifocus projects? Page Title Module
Move Remove Collapse
X
Conversation Detail Module
Collapse
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • How do you use omnifocus projects?

    The project aspect of omnifocus is a little confusing to me regarding how it fits in with the GTD concept. It doesn't really seem that suited for project planning/reference??? I am wondering how you guys use the projects functionality.

    Do you even use the project functionality for planning?

    Do you list out all your next actions for each project and then pick only the next one to go put in contexts?

    Do you put all actions in both project and context? When I have done this it seems to get a bit cumbersome.

    Do you only put the next action under the project?

    Thanks for the clarification,
    Dave

  • #2
    Originally posted by Deighve View Post
    The project aspect of omnifocus is a little confusing to me regarding how it fits in with the GTD concept. It doesn't really seem that suited for project planning/reference??? I am wondering how you guys use the projects functionality.

    Do you even use the project functionality for planning?

    Do you list out all your next actions for each project and then pick only the next one to go put in contexts?

    Do you put all actions in both project and context? When I have done this it seems to get a bit cumbersome.

    Do you only put the next action under the project?

    Thanks for the clarification,
    Dave
    It sounds like you haven't used OF much yet. Each action can be associated with both a context and a project. There is no double entry, just two views of the same database. One view is by project, and one by context. There are sorting and grouping options, but that's essentially it. The ideas is that you mostly plan by project, but do by context, a common motif in software designed to be GTD-friendly. Omni has a lot of tutorial material on their web site, and I really recommend going through some of it.

    Comment


    • #3
      Hi, I've actually used omnifocus for over a year so I'm pretty familiar with it.

      Planning is different than listing next actions. Next actions should be concrete about what you are either going to do, delegate or add to someday maybe.

      Planning can include ideas, hunches, possible actions, reference information etc. I don't think what is listed in planning necessarily automatically works in contexts. ----So I was wondering how people bridge these two areas in omnifocus.
      Last edited by Deighve; 08-18-2009, 04:55 PM.

      Comment


      • #4
        I've been searching for a good task manager since switching from paper. I've tried iCal tasks, Entourage, even paper again, but have come back to using OF. I took the time to watch the video provided by Omnigroup and it helped tremendously with implementation.

        As already stated, I plan with Projects and act with contexts.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Deighve View Post
          Hi, I've actually used omnifocus for over a year so I'm pretty familiar with it.

          Planning is different than listing next actions. Next actions should be concrete about what you are either going to do, delegate or add to someday maybe.

          Planning can include ideas, hunches, possible actions, reference information etc. I don't think what is listed in planning necessarily automatically works in contexts. ----So I was wondering how people bridge these two areas in omnifocus.
          Ah, ok, got you. Yep, I think I know this one. OF is so obliging about dumping stuff in, and you can view each projects, and, just as you say, there are ideas, stuff you could do, stuff you will do, reference material. In some sense, this is why I have never really used OF for any length of time. Because I know, sure as anything, that if I mix actionable and non-actionable material, I will end up with a melt-down mess. I keep project reference material of all sorts strictly external to my list manager. Mostly it's in Evernote these days. Even putting doable project plans in my list tool kills things for me. They just go stale, and it hurts too much to delete stuff. With Evernote, I just draw a line at the top of the project notes and rebuild a new version. I think I am pretty rational as people go, but there you have it. Please let me know if your experience matches up with mine.

          Comment


          • #6
            I use projects and contexts, yep. Every action is in a project and has a context. I create actions beyond the Next Action, though I don't push myself to create more actions as long as I do have a Next Action - I stop when the ideas stop coming easily.

            Things that are not yet actions, either because they're too big or too vague, may be handled in one of several ways:

            - I may phrase them as a planning action, as in, "Write actions for writing password system." So if I'm planning a fairly large project, I might actually have a project for planning the project:

            Project: Plan Widget Database.
            Action: Create project for writing password system.
            Action: Create project for writing document storage system.
            (Etc.)

            For these, my context would probably be "meta", which is the context I use for actually working in OmniFocus.

            - I may enter informational items tagged with my "Info" context, which is always On Hold. This means that they never show up as an available action, but they are in the project with the actions.

            - If I'm just speculating and creating a mess of possible actions and random thoughts, they'll also be Info, plus I'll put them hierarchically underneath an action that I have set as permanently On Hold. And so I don't forget this mess, I'll generally put an action in the main project that's phrased something like "Clean up Random Thoughts area and convert to actions."

            I am puzzled by: "Do you put all actions in both project and context? When I have done this it seems to get a bit cumbersome." I'm not clear on why this would be cumbersome? Is the problem that your Context lists get too big? In that case, you could either view the Context lists in Next Action mode, or you could view only Available actions in those lists and make all of your projects...um... the mode that isn't parallel. I can't remember the term right now.

            Gardener

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Deighve View Post
              Hi, I've actually used omnifocus for over a year so I'm pretty familiar with it.

              Planning is different than listing next actions. Next actions should be concrete about what you are either going to do, delegate or add to someday maybe.

              Planning can include ideas, hunches, possible actions, reference information etc. I don't think what is listed in planning necessarily automatically works in contexts. ----So I was wondering how people bridge these two areas in omnifocus.
              I'm confused by what you are asking. I use OF for all of my projects, someday maybes and lots of just plain wild hunches and even a few lists of things. It's easy to set what you see by setting projects as on hold., I do wish OF had both a Someday on-Hold and a Maybe on-hold that I could choose to see differently but it still works.

              Keeping everything in one place is sure easier for me than spreading it out. The project title often has notes attached to it that are my reference material. Sometimes it's just a "see file X for details". The next actions are defined if I have them, to the level I need to keep them off my mind. All actions have a context assigned. Some of my projects are well defined with many actions already thought out or decision points in place. Others are much more vague, esp. the S/M ones.

              If a project is on-hold I don't see the actions in my context lists so they never get in the way. If I need to see everything I have an all projects perspective and an all actions perspective that I can look at but that is usually too big to work with.

              All of that is planning from my POV and so it does all work as contexts. I don't store just plain reference material in OF only references that are associated with a specific project whether it is a current active one or a someday/maybe one.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by mcogilvie View Post
                APlease let me know if your experience matches up with mine.
                Not for me at all. I like having as much as possible in the OF tool. The more I see of my possibilities and future stuff as well as current and active the happier I am. I hate even having to reference outside files from the list manager.

                Perhaps it's partly because when I want to work in a context I want all the info I need to do the task right there where I can see it and much of my stuff is outside, away from a computer. My lists are synched to my Treo but I lose some of the notes that way so I have taken to printing out the action lists with all notes enabled and stuffing that paper in my pocket to work from. When I come in for a break I edit OF to update the status of all the actions I worked on, either to add notes of where I was in them for actions that take more than one work session, or to mark them completed for stuff I finished.

                Comment


                • #9
                  My projects in OmniFocus just contain the list of actions needed to complete the project. If the actions have to be completed in a certain order, I order them. OmniFocus has a great "next action" feature: the first action listed under the project is marked as the "next action" for that project, and is indicated by the text for that action being green. In the Project or Context view you can choose to show only the next actions for each project.

                  I do all of my project planning in OmniOutliner or MindManager. If I have OO or MM documents related to a project, I put links to those documents in the notes section of the project in OmniFocus. I also use the notes section of OmniFocus projects for any project specific notes.

                  HTH!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Oogiem View Post
                    Not for me at all. I like having as much as possible in the OF tool. The more I see of my possibilities and future stuff as well as current and active the happier I am. I hate even having to reference outside files from the list manager.
                    I thought I wanted to have all that information in or linked to my list tool for a long time, but I found it hard. I'm lots more productive not doing it. But implementation is deeply individual, and YMMV. On the whole, I think "Know thyself" should be the first and last commandment in GTD. The psychology of effective implementation, rather than the technical aspects, is the frontier, in my opinion.

                    Comment

                    Working...
                    X