GTD & OmniFocus

I recently interviewed Ken Case, CEO for OmniGroup, about the ever popular OmniFocus for Mac.  You’ll hear about the history of OmniGroup, what their company culture is like today, what OmniFocus does for a GTD’er, and more.  Here’s an excerpt:  

Ken Case: The big thing that we tried to do as we were designing the application is really think about the parts of the GTD workflow that we could address, and automate those, and then maybe not try to touch the parts that didn’t make as much sense. For example, we don’t do calendaring; we leave that to whatever calendaring system you already have. I use the calendar app that’s built-in to the iPhone, but you can use a paper calendar or whatever works for you for that part of the system. We do focus on the GTD collecting and processing–capturing stuff out of your head and getting it into your inbox. We tried to make that really easy with a keystroke…


Grab a list of all of the OmniFocus speed keys.

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  1. For those new to OmniFocus, two of its strengths are: perspectives (saved views of your OF data, which use data filtering—extremely useful for switching between virtually any kinds of modes); and the next review date field and next review interval, which, combined with sorting or grouping by next review, allows one to only see what is up for review in the present. A very powerful tool for doing the weekly review, especially when your lists become large. I have varying next review intervals for projects in my someday and maybe lists—some as infrequent as 6 months.

  2. I have to agree with Ken that the mac is the most productive hardware to be working on these days. All macs now come with Intel processors so users can run both Windows and Mac OS X on the same machine. And kudos to Ken and the Omnigroup on their success. I still remember speaking with them at a Macworld Expo many years ago when they were a band of only a few. They have been pioneers of mac software even when it wasn’t so popular to be doing so (e.g., at the dawn of OS X).

  3. How does this program work for non-Mac users with an iphone? It is difficult for me to type directly into the iphone. Nice podcast. I listened this morning.

  4. Thanks so much for recording this interview Kelly. I have been using OmniFocus since I stumbled across GTD a couple of years ago and love it.
    I use OF as my task manager, Evernote for reference material and iCal as a Calendar.
    I think it’s important not to look for an all-in-one program that does everything, but use applications to their strengths.
    OmniFocus is pretty much unbeatable as a task management program. Top marks to OmniGroup.
    There is a VERY active user community on the Forums and the program is in active development.

  5. Kudos to you Kelly for posting this. I have been using Omnifocus on my MBP and on my iPhone since they were released. I use Circus Ponies Notebook for reference (great clipping function, easy outlining, many different functions) and iCal for calendaring. I’ve tried many different tools for GTD and Omnifocus and its iPhone counterpart work seamlessly to keep me up to date.

  6. That comment about sticking to one OS as a developer is a great statement. I use studio management software that tries to be dual platform and I feel like it really drags the developement down to a crawl. I bought Omnifocus earlier this month along with the iPhone app and I have really enjoyed getting ‘clear’ and staying focused.

    Thanks for such a great app and thanks to David for GTD!

  7. Getting “everything” out of my head means I have *many* projects, most of them On Hold. This slows down performance dramatically. The ninjas have told me that 2.0 should have better performance. Any idea on when we will see it? In Ken’s blog post about iPad versions I didn’t see anything about when to expect OF 2.0.

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