Back to OmniFocus

I’ve been using Dropkick as my task management app for quite a while. Although, as I mentioned in my review, it’s not really a task manager at all. It’s just a way to create utilitarian lists and sync them across your devices. Dropkick isn’t the prettiest or most feature-filled app, but it’s good at what it does.

On the opposite end of the spectrum is OmniFocus: the behemoth of GTD/task management apps.

I’ve mentioned my distaste for OmniFocus several times. I bought the iPhone and iPad apps a while ago and used them for some time, but ultimately, the app’s cold personality and steep learning curve caused me to pursue other options. I was also in no mood to shell out $80 for the Mac version.

And yet, here I stand to tell you that I’ve decided to give OmniFocus another go.


Amidst the excitement of WWDC, the Omni Group graciously put OmniFocus for Mac on sale at half price (still is!). I decided to pull the trigger. I now own the entire OmniFocus suite, and I hope that the addition of the Mac app will help me put OmniFocus to better use. Quick input for ubiquitous capture on the iOS devices is OK, but it can’t hold a candle to the Mac version’s quick input keyboard shortcut. In addition, Launch Center Pro’s OmniFocus input is quite fast, particularly with this tip by Robert Agcaoili.

I was waiting for Things to support cloud syncing, but it seems development is destined to remain slow and unreliable. My esteemed Crush On Radio cohost, Richard J. Anderson, has abandoned Things after being a dedicated user for sometime. It’s sad, but I still hope to be able to give Things a try in the future.

There’s no doubt that OmniFocus is an amazing and powerful piece of software. I have much to learn about it, but I’m willing to give it an honest effort. I want to like OmniFocus. I really do. Mac Power Users just put out the third installment of their Workflows with Merlin Mann saga, and Merlin offers a lot of good tips that I’m hoping to implement.

So there you have it. Back to OmniFocus. I’ll let you know how it goes.

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Jotting Things Down in OmniFocus

I’ve been slowly wading into the OmniFocus pool, having bought the iPhone app a couple weeks ago after finishing David Allen’s Getting Things Done. The learning curve is significant, but reading GTD helps a lot, and I’m slowly starting to assimilate the iPhone app into my workflow.

The power and flexibility of OmniFocus allows me to be as strict or lenient with the official GTD methodology as I want. One of the things I’ve been trying to figure out is how I like to use the Inbox. OmniFocus is so robust that it initially took me almost a minute to figure out how to properly input an action. I’m getting better, but sometimes I just want to jot something down quickly and process it later. Fortunately, OmniFocus’s Inbox is perfect for that sort of thing.

J. Eddie Smith, IV puts it very nicely:

The OmniFocus inbox just seems like the best “don’t think about where to put it, just get it down” place.

If a non-actionable thought is truly worth saving, you can always move it to a better saving place later. There should be no rules around what you write to your inbox, only rules about what stays in OmniFocus.

His article is full of practical tips for using iOS’s quick entry and Inbox features. I was beginning to uncover a similar strategy myself, but Eddie sheds a whole lot of light on using OmniFocus to capture anything and everything. Love it.

Via The Brooks Review