This is a book we’ve written for all users of OmniFocus, from those taking their first steps with the app to those who are experienced and familiar with it. Irrespective of where you fall on this spectrum, you will be facing one truth: you must build your workflow. OmniFocus is a tool, like a screwdriver, that you will use in disparate situations to accomplish a variety of goals. Our work and lives are all quite different to our neighbours’ and thus our workflows will be just as diverse. Fortunately OmniFocus is a really good screwdriver that adapts to work in lots of different ways.
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Enjoy 155 pages, over 40,000 words, of workflow building goodness!
The point remains, though, that we all need to mould and shape OmniFocus into being the app we want and that makes sense to us. The initial point of customising the app begins with simply putting in our own data, the things we need to get done. You’ll expand upon this to add ways to organise those things both structurally within projects and with categorisation using tags. With this rich data, you can use OmniFocus to build highly curated lists of what needs your attention next, whether it’s something you want to get done or something you must get done.
To help you build this system, we’ve written this book. It begins with First Steps which introduces the very basics of OmniFocus using examples to help you understand the philosophies behind how the app works. There you’ll also be introduced to Building Blocks which are small tasks we set you which will help guide your thinking as you progress through the book and in creating your system.
Following on from First Steps, the Fundamentals chapter lays out all the basic pieces of the app in both interface and concept – tags, projects, perspectives – in, if we dare say, almost too much detail. This brings up one of our philosophies in writing this book, though: we want it to provide you all this information in a concentrated and easy to reference way.
From this point we move into the more advanced plateaus of using OmniFocus. Fittingly titled Advancing, this chapter notably covers custom perspectives, the most powerful feature of OmniFocus, available as part of the OmniFocus Pro package. On the theme of expanding your horizons with the app, the following chapter, Final Horizons discusses topics around keeping your system healthy and introduces you to automating the system.
Frequently throughout the book we, both Rose and Ryan, drop in with our personal interpretations of features, showing you how we use them or how we handle situations. We’ve both been using OmniFocus for many years and it has been our companion through many a stressful (and joyful!) situation. Not that we would ever claim to be the most proficient practitioners of productivity. We’re just two normal, and quite different, people who get what we want done because we have built systems which support us. It is our hope that some of this experience can assist you with the same. After parcelling out dribs and drabs of our workflows all through the book, we conclude the main text with more comprehensive views of our systems, again in the hope that it may be of use to you as you build yours.
Sample Chapter: Build Your OmniFocus Workflow
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