Build in ability to switch Areas of Focus

Revisiting an old topic. I’ve never found a good way manage both my personal life and work in OF. It always ends up requiring Two of each perspective which quickly becomes unwieldy. For a short while I had a decent system where I had only a single set of perspectives and used a great script to toggle focus between work and personal. Worked great. Except when on iOS where focus doesn’t exist (yet?) so I had to abandon it as I now use IOS more than MacOS since getting an ipad Pro. It’s been a consistent problem for me for many years. Just putting out the question (again). Is this not a problem for many? How do you get around it (without some overly complex system of tags, search perspectives, redundant perspectives…etc.). There are surprisingly very few systems which tackle this effectively IMO, NirvanaHQ, and Zendone both do a good job here. Both have a top level area filter which does exactly what it sounds like. Define your areas, select one from a Drop down and everything else fades.away. OF focus kind of does this although I wish it could be more streamlined by populating a menu with your defined areas and letting you easily switch between (I’ve managed it using the previously mentioned script on OSX correction:…MacOS) but I think it should be built in to both MacOS and iOS.

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Have you seen David Sparks’ Video Field Guide for OmniFocus? He’s a lawyer who manages his practice, his side job as a Mac blogger and his personal life all in OmniFocus.

Work/Personal balance should be easy in OmniFocus. Projects are either Work or Personal. Contexts can be both.

If you’re looking at you @Phone context and you have personal calls, have you tried deferring them to a time outside of work? (Lunch hour or after work?) That way you keep a single @Phone context, but you don’t see personal calls during work hours.

If you’re @OfficsSupplyStore buying folders for the office, can’t you also pickup that roll of tape you need for home?

Maybe you need to reconsider why you are keeping work and personal separate. It makes perfect sense on a project level, but less so with contexts.

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Fair points. Thanks for your response!

That is fair, indeed, but… you don’t do some tasks on your home hours and next day they are all there again. Not a big problem if you weren’t on iOS, were deferring items is not something you can do with a single keystroke (again, not a built-in functionality, but easily scriptable on Mac).

From my side, strongly agree with @msalam, as I have been missing the Focus part of OmniFocus on iOS since… well… ever.

If you haven’t already, I’d definitely recommend emailing us and letting us know so we can add you to any relevant feature requests!

Will do. And will also think again:
If I can ⌘C+⌘V why can’t @SupportHumans do that? :)))

Oh wait! Tagging them here should add requests to the database as well, right? ✓ done

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With the caveat that feature requests submitted to Omni are rarely implemented, and when they are, take years to see the light of day.

If you want a change in OmniFocus, you’re better off hacking it out yourself.

I think this can be said of many software companies. Singling out Omnigroup means nothing. I’ve waited years for Cultured Code to get rolling with Things 3.

I do have to appreciate how much progress has been made with OmniFocus 2. Take a look back at OmniFocus 2 when it first came out and take a look now. They have a priority list of features to implement. They’re getting around to it. In the meantime, we all create our own workarounds with different workflow implementations and Applescript.

My experience has been different.

Zengobi, the company that makes the excellent Curio software for the Mac is very responsive. If you make a case for a useful feature, they often will implement it within a few weeks. If you can point out a bug or design flaw that causes problems or extra work for the user, it gets fixed within the week.

The same can be said for FadeInPro, the professional screenwriting software used by Craig Mazin, Ed Solomon and others. They sometimes put out a new build each week, featuring requests from their users.

Omni creates great software, but their responsiveness to user input is very slow. Bringing formatting to OmniFocus took way too long and the implementation is quite primitive and user-unfriendly. Compare with formatting in OmniOutliner. It often feels to me like Omni is always trying to ship the minimum viable product.

I’ve seen people complain for years about the design flaw in OmniFocus that allows an overdue item to be hidden from view if it’s blocked in a sequential project. It has the potential to really foul up your work, and undermines the user’s trust in the system. This is the kind of thing that should be fixed the week it’s reported. I have no confidence that Omni will ever address it.

I love Omni’s software, but let’s not kid ourselves about their responsiveness to users.

Yes, there are companies that have faster tech support. But let’s look at the count

Zengobi has one app - Curio.

FadeInPro - one app

Cultured Code - Things - one app

Omnigroup - iOS and MacOS versions of OmniOutliner, OmniGraffle, OmniFocus, and OmniPlan (eight apps).

Yes, I acknowledge that Omnigroup is taking their time with feature requests. But I’m sure that OmniOutliner users are screaming that their feature requests by fulfilled first. The OmniPlan users have their own set of c oncerns. The OmniGraffle users also have numerous requests waiting in the queue. Heck, I’m still waiting for batch editing for OmniFocus for iOS.

I’m just grateful that custom themes has finally arrived. I’m grateful that secured syncing will be coming. With the introduction of yearly iOS updates (iOS 10) and MacOS updates (Sierra), Omni have their hands full with trying to make sure their apps don’t break with each annual update and still find time to add long-requested features.

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Thanks for at least acknowledging the reality of Omni’s slow boat to fulfilling user requests.

I’m very grateful for the software, and I’m not denegrating the developers in any way. I’m just disappointed that they are not as agile and responsive as their software.

I don’t think your apologia for Omni really holds water. Zengobi and FadeInPro have a single developer per app. I’d be dismayed if Omni didn’t have at least eight programmers on payroll by now. If they don’t, that’s just poor management.

I hope as a result of conversations like these, Omni become more responsive to user requests.

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It can be up for debate about the number of developers that we think should be dedicated for each program. But that’s Omni’s business whether we like it or not. Unless we get hired by Omni and pitch in, there’s not much else to do.

Omnigroup release a lot of betas in between the official point releases. I remember reading something about iteration. Just release something so that we have a product. Then release a point upgrade to give new features. It might not be the features you or I want. But it is progress.

There is no sense in banging our heads in frustration. We can yell at the skies or Omni all we want. But it isn’t going to move the boat. The feature requests will eventually coe. Can we let that be?

I get around this with folders for each area on the project side and duplicated perspectives for filtering work vs personal. Since perspectives don’t change that often, I don’t find it that difficult to maintain. The focus rules are respected on iOS.

Ya that’s pretty much what I’ve resorted to. Just makes for unnecessary overhead and clutter where simplicity is the goal but for sure it is a functional solution.