How to structure if several projects share the same task?

Hi everyone!

I’ve just read David Allen’s book and I’m currently learning OmniFocus 2 on my Mac. I’m starting to get the hang of it but one thing that bothers me is the fact that I have no idea how to structure projects that share the same task?

For example, let’s say I have project called “Learn the GTD Methodology” which contains the following tasks:
• Watch David Allen’s intro guide on YouTube
• Read David Allen’s book "Getting Things Done"
• Follow David’s Step by step process
• Etc. etc…

Now, let’s say I also have another project called “Books to read” which contains the following for e.g.
• The Power of Now
• Getting Things Done
• How to pat a dog
• Etc. etc…

In this case, it’s one book, but it belongs to two different projects. I have so many “learn how to…” projects which contains books to read but I also have books I’d like to read which do not belong to a specific project, simply just “books to read”. What would you do in situations like these?


I keep my list of books I want to read in a separate checklist. I don’t really have reading as a project unless it’s specific to something else like “Read book on converting Foxbase to SQLite” As part of the project “Implement registry package into LambTracker for breed associations”

Any given action shouldn’t ever really be part of 2 projects. At least Iv’e never had that as a case.

If you do want to have a project of reading books I would pull out of that project any books that are really part of another project.

FWIW I do keep a list of books I have finished reading and I also have a long list of books on the want to read list. They aren’t projects though, the books to read is a someday/maybe list because all that happens when I start one is I remove it from that list and add it to my books read list with the start date.

1 Like

I view your projects in two lights. The first has a goal with steps to reach it. The second is a wish list collection. I might suggest that, once a wish list item becomes a hard ToDo task in a Project, it should be removed from the originating wish list.


1 Like

There are a lot of ways to skin this cat. I’d suggest that it’s probably a corner case, though, so wouldn’t sweat it too much.

I like @DrJJWMac’s distinction between checklist item and action here. That makes sense. If it were me, I would have the item in my “Books to Read” single-actions project (checklist) and a task on my "Learn the GTD Methodology"parallel project called “Read David Allen’s GTD book as captured on my Books to Read list”. In that way, I honour the checklist item/task distinction, and also have the reference of the completed item on my reading checklist (because I keep a fresh log every year to track the books I read).



1 Like

hi guys, tnx for your input on this topic! I agree with the fact that keeping them separate and reference any given project to the “Books to read” checklist is a good idea! Just a thought, what do you think of using a context called “To Read” and a subcontext called “Books” and use those as a complete overview over everything I have or want to read?


@Patingsson I think that’s a fine idea if you do a ton of reading. Like inboxes, I think you’ll want to have as many contexts as you absolutely need, but no more. Which contexts make sense to have is super personal, and I think evolves a lot over time.

Experiment, see what works/makes sense for ways to organize your tasks, pivot, adjust. Nothing needs to be defined to be the way it is forevermore. :)


1 Like