New Perspectives & Review Question

Two in one question here

You all have been so helpful and wonderful to me thus far as I’m learning, so thank you so much!

Tomorrow I’m finally buying OF (Pro) for Mac and iPad; currently I’m only using on iPhone. I’m really exciting about creating new perspectives since every tutorial I seen when I was learning how to use it on my iPhone had them. & also the review feature.

However, what perspectives would you create and why? What kind of perspectives do you have?

How do you best use the review feature?

Thanks again everyone!

Note: I use OF mainly as a student with a ton of other stuff going on as well.

1 Like

Firstly, just to lay the groundwork, my system involves relying heavily on defer dates and flags. I only use due dates for “hard landscape” tasks – things that must be done on certain dates due to actual consequences for not doing them, as opposed to things that I’d just like to do.

With that in mind, I have built most of my workflow around one key perspective, which I call “Hotlist.” This includes all due or flagged items that are available, sorted with due items at the top.

I have created two alternate versions of this perspective which use the “Focus” feature to filter those tasks to either “Personal” or “Work” projects, specifically. During weekends, I use the “Personal” one so I’m not bothered by work-related tasks, and vice-versa on busier workdays. I work from home, so often on slower workdays I’ll use the “master” Hotlist as there are sometimes personal tasks that I can bang off in between work-related tasks.

I have some secondary perspectives for household chores (focus on “Household” single-action list and related projects, showing all available, grouped by due date, sorted by flagged), as well as errands (any available tasks in selected errand-related sidebar contexts, grouped by due, sorted by flagged). These are less important to my core daily workflow, however, and are only used when I’m in those particular “modes” – they’re effectively just ways of automatically grouping and focusing on stuff that I could do in the normal context views anyway.

To get stuff into OmniFocus, I generally dump into the inbox unless I’m immediately clear as to where something should go. I use Quick Entry almost exclusively to put things into OmniFocus. Anything that requires any brainstorming at all goes into the Inbox. Obvious stuff gets assigned to project and context immediately. Anything that doesn’t need to be on my radar right away gets no flags or dates – it can get picked up during the next weekly review.

I have a two-cycle strategy for Reviews:

  • Weekly Review — Each Monday, I review every project that’s due for review. That’s almost all of my projects, although a few more static ones are set to longer review cycles, and projects on hold end up with fixed review dates until I want them back on my radar (tip: you can set review cycles and next review dates on a per-project basis – this is a key feature to the weekly review not becoming overwhelming). During the Weekly Review, I look at every task in every project that’s due for review, deciding whether to effectively leave, drop, or promote those tasks to weekly actionable items. Additional tasks may also get added during this brainstorming process. Tasks that I plan on doing during the week get a flag. If I know I won’t get to them until later in the week, I also put an appropriate defer date on them… So something I want to deal with on Wednesday would be flagged, and have a defer date of “Wednesday.”
  • Daily Review — During my Daily Review, I do up to three things… First I look at my Hotlist to see what’s on there for the next day or two and decide if it’s realistic and think about what I’m going to do and when I’m going to do it. Sometimes things will get deferred if I know I’m not going to get to them until later in the week, or unflagged if I’ve decided they’re no longer important, but still need to eventually get done (in which case they can get picked up and decided upon again during the next Weekly Review). Secondly, I triage my Inbox and file and process everything in there. If there are things that need to be flushed into full projects, I’ll do a brief layout of that, depending on urgency, or leave them to be brainstormed during the next Weekly Review if they’re lower priority. Third, if (and only if) my Hotlist is thin for the next couple of days, I’ll take a trip through my general context view and see if there’s anything else available to be flagged for action. This third step is only done if I’m basically looking for stuff to do, since I’ve otherwise already decided on the important stuff during my Weekly Review.

Anyway, that’s the system I’ve more or less been using for the past three years, subject to minor refinements that have mostly centered around unrelated secondary issues such as location-based contexts or secondary “modal” perspectives.