This post is primarily for those considering OmniFocus 3, and other new users. I am trying to put myself back in my mindset of 20 days ago and hopefully help someone else.
Me: I am a 75-year-old recently retired physician, married with two adult children. I like computers and have built several. I was a Mac user from 1984 to 1992, changed to Windows because it had better availability of educational programs for my young children, have been happy with Windows, but have decided to try the Apple world again as one of my retirement projects. At this point in life I have a completely blank slate with few obligations. (That may sound ideal, but in fact it is the same old organizing and priorities story, unless you are happy vegetating.)
My equipment: Windows 10 PC, older iPad, new MacBook Pro 16, new iPhone 13 Pro.
My OmniFocus account: after a 15 day free trial, four days ago I signed up for the $9.99/month all platform subscription. Expect to use MacBook, iPhone, and web platforms.
My brain: although I have had many successes in life, I continue with what I perceive has been a lifelong challenge of staying organized, executive function, being as productive as possible, and being satisfied with my organization and next plans.
For learning, I prefer to read words and look at pictures on a piece of paper, rather than read on-screen, listen to a voice, or watch a video.
Prior organizing tools: my dad gave me a Day-Timer, his organizer for years, at age 16. I used it successfully until late 1990s. Brief trial with PalmPilot. I used the Microsoft Outlook tasks module from its first release late 1990’s until now. Never got very functional. Created different views for different roles in my life, but took too much time to access, font too small. Left with un-curated task list of about 500 items. Often when I came up with a “new” idea I would discover I had put it on there five or 10 years earlier, (like a time capsule). In 1990 I read and profited from Stephen Covey’s “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People”. In 2010 I read David Allen’s Getting Things Done and attended some local GTD classes. GTD did not stick for me then, but I am hopeful for this time around.
My experience with OmniFocus 3 so far: I have decided to retry the Mac world. As part of that, I have taken a look at organization apps popular with Mac users. I signed up for a 15 day free trial with OmniFocus 3, spent several hours with it. Seemed too complicated. Went to free trial of Todoist. enthusiastic for a day or two, then found it had too many obstacles-difficult to use with Siri, poor integration with Calendar, and, most importantly, a task can only be associated with one project. Back to OmniFocus, increasingly happy since.
This forum: when I first registered as a user, a cheery companion named “Discobot” tried to teach me proper use, but seemed to stop receiving my responses after a few interchanges. I’m hoping for more.
The whole OmniFocus ecosystem: for an outsider, reviews of OmniFocus are daunting: “steep learning curve”, “pricey”, “not good on collaboration”. On price, I like the 15-day free trial and the $9.99 per month price for multiplatform. I am working solo so cannot speak to collaboration at all. My viewpoint now is that the “steep learning curve” concern is real. This is unimportant to me because my current view is that I am in for the long haul, already have a functional system after 20 days of only occasional development. The most disorienting discovery for me as a new user, one that took me more than a week to realize, is that learning tools provided by Omni Group are minimal. This user group, and a companion group on slack, are helpful but lightly used. Sending an email to support has been uniformly helpful, but may take hours or a day to respond. The in app “manual” may be good for reviewing details, not for first-learning. The “tutorial” is not worthy of the name-simply some tiny-font tasks added to the screen for you to figure out for yourself. My strong recommendation is that you choose one of the third-party resources and start right off the bat with that, don’t waste time trying to figure OmniFocus yourself, using the materials supplied by the company, or the free tutorials on the web (Helpful, but too superficial). All for you is what Mark Karen& always she’s Artie left that would be one is without peer just go for one day here today is visit to our visit doing that would make her feel that you loved her and other members a visit just as is I think you you that you of your conversation you likely have a better position please will probably also is a probably house decision and which ones the a is there some Joe Marion a is a you are on your mom’s complaints is. I have been very happy with Creating Flow with OmniFocus by Kourosh Dini and am now on page 270. I am also rereading Getting Things Done. This page by the OmniFocus team lists other resources that I have no experience with but that others seem enthusiastic about:
https://inside.omnifocus.com/education. (At least one of these references is obsolete). Also https://rosemaryorchard.com/tag/omnifocus/ gets good reviews.
My on path has been along 3 lines at the same time, back and forth as I feel the need at the moment: a) make progress setting up OmniFocus, b) Read Dini-Creating Flow with OmniFocus, c) read David Allen Getting Things Done, 2nd edition, now on p. 99.
My biggest hangup was importing 400 old tasks from Outlook Tasks into the OmniFocus and immediately having a non-functional Inbox that was a heavy burden. I foillowed advice here from wilsonng Show Inbox in Assending Order (or by perspective) to set up a project called ”Older Inbox” and park all the old ideas in there for later processing. That was an immediate solution and allows me to see only recent add in the Inbox.
If you are either a new user or a passing window-shopper I hope you consider posting anything at all here with the word “New” in the subject line. Questions/ideas from new people are highly valuable to all, simply because that “new” mindset is so fleeting.