Omniplan for a freelance writer?


#1

May I ask a group opinion? I’m a freelance writer - articles and books. I’ve been very happy with OmniOutline and OmniFocus, and want to give OmniPlan a spin.

I have a series of projects, most of which are articles and books. They frequently overlap - I typically have between 3 and 8 writing projects in motion at any given time, sometimes more, running concurrently. These are at various phases of development, from brainstorming and initial proposal, through first draft, final edits, publication, post-pub PR, etc.

Though I am the main “resource,” I do rely on other people and other resources at certain points in many projects. I’m also beginning a couple startup-type collaborations, which could involve a number of others. Right now, though, sharing and other group functions are unimportant to me.

My initial thinking, given that I have many concurrent writing projects and want to view them all together, is to create one Project and have each book or article become a task (milestone?), with subtasks for the individual steps I’ll need to complete each article or book. Does this make sense? Or should each book and article be its own Project? I know there’s some kind of dashboard for OP pro that allows one to see multiple projects, but Pro is probably above my pay grade, and almost certainly far more software than I need.

All thoughts greatly appreciated.
Tom


#2

If you’re going to use OmniPlan, then your proposed approach is the way to start - one project, major task for each book, subtasks for the various related activities.

OmniPlan takes a while to get to grips with - adding the burden of multiple projects isn’t needed and will only distract you from the writing that’s your main focus.


#3

Thank you, Nick. Excellent suggestion. I’ll do just as you recommend.

I am certainly going to give OmniPlan a serious trial, because I’ve been so happy with OmniOutline and OmniFocus, and I already like the look and feel of OP. But perhaps I’m trying to put a square peg in a round hole here – your overture “If you’re going to use OmniPlan…” had a tinge of skepticism. Or is this my imagination?

Are there other tools/platforms that come to mind that I might use for comparison?


#4

Not so much scepticism - more just a note of caution. OmniPlan can be a bit daunting - it’s designed really for more formal project management. Keep things very simple and try to avoid getting sucked into the complexities.

I think many would say that OP is overkill for your needs but if it works for you, then that’s all that matters. There aren’t that may alternatives that do timelines and dependencies out of the box. If you have time, you could look at Hyperplan (very visual) and Curio (I use them both); SheetPlanner is new and rather nice too. But none of them handle dependencies out of the box and that seems important to your use case. I mean that, if task B needs task A to be completed, OP will show not only the dependency, but the effect of a delay in Task A. Only project management software does that: in a ll other types ~(as far as I know), you have to manage that kind of thing manually.

I think you should try a=it and have fun.


#5

Thank you again, Nick, for taking the time to lay this all out for me. I’m definitely going to give OP a thorough trial (and I tend to enjoy software settings and multiplicity of settings – though recognize I sometimes immerse myself in them to avoid actually DOING WORK). And yes, dependencies do seem pretty important to me.

Cheers,
Tom