I would be embarrassed to admit exactly how much time, money and effort I put into getting OmniFocus to work.
My main challenge is how to see the trees in the forest. I was hoping to find a way to have the really important things pop up to the surface.
I signed up for Tim Stringer‘s Learn OmniFocus and got some good tips and even went so far as to have a individual session with him but we didn’t jell.
Following the GTD principles I ended up doing a brain dump and ended up with about 4500 tasks. Tim‘s recommendation was that I move a lot of those things out to another storage such as Evernote.
With my ADD it seem like it was just creating another bucket of things that I would have to manage and somehow integrate back into OmniFocus.
In an effort to get access to Brooks Duncan I joined the Asian efficiency dojo and spent $350 unfortunately they are spread quite thin and it largely it was a waste of time and money.
His recommendation for dealing with the overwhelm was to basically look at your long list pick out five of them and write them on a sheet of paper. That might be good advice but If I go back to paper then then I am going back to paper.
I purchased MacSparky‘s OmniFocus field guide and learned a lot about how to run the software and even some possible work flows but despite taking that course I still open OmniFocus and ask myself the question “What do I do now.
David discusses using the forecast method of assigning tasks to a day or deferring it to that day but I believe he’s moved on to Time Chunking but I’m not sure how he implements that in OmniFocus. I am going to email him and see if he has developed something that shows how to set that up.
MacSparky has indicated that the biggest question he gets regarding OmniFocus is how to deal with being overwhelmed by a large number of tasks. To the best of my knowledge his recommendation is to not put so many things in OmniFocus. To me that kinda defeats the purpose of getting it all out your head. If one keeps getting that question that might mean they don’t like the answer. I imagine that there is some way to hide Tasks that you want to capture but not work on right now.
One of the main things I learned from him was the importance of doing a regular review.
I am considering taking Peters course which starts shortly. Who would ever imagine that creating a daily prioritized ToDo list would be this complicated.
I need to do a bit more research on the course. It is not cheap. What I really want is 2 hours of individual consulting for $200 spread out in 30 min access over a month so that could get my questions answered quickly define things to try and the meet back and fine tune it.
It would be great if the Omni group hosted virtual training, maybe an hour a week where you could see what others are doing and how they set up their systems and workflows.
The other option would be for them to offer pre canned perspectives targeted at a certain type of user. At least it would be a place to start. Rather than have us do our own starting from scratch.
Just off the top of my head we could have one for:
A time chunking user
A forecasting user
A tag based user
A information/Task overload user
A user who wants to assign a priority to his tasks and projects
A user who wants a prioritized daily to do list.
Maybe we should Crowd Source this. The OmniFocus group could provide a web based location and define the contents of a Submission including, how to set it up and the perspective with a little bit of information on who this is designed for and offer $1000 prize for whoever gets the votes for the most effective workflow, in order to vote you need to contribute two dollars with the pot going to the best workflow. It could be a semi annual contest. The other option would be sell the workflow package. I would be willing to pay $2/per workflow to try several different Workflow/Perspectives