+1 for OmniFocus and GTD, although the guy at Fast Company doesn’t quite understand the idea of weekly reviews (things don’t magically float back to the inbox).
I’ve been a big Omnifocus user for about five years now. I’ve got it on my Macs, my iPhone, and my iPad. I don’t know how I got by without it.
Actually…I do. I was a mess. In school I would float by and live under unorganized papers with obligations written on them. I would do things at the very last minute. I didn’t have one place I could go to for all the promises I made to myself and others. I didn’t move many things forward because I never full thought out “what needs to happen next?”
Omnifocus (and GTD) changed that.
Read this if you need to feel justified for dropping the $20 on the new version.
For the many years I am now practicing GTD® the one thing I have learned is to never underestimate ad-hoc work. There are times where ad-hoc work is the default situation: My company has just recently finished its fiscal year and as a sales manager it was evident that I will be bombarded with ad-hoc issues and requests in the last 2-3 weeks leading up to the event. As a consequence I simply did not plan much, some days not even any, scheduled work (predefined tasks on a todo lists). Instead I deliberately sat in front of my email inbox, instant messenger and phones and waited for the work to show up. And it did show up like a truck rolling over me.
I’ve never thought of a good way to describe the work you never planned on doing, but “ad-hoc work” sounds pretty good.
He also lambastes David Allen, the author of Getting Things Done and a lifehacking role model, for rarely, if ever, asking the obvious question: What if we need so many productivity apps simply because we have far too much to do—and not because we are naturally born slackers?
GTD is guilty by association. It isn’t responsible for this lifehacking silliness, but because it came up during the same era it’s automatically associated with it.
The GTD-sexiness era has died down in the past few years. Anyone who has stuck with it did so not because it was trendy, but because it helped them. They recognize that it’s not just about checking boxes, but also about being able to enjoy your time slacking off because you feel good about completing something.
Me: I’ll meet you in an hour, I just have some red tasks I need to take care of.
Me: Yeah, I have a database on my computer that I put everything I need to do into.
Her: So you spend all your time maintaining this database rather than doing things you need to do?
Me: But…mind like water.
Signing up right now. Been using WebDAV for this, but it always feels slow, especially when you want to capture something on the phone and then need to wait for something to get optimized.
Edit: Appears like this is just WebDAV on Omnigroup’s server anyway.
The best thing I got out of this is using ⌃+⌥+⌘+C for the clipping shortcut.
Colin Wheeler writes about GTD and how, along with OmniFocus, it enabled him to completely turn his grades around.
After I got on with this system of GTD and OmniFocus I went back to school full time again at a different and better school IMHO. For my parents they were still anxious given my past performance academically, but I wanted to go full force and get my school over with as I thought going part time would take far too long and just be dragging my program out. This time no letter came home saying I was failing my classes. At the end of the term I got my grades back 5 A’s. Both my parents were stunned at this, my mom asked me what I did different and I explained to her about Getting Things Done. She still doesn’t believe that GTD is the reason I did a 180, but it is.
Of course, GTD doesn’t turn anyone into a genius, but even being a genius doesn’t mean you can get your work done on time. The bar isn’t as high as many people think it is. In most cases all you really need to do is stay on top of due dates to blow people away, especially when they’re already used to disappointment.
Will that get you a job at NASA? Probably not, but it does contribute to your reputation of being a dependable person. I wish I used this system back when I was in school.