During this last season full of juggling work, school, and family, the number one question I received is "how do you stay on top of it all?" Truth be told, it had been a struggle and not easy. While my employer was extremely gracious in giving me flexibility, there were still daily, weekly, and monthly tasks that needed to be accomplished. My professors themselves were understanding but at the end of the day assignments need to be turned in.
Years ago I had been introduced to Omnifocus. Omnifocus is a great tool to help organize, plan, and complete your daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly tasks. I've been using Omnifocus to keep track of papers, weekly reading assignments, family errands, and work.
Check out the video.
Omnifocus allows you input all of your tasks and organize them by what Omnifocus calls "contexts" and "projects." Contexts are those task to be done while in certain situations, such as locations, people, and tools. Locations are those tasks that are to be done when your sitting at your work desk, home desk, at the coffee shop, or any other remote location where you often do work. People are those tasks that you either collaborate with or individuals you need to follow up with Tools are similar to locations in that these are tasks that are done on certain devices or software such as emails, phone calls, QuickBooks, word processing.
The key to using Omnifocus is to keep it simple. It is such a customizable and powerful tool that many make the mistake of over complicating it by nuancing their contexts. Avoid this at all cost! You will get bogged down quickly and abandon it out of frustration. Start simple and build once you get into a routine. Personally, I break my context down into three main groups, work, home, and church. Under each I have sub context such as phone, emails, individuals, etc.
Projects are more than one single action tasks such as planning a vacation or your next VBS. You can set these tasks to have due dates and to be handled sequentially or parallel with each other. This view helps you to keep your project on course and to not let tasks fall through the cracks.
Omnifocus is currently only for the Mac and iOS devices. The cost may be a deterrent for some but it is well worth it once it has become part of your daily routine. I suggest starting with the trial version and moving forward from there. Again, keep it simple. Omnifocus offers some free video tutorials that are well worth checking out.
In another post I will highlight some of the more advanced features.
Resources to Get
Getting Things Done by David Allen
What's Best Next: How the Gospel Transforms the Way You Get Things Done by Matthew Perman