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OmniFocus Essential Training
Illustration by Neil Webb

OmniFocus Essential Training

with Chris Mattia

Video: Welcome

Hi, I'm Chris Mattia and welcome to OmniFocus Essential Training. OmniFocus is a task management application designed to capture all of that stuff that is constantly swirling around in the back of your mind. That is what's preventing you from moving forward on your projects. If you're familiar with David Allen's {italic}Getting Things Done{plain}, you'll feel right at home in this application. If you're new to task management, then don't worry. I'll guide you through step-by-step and have you checking items off your list in no time.
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  1. 8m 58s
    1. Welcome
      1m 12s
    2. Understanding Projects, Actions, and Contexts
      2m 12s
    3. The "Getting Things Done" philosophy
      3m 17s
    4. Using the exercise files
      2m 17s
  2. 33m 41s
    1. A first look at OmniFocus
      4m 31s
    2. Unloading the "stuff" from your brain
      4m 33s
    3. We all have Projects
      3m 19s
    4. Storing reference materials
      5m 56s
    5. Putting your Projects in Context
      9m 6s
    6. Creating a single Action list
      1m 19s
    7. Checking items off the list
      4m 57s
  3. 19m 45s
    1. Organizing Projects using folders
      7m 32s
    2. Determining the next step
      4m 25s
    3. Creating Action Groups
      3m 51s
    4. Working with Parallel and Sequential Actions
      3m 57s
  4. 21m 8s
    1. When is this thing due?
      7m 24s
    2. Using the Parking Lot to put things on hold
      3m 2s
    3. Things you do over and over again
      1m 30s
    4. Flagging an item
      1m 28s
    5. Working with iCal
      7m 44s
  5. 24m 3s
    1. Reviewing and revising Projects
      3m 16s
    2. Staying focused on a Project
      3m 51s
    3. Searching for items
      1m 11s
    4. Filtering items
      8m 11s
    5. Creating custom perspectives
      7m 34s
  6. 45m 14s
    1. Using the Quick Entry window
      7m 11s
    2. Using the clipping service
      8m 50s
    3. Configuring OmniFocus and Mail
      8m 35s
    4. Creating Actions from email messages
      11m 34s
    5. Bonus tip: Creating a lynda.com custom playlist
      5m 59s
    6. Keeping your inbox clean
      3m 5s
  7. 29m 11s
    1. Understanding sync services
      1m 58s
    2. Syncing with MobileMe
      4m 13s
    3. Syncing over Bonjour
      4m 3s
    4. Syncing with external disks
      3m 49s
    5. Advanced syncing over WebDAV
      4m 35s
    6. Backing up your data
      5m 50s
    7. Exporting your data
      2m 42s
    8. Printing a to-do list
      2m 1s
  8. 34m 48s
    1. Configuring OmniFocus for the iPhone
      5m 30s
    2. Navigating the interface
      6m 24s
    3. Working with Projects
      3m 29s
    4. Creating Actions
      5m 28s
    5. Adding photos to Actions
      2m 29s
    6. Adding audio to Actions
      1m 53s
    7. Working with Contexts
      2m 57s
    8. Setting up Location Services
      2m 36s
    9. Using Location Services
      4m 2s
  9. 47s
    1. Goodbye
      47s

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OmniFocus Essential Training
3h 37m Beginner Jun 02, 2010

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Join Chris Mattia in OmniFocus Essential Training as he shares how to capture and organize projects and action items into a system for managing tasks and getting work done. This course covers working with projects and contexts, dynamically building to-do lists, creating custom views with Perspectives, and synchronizing the OmniFocus database across multiple computers. Exercise files are included with the course.

Topics include:
  • The philosophy behind OmniFocus
  • Creating an actions list
  • Organizing projects with folders and action groups
  • Scheduling parallel and sequential actions
  • Adding photos and audio to actions
  • Integrating with iCal and Mail
  • Backing up and exporting data
  • Using the OmniFocus iPhone app
Subjects:
Business Productivity Note Taking
Software:
OmniFocus
Author:
Chris Mattia

Welcome

Hi, I'm Chris Mattia and welcome to OmniFocus Essential Training. OmniFocus is a task management application designed to capture all of that stuff that is constantly swirling around in the back of your mind. That is what's preventing you from moving forward on your projects. If you're familiar with David Allen's {italic}Getting Things Done{plain}, you'll feel right at home in this application. If you're new to task management, then don't worry. I'll guide you through step-by-step and have you checking items off your list in no time.

I'll teach you how to capture and organize all of your projects and action items into a trusted and logical system. Then we'll get your projects moving forward by determining your next action. I'll teach you how to become more efficient by using context to dynamically build your to do list. Finally I'll show you how to unlock the power of OmniFocus by synchronizing your database across all of your Macs, including the OmniFocus application for iPhone and iPod Touch. I'll be your guide through this course.

So let's get started with OmniFocus Essential Training.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about OmniFocus Essential Training .


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Q: In the “Working with Parallel and Sequential Actions” movie, the instructor shows how to make tasks in an OmniFocus project sequential. When the project becomes sequential, the first task in the project becomes bold and the remaining tasks are dimmed.
However, when following with the exercise files, the visual effect is not shown. Also, all text appears in red, which does not happen in the video. What is causing this problem?
A: The problem here is that the Project due date is in the past, so all of the items below are showing up in red.
To fix this, the user can click one time on “Make Presentation to client” at the top of the list so that it is highlighted, then click the Inspect button in the tool bar to bring up the Inspector window if it is not already up. On the Project tab, make sure the project due date gets reset to any date in the future. The sequential items then show up as described in the video.
Q: I’ve downloaded the exercise files and followed the directions in the "We all have Projects" video, but I cannot get the same results as the instructor. What could be causing the problems?
A: Since the recording of this title, there has been a change in OmniFocus' functionality. In the chapter 1 movie “We all have Projects” (timecode 00:02:11), there is now a difference between the current update of OmniFocus and the version that this title was recorded and released for. On September 8, 2010, the Omni Group released the OmniFocus 1.8 update. In the Release Notes for that release, it is noted in the Workflow Improvements section that they made the following change to the application: "Groups of actions in the Inbox will no longer be automatically converted to projects when cleaning up. You can still promote them to projects by dragging them to the sidebar or by outdenting (Cmd+[). (This means that you can drag an entire project into the Inbox and it will stay there until you decide what to do with it.)" This is a different result than the version of OmniFocus that this title was recorded under. The Command+[ keyboard command and dragging, however, still do work as described in the video. In order to convert that group (Bring Salad...) to a project, you need to now either drag it or promote it (Cmd+[).
Q: I'm having problems with the exercise files for this course. In the "Using the exercise files" movie, the author instructs me to swap my existing OmniFocus database for the one provided with the exercise files, which I did, but the data in the Omnifocus UI isn't updating. It's still pointing to the old database. How do I get it to update?
A: The first database you use in this course is identical to the default OmniFocus database as it appears straight out of the box. We have you swap databases to avoid overwriting any data you might have created there, but if you are working with a new installation, nothing will appear to have changed.  But don't worry; as long as you placed the exercise file in the correct folder in the Library, you will be working with the correct database.
Q: In the "Using the exercise files" movie, the author instructs us to add the exercise files to the Library directory, but I can't find that folder on my computer.
A: If you are working in Mac OS X 10.7 Lion, the Library folder is hidden by default. To unhide it, open a Finder window, hold down the Option key, and click the Go menu. Click the Library option that appears in the Go menu and a new Finder window will open, revealing the Library contents.
 
You need to do this every time you want to see the Library. To permanently unhide the Library, you need to use a Terminal command.
 
Launch Terminal from the Applications/Utilies folder. Type the following in the Terminal window:
chflags nohidden ~/Library

The Library will appear in your user folder.

 
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Exercise files

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