Start your free trial now, and begin learning software, business and creative skills—anytime, anywhere—with video instruction from recognized industry experts.

Start Your Free Trial Now

OmniFocus Essential Training

with Chris Mattia

Video: Welcome

Shows how to capture and organize projects and action items into a system for managing tasks and getting work done.
Expand all | Collapse all
  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 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

please wait ...
OmniFocus Essential Training
Video duration: 0s 3h 37m Beginner


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


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 .

Expand all | Collapse all
please wait ...
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.






Don't show this message again
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.

Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ .

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

Join now Already a member? Log in

* Estimated file size

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.

Mark all as unwatched Cancel


You have completed OmniFocus Essential Training.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


Upgrade to View Courses Offline


With our new Desktop App, Annual Premium Members can download courses for Internet-free viewing.

Upgrade Now

After upgrading, download Desktop App Here.

Become a Member and Create Custom Playlists

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of online learning video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member?

Log in

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

You started this assessment previously and didn’t complete it.

You can pick up where you left off, or start over.

Resume Start over

Learn more, save more. Upgrade today!

Get our Annual Premium Membership at our best savings yet.

Upgrade to our Annual Premium Membership today and get even more value from your subscription:

“In a way, I feel like you are rooting for me. Like you are really invested in my experience, and want me to get as much out of these courses as possible this is the best place to start on your journey to learning new material.”— Nadine H.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.

Sign up and receive emails about and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from

Sign up and receive emails about and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.