Join David Sparks for an in-depth discussion in this video Capturing tasks on the Mac, part of OmniFocus for Mac Essential Training.
- The Omni group spent a lot of time making sure it would be easy to add tasks to OmniFocus. The developers understand that us humans are busy and the faster and easier we can get tasks into our task manager, the more likely we are to actually do so. Let me show you how to add tasks in OmniFocus on the Mac. One of the easiest ways is to go on OmniFocus and click on the new action button, and then type in your task. If you have another task, just tap the return key, and you can add that as well.
You can also create a new task in OmniFocus with a keyboard shortcut cmd + n. I just created several tasks by just typing in the task item itself without any further detail. I got those items out of my head and into OmniFocus. But you can do more at the time that you're creating the task. For instance, you could add a project. And since this is a new project, I can create it by holding down the cmd + return key. I can also add context, defer dates, and due dates.
Now, all of these are items I'm going to cover in later videos, but it's important to know right now that you can add details to your tasks as you can create them. You can navigate between these fields in your tasks using the tab key to go forward and the shift tab key to go backwards. If you want to select the entire task, just hit the escape key, and then you can navigate with the arrow keys. You don't have to be inside OmniFocus to add new tasks. You can also do it from outside the applications, so long as it's running. To do that, you want to use the OmniFocus quick entry window.
I'm going to go ahead and click on the OmniFocus preferences and general. And you can see the quick entry shortcut there is ctrl + opt + spacebar. You can change that by clicking on the x and typing in something else, but I'm going to leave it at ctrl + opt + spacebar. because that's how I'm used to using it. Now, once you've activated that, if you've got OmniFocus minimized, and you're somewhere else on your Mac, all you have to do is type ctrl + opt + spacebar when you think of a new task and this quick entry window will open up.
From there you can type in a new task. Once you've created it, hit enter and it get's added to OmniFocus. Now, let me go back to the OmniFocus inbox so you can see it. There it is. Just like adding new tasks inside OmniFocus, when using the quick entry panel you can also add additional data. So I'm going to create a new one with ctrl + opt + spacebar. And then I'll type in a new task. And this time, instead of just hitting the return key to add it, I'm going to hit the tab key. And you can see I can tab through some more of these fields.
I could add a project, context, defer date, due date, or using the keyboard combination shift + cmd + l, I could even flag the project. Now all of those features I'm going to explain in later videos, but I wanted you to understand that when adding new tasks with the quick entry panel, you can add a lot of data to your OmniFocus tasks. I'm going to go ahead and hit the return key now. And, if I go back in OmniFocus, you'll see that new task is already added. That's not all though. There's even more ways to add new tasks to OmniFocus, and I'm going to show you those in the next video.
The course then explains how to best process tasks: setting up projects, establishing contexts and repeating tasks, and using such important features as date deferral, flags, perspectives, and the Forecast view. The course wraps up with a look at acting on and reviewing tasks and projects.
- List three tools used to add tasks to OmniFocus.
- Recall the purpose of setting contexts to tasks.
- Recognize the keyboard shortcut used to create a project from an item in the inbox.
- Explain how to change the default time for due dates.
- Determine which type of task to choose for repeating tasks.
- Identify three options you can set while creating a new perspective.