Join David Sparks for an in-depth discussion in this video Reviewing tasks, part of OmniFocus for iOS Essential Training.
- One of my favorite features in OmniFocus is the ability to set up and conduct periodic project reviews. In the hustle that's required to complete projects, we don't often think to stop and re-evaluate what tasks make sense, or whether or not even the project still makes sense. OmniFocus again has you covered, with an excellent review feature. This course will show you how take advantage of it. I love Review because it helps me blow the cobwebs out of my projects. I'm going to go ahead and tap on the Review perspective in the left sidebar.
And Review is available on both the iPad and the iPhone with OmniFocus. And you can see I've got here a list of projects that have come due for review. And during the review process, I usually like to make a cup of tea, and just kind of sit down and look through my projects. For instance on this health project here, I'm going to take a look at what's going on here. And clearly I'm going the wrong direction. If I want to get healthy, I'm eating ice cream and stopping walking isn't the way to do it. So I'm going to go ahead and say, you know, this isn't a good idea, I'm going to go ahead and delete that project. And I'm going to also delete buying the segway.
And instead, I'm going to add a new task right here. Say, "Join a gym". Hit Save, and now I've added that to my Health perspective, and I think I've got my health project here on a much better standing. Now I'm done reviewing it, I can go ahead and mark it as reviewed, and if you look in the lower right corner, there's a button there that says Mark Reviewed, and it does exactly what it says. Alright, so I've marked it reviewed, and now I went down to the next project, which is Administration. And once again I can see all of the tasks related to this, whether they're deferred into the future or currently available, and as I look through this I may see some tasks that I want to delete, or add some new ones.
And I'll go through and audit this project. Now, it's currently set for me to audit this once a week, and you can see that at the bottom as well. The review frequency is every week. With today being the current review period. Let's say that I don't need to review the administrative tasks every week. That's something I only want to review every three weeks. So I'm going to tap on there where it says Every week, and Next Today, and that opens this little pop-up where I can change that frequency. So I'll tap on Review, and I'll drag it down to be every three weeks.
Which seems a little more appropriate for this one. And I'll click it, and now I've got a review frequency of three weeks, I'll say Mark Reviewed, and that one's off the list too. Now I go back and hit Administration again, you'll see that the next review isn't for three weeks, October 22nd, whereas Health, which is still on a one-week timer, I'm going to have to look at that one on October 8th. So then I'll go next to the New Headquarters. And you can see how I'm doing this, I'm going through and really just checking out the projects I'm working on. Now, by setting these review frequencies with different times, it makes it a lot easier to do this.
You don't want to review every project on your list every week, because it doesn't always make sense. For instance, I've got some projects that I deal with clients that don't need a lot of help, where I only review their main project file maybe once every three or four months. Then I've got other things I'm working on where I'm reviewing them every couple of days. And the idea is to customize that to a way that works for you with each of your projects. And then develop the discipline to go hit that Review perspective, and go see what's up for review every few days.
Now when you're watching this, part of you is probably saying this is something I don't really need to do. You're wrong, you really do need to do this. And I think it's one of the secret weapons of OmniFocus. It just makes the whole system work better, whenever I start to feel frazzled, it's because I haven't done a review for a while. If I go and review my projects, I always feel like I have a lot more understanding about what I'm up against. So adding a weekly review to your routine is an extremely powerful practice that you can add to your task management routine with Omnifocus.
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, the check circle, perspectives, and the Forecast view. Finally, you'll learn how to efficiently review tasks and projects and how to manage OmniFocus tasks on an Apple Watch.
- Installing OmniFocus for iOS
- Setting up Omni Sync
- Working with OmniFocus iOS extensions
- Capturing tasks manually and with Siri
- Setting up projects in OmniFocus
- Creating due dates
- Flagging tasks
- Processing your inbox
- Building custom perspectives
- Acting on tasks
- Reviewing tasks
- Customizing other application settings