There are a lot of ways to “get things done,” but if you get things done with David Allen’s Getting Things Done and you use a Mac, then one of the applications built around that paradigm is OmniFocus. I use OmniFocus somewhat regularly, and I find when I do use it, it’s a marvelous thing, if for one and only one reason: one of Allen’s founding principles in GTD is “emptying the mind.”
Now, before that phrase makes you think he’s a touchy-feely type and you’re entering the land of squishy. Nope. Not at all. “Emptying the mind” is simply a catch-phrase for getting all those niggling todos and ideas out of your head. Of course, the idea is that you put them some place else you trust will hold them and that you can then view them and sort them and rank them and all that. You know, get an objective view instead of having that seemingly random swirl thing happening in your head every morning when you wake up.
So you need a place, and OmniFocus is that kind of place. It was built for it. And it does a pretty good job of it. But you have to use it regularly, and that’s where I am still learning. Regular use means regular dumping and regular reviewing.
The review part is where I fail. In part because I fail to remember to do it and in part because it depresses me whenever I look at all the things I still need to do and all the ideas I have that I have done nothing about. No doubt what I really need is to learn to “let things go.”
Hey! Maybe that’s the book I get to write and a few years from now all the geekerati will be talking about LTG! Okay, I better go dump that into OmniFocus…
For everyone else, check out this post on the OmniGroup’s blog where one user offers up his own story and usage of OmniFocus.