As an OmniFocus user, you already how packed OmniFocus is with features. You might not use them all but today we want to show you some quick and easy tips to get more out of your OmniFocus. Whether you’re new to OmniFocus or a seasoned veteran, we’ve compiled 10 tips that you can implement right away to get more out of OmniFocus.
NOTE: If you want to know how to use OmniFocus effectively, check out our OmniFocus Premium Posts. It will show you how to set up, maintain and use OmniFocus the right way.
1. Multiple Quick Entries
Need to quickly enter a lot of thoughts into OmniFocus? No problem – use the quick entry box. You probably do this already (if not, shame on you!) but you’re not just limited to one entry at a time. You can have multiple. Just press SHIFT+Return to enter multiple entries.
This is a great way to capture a lot of things in one swoop.
2. Store Backups in Dropbox
If you’re like me and you have your whole life stored in OmniFocus – please make sure you save your OmniFocus backups in Dropbox. In case you ever lose your computer/laptop or your harddrive dies, you’ll always have a backup copy elsewhere.
Under OmniFocus > Preferences you can change the storage location.
3. Perspective Shortcuts
Did you know that you can assign shortcuts to all your perspectives?
When you go to Perspectives > Show Perspectives, you’ll be able to assign shortcuts for each perspective. This makes navigating around OmniFocus much easier and faster.
If you have a trackpad, I highly recommend you install BetterTouchTool which allows you to have custom gestures. Within BetterTouchTool I have specific gestures setup for OmniFocus, so with just a couple taps I can easily navigate around OmniFocus.
4. The Notes shortcut
Speaking of shortcuts, the most frequently used shortcut for me is CMD+’ (apostrophe). This expands the notes section. Instead of dragging your mouse all the way to the tiny paper clip icon all the way on the right, this shortcut is much faster.
This works even better when you’re using a perspective. Just go to Project view, press CMD+’ and you will see all notes expanded in one view.
For those of you with trackpads, get BetterTouchTool, assign four finger swipe down to this shortcut, and using OmniFocus becomes even more effortless.
5. Sync with iCal
A lot of people think that syncing OmniFocus with iCal (Apple Calendar) is not possible. That’s not true – it is possible as we’ve written about how to do that here.
Having your due tasks show up on your calendar is really useful, so follow these instructions on syncing your OmniFocus with iCal.
6. Mail Drop
With Mail Drop, you can email yourself tasks that end up in your OmniFocus inbox. As of now it’s still a public test but it’s been working fine with no hiccups.
After you’re signed up, you’ll get a unique email address assigned and you’re set. This is especially useful for those who work in a Windows environment but still want to be able to get stuff in OmniFocus.
7. Automated Project Templates
Did you wish OmniFocus would come up with templates? While you can get creative with projects on hold that act as templates, it’s not nearly as effective as this automated solution by Chris Sauve.
He created a script that allows you to use dynamic project templates – check out the video below to see how it works.
If you want to use templates in OmniFocus, head over to this page, install it and set up your templates.
Technically this is not part of OmniFocus – it’s another app – but it’s extremely useful for capturing. PopClip gives you that iOS popup effect on the desktop. Whenever you select text in iOS, you are given the option to cut, copy or paste. PopClip gives you that same effect but the cool thing is that you can customize it.
When you install the OmniFocus extension, you can easily capture stuff with just your mouse. If you’re someone who doesn’t use the Clipping feature of OmniFocus because you can’t memorize the shortcut, this is your solution.
9. Search Perspectives
If you use the search feature a lot in OmniFocus, you can also save it as a perspective. Think of it as a “saved search”. Just search for something, then go to Perspectives > Save Window As > New Perspective.
This is a little bit of an advanced tip, but we’ve written before about how the HotSpot Technique allows you to easily dump files into your OmniFocus inbox.
It requires Hazel and an Applescript (provided), and once you have it set up it’s super easy to drag and drop files into OmniFocus. Here’s a video that shows you how it works.
If you want to have this setup, just follow the instructions here.
Do you have any OmniFocus tips that other AE readers should know about? Share them in the comments below!
Discover the 1 Lifehack of Highly Successful People
This one lifehack led to the biggest breakthrough of my career. People like Steve Jobs and Oprah have used it to catapult their success, and now you can too.