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Advanced OmniFocus Functionality [Video]

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By popular request, here is a guide to some of the more advanced ways that OmniFocus can be used. This is less of a “this is my OmniFocus philosophy and system” article and more of a “here are some cool ways to use the application that you may not have been aware of” piece.

If you don’t know what OmniFocus is, it is a powerful database-driven task management application for the Mac. We have an in-depth series on how to get things started with OmniFocus coming out in a few weeks – this article assumes that you already use the program and are pretty familiar with the basics of task management.

OmniFocus Premium PostsIf you are looking for a shortcut to use OmniFocus the right and effective way, check out OmniFocus Premium Posts. It’s our guide that is simple, practical and it has a lot of field-tested workflows and solutions to help you use OmniFocus the right way. Click here for more information.

In part, these short videos were inspired by both Merlin Mann’s talk and David Spark’s talk from MacWorld on how they use OmniFocus.

UPDATE: If you want to see how we use Omnifocus, check out our Omnifocus series.

Preference Options

Right-click and save: Asian Efficiency OmniFocus Style / Theme

Cool Functions You Didn’t Know About

Perspectives

Photo by: Jerry Ferguson

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{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Marloes May 7, 2011 at 8:11PM

Great article! Learned a lot!

Marloes

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AE Thanh May 23, 2011 at 5:17PM

Thanks Marloes! 

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Sean Price May 23, 2011 at 1:19PM

 Great post!

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AE Thanh May 23, 2011 at 5:17PM

 Thanks Sean!

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Russfrench New Zealand June 6, 2011 at 10:06AM

Can I ask what the anti-procrastinate icon in yr  O.F. toolbar is? and what it does?

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AE Aaron June 6, 2011 at 1:59PM

Yup. It loads up a list of tasks to do when you’re low energy and want to procrastinate. I go into more detail about it in the next OmniFocus tutorial which is going live in about an hour =)

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AE Aaron June 6, 2011 at 2:00PM

Yup. It loads up a list of tasks to do when you’re low energy and want to procrastinate. I go into more detail about it in the next OmniFocus tutorial which is going live in about an hour =)

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Bojan Djordjevic December 26, 2011 at 4:45AM

Picked up the theme… Looks great

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Lulamae Broadway March 16, 2012 at 1:59PM

Some helpful stuff – but you didn’t explain Action Groups that well – your mouse is clicking around to create nested lists, but you don’t show us what you’re doing.

Is it “add child/aunt”?

Also, more detail about how you created your perspectives would also be helpful. The big takeaway here is just “use them” not “here’s how you make them”

Am going through your series of posts, maybe there’s more info there.

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Aaron Lynn March 17, 2012 at 9:10AM

Hi Lulamae,

I actually use keyboard shortcuts to do nested lists.

Control + Command + Right moves an item one level in, Control + Command + Left moves an item one level out. Control + Command + Up/Down move the items up and down.

We definitely have more on perspectives in our series of posts – there’s an index of them here: http://www.asianefficiency.com/omnifocus/

- Aaron

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duckzila April 19, 2012 at 7:11PM

hi,

I’m looking for a feature and i seem not to find it anywhere. Is it possible to get the number of the actions in a project?? You can see that on OmniFocus for iPhone, but I don’t find that anywhere on the mac version.

thanks,
victor

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Thanh Pham April 26, 2012 at 1:30PM

Hi Victor you have to install some script on the Mac. You can find a lot of them here:
http://forums.omnigroup.com/forumdisplay.php?f=44

I hope you can find what you’re looking for there!

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gbp May 8, 2012 at 12:34AM

It is sometimes hard to understand what you are saying. The volume is uneven and I have to increase the volume to the max on macbook.

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Aaron Lynn May 8, 2012 at 2:23AM

Hey Gbp, sorry about that – have you tried earphones? I just had another listen through and it seems to be OK for me with 1-2 bars of volume on my Mac.

Might also be a case of accents – I’ll make a note to include transcripts for future videos.

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Steve May 26, 2012 at 2:38AM

In the end of video “Cool Functions You Didn’t Know About” you are saying that you have to unflag the actions otherwise they still show up in your today list. But why don’t you just put the Availability Filter to “Available” or “Remaining” instead of “Any Status”? This would automatically clear the items from your Today list.

Whats also cool is if you put the Today filter to Available instead of Remaining you can flag your repeating actions (daily, weekly, monthly) and they will automatically show up in your today list once they become available. Then you just mark them as done and once the task is available again it is back in your today list.

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Christopher J October 11, 2012 at 1:41AM

Thanks for the posts and videos! I highly appreciate that you used your own working version of OmniFocus in the videos, it gives me a much better visual understanding of what others are doing/using and the ‘real life’ capabilities of the software.

Cheers,
Christopher

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Thanh Pham October 11, 2012 at 1:59AM

Thanks Christopher! Glad you like it. There will be more videos coming out soon.

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Mike June 17, 2013 at 1:49PM

I like the videos, but what I liked best I can not find. How do you get start and due dates to show?

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Thanh Pham June 17, 2013 at 10:42PM

In OmniFocus:

View > Show View Bar
Also: View > Columns.

Reply

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