Monthly Archives: February 2012

3 Reasons Why You Should Use Omnifocus To Miraculously Organize Your Life

Or, 3 Reasons Why You Should Go Buy an iPhone If You Don’t Already Have One (Seriously, Go Right Now—Then Come Back and Read This)*

1. Omnifocus saves you time.

It’s like a to-do app on crack. It does so much more than most of those one-dimensional check-box lists you see, thanks to a bajillion awesome features and its multi-faceted interface. Basically, you can collect all your projects and plans, short- and long-term, in one place, assign each one a customized category of your choice (home, office, errands, world domination, etc.), and set repeating instances or deadlines as you choose. It may take you a day or two to enter all your data, but once you do, that’s the last time you’ll need to worry about it. No more writing lists every day, no more keeping track of sticky notes on your desk, no more spending 15 minutes trying to remember why you have that nagging feeling that you were supposed to do something or other by this afternoon. Omnifocus pops up a little reminder (bing!) when something is dueplus it lets you do a quick scan of things you need to accomplish today, tomorrow, and by the end of the week. Here’s a look at my forecast as an example:

Paige, if you’re reading this, your gift MIGHT be a little late :/

In short, with Omnifocus you’re free to actually get things done rather than spend time worrying about what should be done and trying to remember to do it.

2. Omnifocus keeps you on track.

Like I said, it’s more than just a one-dimensional to-do app. Let’s create a TOTALLY HYPOTHETICAL Omnifocus project entry to illustrate. We’ll call the project “Rule the Entire World Bwaahahahaha.” First, you create the overall project. Then, within that project, you add individual actions that must be accomplished in order to complete the project. You can set these actions up to be sequential (must be done in a certain order) or parallel (can be done simultaneously). Then, you can set deadlines for each action, and also assign contexts and locations. Like so:

If you have a mustache, now would be the time to twirl it.

This smaller-objectives-within-larger-goals structure is the key to actually accomplishing things. Omnifocus not only helps you get those smaller steps down on paper, as it were, but it will tell you when and even where to do them. For instance, let’s say I’m at the store and I know there are some things I need to buy to complete some of my actions. I just tap the “Shopping” context in Omnifocus, and it pulls up all the different actions from all my existing projects that require buying something. Swivel chair? Check! Hot glue for that super cute coffee filter wreath I saw on Pinterest that I wanted to make? Check!

3. Omnifocus gives you peace of mind.

This one is the most important for me. You may not have guessed this, but I am a highly organized and sometimes anxious person. I’m constantly thinking of things I want to do, or should do, or have to do. I used to make looooong lists on paper for different things–short-term to-dos, long-term-projects, shopping lists, chore charts, etc. I’d worry about forgetting stuff that I thought of in the shower or driving down the road. But now, when an idea for a blog post or DIY project pops into my head, I stick it in the Omnifocus inbox (the sort of catch-all feature) and then I go back and flesh out the details later. If I suddenly remember that I need to schedule a doctor’s appointment or pay a bill, I don’t have to go around for two hours muttering to myself like a weirdo to ensure I don’t forget until I get a chance to do it. Omnifocus takes all the wants and shoulds and musts rattling around in my head and puts them in a safe, retrievable, organized, super streamlined place. Less fretting, more partying, am I right?

*I should clarify that I am actually NOT a sales representative for Omnifocus or Apple. I’m just a super geek about technology that promotes productivity, ok? Get off my back, gah!

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3 Reasons Why Michigan Winter Is Slowly Turning Me Into a Lunatic

Or, 3 Reasons Why I Will Need a Deep-Tissue Massage and Possibly Psychiatric Care When Spring Finally Arrives, Which Probably Won’t Be Till August

1. Driving in snow. 

The first time I had to do this, it was at night after a fresh snow fall. I was all, “What? Couple inches of snow? No problem, dude.” Pure hubris. By the time I reached my destination 20 hellish minutes later, I was shaking with abject terror. I may have even cried. I mean, just a little. Cause that trip was a slip-sliding, brake-failing, red-light running RIDE OF DEATH. And yes, I said brake-failing. Turns out, tires can get so slick with snow that brakes will, you know, sort of stop working. Surprise!

2. Wearing winter gear.

I can’t put my arms down!

Seriously, it feels just like this. Sometimes, riding along in the car wearing my engulfing puffy coat and knotted-up scarf and tight-laced boots, I will suddenly feel so claustrophobic that I see black spots. My entire being is squealing “Let me out! Let me out! Omg arrghghhhuuugghh!” But of course the car is too small for me to wriggle out of those mummy wrappings and I just have to sit there and try not to claw at myself like a maniac.

3. Getting sleeted in the face.

My skin is suffering, y’all. This delicate peaches-and-cream needs balmy breezes and gentle warmth to flourish—not angry blasts of tiny ice daggers. And even if it’s not blizzardy outside, the wind alone is frosty as a beeyatch. Plus, the air in general, in or outside, seems much drier and way more harsh; I think I’m starting to understand what grapes feel like when they turn into raisins. My normal moisturizing routine—chapstick, lotion, more chapstick, MORE LOTION—has become even more obsessive than it used to be. Actually, I didn’t realize the true extent of that statement till I went around the house and gathered up the various products I’ve been using lately, which I keep stashed in strategic locations:

If I don’t turn into a chunk of ice and shatter by spring, I will be lotion-y enough to make some serial killer a nice, supple skin suit.

A few times this week, husband tried to sneak chapsticks from their assigned stations to keep in his pocket at work, which caused me to develop an acute case of Crazy Eyes when confronting him about it. Trust me when I say that I will not survive this mini Ice Age unless I have endless supplies of salves and balms at my painfully dry fingertips. So persons who are interested in getting into their side of the bed and NOT discovering a dirty sludgeball from the pile of old plowed snow in the parking lot better think twice before trifling with me.

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