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 due—plus 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:
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:
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!