After nearly a year with ToDoist I started to experience a feeling that something was just not quite there, the collaboration features were good as was the automation available via Zapier and the Todoist API, but I kept reading Omnifocus was simply the best available, was lauded by some people on the internet who I respected so thought I would look at it again.
On reflection I left OF because I made it too complicated, not the app itself, me, inventing workflows which when revisited I had trouble understanding! ToDoist forced me back to basics and so I simply imported my curent ToDoist system into Omnifocus and ran both in tandem for a while, at the same time reading up on the numerous articles and blog posts on using Omnifocus "correctly".
What I soon realised that the ability to defer tasks was key and a more than compensated for the lack of collaboration tools, which I only used to push taks to my partner who sits opposite me. The automation I could largely replicate albeit with some manual processing from the OF inbox each day. It also became clear that productivity is a very personal thing, take ideas from others yes, but adapt them to your way of working, we all work differently, for example I like to keep my mail inbox to zero, and am happy to deal with mail first thing in the morning and as it comes in, which some say is completely wrong, but not for me.
I have also spent the last couple of months refining my contexts trying many different ideas, time based, energy based and for now, I hesitate to say finally, settling on a system based on hardware, and mindset. Some tasks I still need a Mac for, code compiling for example, so having a context for "Mac" seems sensible. I also borrowed some ideas such as an "anywhere" context, I am rarely far from the internet and this covers things such as site maintenance, blog posting and a lot else. Another useful idea was Rachel Andrews idea of an "Omnifocus" or system context which I use for system housekeeping tasks to keep the system running. I process the inbox every morning on OF as well as mail, check appointments, invoicing etc and have a repeating project weekdays to run through these things I need to do each morning.
Previously for many tasks I relied upon single task lists, where possible I have tried to convert things into repeating projects, such things as the morning review, regular filing and tagging, server and domain admin and the other routine things I need to do. I have also apopted the idea of adding "everything" to OF, I keep ideas for new business projects, gifts, films to watch etc. These sit in a future/on hold folder, set to inactive and reviewed every couple of months, these have no context they just serve as reminders and save having to check and maintain multiple other apps.
So far this system seems to keep me on track, I have even managed to write this blog on time! The most valuable lesson over the past few weeks has been to understand that I need a system for me, not someone elses, and time spent working out how I function has proved invaluable. As I said last time I doubt this system will stay in place without alteration, but constant evolution seems to work in nature let's hope it works for task management..