Kaitlin Salzke makes excellent OmniFocus plug-ins. I’ve written before about the “work on” plug-in, which solves the problem of having to identify the next step for projects where the next step is simply and always “keep working on it”. I’m using this especially for projects that are tracked in the issue tracker at work.
Anyways, another amazing plug-in is the “scheduling” plug-in, which adds an important date to the mix of dates I can set on a task: scheduled dates. A scheduled date is a date that basically says “I’m planning to work on this on this date”. Why is this powerful? Because until now I had to abuse either defer dates (which actually mean - or I take them to mean - “I can work on this starting from this date”) or due dates (this has to be done by this date or I’m in trouble).
Let’s say it’s Wednesday today (which it is at the point of writing) and I have a task that I think I’ll work on on Friday. With scheduled dates I don’t need to defer tasks until Friday or set a due date for Friday - both would not reflect reality. Instead I can now correctly express that I can work before Friday on this task, but I plan to do so on Friday.
The plug-in makes use of tags to implement the feature and it is to thoughtfully executed, that I highly recommend giving it a try.
People who know GTD know that I’m at least to define the next step that would bring my project closer to completion. But sometimes even that gets in the way and so I end up not setting up the project in OmniFocus at all. The antidote is a repeating “Work on” task that I can check off when I did an appropriate amount of work. Instead of defining the next step I’m just working on it and especially in projects that are self evident, creative or not in need of lots of planning this is a great idea.
Kaitlin’s plug-in makes this thing now even better, because I can check the task off for the whole day and it won’t come back until tomorrow.
Great idea, great plug-in. Give it a try.
P. S.: It’s maybe slightly too early to write a post like this, but I just wanted to share my enthusiasm. So take it with a grain of salt - and ask me in 3 months if I’m still using this.
I don’t know why, but I may have for the first time really understood how OmniFocus' repeating event functionality works. Amazing how much complexity they managed to cram into this feature. I can actually express all my recurring tasks in my task manager. But: It almost certainly means that I’m stuck with OmniFocus, because no other app can do this.
(I’m not using teuxdeux anymore. And after a short liaison with Todoist, I’m back with OmniFocus.)
Reading the old scripture on the forecast perspective makes it clear to me, that this was intended to be used as a way to tell how due dates and events on a calendar interact.
It’s true you can also show deferred tasks and use a forecast tag to surface tasks without a due date in this perspective, but that is just secondary functionality. And it shows.
- Sometime has not worked out for me. I never got the hang of it. I think it’s a good app, it just didn’t click with me.
- TeuxDeux is used very lightly. I would want to use it more, but I believe doing is more important than organizing or even tracking the doing.
Two promising new apps:
TeuxDeux is a pretty, minimalistic todo list manager. This year I cut down hard on what I’d call “metawork”, that is work to organize other work and abandoned my heavier task-management systems I had set up in Things or OmniFocus. I’m still using their free trial, but I love their clean design and can see myself using this going forward. I love their approach of doing business and I think that their Instagram is actually funny.
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