iOS Only Omnifocus Setup, Update 2

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Using Omnifocus

After two weeks of using Omnifocus on just my iPad and iPhone I continue to be pleased with my ability to stay on top of my burgeoning task lists. As I wrote in this post and then updated in this post, I have moved away from using Outlook Tasks/iOS Reminders to manage my tasks. I did this partly to have something to write about on the blog, but more importantly because I had been having trouble keeping track of all that I need to do without getting discouraged by too long lists. Given my Microsoft-only, locked-down work setup, I had always avoided Omnifocus until iOS7 and Omnifocus’ new iPhone 2.0 update. I am glad that I gave Omni a try because I feel more productive and less stressed about forgetting something than I have in a long time. And, for me I proved that not using the MAC version of Omnifocus is definitely possible with the help of the iPad and iPhone versions. Read on to learn more about my setup.

Because I do not know what I am missing, I see no issue NOT having a MAC to manage Omnifocus. In my research for this series I ran across this great post. I use options 1. through 3. from the post, all of which are key to my setup. The key ingredients include my iPad situated prominently between and below my two monitors (see title picture) with my Adonit keyboard close at hand. The additional benefit of this setup includes the plug to a set of external speakers for playing Pandora, listening to Podcasts or streaming NPR. Beyond the iPad, I always have my iPhone for adding and manipulating tasks. The coolness of the iPhone App allows me the capability of processing tasks just as efficiently on the iPhone as I can on the iPad.

In addition to my iPad, I consistently route tasks to Omni either by forwarding emails from my work Outlook or by entering new tasks using the Outlook Shortcut Ctrl-Shift–1 (setup to default to the last email address used which is usually my secret Omni email address). I then send with the Alt-S shortcut. As the post from asianefficiency notes, “frictionless” task capture is critical to making Mac-less Omnifocus work. In addition to email task entry, I rely heavily on Siri to get my todos into Omni as I mentioned on Item 4 in this post. The beauty with Siri is that it brings native options like reminder creation in iOS to a 3rd-party app like Omni. How many times did you remember to do something while driving but do not want to manually type a task, pull over or create a note? Siri+Omni works great!

In researching this post I did come across an interesting web solution for Omnifocus called Spootnik. This application evolved from a tool to allow team members to sync Omnifocus with the project management app Basecamp. Spootnik appears to be a great option for those that are not able to access the web via their iPad or iPhone at work. However, for me I see no benefit given my ability to have my iPad setup on my desk. And, for $36 a year ($3 per month) I will stick with my iPad and iPhone.

In summary, there is nothing magical or even hack-worthy in my setup. I simply rely on out of the box functionality in Omnifocus, Siri and email. If you have an iPad and iPhone, Omnifocus is an amazing option for managing tasks if you are looking for something more robust than Reminders and more failsafe than Evernote.

Are you using Omnifocus iOS only?

DISCLOSURE: The links above are affiliate links. This means that I earn a few cents if you click the link and purchase the app. This costs you nothing but it helps me keep this site running.

About the author

    Chris Lee

    I am a healthcare administrator interested in being productive. I believe that the combination of a tablet (iPad Air 32GB) and a smartphone (iPhone 5 in my case) can drastically improve how we do work without adding too much complexity. The “how” of accomplishing this productivity is the focus of this blog. Here are just a few of the topics I hope to cover.Even though I use iOS devices currently I am in no way totally tied to Apple. I have used a Surface 2 for an extended time and am currently considering replacing my HP laptop with a Surface at some point, so keep reading to find out when this happens. Heck, I may even write a post some day on getting efficient with a Kindle Fire HD given that my daughter just got one for her birthday awhile back.

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