I often hear from people who have invested significant time and energy into creating a carefully crafted OmniFocus setup, but don’t get into the habit of using OmniFocus regularly and miss out on the benefits. Old habits, such as being overly focused on email, pervade and OmniFocus remains out of sight and out of mind. When neglected for too long, OmniFocus gets out of date; it becomes less and less useful and relevant as time goes on.
For OmniFocus to live up to its potential, it’s important to establish habits around using and maintaining it regularly. Have OmniFocus become your go-to list when you have some discretionary time (i.e., the unbooked times on your calendar) and make a point of reviewing OmniFocus as frequently as you need to keep it up to date and relevant.
With these practices in place, you’ll be much more likely to benefit from all that OmniFocus has to offer. These practices also help build trust in OmniFocus so that you can let go of the need to hold your to-do lists in your head. You’ll invite in the “mind like water” state that David Allen talks about in Getting Things Done.
Check out the in-depth Getting Into the Habit of Using OmniFocus With Streaks article to learn more about how you can use the excellent Streaks habit-tracking app to develop habits around using OmniFocus. The first portion of the article is free, and you can gain access to the full article, including some short demo videos, by joining Learn OmniFocus.
It’s also important to lean on your calendar. Make sure that you’re setting aside time both to maintain OmniFocus and to work on the actions and projects that you’ve defined. The OmniFocus and the Calendar course (Members) will take you on a deep dive into this topic.
On a side note, if you find that OmniFocus is frequently getting unwieldy or has become a bit of a dumping ground, I recommend reading the Common OmniFocus Pitfalls and How to Avoid Them article (FREE). There’s also an in-depth course called Getting Back on Track with OmniFocus (Members) that builds on the content covered in the Common OmniFocus Pitfalls article.