Learn OmniFocus LIVE

Join us for engaging, interactive LIVE sessions that support you in using OmniFocus and complementary apps effectively and efficiently. Learn OmniFocus Office Hours sessions are conducted in small groups (maximum 10 people) and are not recorded. We also offer Private OmniFocus Coaching & Consulting.

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Getting Back on Track with OmniFocus 3

December 11, 2019 | 10:00 am - 11:30 am (Pacific Time)


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Do you sometimes fall off the OmniFocus bandwagon? Learn practical ways to get back on track and avoid pitfalls in the future.

Perhaps you started using OmniFocus with great enthusiasm, but somewhere along the way, your excitement has waned. OmniFocus may have begun to feel like another obligation to fulfill, rather than a powerful ally that helps you do your best work. This session is a guide as you get OmniFocus back on track and will help you avoid pitfalls in the future.

Session Overview

For those of you who have been using OmniFocus for a while, this session is designed to help you reignite your enthusiasm for OmniFocus as you unlock its potential. And if you’re new to OmniFocus, this session provides an excellent opportunity to learn how to spot common pitfalls before they compromise your productivity.

Drawing upon insights presented in one of our most popular articles, Common OmniFocus Pitfalls and How to Avoid Them, this session takes you through the most common OmniFocus missteps. As you watch the session, you’ll be invited to take a critical look at your system. And, if you’ve fallen into any (or all) of these pitfalls, fear not. You’ll receive practical guidance to help you get back on the bandwagon.

Getting Back on Track with OmniFocus 3

Common Pitfalls

This session takes you on a guided review of your OmniFocus setup. You’ll identify problem areas and take steps to transform your OmniFocus setup so that you have a system that helps you navigate life and work with grace and ease. We’ll focus on the following areas:

  • OmniFocus Has Become a Dumping Ground — Perhaps you developed a solid habit of emptying your mind into the OmniFocus inbox…and ended up with an unmanageable amount of unclarified information. We look at how to deal with an overloaded system, and how to avoid this situation in the future. This includes clarifying what belongs in OmniFocus and what is best kept elsewhere.
  • Unclarified Projects and Actions — One key to unlocking OmniFocus’ prowess is to establish a habit around creating clearly defined projects and actions. As we go through the session you’ll have the opportunity to review your existing projects and actions and to determine if they need additional clarification.
  • Overwhelming Number of Overdue Items — It can be tempting to add due items to things that you want to get done by a specific date, even though they’re not technically due. We review best practices for the use of due dates and look at ways to transition towards using due dates effectively.
  • OmniFocus is Out of Date — Keeping OmniFocus up-to-date and relevant is key to having it be a useful tool. If you’ve neglected your OmniFocus housekeeping, you’re likely not very motivated to use it and may return to old habits of being driven by what David Allen calls “latest and loudest”. We’ll look at some ways to revive your OmniFocus setup and practice as well as strategies to keep it from being left to gather virtual dust down the road.
  • Too Many…or Not Enough Tags — Tags can be a highly effective way to target specific actions based on things like your physical location, your energy level and the people you’re with. You’ll be guided through a review and revamp of your current tags so that you can get maximum value from this powerful feature.

Getting Back on Track

This session includes practical instruction for:

  • Determining what belongs in OmniFocus and what is best kept elsewhere.
  • Triaging your OmniFocus setup to get back to a usable system. This includes making use of OmniFocus documents/backups and OmniOutliner.
  • Moving towards a system that is, as David Allen says, “as simple as possible, but no simpler”.
  • Using tags in combination with folders, projects, and single-action lists to create a system that is convenient and manageable.
  • Simplifying your OmniFocus setup by offloading projects and actions that fall outside your realm of responsibility.
  • Determining what you can realistically accomplish. To quote David Allen, “you can do anything, but not everything”.
  • Performing daily and weekly reviews of your OmniFocus
  • Using custom perspectives to easily identify inaccuracies and inconsistencies in your OmniFocus database.
  • And more…

Recommended Prerequisites

Especially if you’re new to OmniFocus, it’s recommended that you watch the recording of the Start Smart with OmniFocus 3 session before watching this session. You might also want to watch the recording of the OmniFocus 3: Beyond the Basics session to better acquainted with OmniFocus’ more advanced features.



Learn OmniFocus Membership Required — You need to be an active Learn OmniFocus Member to register in this live session. Join today to get instant access to live sessions and members-only content.

Already a member? Click here to login.