2020-12-02 – OmniFocus Workflows with Rev. Michael L. Wilson

Pastor and technologist, Michael Wilson shares how he makes effective use of OmniFocus and complementary apps to manage both routine and unpredictable elements of his life and work.

Rev. Michael L. Wilson (aka “The Tech Pastor”) joined us from San Lorenzo, California to share how he uses OmniFocus and complementary apps to manage his life and work.

Michael adopted OmniFocus in 2010 after picking up a second-hand iPhone 3G and a MacBook Air. He was drawn to OmniFocus’ flexibility and is a fan of the Omni Group’s talented team of people. Michael’s Apple devices have seen some major upgrades over the years. He now has a 27” iMac, a 16” MacBook, a couple of iPads, and an iPhone.

Michael has been a member of the Learn OmniFocus community since 2018. He regularly participates in the small-group Learn OmniFocus Office Hours gatherings on Zoom. He continues to hone his OmniFocus setup and workflows through these sessions and generously shares his productivity wisdom with other participants.

Michael’s Approach to OmniFocus

Michael shared details of how he’s using OmniFocus and complementary productivity apps to manage his life and work. Topics covered include:

  • The variety of ways that he uses OmniFocus on his Macs, iPads, and iPhone.
  • How he applies wisdom from 10 Natural Laws of Successful Time and Life Management (Hyrum W. Smith), Essentialism (Greg McKeown), and Margin (Richard A. Swenson) to keep OmniFocus clean, focused, and relevant.
  • How he uses OmniFocus to manage routine elements of his life and work, including his extensive “Sunday Morning” project.
  • How OmniFocus helps him navigate the uncertainties that are inherent in his work as a pastor.
  • How he uses OmniFocus to support his spiritual path.
  • How he makes productive use of defer dates.
  • Details of the three custom perspectives that he uses to hone in on his most important tasks.
  • Other custom perspectives that provide him with customized views of his OmniFocus database and help him give appropriate attention to the most important areas of his life.
  • How he uses OmniFocus to help ensure that people in his parish are front and centre.
  • How he uses Launch Center Pro to quickly jump to OmniFocus perspectives on his iPad mini.
  • His innovative approaches to using MindNode to help keep his life and work on track.
  • How and why he uses the Due app alongside OmniFocus.
  • The roles that OmniOutliner plays in his productivity system.
  • How he uses DEVONthink to keep a wealth of information at his fingertips, while keeping OmniFocus clean and uncluttered.


About Michael Wilson

Rev. Michael L. Wilson is a native of Alameda County in the San Francisco Bay Area. He and his wife of 32 years continue to call the Bay Area home.

Michael’s interest in technology dates back to his days in the United States Air Force (USAF). During his time in the military, he was introduced to the Zenith Heath Kit Computer and the BASIC programming language.

After leaving USAF, he was hired by Seagate Technologies in Scotts Valley, California to write test software for drives and drive interfaces.

Michael’s productivity experience also spans many years. He’s a fan of David Allen, Hyrum Smith, and Stephen Covey. He previously used a Franklin Planner to track all the requests for software features and to schedule releases. And in 1999, he bought a Palm V and started storing and tracking his notes and tasks electronically.

For the past 15 years, Michael has served as the pastor of the Cornerstone Fellowship, a Baptist Church in San Lorenzo, California, the same church that he attended as a child.

Michael wears many hats at the church. In addition to being the pastor, he’s the landlord (his church rents space to other churches), network administrator, counsellor, building manager, project manager for church-related projects, and much more. His love for tech has earned him the nickname, “The Tech Pastor”.

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