2019-05-29 – Travelling With OmniFocus 3

2019-05-29 - Travelling With OmniFocus 3

Learn how to use OmniFocus 3 and complementary productivity apps to bring ease and efficiency to your travels.

Staying productive while on the road tends to be challenging at the best of times. Travel, by nature, is unpredictable and can mean adjusting to new climates, cultures, and time zones and working in distracting environments. Productive routines you’ve established at home can easily go out the window.

This session provides practical advice to support you in using OmniFocus 3 to bring a productive flow to your upcoming travels, whether you’re travelling for business or pleasure (or perhaps a combination of the two) to a neighbouring town or a far-off land.

Session Overview

Watch this session and learn:

  • How to prepare for a productive trip by making effective use of projects, checklists, and the Forecast perspective.
  • The role that mind maps and outlines can play in your travel planning, especially for complex trips that you're planning for months.
  • How to make effective use of OmniFocus tags when preparing for your trip, while on the road, and when you get back home.
  • Practical ways to use checklists, including when it makes sense to keep these lists in OmniFocus and when a complementary app (e.g. Trello) is a better option.
  • Strategies for managing and reusing your packing lists.
  • Important considerations when using defer and due dates across multiple time zones.
  • How to navigate time zones using Apple's Calendar app (with a hat tip to Fantastical and its excellent time zone support).
  • How and when to use reminder apps such as Reminders and Due alongside OmniFocus.
  • Best practices for using OmniFocus when you don't have access to the Internet (e.g. when on a plane).
  • How to use OmniFocus and complementary apps while travelling to keep life and work on track.
  • How the Today view of your iOS devices and Apple Watch complications can help keep OmniFocus on your radar as you travel.
  • How Siri Shortcuts can add speed and convenience to both your travel planning and your journey.
  • How to use OmniFocus to gracefully ease back into your life and work when you’re back from your travels.
  • How to defer processing of select Inbox items until you’re back home.
  • Practical ways to maintain positive habits and stay healthy during your travels.
  • And more…

Featured Apps & Services

The following apps and services were featured in this session:

  • 1Password1Password is a digital vault for logins, membership information, private notes, and much more. While travelling, it can be very helpful to have this information at your fingertips. Of particular interest to travellers is a feature called Travel Mode; it temporarily removes any 1Password information that hasn't been marked as safe for travel from your computer and mobile devices.
  • Due — On the surface, Due is quite similar to the Reminders app that comes pre-installed on your Mac and iOS devices. What sets it apart is that alarms can be set to automatically snooze. Concerned that you'll miss the notification to check into your flight, you can configure Due to notify you at regular intervals (e.g. every five minutes) until you mark this task complete.
  • Evernote — While preparing for your trip, you can use Evernote to capture travel information from a variety of sources. This may include travel-confirmation emails and web-based research captured using the excellent Evernote Web Clipper. You can easily bring this information with you when you travel and share it with your fellow travellers.
  • FantasticalFantastical is a meticulously-crafted calendar app for Mac and iOS with excellent support for time zones.
  • Trello — Trello is a visual and intuitive project management and collaboration app that can be very convenient when planning personal and business trips. It's a great way to keep everyone on the same page. And Trello cards and boards can easily be linked to OmniFocus actions and projects.
  • TripItTripIt is a service that magically transforms your confirmation emails (e.g. for flights, trains, and hotels) into an itinerary that can be viewed on a computer, easily accessed using TripIt's mobile app, and shared with other people. It's very helpful, both when preparing for trips and to help guide your travels.
  • Scanner ProScanner Pro, an excellent app developed by Readdle, transforms your iPhone and iPad into a portable scanner. You can even create smart workflows that make it easy to automatically rename your scanned documents and send them to their destination (e.g. Evernote, Dropbox, and email).
  • Screens — The Screens app can be very helpful if you travel with your iPad, and occasionally need access to your Mac back home. You can even use your iPhone as an impromptu trackpad.
  • Streaks — Habits you've worked hard to establish can easily fall by the wayside while you're on the road. Streaks helps you maintain habits during your travels (where possible) and helps ensure you slide back into productive routines when you're back home.
  • WaterMinder — It's easy to lose track of how much (or how little) water you're drinking while you're travelling, and end up dehydration. WaterMinder, that's available for Apple and Android phones and Apple Watch, helps you keep your water consumption on track.

Other Resources

  • Checklist Manifesto — Checklists are key to travelling with ease and efficiency. To help hone your use of checklists, both home and on the road, check out this excellent book by Atul Gawande. It's a fascinating read that's chock-full of practical advice.
  • Populate Template Placeholders — It can be very helpful to base your trip planning on a project template, especially if you travel frequently and your trip-planning projects have common elements. This script by Curt Clifton, a former engineer at the Omni Group, adds a template feature to OmniFocus for Mac. These templates can also be used on iOS, thanks to some clever Siri Shortcuts written by Rose Orchard. See this post on Colter Reed's blog for more information.
  • Siri Shortcuts Directory — Siri Shortcuts can be very helpful when preparing for travelling and while on the road. You'll find Shortcuts that you can use and customize in our OmniFocus Siri Shortcuts Directory. Among them is the Trip To Calendar & OmniFocus shortcut that was demoed during this session.
  • Siri Shortcuts Tutorials — To learn more about Siri Shortcuts, check out the sessions in our Automate OmniFocus category.