In our lives, as tasks build up, stress tends to build proportionally with the number of them that are present in our memories. In addition to worrying about the time needed to finish these tasks and the skills required to accomplish them, many of us are stuck worrying that we will forget what we needed to do in the first place! For those of us that need a bit of a hand in writing down and categorizing our everyday to-do list, the team at Omnifocus has produced a remarkable software product that allows a person to put tasks into a system that gives them the ability to prioritize, categorize and organize their tasks in a way that seems logical to that person. The best feature of Omnifocus is that it allows the user to personalize the system in a manner that seems the most logical and useful to them. This makes it much easier to keep track of what needs to be done. Another good point is that, unless your computer malfunctions or you happen to lose your laptop somwhere, the to-do list isn’t going anywhere. Therefore, you don’t even have to remember where you put the to-do list itself!
Omnifocus has made their layout simple and easy to understand while providing ample ways to categorize your tasks. The system is set up with a two dimensional style of format. For example, a user may have a category labeled “Shopping List” and another labeled “Repairs”. Within each task a user writes in these categories, there is a drop-down menu that allows that user to put each task in another category, such as “Errands”. This allows the user to click on the Errands category in the alternate view and see all of the things that he or she needs to buy while shopping. The user can switch back and forth between these views by simply clicking the “mode” button in the upper left hand corner of the Omnifocus window. After a task is completed, the user may delete that task by clicking in the box to the left of the task. A check mark will appear and a horizontal line will appear through the task so that the user knows that it has been done. To remove all of the finished tasks from the list, the user must simply click the “clean up” button at the top of the screen.
The feature of Omnifocus that allows the user to clear his or her mind of the tasks at hand is called the Inbox. Tasks may be added to the Inbox by pressing the enter key, which opens a new space for a task to be written, as well as the drop down box for the two dimensional categorization. Another feature at this screen is the Context tool. This button looks like a small piece of paper with a paperclip on it. When it is clicked, it allows the user to write any additional notes that need to be taken for future reference.
Another interesting feature of Omnifocus is that it allows you to see a library of all of your tasks at a given time. This may be accessed by clicking on “Library” on the toolbar in the left hand side of the window.
In conclusion, the Omnifocus software allows a user to accomplish many organizational tasks that would not be readily possible with just a pen and paper. While the good, old fashioned pen may be a good way to keep track of less important lists, there is also the possibility of losing that list. In addition to this, Omnifocus accomplishes what many other task managers do not: competency without complication. Omnifocus is easy to use; therefore it does not require the user to spend much extra time learning how the system works. With Omnifocus on hand, your mind gets a much needed break and your tasks are safely recorded for the time when you are ready to look back at them.