OmniFocus: The GTD Holy Grail?

For the last year or so I’ve been trying to follow David Allen’s Getting Things Done methodology, with varying levels of success. One reason for the less-than-stellar progress is a lack of a “trusted system” into which all my projects, tasks and “next actions” go.

Sure, I carry around my trusty Moleskine notebook and a Tul pen everywhere to do the “ubiquitous capture” that’s so important in GTD, but transferring those captured ideas, reminders and notes into something permanent has ben missing. I need a system on my computer into which I stuff these written items, along with those I think of when I’m at my computer (most of the time).

I’ve tried a bunch of stuff. Kinkless GTD (kGTD), iGTD, Actiontastic, and on and on. Each has some killer feature and, more importantly, some fatal flaw.

Today I may have found my holy grail, and I’m ready to plunk down my credit card. Two problems: I haven’t used it and it’s not shipping yet.

So why am I ready to part with my plastic? Because I saw a video of it in use, and it does everything I want. From capturing information to making tasks into projects (“bake a cake” isn’t a single task, it’s a project with a series of tasks) to showing only the “next action” in a series of actions (I can’t “buy ingredients” until I “find a recipe”).

The application is OmniFocus, from The Omni Group, creators of OmniOutliner, one of the better outliners on the Mac, and other fine Mac-only apps. Kinkless GTD is based on OmniOutliner. It’s a bunch of AppleScripts that drive OmniOutliner in a GTD-like manner. It works, but it’s clunky: for example, you have to press a “sync” button whenever you make changes to your list of tasks.

Ethan Schoonover, the creator of kGTD, worked with The Omni Group to rework the kGTD idea into a real application, and the results, even in early alpha, had me slapping my hands and shouting in delight. I absolutely cannot wait to get my hands on the product and give it a spin.

Whether I’d become more organized is debatable, but I’d have one less excuse for it.

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