How to set up your projects and folders in OmniFocus 3

How should you set up your projects and folders in OmniFocus 3?

You can only discover over time, through trial and error, which OmniFocus setup and workflow is best for you. But you have to start somewhere.

So here’s a great starting setup. Use it for a while, maybe 2–4 weeks, and then tweak it as needed.

This video is an excerpt from my OmniFocus 3 course, “How to Set Up and Use OmniFocus 3 to Get Stuff Done”.

How to use project templates in OmniFocus 3 to save time

Find yourself repeating the same project?

Save time by creating a project template using OmniFocus 3.

We’ll create a project template for a packing list. Ever been on a trip and forget to pack something? That won’t happen anymore. Packing will take a lot less time too. No need to think about what you’re forgetting. Just go down the list and grab items.

This is an excerpt from my course: How to Set Up and Use OmniFocus 3 to Get Stuff Done.

Check out more free previews from the course:

Is OmniFocus available on Android?

Perhaps the most frequently-asked question about OmniFocus is whether it is available on Android.

The short answer

No, OmniFocus is not available on Android.

And OmniFocus won’t come to Android anytime soon, if ever—the Omni Group has made that clear:

[W]e don’t have any plans to create native Windows or Android versions of our apps in the foreseeable future.

Omni Group CEO Ken Case

The long answer

The long answer is slightly more complicated, although the gist of it is the same.

There are official OmniFocus apps for iOS, macOS, and watchOS. For macOS, you can install OmniFocus through the Mac App Store, or purchase and download OmniFocus directly from the Omni Group’s website.

Also official now is OmniFocus for the Web, which as of this writing (in March 2019) is in public beta testing. It is a browser-based version of OmniFocus that is limited and intended for use on a desktop. You can use it for basic actions, like creating and editing projects and tasks, but it is not a full-fledged replacement for the macOS or iPad app.

Here’s what it looks like:

OmniFocus for the Web viewed in Firefox on macOS.
OmniFocus for the Web viewed in Firefox on macOS.

It is possible to use OmniFocus for the Web on a smartphone (including an Android smartphone). But it isn’t convenient. Seriously, I don’t recommend it.

You can use it in a pinch, but take a look at this screenshot and you’ll understand why OmniFocus for the Web is not a long-term solution for Android users:

OmniFocus for the Web viewed in Safari on iPhone.
OmniFocus for the Web viewed in Safari on iPhone.

There are also several third-party OmniFocus clients for Android. While it’s possible to use one of these clients, I don’t recommend doing that either. The Omni Group explains why:

Since v3 of OmniFocus for Mac shipped, customers using these types of [third-party] apps have contacted us about crashes and data loss. Customers who do not use them have not had similar experiences.

The Omni Group

If you’re an Android user and you insist on using OmniFocus, here are a few things you might try:

Otherwise, I’d recommend using a different task manager. Sadly, my second-favorite task manager, Things 3, is also only available on Apple devices. But I’ve worked productively with Nozbe in the past, and Nozbe is available on pretty much any platform, so check it out.

Look, I get it. OmniFocus is an amazing app. If you’re an Android user, it sucks that you can’t run OmniFocus on your phone. I tried switching from an iPhone to an Android phone, twice, but both times I came back to iPhone.

Why?

I sorely missed OmniFocus. 😔

The path of least offense

The lower half of a person's body, in a bowling alley.

I’m coining this new phrase.

It’s the path with the lowest likelihood of offending anyone in your group.

A corollary is that this path also has the lowest likelihood of exciting anyone.

The path of least offense is ordering boxed sandwiches for your all-day workshop. (Rather than spicy Indian food.)

The path of least offense is going bowling for team building. (Rather than go karting.)

And the path of least offense is playing Monopoly at a party. (Rather than Cards Against Humanity.)

Large corporations have a particular knack for identifying the path of least offense. Heaven forbid anyone gets excited or impassioned, because that might offend others.

I’m not out to offend anyone. But if the choice is between excitement—at the risk of turning some people off—and playing it safe, I know what I’m choosing.