My OmniFocus 2 Perspectives

The research for my books is well underway and what better product to start with than OmniFocus. Last night I was able to set up my new perspectives with surprising ease. 

Back in OmniFocus 1 for Mac, Perspective setting was as simple as getting your view to be exactly as you wanted and then selecting the Perspectives menu bar icon and selecting Save Perspective As. Fairly easy, although the layout of the options and general aesthetics of the screen left a lot to be desired. Not so now, no sir - it's every bit as easy and a joy to do. 

I'm a minimalist and will always try to create as few contexts, perspectives, projects as I can get away with on a product like OmniFocus so it is no surprise that I have so far, only set up three Custom Perspectives: 

  • I'm Whacked
  • Quick Wins
  • Maintenance

So what do each of these perspectives consist of?

I'm Whacked

As you can see, I'm specifically calling two contexts to form part of this perspective - Home: Brain Dead and Home: Low Energy. This essentially means that any OmniFocus tasks that have been assigned either of those two contexts will feature in this view. Handy for when energy levels are low but I still want to somehow be productive. 

Quick Wins

ow this one is going to be modified going forward, I'm sure of it. I just want this one to list all tasks that I have specified should take up to 15 minutes to complete in the contexts specified above. I've chosen those contexts because, with the work schedule I have at the minute, those are going to be the most prevalent however I can see this being changed quite a lot in order to perfect it. I'm learning this as well at the end of the day and getting lots of good advice form other sites!



Now this one makes use of the Focus section. By focusing solely on one project, you are able to effectively  create your own modified view of that project, in my case, my Maintenance project. Now my Maintenance project has several sub projects below which are, essentially, Single Action Lists with tasks for the house, garden, my laptop, NAS device etc. Where I try not to use due dates all the time, because I HATE having to continually change the due date because I didn't get around to doing it on the day I wanted to for whatever reason, I follow David Sparks advice and use Start/Defer dates, meaning that these tasks will only show up in this view if you've specified they are actually ready to be done. For example, if I wanted to mow the lawn on Sunday 1st and set a Due Date of the 1st and a repeat of every two weeks, well that's all well and good if I do mow the lawn on that date. What if we decide on an impromptu day out? It won't get done, so it flags as not done and I may do it on Wednesday 4th. Now it won't need doing until Wednesday 118th now, however, upon completion, OmniFocus will set the next occurrence to occur on Sunday 15th, hen the lawn doesn't actually need doing. By using Defer dates, and saying the task needs to be available two weeks after it was last completed, I stop that happening and I'm a lot happier for it. That's why I love this Perspective. 

I may well change it yet more, however rest assured, when my books are released, I'll have found the setup that is right for me, and hopefully right for a lot of you too.