Presenting at The Setup

Attending the Set Up was a blast. Everyone was such a pleasure to meet. I continually wonder at the fact that there is this group of people who are all so excited about task management of all things, and I get to be one of them.

Ken Case, Omni’s CEO, and the entire staff of the Omni Group were very nice. They made an excellent experience for both audience and participants alike. In addition, it is always enjoyable to speak with people who create. I am grateful for having had the opportunity to attend, and I thank the Omni Group for inviting me to take part in their event.

Merlin Mann really is just as much himself as he is on the microphone. The skill with which he can both fiercely and delightfully deviate from a conversation, yet remember exactly where he left the trail so he may return, is strong. Conversationalists, be warned.

David Sparks made neat use of example in his presentations. During the Q & A, I was particularly entertained by his description of how shocking it can be to others when you’re really on top of your game.

Mike Schechter and Mike Vardy approach the workflow from such different but equally engaging mindsets. They both enjoy thinking about how we bring our minds to focus upon the work we desire to do, which is really the fundamental question to all of this.

In fact, I think I waxed on philosophically about workflow in general with everyone there. Tim Stringer even eloquently described productivity as evolving into a term more “holistic” in nature.

Sven Fechner has really honed his thoughts on A Fresh Take on Contexts. Even behind the content of the work, he displayed how developing one’s contexts in a way that works for one’s self takes active thought and reflection but pays off very well in the end. Each of the contexts he used clearly had a use for himself honed in habit.

Dinah Sanders presented her thoughts on the importance of regularly reflecting on and discarding projects that lose relevance. Making the act of deleting old projects into a habitual process leaves more room for the present.

In the morning session, Thanh Pham presented alongside Mike Schechter. Watching their animated arguments about how each were “right and wrong” about the same topics both entertained and highlighted the very individual nature of our workflows.

OmniFocus & OmniFocus Pro 2

Looking quite dashing in its new threads, of course, OmniFocus 2 itself was revealed. It’s still in its early stages, but it is obvious how strongly the iPad version’s interface is influencing the new direction.


Having said that, my own selfish fear that the strength inherent to the OSX version might be lost in that translation does not appear to be the case at all. If anything, some very neat enhancements relating to the Forecast view have been newly added such as an ability to see the scheduling of tasks across the entire month and even see where tasks rest during the day amongst one’s present calendar schedule items.


As the program is still in its early stages, it remains to be seen how its individual components will contribute to supporting one’s singular workflow. Among the functionality I am eager to see is that of perspectives. Perspectives create a part of OmniFocus that I rely upon heavily. One of my responses during the Q & A session, in fact, involved describing the regular part of my weekly review in which I examine my perspectives to see which may be deleted. The regular growth and pruning of perspectives has been a significant aspect in the evolutions adapting OmniFocus to my own workflow.

Perspectives, along with the use of Applescripts, will be a part of the “Pro” version of OmniFocus.

Several other posts have already described, in good detail, the information released about OmniFocus 2 including:

In the meantime, also check out Ken’s Interview about OmniFocus 2 and OmniOutliner 4 over at MacStories.

The Future of Creating Flow

While I wait for the beta of OmniFocus 2 to become available, I hope to wrap up my present book of focus, Workflow. Having discussed some of its content with my productivity colleagues, I feel increasingly confident that readers will find it to be a useful companion piece to Creating Flow 1 and 2. Once Workflow is done, I plan to bring Creating Flow 2 to a major spot in my Running Projects[1] perspective.

As Creating Flow with OmniFocus 2 is still in the vague and nebulous stages of thought, I can only say that I have no idea as to when it will be ready, what it will look like, or anything along those lines. The original Creating Flow had the benefit of being written in near secrecy. While I had discussed it in the forums[2], I only first otherwise publicly announced it about a week before launch. As such, it had time to develop.

I firmly believe that time is invaluable to the development of any creative endeavor. In the course of creativity, one needs to be able to play, and play needs to be able to head off in odd or unknown directions, explore, discover, question, and gleefully make many mistakes. All of this needs time to be guided and developed to become anything resembling meaningful work.

All of this is to say, I will try to get the work done in a timely manner but will also allow the work the time it needs to develop well.

Disclaimer: Please note, as a participant of the OmniFocus Setup event, I was indeed compensated. But, also know, I’ve been an OmniFocus enthusiast long before such an arrangement.

  1. Nowadays, titled “Land & Sea” because I’m romantic that way. ↩

  2. The OmniFocus forum is an excellent resource with some very helpful regulars. ↩