For those of you with a Mac, you absolutely have to check out OmniFocus. It is by far the most elegant and useful productivity application I’ve ever used, and has significantly increased my daily time and task management.
At first glance, OmniFocus is simply a to-do list organizer. You can easily add items to the list, give them a Start/End Date and Time, and an estimated duration. You can also add a description to the task if you’d like. But, where OmniFocus truly stands out over your standard to-do list is in what it calls Projects and Contexts.
Essentially, a Project is just a collection of related tasks. The idea is to break any of your major jobs into tiny, bite-sized pieces, and then put all of those tasks into a Project. OmniFocus lets you specify if the tasks in each Project should be completed step-by-step or simultaneously.
Contexts are really cool, and are basically a way to organize the “who” and “where” of a task. For example, I created a context for “Marce”, which I can then assign to tasks that require me to discuss something with Marce or require her assistance. I have also created separate Contexts for things like “PO Box”, “Storage Unit”, etc. that allow me to specify where a certain task needs to be completed.
OmniFocus also has different Views and Perspectives of your tasks, as well as a complete and searchable archive of all of your completed tasks. It is extremely powerful and customizable, and ultimately, gives you total control over how you’d like to organize your tasks. OmniFocus also offers an iPhone/iPod Touch app that syncs your tasks via your local network, Mobile Me or your own WebDav server.
Rather than go too much further into the details, I would rather point you to the outstanding and comprehensive OmniFocus Basics video at ScreenCastsOnline (link below).
Ultimately, if you have a Mac and are looking for a way to more efficiently organize your daily tasks, OmniFocus is definitely worth a look. At just $79.95 for a single-user license, even if you save just a few hours of your time, it’s well worth the investment. The iPhone app is an extra $19.95, but I love being able to add/edit/search and sync all of my tasks from anywhere.
View the OmniFocus Basics video at ScreenCastsOnline (opens in new window)
Download OmniFocus (opens in new window)
P.S. If OmniFocus seems too overwhelming, you may want to check out Things, which has received a lot of praise, and from what I gather, is a task manager with a much more simplified interface, that still offers iPhone synchronization.