Today I’m very excited to announce a book: Build Your OmniFocus Workflow. I’ve been hard at work on this for the last 3 months – but not alone. My fabulous co-author, Ryan Dotson, has been hard at work right along side me (admittedly with a timezone difference) – and we have 150 pages ready for you!
This book is designed, as the name implies, to help you build a workflow which works for you with OmniFocus – whether you’ve never used the app before, or if you’ve used it for years and just want to improve your setup. It is comprised of five sections:
- First Steps: Getting OmniFocus set up with a basic setup.
- Fundamentals: Walking you through the default perspectives, and expanding on your current setup – plus diving into settings.
- Advancing: Diving much deeper, including custom perspectives, creative uses for tags, review and onwards.
- Final Horizons: Honing your workflow to get the most out of your system.
- Our Workflows: Ryan and I get personal and tell you about how our setups work.
Throughout the book there are tips, notes, personal comments, and most important of all: activities for you to complete in order for you to create a set up which allows you to be productive and which will hopefully also allow you to feel like you’re fully in control of your life.
OmniFocus is a remarkably flexible app and can adapt to practically any workflow. As such, everyone must go through the process of building their own workflow with it, whether from scratch or based upon someone else’s. Build Your OmniFocus Workflow, written with the insight of two long-time OmniFocus users, offers practical advice on top of solid technical information. Ryan and Rose guide you through the basic concepts and perspectives of OmniFocus and into the more complex world of custom perspectives and automation. All throughout they give their own interpretations of how they use features in their workflows and finish the book with more details about how their systems work for them.
Build Your OmniFocus Workflow is available for a short time at launch for $25. The price will increase in the new year to $30.
This book is not static, we intend to update it when new features are added to any of the OmniFocus platforms. That is not to say the book is incomplete, we have about 40,000 words and are very happy to release it today!
Now, to the nerdier side of things. You may be thinking “I’ve never heard of Ryan” – and until I started beta testing OmniFocus 3 for iOS I hadn’t either! In fact, Ryan and I have never actually met in person – the internet put us together (with some help from The Omni Group), and we ended up writing a book. If that’s not a testament to how wonderful the world can be I don’t know what is! I’m going to go through a little of how we wrote the book, just to give you a taste.
We started by mapping ideas out in iThoughts. We thought we’d write Markdown files and check them into a private GitHub repo – but for a variety of reasons realised this wasn’t going to work how we had originally envisioned so quickly moved over to Scrivener where the project has been ever since. Scrivener has excellent Dropbox sync support so we worked through that, back and forth – with differing timezones coming in handy as you can only have one copy of a Scrivener file open at once. Once we had a large chunk of the book written then came the hard part: formatting.
I have a confession, I had very little input on the formatting. By which I mean the styling formatting rather than the organisation of the book. Ryan had a hidden talent for this from which I have learnt a great deal! If you think the book looks pretty that’s down to him. From the font choices, to the indentation, and the whimsy of the hands for the notes and tips, Ryan did all the hard work. Just don’t ask him about list formatting, he’s still recovering from that.
The cover design was done by the extremely talented Josh Hughes. Josh has also designed a series of icons for OmniFocus custom perspectives.