I take pride in the way I organize. Last week I shared how I organized 2014, but today I’d love to show you a few ways I’m keeping organized in 2015. Gosh, the first month is practically over already! I have a few tricks and tips for staying on top of things, but instead of showing photos of my iPad and Confidant laid out on my desktop with a side of coffee, I want to dig deeper into the apps I constantly use. I’m not quite a productivity app junkie, (although I get crazy excited to discuss them with B), but I am a genuine fan of a few. The app I could not function without is Omnifocus 2. I cannot stress enough how learning and using this app has been a productivity game-changer in my life. I wrote a short review of Omnifocus last June, but since I’ve been able to expand how I use the app. This is perfect for people who have multiple things going on in life.
To start the process, I break my life into categories of my main responsibilities. Next, on a big white blank sheet of paper I write the folder on the top of the page, then go crazy writing down everything I can think of that I need or want to do within that responsibility. And I mean everything. For example, I’ll write ‘BLOG’ at the top of the page then write all of the ideas I have for content, which may include each action I’ll need to complete the project like taking photos or writing the first draft, plus anything extra I want to do for my blog like updating my headshot.
After flushing out every task you can think of for every category, I type each action into the Inbox. I revisit the list one at time and slowly define what is a project with multiple actions, or single actions task lists. This is the biggest time investment of organizing Omnifocus because you have to clearly define each item and place it accordingly. Then I view the ‘projects’ and decided when each project needs to be due. Every action can be assigned a start date and/or a due date. By thinking through each project individually and coordinating with my calendar, I’m able spread out my work load. This means I can complete the tasks over a few days, instead of piling all of the work onto one day which can be very stressful. Working this way allows me to do a lot of work in advance so I’m prepared.
Once I’ve done this for each category, view the Forecast. This view is my favorite because it is where I find my daily to-do list. Making to-do lists is a horrible habit of mine. I spend time trying to rewrite to-do lists multiple times, so instead of working I’m busy thinking about working. Not productive! With forecast I always have an up-to-date version of my list where I can check things off easily or push them to a more suitable date. I love being able to complete multiple tasks from a variety of projects in one day. Little wins, like checking off tasks, make me incredibly happy!
I typically like to review my Forecast in the morning so I’m prepared for the tasks I need to get done, or figure out which are most important for the day. As I work, I check-in throughout the day to make sure I’m completing tasks, or add new things in too. Each night before I go to sleep I make sure every item is checked off my list from the day, or I reschedule for tomorrow.
I’ve been using Omnifocus for almost a year and I am still learning new ways that Omnifocus works for me. It takes time to understand and build the way you utilize this tool, but the way it impacts my productivity is immeasurable. I highly recommend trying Omnifocus here if you’re like me and juggle multiple projects throughout the day. I’ll admit that I have the app for all of my devices, and it’s worth it because they all sync seamlessly. If you’d like to nerd out with me, here are some more articles about how other people use Omnifocus in their lives that gave me a deeper understanding of how it works.