Greg Ferro - Work to Live

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Quitting OmniFocus for Pen Paper

I deleted OmniGroup’s OmniFocus product from my all of my devices today. After three years of attempting to use it I’ve finally admitted to myself that it simply isn’t the right tool.

I’ve read books, followed blogs and tried repeatedly to make it work. It doesn’t. I’ve declared bankruptcy at least four times (and maybe as many as eight) and started over. I used a dozen different concepts to manage projects - by technology, function, urgency, meaning ….. just everything.

Its so complicated and intricate that, ultimately, it felt like I was building rocket ship to visit the corner shop. Forever grooming items, links to related emails, embedding PDF files for reading later and so on. It was all so seductive and tantalising. In the end, I wasted so much time managing my to-do list that I wasn’t getting anything done.

Time to admit that my way is different and to set my own path.

My “new” system is based on pen and paper. I use a fountain pen to write where the simple physical pleasure of using such an wonderful device makes me smile. I have a Japanese textbook that has wonderful paper that has a lush feel when writing. The ink absorbs into the paper correctly and my pen nib slides smothly over the page (unlike like photocopy paper which is designed for laser printing with little absorbency).

Every day I open my book and review the list. Sometimes I make doodles in the corner. And when I cross something off my list ?

Ahhhh, oh, oh, oh, yes!

My only todo application is Taskpaper. When I’m moving around I use Taskpaper to capture items that I will later transfer to my notebook.



PS: I really don’t think that OmniFocus is worth the $150. Once you purchase all the versions that about how much it costs. Omnifocus isn’t that much better, it is just overly complicated for performing simple tasks.