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43Folders.com is Merlin Mann’s website about finding the time and attention to do your best creative work.


Clippings intelligently convert "stuff" into OmniFocus tasks

[Disclosure: I'm a volunteer contributor on the development of the OmniFocus app]

You could be forgiven for being exhausted by my harangues about the importance of putting actions into their own special place outside of email, web sites, or other action-bearing media ("Email is just a series of tubes," Senator Ted Stevens, might one day say).

In fact, liberating actions from the email in which they arrived and putting them into a system that you trust is arguably the most important tenet of Inbox Zero. But it's also advice that leaves a lot of people scratching their heads: "OK, big shot, so where do I put this new task, and how exactly is it supposed to get there?"

Well, I'm happy to say that recent sneaky peaks of OmniFocus now have a pretty neat way to help with this problem. It's called "Clippings," and if you're familiar with the similar feature in OmniOutliner, you can imagine how it might work in the context of a task-tracking app and the complementary apps whose contents you want to direct to it.

Alongside the recently-added Perspectives, this is a feature that is making me very happy right now.

read more »

OmniFocus in SF, WWDC

The Omni Mouth » OmniFocus demo at the San Francisco Apple Store

My peeps at OmniGroup mentioned this, so I'll slide it in as well. I'll be appearing with my OmniBrethren at the Stockton Street Apple store on Thursday June 21st to demo OmniFocus. Huzzah:

[Merlin will] be talking about productivity tips in general and discussing how OmniFocus fits in his workflow, so it should be more fun and interesting than your basic software demo. You should definitely come by and say howdy.

Be there.

Second, I heartily second Linda's suggestion that you email (omnifocus-wwdc at omnigroup dot com) if you're interested in doing an informal OF meet-up at WWDC.

If you don't come, Ken and I will have to sit there and stare at each other and maybe talk about D&D. Please, don't make us talk about D&D.

Update 2007-06-11 09:32:34 - OmniFocus at WWDC is scheduled. According to a recent Message of the Day in the OmniFocus beta:

We'd like to invite anyone attending WWDC to join Ethan Schoonover, Merlin Mann, and the OmniFocus development team for an informal gathering on Wednesday evening. We'll be meeting from 6:15pm-7:15pm in the "Commonwealth Room" "Olympic Room" on the 2nd floor at the Westin Hotel, one block from Moscone. (Please note the change in venue!)

This should be a lot of fun. If we can wangle A/V equipment. we'll do a demo of the latest version or OF, plus we'll be available to answer any questions about OmniFocus and just generally hang out.

Nota bene: I believe that this is for WWDC pass holders only. So I apologize in advance if there's an iPortcullis in place, and really encourage you to come to the event at the Apple Store next week if you're around.

Update 2007-06-12 23:24:49: Note room change above. We're now in the larger "Olympic Room."

Getting ready for OmniFocus

(Disclosure: I am a contributor to the OmniFocus project)

According to OmniGroup, about 2,500 people are now participating in the "sneaky peak" beta of OmniFocus, and new folks will continue to be added as capacity for support allows. But even if you're not yet using the app and are just waiting to get your hands on a finished version, it's not too early to start thinking about making a smooth transition from wherever you are now.

Moving your world of action into a new application is like moving into a new house (and can be almost as stressful). This is your chance to throw away crap, rethink how you've been doing things, and just give yourself a fresh start. So before you ever fire up OmniFocus for that first time, do yourself a favor and get sorted out with your current system first. Believe me, you're much more likely to handle this well before the temptation of having the app in your hands sends you diving into using it full-time.

In short, I recommend you start by conducting a thorough review that's focused on bringing all your tasks and projects up to date and in line with reality.

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Merlin & MacBreak @ Macworld: Omni Group, MailTank, AppZapper, Pzizz, Cha-Ching and Flip4Mac

A few more of my MacBreak segments from the Macworld Expo floor are now available for download:

More episodes coming later today. Never miss an episode of MacBreak by subscribing for free.


TUAW's notes from the OmniFocus meetup

OmniFocus Sneak Preview - The Unofficial Apple Weblog (TUAW)

Dan Lurie at TUAW has detailed notes on the OmniFocus Meetup yesterday at the Apple Store.

  • OmniFocus, unlike its predecessor KinklessGTD will feature an instant data propagation across the app, thus doing away with the need for a "sync button," and ensuring your data is always where you expect it to be.
  • OmniFocus will have a simpler and more streamlined interface than OmniOutliner, on which KGTD was built.
  • Users will be able to view multiple or individual projects and contexts in either a single window or multiple separate windows.
  • OmniFocus will support existing KGTD QuickSilver inbox-entry actions.
  • OmniFocus will also feature a standalone proprietary quick-entry method via keystroke, similar to Yojimbo.
  • Future versions will support user definable smart folders.
  • The first version of OmniFocus will not require 10.5 Leopard, but all following versions will due to the use of Leopard only technologies.
  • Like KGTD, OmniFocus will support syncing with portable devices through iCal.
  • OmniFocus will be fully applescriptable.
  • Future versions will support integration with OmniPlan.
  • Future versions will support universal action creation from other applications (such as turning an email message or iCal to-do into an action).
  • Future versions will support attaching or tying of files to actions and projects.
  • OmniGroup is planning to release OmniFocus within the next few months.

It was great to hear Ken lay out OmniGroup's plans and progress on the Kinkless replacement. Thanks much to everyone who showed up yesterday.

OmniFocus meetup, Monday @ the Apple Store

The Omni Mouth » OmniFocus get-together during Macworld week

Upcoming.org: OmniFocus Meetup at Apple Store (Monday, January 8, 2007)

As most Kinkless nerds already know, OmniGroup is developing a full-on Cocoa implementation of Ethan's script that they've dubbed OmniFocus. Since the OmniGroup folks will be in town for MacWorld, they've kindly offered to host a meetup at the Apple Store on Monday afternoon. For better or worse, your Author will be the emcee.

read more »

Ethan on Kinkless and OmniFocus

Hold breath. Exhale. Focus. | Kinkless

I don't have much to add to Ethan's (typically entertaining and gracious) post about OmniFocus -- an under-development OmniGroup app that will bring Kinkless' functionality to a stable and powerful Cocoa application. But, first off: Yay! The Kinkless is dead! Long live the Kinkless!

read more »

25% off OmniOutliner for 43F readers

The Omni Group - Applications - OmniOutliner - Professional

It's nice to know my crush on OmniGroup is reciprocated -- and extended to the lovely Mac users who read 43 Folders.

From now through June 30th, when you buy OmniOutliner from the OmniGroup site, use the checkout code "43FOLDERS" to receive a 25% discount on all versions of OmniOutliner. This includes OmniOutliner standard, OmniOutliner Pro, upgrades, and family packs -- anything in the OO product line). If you've been holding off trying the 1-2 punch of OmniOutliner and the free Kinkless GTD, now's your chance to jump in for a few less bones.

Thanks to Ken, Linda, and everyone at OmniGroup for sharing the love.




An Oblique Strategy:
Honor thy error as a hidden intention


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