How to Set Up and Use OmniFocus 3 to Get Stuff Done by Peter Akkies

How to Set Up and Use OmniFocus 3 to Get Stuff Done

Learn a workflow you can trust.

Learn an OmniFocus workflow you can trust

Do the following sound familiar?

  • You spend most of your time doing urgent tasks rather than important tasks.
  • You feel overwhelmed by everything you have to do.
  • You've tried using OmniFocus before but you gave up.
  • You often resort to pen and paper to plan your day.

See, if you're anything like me, you have dozens of things to do on any given day.

Home tasks, work projects, helping friends and family, staying healthy, taking care of your finances... how do you keep track of it all?

Before you know it, you forgot to buy a birthday present for your mom, your boss is nagging you about that report that was due yesterday, and you still haven't gotten around to filing your taxes. 🤦🏻‍♂️

It doesn't have to be that way.

Picture this:
  • You're on top of your projects, so you feel less stress.
  • You anticipate and meet deadlines, so people see you as reliable.
  • You make time, every day, for the work that matters, so you feel proud.
  • You know exactly what to work on next, so you get more done.

How can you get there? By learning a simple workflow to organize your projects with OmniFocus. A workflow you can trust.

OmniFocus is flexible (and that's both good and bad)

OmniFocus allows for endless customization. But tinkering with your task manager doesn't help you get stuff done. You need a system that works right away.
Now, let's be real. OmniFocus isn't the easiest app in the world to learn. OmniFocus can feel intimidating and overwhelming and it can take a long time before you figure out how to use it effectively. 📚

Fortunately, I've spent countless hours researching the best OmniFocus setup and workflow, so you don't have to.

The result? This actionable video course that teaches a complete OmniFocus workflow you can trust.

Your instructor

Hi, I'm Peter Akkies.

A few years ago, I wrote a blog post on how I used my task manager. That post blew up and people loved it. So I decided to teach productivity in a more structured way.

Today, I've taught over 200 happy students. I've also been featured in places like OmniFocus.com, The Sweet Setup, and the popular productivity YouTube channel Keep Productive.

I'm also into bouldering, scuba diving, the Philadelphia Eagles, Formula 1, veganism, and escape rooms.
In this video course, you'll learn exactly how to set up and use OmniFocus 3 to get stuff done. And I'll teach you efficiently.

You don't have time to decipher technical, complicated instructions. So don't waste your time and money following other courses that are focused on advanced automation or buying long books that overwhelm you with detail. With this course, you can quickly start using OmniFocus to work more productively than ever.

By the end of this course, you will have a workflow in place that you can trust.

And here are some other benefits you'll get:
  • You'll get more done so you can earn more. (If you do the work, this course will pay for itself!)
  • You'll sleep better and feel less stress because you'll have things under control.
  • You'll work with more focus.
  • You'll be proud of yourself for getting stuff done.

Not to mention that you'll learn how to actually reach Inbox Zero (🤯), how to never forget a birthday again ( 🥳), and how to save time and reduce errors by automating your work (😎).

Sure, you could piece together information on using OmniFocus from random places all over the Internet. But how long would that take? And what is that time worth to you?

When you follow this course, you'll learn everything you need to know to organize your life and to be productive using OmniFocus. You'll save tons on time compared to figuring things out yourself. Think about what you could do with the extra time! You could spend it with your kids. You could spend it learning to play the guitar. Or you could, you know, spend the time doing the actual work you want to do!

Don't hesitate—your time is valuable. Start now.

P.S. I offer a 100% money-back guarantee for 30 days. Your purchase is completely risk-free.

What students say about the course

Learn from this master teacher... Superb course, easy to navigate and delivers a force multiplier to your productivity!
Alison Rogers
Peter's course was perfect for what I was looking to do! I was letting all the due dates sit and wasn’t sure what to focus on NEXT. Having a refresher was what I needed!
Robin Melancon
Peter's course has put OmniFocus in a new light and for the first time I finally feel in a groove with it.
Jim Taylor
I and my wife purchased your Omnifocus tutorial. It is brilliant, thank you! I really mean it, OF is currently saving my life! I can really withstand a chronically crazy schedule and multiplicity of projects with a relative serenity. This is really something! The course is a bargain.
Frédéric Preitner
I have been using Omnifocus for years and I already knew a lot of things (like keyboard shortcuts, etc), but Peter's approach helped me rely on it more than ever before. This freed me up to focus on the important tasks each day instead of guessing what to work on.
Joel Clermont
I have taken a few other courses on OmniFocus but yours has resonated with me and has assisted me with overcoming previous challenges.
Jeff Butt

What's included?

Video Icon 35 videos File Icon 3 files Text Icon 5 text files

Contents

Getting ready
Course requirements, philosophy, and goals
3 mins
Tweaking some OmniFocus settings
4 mins
Making OmniFocus an extension of your brain
First, add all of your tasks to the inbox
6 mins
Process your emails in OmniFocus with Mail Drop
5 mins
Capture tasks as they come to you with Quick Entry
6 mins
Use defer dates liberally
6 mins
Use due dates sparingly
5 mins
Interlude: OmniFocus support
Organizing your projects
What is a project?
5 mins
Creating your first projects
10 mins
Set your projects and folders up like this
20 mins
Project and folder organization in OmniFocus 3.pdf
3.33 MB
Task, task with subtasks, or project?
6 mins
Recap: what have we done so far?
Planning your days and weeks
Identifying your available tasks
8 mins
What's next?
Creating a tag to denote "what's next"
5 mins
Planning your day and week with the Forecast perspective
12 mins
Calendar event or OmniFocus task?
5 mins
Using notifications to make sure you get tasks done on time
9 mins
Sorting through your tasks with tags, flags, and search
The "waiting for" tag
9 mins
The "someday/maybe" tag
4 mins
People-based tags
6 mins
Why I recommend against using tool-based tags
4 mins
Location-based tags, part I
7 mins
Location-based tags, part II
3 mins
Plan your projects with tags
9 mins
How you might use flags to highlight the most important tasks
6 mins
Searching and finding tasks, projects, etc.
4 mins
Reminder: do not over-tag!
Save time and reduce errors with repeating tasks and projects
Setting up repeating tasks and projects
6 mins
Using project templates
5 mins
Staying on top of your projects with periodic reviews
What is a periodic review and why do you need one?
3 mins
The nine steps to the periodic review
15 mins
Weekly review cheat sheet
9.57 MB
When and how often to review your projects
3 mins
Using OmniFocus in daily life (example use cases)
Regain control when you feel overwhelmed
4 mins
Process to-dos after a meeting
4 mins
Estimate how long a project will take
3 mins
Using OmniFocus to travel with less stress
9 mins
When you think of a task while you're doing something else
Wrapping up
Thank you!
2 mins
Course summary (PDF)
170 KB

Bonus: course summary PDF

After you finish the course, you can refer back to the summary to refresh your memory of what you've learned. And you can remind yourself of the OmniFocus best practices we'll have covered.

Featured on OmniFocus.com

My nine-step process for doing a weekly review with OmniFocus is published on Inside OmniFocus, on the official OmniFocus website.

Featured on The Sweet Setup

For The Sweet Setup, I wrote about one way to plan your workdays using OmniFocus and your calendar. 

More words from happy students

Peter, I'm so grateful for this course! I got everything set up wonderfully without having to scour the internet for hours finding random bits of information. Your pdf on how to do a weekly review was pure gold!
Shannon Hughes
I liked the fact that the videos were not too long. Just the right length to be able to go through the course in bite-sized chunks.
Vince Gassi
I have been using OmniFocus for several years, and this is the first time that I really feel as if I have really gotten everything out of my head and into the tool. 
Aaron Mehlmauer
Peter’s course was great - really useful, simple to follow and packed with smart ideas. 
Marc Matthews
The PDF with sample projects was awesome. It helped in creating my own workflow.
Oskar Chyb
This course is a great guideline for me and for everyone to start using OmniFocus. I really love it.
Thawatchai Rajitvilai
I gave up on OmniFocus previously because after searching different techniques I was flooded with numerous alternatives. In taking Peter's course I have selected one method that now works.
Geoffrey Warrener
I gained a much better understanding of the features of OmniFocus and workflow strategies in the application. 
Terry Harpold
My husband and I are taking your course together.  We haven’t finished yet, but it has been the best resource by far that we’ve found and has made using Omnifocus very accessible very quickly.  
Cheri H.
Peter's course is the most clear presentation of OF I've come across.
Stacey Morris

FAQ

Is this course for me?

If you want to learn a simple OmniFocus workflow you can trust, to get stuff done without stress, this course is for you.

If you are already an advanced OmniFocus user, this course is probably not for you.

What's your refund policy?

I offer a 100% money-back guarantee.

If you're not happy with the course, let me know within 30 days of your purchase and I will refund the full purchase price, no questions asked.

How much time does the course take to complete?

You'll be up and running with this workflow in an afternoon or two.

How long will I have access to the course?

Forever!  

Other sites may require you to keep a monthly subscription, but for this course, you pay once and you get lifetime access.

You'll also have access to course updates and new lessons.

When does the course start and finish?

This course is self-paced, so you can start it whenever you like and take as long as you need.

I've already bought another book/course on OmniFocus. How is this course different?

I won't waste your time teaching you obvious basics, such as how to install OmniFocus or how to sync OmniFocus between your devices.

I also won't waste your time teaching you advanced strategies that you don't need right now.

Instead, I'll teach you a simple workflow that you can use, right now, to get stuff done.

What if I need to use a Windows PC at work?

If you use Apple devices at home, but you use a PC at work, you can still use OmniFocus and you'll still get a lot out of the system you'll learn in this course.

In this case, I recommend that you bring your Macbook Pro or your iPad to work. Simply use OmniFocus on your laptop/tablet and do the work on your PC. 

On your work PC, you can also use OmniFocus for the Web to manage your tasks and projects, although OmniFocus for the Web is limited in functionality.

I don't have a Mac. Can I still use OmniFocus?

Short answer: Do you have an iPad? Then: yes!

Is your only Apple device an iPhone? Then: yes, but it's not ideal.

My course focuses on teaching an OmniFocus system and workflow. It’s mostly about how to think about using OmniFocus productively rather than about how to use the app. In the course videos, I mostly use OmniFocus for macOS, but the system/workflow is the same on all devices.

Got an iPad? Then you just have to translate my macOS instructions to OmniFocus on iPad.

You can also use OmniFocus exclusively on iPhone, but I do not recommend it. The small screen size can make it a chore to organize your projects.

Do I need to buy OmniFocus before taking the course?

Nope! Download OmniFocus from the OmniGroup website or from the Mac App Store and you'll get a 14-day free trial. That's plenty of time to take this course and learn the workflow.

What if I have more questions?

Just email me at peter@peterakkies.net and I'll do my best to respond quickly.

Not convinced? Get the free weekly review cheat sheet

Regularly reviewing your projects is the best way to get back on track. Get my free weekly review cheat sheet to learn how.

“It’s pure gold!” — Shannon Hughes, mother of six
Get the free cheat sheet

Bonus: photo of Ken Case and me

Because you scrolled all the way down, here's a bonus photo for you, of Ken Case and myself. Ken is the founder and CEO of the Omni Group. 🙂