Finally, simplified effective workflow with focus on the strategic

I’ve tried OmniFocus, Things, Reminders, and Asana. All of these are good tools with their strengths and weaknesses. As I’ve noted elsewhere in this forum, Asana is my multi-team larger project platform because it consolidates projects, tasks, documents, communications, GANTT type charts, Treillo type boards, project calendars, project portfolios, and more in one cross-platform app. I have also defaulted to the Reminders App for my personal projects.

My struggle has been how to keep up with all of the projects, tasks, hold accountable my SLT for results, and yet stay focused on the big strategic initiatives. In short, how do I pay attention to the “trees” while remaining focused on the “forest?” I think I have figured it out.

  • I use MindNode to map out a major project and then import it into Asana.
  • I use MindNode to help me focus on the forest. Each major node in MindNode is a big strategic initiative with a link (see attached image) to the corresponding Asana project. Asana is where all of the details reside, e.g., assignments, due dates, documents, conversations, etc. But, not all Asana projects are in MindNode but I can expand MindNode nodes for some additional detail if needed. This is important to avoid unnecessary duplication and mental overhead.
  • I have also consolidated projects to narrow the list. In Asana I have setup Sections to identify related smaller projects within larger projects to avoid a long list of projects in Asana. Part of my struggle was trying to keep up with too many projects and having a hard time staying focused on the really strategic ones with the highest ROI. I wanted to make sure I was not swatting at gnats while swallowing camels.

In short:

  • MindNode: brainstorm basic components of a project and then export to Asana
  • MindNode: daily review of the big strategic initiatives
  • Asana: work project management
  • Reminders: all personal projects, e.g., home maintenance, reading lists, personal writing projects, etc.

In addition to simplifying project management, I have moved all writing–regardless of size to Scrivener.

Per my recent post (Advice please: index or not in Devonthink through the Finder?) I am still figuring out how to archive and manage non-project related documents but I’m getting close. My only sticking point is how to move between Apple Notes and DEVONthink. I prefer Apple Notes because I like to take handwritten notes but Apple Notes is not a database so I do not use it for storing documents.

I share the above with the hope that this may be of some small help to others, with the clear understanding that everyone’s needs and use case is different.


Unfortunately, Apple broke AppleScript support in Notes, with Catalina, and doesn’t yet seem interested in fixing what was broken, so there’s not much that can be done about moving between notes and DEVONthink at this time. The share sheet in Notes still works a bit, so sharing to DEVONthink one-by-one is ok.

Thanks. If I move everything out of DT to the Mac, then this will not be an issue. I’m hoping that Apple will soon finish and release iCloud sharing with links. This would help. Thanks quom for all fo the advice! It is extremely helpful and appreciated!

You know, for whatever reason, I never thought about using MN with embedded links as hub / dashboard. :flushed: I use it every day too and have been pondering how best to connect all of the various Google Sheets and Docs tracking multiple projects.

Thanks for wrecking my weekend geeking out with this idea. :joy:

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Sorry about that! :laughing: For some reason I find having a high level overview of my projects keeps me from getting lost in the weeds of long project and task list in OF, Things, etc., and the links to specific projects/tasks/documents is very handy to navigating where I need to go. I’m glad I could “help.” :slight_smile:

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Mmm. I very much appreciate this workflow. I was doing something very similar up until recently with iThoughts— using a mind-map as a hub/dashboard with embedded links to other platforms/items. I’ve now shifted to (a slightly more traditional setup?) using a Trello board for an overview of projects, with Reminders (via GoodTask) for tasks. I still love iThoughts, but as a tool to facilitate the exploration of ideas rather than a first-stop destination for project management and strategic thinking…

One thing I particularly like the look of in MindNode is tag filtering. That’s something iThoughts lacks; current support for filtering isn’t quite as easy to implement, though I’m hoping that’ll be developed further in the future…

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I like the tag feature in MN as well but I wish it would show the tag/s under each node tagged. I want to see the tags and not have to have the tag panel open to remind me what color means what.

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We tried this when we developed the tagging feature, but we ran into a few layout issue. One way you can work around this is to have the outline open. It will also show the tags.

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Thanks, I did not realize that the outline feature would also show the tags. Thanks for the kind response!

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