Looking to efficiently track info for multiple projects

I work on multiple projects at work and use the following tools:

Outlook/Exchange for mail (corporate)
OmniOutliner - taking notes on individual projects
OmniFocus - managing tasks
DevonThink - info and document repository

I have Obsidian and have played around with Craft but I haven’t used either consistently. I keep thinking I need the Obsidian “glue” in the form of a “map of content” for each project but I can also do that in an individual OmniOutliner file with a section for links and files.

I might be overthinking this but is there a more efficient way? Can anyone recommend a workflow for efficiently collecting and tracking information that is related to a project? I don’t need a Project Management app as I do not need to track and assign resources (people).

I’m thinking I may already have all the tools I need. I can take notes in my preferred OmniOutliner and I know that DevonThink can index any folder I throw at it.

I think I would start with a few questions:

What is happening that shouldn’t be happening?

What should be happening that isn’t happening?

What is working well?

What needs to be improved?


What is happening that shouldn’t be happening?
Nothing. Things are working as they should but when I need to update multiple projects throughout the day, I am closing and opening different files.

What should be happening that isn’t happening?
I think I need automation to simplify the above

What is working well?
I love all my apps for what they do. OmniOutliner, for example, gives me the perfect set of features in an outliner that no other app with outlining features can match.

What needs to be improved?
I’m looking to improve my workflow and “work faster”. I think this is where automation may help.

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Maybe Bunch would help.

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Could you explain a bit more what “collecting and tracking information that is related to a project” involves in your line of work or role?

I am a solutions engineer (technical sales) and speak with prospects to discover what infosec problems they are trying to solve, document their requirements, then design solutions to meet those needs. I may have 5-10 (sometimes more) opportunities in different stages any given time. For each project/customer, I create an OmniOutliner notes file where I take notes during calls, insert links to various internal and external sites related to the project, and also put in my own research notes on various technologies, solutions or documentation. For each new meeting, I open the customer-specific outliner file and create a new Level 1 heading and take notes there.

When I review notes, I send action items to Omnifocus under a project with a corresponding name. There, I also have a template for common actions that every project needs to have done at some point so I copy that template into the project. OmniFocus gives me a global view of all the projects that are active and I can quickly see what the next action is.

DevonThink is my catch-all knowledgebase and repository. Anything I find of value, I copy into DevonThink for future searchability.

I also file any project-specific documents that are sent to me into a folder for that client.

When switching from project to project, I close out open documents and open the corresponding docs or links for the new project.


I am starting to play around with variables in Keyboard Maestro which may help me simplify switching to relevant project documents. I wonder if Bunch could complement my workflow but still simplify it.

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Thank you for taking time to reply with those details. I get the picture. If you are looking to consolidate some of that activity, you might want to consider taking your notes within DEVONthink – which has options for several types of document creation and editing in-app – with the advantage of easily including links within your notes to the documents you are already storing in DEVONthink. You can use DEVONthink automation (included) to create OF tasks, if needed.

But the processes you’ve outlined already seem to do the job, like you said, you may already have the tools you need.

Thanks for the confirmation! You’re correct - ‘consolidation’ is the right term. I’m making the effort to really dig into some of the more advanced features of the apps I have already. You mentioned DevonThink automation which is something I have not used but DT has come a long way since I started using it years ago so I’ll have to explore it’s capabilities again.

I believe it could.
I can’t use it because Matlab gets mad when window managers try to arrange its windows, etc.

But looks like you could create a Bunch for a project that has the associated files in it. When you want to ‘change contexts’, you just select another Bunch from the menu bar.

For my own use, I’ve found NotePlan very helpful. It helps me, well, note and plan things. It would overlap with OmniFocus and OmniOutliner, but might be a single tool to do the job, rather than two.


The automation I was thinking of, specific to DEVONthink and OF, is a built-in script in the Scripts > Reminders menu that creates an OF task and includes a link back to the selected document. It’s simplistic – I think you’ll find more sophisticated DEVONthink/OF integration ideas in the DEVONthink forum.

Anyway, good luck with your investigations.

I haven’t done anything myself with this, but Omni-Automation came to mind: since you are using OmniFocus and OmniOutliner you may be able to tie them together and automate them? Maybe a combination of shortcuts app and omni-scripts?
I have been thinking about this myself as I would like to dive more into the apps I already use/own/like :blush:

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I do this type of project management with Hook, Obsidian, OmniFocus and DevonThink, with MailMate thrown in for email.

Every project gets a note in Obsidian, which becomes the Map of Content for that Project. That note is on an Obsidian Kanban Board so it’s easy to see all my projects and switch between them.

That note can have links to other notes, and by using Hook to make markdown links (as well as the built-in Hook magic), I can easily store links to emails, files, folders, Google Docs, etc. I also Hook to tasks in OmniFocus so it’s really easy to navigate where I want to go.

My Obsidian Vault is indexed in DevonThink, to take advantage of the superior DT search. Note that I do NOT use any Obsidian sync. My Obsidian is on my main iMac. If I need to see a note on my iPad, I do that via DevonThink.

I’m very happy with this setup.

Don’t hesitate to ask more questions.

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I see that @runhikemike uses Outlook, since you’re in the Microsoft ecosystem already, OneNote works quite well.
You could have a notebook with a section for each project, and within, pages to hold your artifacts.
If you need it, collaboration is baked in. You can have a notebook in Teams that can be a shared resource. I’m doing this with a couple of projects, and it’s working really well. I can, eg. write procedures for the TA I am training (indented bulleted lists), drop in animated gifs of screen recordings taken with Giphy. I’ve also dropped in large datasets, code, etc. Refer to notebook sections with links when chatting, etc.
The extent of our knowledge and collaboration on this project is in one place.

Microsoft has done this well, and I think Apple could follow their lead by making apps and artifacts more cohesive and collaborative.

Here’s an example, keeping in mind I’m viewing this is on my iPhone, which is a feat in itself.


Thanks, I have been using Hook to create links to docs and resources that I currently just paste into either OmniFocus or OmniOutliner. I have not gained comfort with Hooking various documents together just within Hook itself. I will also explore DevonThink’s capabilities here.

"I would like to dive more into the apps I already use/own/like "

Exactly! I keep coming back to this notion that we have fantastically powerful computers that I should be able to leverage. Where possible, I want to have my existing apps work locally before I resort to using a web-based or subscription-based service.

EDIT: What I really mean is that I should make an effort to use the features that are already built into my apps instead of adding another app or service that does the same thing.