Video: OmniFocus Workflows with David Sparks

@MacSparky was a guest on Learn OmniFocus LIVE last week…and I just posted a FREE recording of this session.

David took us on a tour that included his folder structure, the many ways he’s using tags, where flags and defer dates fit into the picture, his favourite custom perspectives, his strategy for reviews, and more. He also demonstrated how he’s making good use of Siri Shortcuts both to quickly navigate to specific areas of OmniFocus and to create new projects in a flash.

Thanks again to David for this deep and insightful dive into his setup and workflows.


Cool thanks Tim! Really enjoy these videos you do.

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These are great, and I love David’s Star Wars theme icons! Where can I find those?

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Thanks. I’m curious to hear from @MacSparky where there may be some info in this over his field guide that I have watched.

They’re linked in this thread:


The key difference is that David showed us his own system (with sensitive data removed)…and how he’s personally making use of OmniFocus 3 features, including tags and custom perspectives. There’s also some Q&A that delves into some topics that may not be covered in his Field Guide.


This was a great episode! We all know and love David’s Field Guide, but it was great to see how he puts all these things in action for his own work and priorities.

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A little more than 40 minutes through listening to this excellent video.

I have previously wondered whether I am using OmniFocus wrong but now I see no, I’m doing fine.

I have often wondered whether I’m missing out by NOT categorizing OF to the extent that @MacSparky and other experts do. Now I’m seeing I’m not missing out – I just don’t need that level of detail. 90% of my tasks go in the “Miscellaneous” project, which I have made into a single-action list. That seems to work for me.

Indeed, I’m wondering, not for the first time, whether OmniFocus is overkill for me. Maybe I should go back to using Things.

On the other hand, I have made the OmniFocus-Things switch probably more than a dozen times over the years, with occasional side-excursions to ToDoist, 2Do, Wunderlist, etc. It is a complete waste of time and I’m not going through that again.

On the other hand, maybe one more switch…

Another way I thought I might be using OmniFocus wrong: Using Projects as areas of responsibility. Classic canonical GTD defines a project as a list of two or more tasks with an end-goal. “Prepare for vacation,” “fill out taxes,” etc. To the extent that I use projects at all, they tend to be areas of responsibility – one for a community organization I’m active in, another for maintaining my personal blog. Interestingly, David (the GTD/OmniFocus expert) seems to use Projects the same heretical way.

Also: Like David, I work from home, and I favor the style of sweatshirt he’s wearing when Southern California weather turns cool. I have a half-dozen of them in different solid colors.

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