Getting started with OmniFocus

I’m back with a blank slate again on my productivity system and fallen back to my old favourite OmniFocus. I thought I’d share how I’m using it over a series of posts and how I’m initially setting it up.

First off it might look intimidating but OmniFocus really can be as simple or as complicated as you need it to be.

The first step is to do a bit of a brain dump. I find that even if I’m coming from another app I don’t duplicate I start fresh. I’ll go into the Inbox and start to drop in everything on my mind.

Once I’ve “dumped” everything out of my mind I’ll start to work through each one by tapping on it and picking a tag to categorise (such as errand or chores) or add it it’s own project if it’s something bigger like a trip.

To be honest you don’t need to worry about tags or projects if you’re just starting out with OmniFocus you can just drop stuff in and get it scheduled so you don’t forget.

For now step 1 is just to install, use their sync service and get whatever is in your head into the inbox and add due dates where they are needed.

I’ll be creating more posts in the coming weeks on next steps.

The simplicity of the Casio F-91W

I’ve been wearing Casio’s since the 80’s and after testing out the really great G-SHOCK 800 with it’s Bluetooth and step tracking I’m going back to the F91.

It’s light, has a stop watch, backlight and most importantly it’s simple. I got a bit frustrated syncing step data to the Casio app and in my bid to be more at ease with my technology I gave up on it and going back to what might be my favourite watch of all time – well, with my budget 😀.

Listening to podcasts out of habit

It occurred to me the other day that I’d had a podcast on for an hour and not taken in a single bit of information or followed the conversation – listening to podcasts has become a habit. I’ve lost the ability to just have some peace and quiet and time to shut myself off from having a constant stream of conversation in my ears.

I’m trying to be more intentional with my technology and breaking this habit has gone to the top of my list.

I’ve deleted overcast from my devices and going to take a month away from listening to podcasts.

It’ll be interesting to see how long I last and how much more music I enjoy again.

Where I’ll struggle is on walks and long drives but let’s at least give it a try.

Getting started with online races in Gran Turismo Sport

GT is one of my favourite game franchises of all time and whilst I’ve had it for a while it wasn’t until I invested in a wheel and pedal setup that I’ve gone all in and play it pretty much exclusively these days. It’s a bit of a steep learning curve going from single player campaign modes to playing online. The races are pre planned so most spend their time practising before the actual races, it’s very competitive.

I have to honest I’m still languishing at the back of the pack but there’s a couple of things that I’ve noticed.

  • Use a manual gearbox, you just won’t have the speed if you don’t
  • Turn off assists, only use some ABS if you need it (I do)
  • Feel free to use corner makers etc to help you know your braking points but these are conservative and you’ll need to break later to get quicker lap times

I’m starting to relearn driving with no assists to give me some hope of competing.

I’d recommend doing the daily races and leaving the other championships until you can compete or it’ll be a waste of your time.

The one area I’m still struggling to understand is where there is a single manufacturer race and the rest of the field have better straight line speed, this has me a bit lost at the moment (let me know if you know why).

I’ll update more as I play more of the game but I’m very much enjoying pushing myself on this one.

An amazing iPad Pro setup

Wow, I’m really jealous of the setup Habib has going on here. Looks so elegant and clean and has me thinking a lot of thoughts about how I’m setup at home. Working from home I have a big 32″ Dell screen that I think I could connect my iPad to, all I’d need is a mouse and keyboard. But then getting a stand for my iPad Pro and doing it like Habib is tempting too, decisions decisions.

Why I can’t use Things 3

I’d love to be able to use Things 3 as my daily task manager. I love the Calendar integration and ease of task entry but two things stop me from using it.

Accessibility

Things is really poor from an accessibility point of view unfortunately. I bump up the font on my iPhone these days thanks to my ageing eye balls and there is no support in Things to inherit the system setting. In fact there’s no setting to up the font in Things at all. All of the other to do apps I’m testing (Reminders/OmniFocus/Todoist) all support this and I can’t believe in 2020 there’s no accessibility support. It’s pretty tough on the eyes to go from a font I can’t comfortably to one I have to take my glasses off to see properly.

Repeating Reminders

The creation of a repeating task is a bit broken for my workflow

  • It takes too many taps to create a task that repeats on a schedule
  • Reminders in my testing don’t stick. So I create a task on Monday that repeats each day. I noticed on the Tuesday the reminder (at 2pm) hasn’t moved into the next days task. I update the Tuesday task to have a 2pm reminder. On the Wednesday the task forgets I’ve done this and I forget to do it

These two combined are deal breakers for me, a pretty UI isn’t going to win me over if the functionality I need isn’t there.

How to delete a shortcut

I’m starting to get into using Shortcuts again and going to start to share my journey. Starting off pretty basic with how to delete a shortcut. What I’ve found is I’ve created loads of test ones and the app has gotten pretty messy.

Tap the edit button in the top left.

Tap the shortcut you want to delete as above then tap the trash can.

Don’t worry about engagement on your blog

I’ve fallen into a bit of a trap after a great month stat wise in January to now seeing a 60% drop in traffic since and feeling down about my creative endeavours. But weirdly swapping to Tweetbot and not seeing engagement has actually helped me realise the blog is about getting stuff out of my head and sharing my thoughts. It’s not a money maker (costs me to run it) and after several failed attempts at Patreon I realise my content isn’t worth paying for but I still ploughed on – I needed an outlet to talk about passions I can’t do in my day to day.

This’ll continue whilst I have the energy to put it out there.

A G-SHOCK with heart rate monitoring and GPS

This announcement looks pretty interesting from Casio. I’m enjoying my step tracker G-SHOCK but it seems Casio are joining the smart watch crowd. Not for me I don’t think as I’m keeping it simple but I’d be tempted to give it a test.

12 month battery for step tracking, 14 hours for heart rate and GPS.

No UK retail price but quick conversion seems to work out around £380.

I’ll see if I can pick one up closer to the time.

Is Disney Plus worth it in the UK?

With Disney Plus just a month away in the UK and the newly announced £49.99 a year I think this is a question a lot of us will be asking ourselves.

First off if you’re a fan of The Simpsons then you’re out of luck as it won’t be on Disney Plus here in the UK until at least 2022 thanks to SKY having the rights. If this is a deal breaker then you can stop reading and save your money by not subscribing.

I’m in a weird position where I’m a massive Star Wars and Marvel fan and already have all of the movies in my collection. I think most of the UK who wanted to watch The Mandalorian have already acquired it by some other means so I’m left wondering if I should wait this one out until Falcon and Winter Soldier comes out later in the year.

At the moment I can’t get anything out of Disney confirming what we will get here in the UK. That’s a lot of faith paying £49.99 when we don’t really know what we’ll be getting here.

Here are the only shows that Disney confirm on their site, not a huge amount. Yeah I’m excited for Clone Wars but is it too much to ask to show us a complete list of movies and TV.

I think it’s worth holding out for now to see what Disney announce up until 24th March when the £49.99 offer ends. I already have a load of Disney movies in iTunes so I’m not seeing the value in it just yet.