Setting up OmniFocus

I won’t go into my iCloud issues but needless to say I’ve switched back to my trusty OmniFocus. On setting up from scratch I’ve changed the way that I use the app and perspectives this time around.

As you can see above I’m using 5 main views

  • Inbox
  • Home
  • Money
  • Family
  • Wellbeing

Most items in my system sit in the Inbox as you can see from the item count but I use tags. Whereas before I’d have a load of projects this time I’ve used tags to categorise.

I then have a perspective showing me everything that has a particular tag. So the wellbeing tag simply shows me everything with a tag of wellbeing.

For my forecast view I’ve implemented a tag called ‘Today’ that I can add to any items I’d like to get done today but don’t want to add a deadline.

You can do this by tapping on the little eye icon.

This seems to hang together for me and in the last few days I’ve enjoyed coming back to OmniFocus. This seems to work with my brain and I’m not wondering if my iCloud data is going to be there or not as the OmniFocus sync is rock solid and never let me down.

Are you using OmniFocus? What’s your setup?

Getting started with Apple Reminders

I’m going through some testing of to do apps (I know, not again!) and as I’m doing this I thought I’d share some thoughts on several of them, including Reminders.

When you pick up Reminders for the first time I’d recommend deleting any preloaded lists and starting with just one called INBOX. This will be where you brain dump everything. As you can see above I’ve also split out a couple of new projects as I thought of tasks, so a couple of creative projects. You can move more tasks later but my advice is when you pick up Reminders for the first time don’t worry too much about structure, just get everything off your mind and into the Inbox.

I’ve found the barrier to getting things done for me was worrying too much about creating a framework at the beginning instead of just keeping it simple.

Once you have everything in one place it’s really up to you if you want to organise them by categories such as home or work etc.

iPad apps and links for homeschooling

Like a lot of the world I’m looking for good iPad apps and any links that I can use to help my daughter with her learning, I thought I’d make a list of ones that I’ve found to be good that cover both academic and creativity

Coding

Creative

Education

Planning your calendar using Things 3

If you follow me you’ll know I struggle with Things 3, mainly because of it’s lack of accessibility options but the Calendar integration is superb.

I’ve installed it just to use the ‘upcoming’ view so I can clearly see what’s on my plate for the next week.

I can’t read it clearly and need to really focus given it doesn’t adhere to my system font size but it’s helpful on the iPad to get a general view of important events over the coming week.

I can’t manipulate anything on the calendar but like I’ve said gives me a clear view of the week ahead.

I’m really hoping Cultured Code are working on bringing accessibility to their app so that I can more easily see what’s on screen.

Losing trust in Apple Music

One of my go to soundtracks is Captain America and on going to listen I noticed that it wasn’t in my library. It’s exclusively written by Alan Silvestri and on going to the artist within the music app I noticed it was gone.

I manually added it and then noticed again that it had disappeared. On checking I noticed the above, for some unknown reason Apple Music decided to change it to Various Artists even though even single track is by a single artist.

I’ve noticed this happen on a few albums too where it gets split across various instead of being contained within one.

So for the above track 1 got moved into a separate album, so I have two copies of this album. One with just that first track and another as above.

Most recently (and maybe the worst offender if you have a kid) I spotted explicit tracks being played even though restrictions were turned on and no way to mark as explicit as you can do with Spotify.

The iPad app also seems to be lagging behind the iPhone app. When downloading my music again I’d get weird UI glitches like the list auto scrolling to the top (back to All) when I’m in an album view. I also often see the below, where the UI has completely lost the left hand pane for some reason.

There are lots of good points (like For You and a cleaner UI than Spotify) that I like but it’s trying my patience a little.

What do you think about Apple Music?

NetNewsWire for iOS mini review

Just a quick few thoughts on the new to iOS NetNewsWire RSS reader. I’ve been using Reeder for a little while and was a little unsure about testing out NetNewsWire but I I’m switching to it. The main reason is the performance and starred feature. Wow it’s quick and I found that with the Today and Starred article lists it helped me to engage more in reading blog posts.

The way that I’ve been using the app is to periodically check in with the Today view to see if anything is new and if there is something I want to go back to I’ll mark as starred and then pop into the starred view later to give it a read.

You can simply tap the star at the bottom to mark something to read later and then tap the arrows on the top right to move through your feed.

I don’t hook into a reader service but have an OPML export that contains all of my feeds, this can be imported into NetNewsWire.

For me this is now the default RSS reader you should be using on iOS. It’s free and you should do what you can to promote the open web and share your favourite blogs. (Note to self, I need to share more links!).

Apple Music needs to allow you to flag explicit songs (Spotify does…)

We have a family plan in the house and whilst my daughter was listening to it today I heard a swear word, on checking it turned out restriction was on and working but the song wasn’t flagged as explicit within Apple Music.

I checked Spotify and it does indeed allow you to mark a song as explicit.

Here’s the equivalent in Apple Music, no option to flag.

I’ll raise a radar for this one if it hasn’t been raised already.

OmniFocus 3: How to move a project into a folder

I’m getting more into using OF now as my main productivity app and some elements are not as intuitive as I’d like so I’ll be sharing hints and tips I’m picking up. First up is moving an existing project into a newly created folder.

Navigate to your projects and tap Edit.

Now tap the project to select it and tap the ‘i’ at the top.

Tap the icon in the lower left and then tap the project name you want to move it to.