This is the second article of a series dedicated to Getting Results the Agile Way with OmniFocus. In the first part I gave you a short overview of the basics of Agile Results. I introduced you the concept of Hot Spots and how to set them up in OmniFocus. So, you should have created your Hot Spots in OmniFocus and your projects and tasks mapped to them.
Now that all the tasks ended up in OmniFocus, we have to find a way to locate our three wins for the day, week, month and year.
Monday Vision describes the repeating process of setting the three outcomes for the week. On Monday morning you will decide which outcomes you want to have completed by Friday. I usually extend this timeframe until Sunday for my personal projects but not my work related ones. The selected outcomes will guide your focus throughout the week and will also help you to choose your three outcomes every day.
Beeing designed for GTD, OmniFocus possibilities to highlight certain tasks are somewhat limited. The easiest way to accomplish this would be to use flags. But having in mind that we also want to define our three outcomes for the month as well as the year, flags do not seem to be the appropriate way to achieve the goal. Using flags you would not be able to distinguish between weekly, monthly and yearly outcomes. Due to the lack of tags in OmniFocus, some people add “tags” (#weekly-outcome) to a tasks note. You then could search for the tag text and save this search as a perspective. While this works pretty well on the Mac, the iPhone and iPad apps are only limited to context based perspectives. So, you would not be able to use your saved search on the mobile device. As the sync between my Mac and my mobile devices is essential to me, the only possibility left was to use contexts to distiguish between my different outcomes. As I never used contexts the GDT way, that did not break anything else for my setup.
That said, I created the Agile Results related contexts in OmniFocus:
- Agile Results
- Weekly Outcomes
- Monthly Outcomes
- Yearly Outcomes
I nested them in an “Agile Results” parent context just in case I felt the need for additional contexts in the future.
I created a new context based perspective to see my weekly outcomes at a glance that can be used both on the Mac and on iOS. To create the perspective, switch to context mode and focus the “Weekly Outcomes” context. Then apply the settings as seen in the screenshot below.
The same procedure was used to create the perspectives for the Monthly and Yearly Outcomes.
The Daily Outcomes are the three things you want to have completed by the end of the day. Most of the time you will be dealing with more than three tasks a day. But your three wins of the day should be your top priority. Getting them done will give you the positive mood for the next day.
While flags had been a bad choice to mark our weekly, monthly and yearly outcomes they are a perfect fit for our daily outcomes. Selecting your three wins of the day is as easy as flagging them in OmniFocus.
I also created a perspective for my master plan of the day. This one does not only include the flagged tasks but also the ones that are due and overdue. But with Agile Results chances are good, that you will only see your flagged tasks in this perspective most of the time. This perspective is created from the project view in OmniFocus. Select the library and apply the settings as seen in the screenshot below.
I have added all my Agile Results perspectives to the OmniFocus toolbar for easy access and assigned a hotkey to them. To do so, right click on the toolbar and select
Customize Toolbar…. Then you can simply drag and drop the perspective icons to your preferred toolbar location. Below you’ll see how mine looks like.
In part 3 of the series "Getting Results the Agile Way with OmniFocus" I will show you how to do Friday Reflection with OmniFocus.