OmniFocus for iPhoneVersion 2.1!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Copyright 2010-2014, The Omni Group. All Rights ReservedOmniFocus, the OmniFocus icon/logo, and the Omni logo are trademarks of The Omni Group. Apple, theApple logo, Mac, iPhone, iPad, iPad mini, the Mac logo, and Multi-Touch are trademarks of Apple Inc. IOS isa trademark or registered trademark of Cisco in the U.S. and other countries.

ContentsWhat is OmniFocus?6The Basics7Getting Synced7Connecting with Omni Sync ServerHow Synchronization Works810Getting to Know OmniFocus10Using the Home Screen11Using the Hidden Toolbar12OmniFocus Up Close13Actions: Atomic Accomplishments13Providing More Detail to Your Actions14Creating Action Groups15Recurring Action Items15Projects: In Pursuit of a Goal16Creating Subprojects with Action GroupsContexts: Situational Efficiency1818Nesting Contexts20Managing Your Contexts20Grouping Projects with Folders21Scheduling Actions and Projects22Setting Defer and Due Dates22Repeating Projects and Actions24Setting Dependencies25Providing More Detail with Notes26Adding Attachments26Syncing Attachments with OmniFocus for Maciii27

Option 1: Attaching Files from the Edit Menu27Option 2: Attaching Files from the Finder28Location Reminders29Turning on Notifications29Giving a Context a Location30Setting Notifications for a Location31Putting Contexts, Locations, and Notifications to Work32Forecast View33Add Your Calendars to OmniFocus33Flagging Important Actions and Projects34Perspectives35OmniFocus Extended36Putting Siri to Work with OmniFocus36Safari Bookmarklet37Receive Calendar Alerts and Notifications38Settings Quick Reference40Additional Resources42iv


What is OmniFocus?OmniFocus is the personal task management tool that helps you keep track of all the goals,plans, errands, and aspirations that come up in your life. Whether the task at hand issomething small, such as setting a reminder to swing by the bike shop after work, or thetasks are part of a bigger goal, such as making plans for that long overdue vacation,OmniFocus helps to keep you on track of everything you need to do throughout your day.Available on your iPhone, iPad, and Mac, OmniFocus is packed full of tools to help youprioritize steps within complex projects or simply jot a quick to-do list for a weekly meeting.OmniFocus works great as a standalone productivity aid or in conjunction with whatevertime and task-management scheme suits your personal style.Note: OmniFocus for iPhone and iPad are sold separately on the App Store.OmniFocus for Mac is available on the Mac App Store and directly from TheOmni Group.OmniFocus for iPhone complements OmniFocus for Mac and OmniFocus for iPad, bringingall the power and versatility of the OmniFocus system to the palm of your hand. It uses thelatest features of the iPhone to help you get things done when it’s most sensible,convenient, and efficient to do them.For a video tour of the features of OmniFocus, check e!!6

The BasicsIt all starts with a basic idea. You have something that needs to get done, and you knowyou’d better make a note about that somewhere, but how reliable is that sticky note that’sstuck to your desk when you’re on your way home from work? That thing—that veryimportant thing—that you so diligently wrote on a sticky note is now useless. If only you hadan app on your iPhone or iPad or your trusted Mac that you could use to keep you on track.OmniFocus does all that and more. And best of all, OmniFocus lets you take your tasks withyou so they’re right there when you need them.So let’s get started with a quick overview of OmniFocus!Getting SyncedWhen you first launch OmniFocus for iPhone you’ll be asked to set up your sync settings.OmniFocus synchronizes your actions with a server so that all your iPhone, iPad, and Mactasks and projects are always up to date.Even if you’re only using OmniFocus on your iPhone, syncing is recommended for theautomated data backup it provides. Best of all, our Omni Sync Server is free, and we takecare of managing the servers so your data is always available when you need it most.7

Note: Different OmniFocus databases can’t be merged, so if you use the app onmultiple devices (for example, on your iPhone and iPad) and want them tocommunicate, you should set up sync the first time you use OmniFocus on thedevice to avoid any conflicts.Connecting with Omni Sync ServerBecause we feel that synchronization is such a crucial part of being productive, we’ve madeit part of the launch experience when you first open OmniFocus for iPhone.8

After choosing Keep Data in the Cloud, you will see that you have three methods to choosefrom: Sync with Omni Sync Server Sync with OmniFocus for Mac via Wi-Fi Custom Sync with WebDAVOur own Omni Sync Server is recommended for ease of use and reliability of support. Sowhat are you waiting for? Get started by creating a new Omni Sync account here:https://manage.sync.omnigroup.comIf you choose to run your own WebDAV server, step-by-step instructions for setting upWebDAV on OS X Server are available on Omni’s Forums.If you don’t set up sync now, but later decide that you want to, you can always choose SyncSetup from the Settingsmenu (found by dragging down on the home screen).9

How Synchronization WorksWith sync turned on in OmniFocus, a server you designate keeps a copy of your database sothat it’s always available wherever you are. With each subsequent sync, OmniFocuscompares your local database with what’s on the server and applies any differences to thedataset on the server.We’ve also built in an automatic sync mechanism. With sync turned on, OmniFocus sendsnew changes to the sync server after one minute, or whenever you switch to another app. Ata bare minimum, OmniFocus checks in with sync server every hour if nothing has changedon the device. This helps ensure that your data from OmniFocus is always safe, secure, andmost importantly—up to date.OmniFocus for iPhone uses Apple’s built-in background fetch to keep your database up todate even while not using the app, but if you’ve made changes you want to viewimmediately on other devices, you’ll want to perform a manual sync (by tapping the Syncbutton in OmniFocus) before switching to OmniFocus on another iOS device or your Mac.This pushes your latest changes up to the sync server, so that when you launch OmniFocuson the other system, all you have to to is tap or click Sync to ensure that all of your changesare there.Warning: Services such as Dropbox are great for file sharing, but they can’thandle OmniFocus data properly. Using Dropbox as a place to sync your datacan corrupt your OmniFocus data. Do not use Dropbox as a means ofsynchronizing your OmniFocus data.Getting to Know OmniFocusAfter you’ve set up sync, you’ll find yourself at the OmniFocus Home Screen, where all yourgreat plans begin! If you’re using OmniFocus for the first time you’ll be directed to the Inbox10

instead, where you’ll find a list of items to help you get started exploring and learning moreabout OmniFocus.Note: When you’ve navigated away from the home screen, tapping the buttonon the upper left will take you up a level (or return you from edit mode to thecontent view). Touching and holding the button will always bring you right backto the home screen, simple and easy.Using the Home ScreenThe home screen acts as the central hub of the hive ofyour OmniFocus activity. With badge icons displaying acount of your most important actions, you’ll see what’son your plate for the day and week ahead.When you’re on the home screen, the following itemsare immediately accessible: Tap Forecast to enter forecast view, where tasks forthe day are shown alongside any calendars you’vechosen to display. On the home screen, the badgeicon counts the number of tasks currently overdue. Tap Inbox to view and process items collected inyour inbox. Tap Flagged to see a list of items you’ve flagged for visibility. The number of flaggeditems is shown in the badge icon on the home screen. Tap Projects to view a list of your projects, and assess their urgency using the handysummary dots beneath each project title. Tap Contexts to view a list of your contexts, and likewise get an at-a-glance appraisal ofeach from the summary dots.11

If you’ve assigned locations to your contexts, tap Nearby to view the available actionsnear your location. Tap Perspectives to view and edit default perspectives list, or access customperspectives you’ve set up. Tap New Inbox Item in the bottom right corner to quickly add a task to your database.Using the Hidden ToolbarIn OmniFocus for iPhone, dragging down on the home screen or any content screen of theapp reveals the hidden toolbar. It’s located at the top of the screen, and contains some veryuseful tools.1. Tap Syncto trigger a sync manually. This isuseful any time you want to update OmniFocuson your other devices, or make sure youriPhone is up to date.2. When accessed from the home screen, tap Settingsexperience. On content screens, this changes to Viewto customize your OmniFocusand provides options forconfiguring which items are visible to help you stay focused on the task at hand.3. Tap Searchto search your OmniFocus database. Filter options (Here, Remaining,Everything) make this search more powerful than ever.Note: If you’d ever like to undo a mistake in OmniFocus for iPhone, just shakeyour device in a natural diagonal motion and the option to undo your mostrecent action will appear.12

OmniFocus Up CloseOnce you’re familiar with the basic features of OmniFocus for iPhone you may be itching todig deeper. After all, adding items to the Inbox and processing them into actions andprojects is just the beginning of how you can use OmniFocus to enhance your organizationand productivity.With OmniFocus you can Flag priority items and attach notes, images, audio clips and moreto the tasks you’re working on. Add defer and due dates for scheduling, and compare withthe Calendar app all from within OmniFocus. Pair your contexts with map locations andreceive alerts when you’re nearby, and set up OmniFocus to work with Siri on your iPhoneor iPod touch to add Inbox items when your hands are busy doing something else.Let’s start by taking a closer look at the basic building blocks of life in OmniFocus: actions.Actions: Atomic AccomplishmentsOnce you have a massive list of to-dos in your Inbox it may feel a bit daunting to tackle themall. A key part of working with OmniFocus is breaking down and organizing all the things youwant to accomplish, leaving you feeling fully in control.You can throw any stray thought into your Inbox. Some of these items might get completedright there. It might be more efficient to just change the workshop lightbulb than to move the“Change workshop lightbulb” action to the “Household Chores”project and the “Home”context and coax yourself to do this chore later. Other items are worth carefully clarifyingand categorizing so that you have all the information you need at hand when you're in aparticular context or focusing on completing a particular project.!13

Most Inbox items you create ultimately end up as actions.This happens when you decide that an item is part of alarger goal—a Project—and you file it away with similar todos (more on this in the Projects and Contexts sections). Each action has a checkbox formarking it complete; when you check an item as completed, the action item is moved fromthe list of available items to the list of completed items and becomes invisible under thedefault view options (change view options by dragging down to reveal the toolbar).Once you’ve assigned an Inbox item to a project, it becomes an action item that you can seein the Projects or Contexts views, or from any context-based Perspectives you’ve syncedto your iPhone from your Mac. Beneath the action title is an indication of the assignedproject when you’re in the Contexts view, and the assigned context when you’re in theProjects view.Power Tip: When adding a new item to your Inbox you can quickly createsubsequent inbox items using Save Plus, and when you create a newaction from within a project you can use it to rapidly file additional actions in thesame project.Providing More Detail to Your ActionsTo edit the details of an action, just tap its name. Details that can be set include the action’sproject, context, defer and due dates, and whether the action is scheduled to repeat.You can enrich the information you include with an action by adding notes and fileattachments such as images and audio recordings. You’ll find more information about thesein Adding Attachments.14

Creating Action GroupsNo, we’re not talking about banding together the Super Friends with The Avengers (besides,that’d never happen), we’re talking about grouping actions together. Action Groups give youthe ability to add more depth to the way actions are organized, whether they’re part of aproject or a bunch of one-off items that somehow relate to each other.An example would be a shopping list to make that lemonmeringue cake that everyone’s been asking for. You start bycreating a “Shopping List” item, and then create a series ofitems for the ingredients you know you need to pick up:eggs, unsalted butter, lemons, pastry flour, and so on.One by one, open each ingredient “item” and in the Info tab,tap Move. You will see a section that says, “Move insideanother item:”; this is the way you create Action Groups. Justselect Shopping List from the popup, and then tap Done.When you’ve finished, all of the ingredients you need areindented underneath the Shopping List item.You could take this a step further by moving some of theingredients into each other; for example, one nested groupfor the ingredients you need to make the cake, one for thefilling, and another for the icing.Recurring Action ItemsSome actions occur on a regular basis. Instead of creating a new action every time you needto take out the recycling, you can set that task up so that you’re reminded every Thursdaynight to put the recycling bins by the road for pickup Friday morning.15

Repeating actions can occur regularly—every few hours, days, weeks, or months—based onwhen the action item was first scheduled, or rescheduled to start (or be due again) based ona set time after you’ve mark it completed.Actions that repeat only on specific days of the week can be scheduled by choosing every xweeks and selecting the weekdays that apply from the list that appears below. For moreinformation on scheduling tasks, see Scheduling Actions and Projects.Projects: In Pursuit of a GoalAs you work through your Inbox, some of the items will stand out as larger in scope than asimple action. Planning a vacation or move, for example, are the sort of things that couldbenefit from being broken down into more manageable parts. Projects to the rescue!A Project is a to-do item that incorporates multiple parts. Projects are typically morecomplex than actions, and can incorporate several related actions within them. Projects canbe as elaborate as you need them to be, and you can arrange actions both sequentially andhierarchically. There are three ways to create a new project: The easiest way to add a new project inOmniFocus is to select Projects from the homescreen, and then tap Plus in the navigation barat the top of the screen. Tap New Project in thepopup menu that appears, and then fill in theproject details in the Project editor. In the process of clearing out your Inbox, items you decideare actions will usually be assigned to projects to get themfiled away. You can add an Inbox item to an existing project,or create a new project to add it to.16

If you decide one of your Inbox items is better classified asa project than as an action, you can designate it as aproject by tapping it to bring up the edit screen. Next, tapConvert to Project , and choose whether it should liveat the top level or within another project or folder.The Projects view shows your database hierarchically. You cancreate projects and folders to keep your goals organized.Summary dots below the project title show you at a glance thescope of tasks remaining, color coded by urgency (red isoverdue, yellow is due soon, and orange is flagged). Whetheryou see completed, on-hold, dropped, or stalled projects heredepends on how you have adjusted your view options. To seethe contents of a project or folder, just tap it. To view a list ofyour actions (filtered based on your View Options), tap AllRemaining Actions at the bottom of your project list.As with actions, you can provide more detail to a project by adding attachments andcompletion deadlines. Projects can be configured to change the availability of their actionsas Sequential, Parallel, or as Single Actions. Sequential projects have actions that mayonly be completed in the order listed, while parallel can be completed in any order. Singleactions are similar to parallel projects, but are intended for ongoing, rotating lists of tasksrather than projects with a defined scope of completion.Project status can also be changed between Active, On Hold,Completed, or Dropped. Edit the status of your projects for evenmore powerful interaction with the review capabilities ofOmniFocus for Mac and iPad.17

Note: To customize the properties of an existing project or context, tap on itstitle in Project or Context view. The title will switch to bold and you’ll see anyaccessible items inside. Just tap on the title again to access the edit screen.Creating Subprojects with Action GroupsAction groups can also be used to create a project within a project—a subproject. If you findthat you have an action item that requires many steps of its own, you could split that actionitem off as a separate project. However, a better solution would be to leave the action itemin its current project, and then move the related tasks underneath.For example, when planning your move to Seattle, you realize that you need to make ahouse-hunting trip to find a place to live. You need to book your flights, rent a car, reserve ahotel room, and make appointments with real estate agents to find an apartment or thatdream house in Alki Beach. You can create these tasks one by one, and while in the editor,tap Moveand then move the action into the “Plan a house-hunting trip” action.Once you’ve created that subproject, you can change the type from Parallel to Sequentialso that the next task only becomes available when you tick off the previous task. And whenyou’ve completed the final action item for that subproject, the parent action item can bechecked off, too.Contexts: Situational EfficiencyYou’re tweaking the rocket engine you’ve been building in the backyard, and you’re stuckbecause you need a specific wrench. To make matters worse, the light in your workshopwent out when you went searching for that wrench. You’ve added the wrench as an action inyour Colonize Mars project, and you just added the lightbulb to your Household Errandsproject. But what’s to keep you from forgetting one or the other the next time you go to the18

hardware store? The answer is that while they’re part of different projects, you can associatethese items with a Context.A context can be anything you want, such as a place (thehardware store or work), a person (you, your boss, or acoworker), or a thing (your trusty MacBook Pro or a torquewrench). When you have multiple projects in the workssimultaneously, contexts help you organize actions that havesomething in common, regardless of which project they’rein. Contexts are supremely adaptable to your productivitystyle; whether you file tasks into “busy work,” “creativework” and “number-crunching” or based purely on location,the way you choose contexts is a unique reflection of howyou work best.Contexts can be assigned in two ways: Tap Contexts on the home screen and tap in thenavigation bar, and the Context editor appears. Here youcan assign a name to your new context, set its status(Active, On Hold, or Dropped), and choose a location(see Location Reminders for more advanced contextoptions) for where you need to do that ultra-importantthing. While editing an Inbox item or action in one of yourprojects, you can choose a context for it or create anew context by entering a unique name in the text field.After entering the name for the new context, don’tforget to tap Create “(context name)” below the textfield to add this context to your list.19

As you can see, contexts give you an amazing amount of control over the depth ofinformation you can add to action items and projects. We have preloaded OmniFocus with abunch of contexts that we think you’ll most likely need, and the new contexts you createshow up at the bottom of the list. But let’s say that you don’t need some of the presetcontexts, or that you want to move your new contexts to the top of the list. Alrighty, let’s dothat next.Nesting ContextsBy default, any new contexts you create are added at the top level of the context list.However, if you tap Movewhen creating or viewing a context, you can create nestedcontexts.For example, if you know that you need to pick up tires for the Mars rover before you canconduct that field test, you could create a Tires context, tap Move, and then select Marsrover from the menu that appears. There’s no limit to the amount of context nesting you cando, which means you have the ability to give your action items fine-grained detail aboutwhere or how you need to do something.Managing Your ContextsThe contexts screen shows a list of contexts with summary dots indicating the at-a-glancestatus of the actions and projects within them. Actions without a context show up at thebottom in a No Context group. When you’re ready to get some work done, this is a goodplace to see only the things that are relevant to a particular context.To delete or move contexts around, tap Edit in thenavigation bar. To the left of the contexts, you’ll see adeletion switchreordering handle; and on the right, you’ll see a. If you tap the deletion switch, you20

won’t delete the item right away. Instead, a Delete button appears to the right where thereordering handle was. Tap Delete to remove the context from your list.To change the order of the contexts in your sidebar, just press on the reordering handle anddrag the context up or down in the list. As you move that context around, you’ll notice thatthe other contexts move out of the way so you can drop the context where you would like itto be.When you’ve finished making changes to your contexts list, tap Done in the upper-rightcorner of the content area to save your changes.By default, actions in context lists appear in the same order they are listed in their projects.Tap View Optionsto sort by flagged items and due dates, with flagged items shown firstand then items by due date from soonest to latest.Note: If you only assign a context to an Inbox item, it remains in the inbox withyour other tasks until you assign it a project.Grouping Projects with FoldersOccasionally, you’ll find that some of your projects are similar enough that you want to keepthem together so you can look at everything in one place. These projects might havedifferent goals, timelines, or objectives, but they contribute to the greater whole. Forprojects such as this, you can use Folders in OmniFocus to group multiple projects together.From the Projects screen (tap Projects on the home screen),you can create a project folder by tappingin thenavigation bar and selecting New Folder from the popup.To move a project into a folder, tap on the project (not itsactions) to bring up the project’s details, and then tap the Move21button. Then all you

need to do is select the folder that you want the project to be in, and the project will bemoved to its new location.You’ll also notice that folders look a little different than a regular project — they’re taggedwith a folder iconin your project list. To open a folder and view the projects it contains,just tap it.Scheduling Actions and ProjectsWhen you have tasks to complete by a deadline, OmniFocus can help weave actions andprojects into your day.By design, the items you collect in OmniFocus aren’t the same sort of thing as events oragenda items you’d list on a calendar. You’d generally use a calendar for anything that takesplace at a specific time: meetings, dentist appointments, and dinner reservations would dobest in your calendar because you can’t act on them until that moment.Setting Defer and Due DatesActions and projects can have due dates and “defer until” dates with a less specific notion oftime constraint than items in your calendar. The defer until date is the date when an actionor project becomes available; until that date arrives, the item remains grayed out. The duedate is the date when an action or project needs to be completed.22

To set a defer or due date, tap the item to edit it, thenchoose defer until or due. From there, you can enter aspecific date or use the buttons to add a day, a week, or amonth. If you have an existing date set, you can use thesebuttons to push it out from the date assigned.For example, to make progress on your Colonize Marsproject, you need to know when Mars is in opposition soyou can schedule a date during the launch window. A quickonline search shows that the next window is from November 2013 to January 2014, so youdecide to launch your mission on November 27 to commemorate your brother’s birthday. Tokeep track of this, you might create a Launch Window action with a defer until date ofNovember 1, 2013 and a due date of January 31, 2014.While you’re at it, you also create a Launch Mission action with a defer until date ofNovember 27, 2013 and a due date of January 31, 2014. So why not just a due date forLaunch Mission? Well, because weather conditions for a launch could be bad that day, orthere could be some sort of mechanical failure that delays the launch. Regardless, that is theday you know you’d like to launch the rocket, and if that date passes, OmniFocus will remindyou until you’re past the due date and off to explore the red planet.Action items that have not reached their defer until date are not considered available sothey won’t clutter your view until you can work on them. To see all of the actions in theColonize Mars project, start by tapping Projects on the home screen, then tap Colonize Mars.If you don’t see everything there, tapin the hidden toolbar and then select Remainingfrom the menu (tapping All includes completed and dropped items). Action items with afuture start date are in gray. When the start date arrives, the action item’s text appears inblack to let you know it is available and the clock is ticking.23

When due dates are approaching, OmniFocus considersactions and projects to be Due soon and represents themas such by changing their color from black to yellow andadding them to the Forecast (see Forecast View). Bydefault, actions become “due soon” two days before thespecified due date. To change this, tap Settings, andthen tap “Due Soon” Means and select another timeframe.Actions that have reached their due date are styled in red. This serves as a warning to youthat you should either get that task done, or reschedule its due date. In the case of the Marsmission, if you miss the launch window, you’ll have to wait another 24 months for your nextopportunity.Power Tip: When you have a task you want off your plate for now but would liketo have on the horizon again at some point, try deferring it until Later.OmniFocus will choose a random defer date within the next few weeks andmake the task available to you then—or keep tappingto defer it out afew weeks more.!Repeating Projects and ActionsSome projects and actions need to happen more thanonce. Tap the item in question and choose Repeat. Then,pick a repeat type and interval.Choose Repeat Regularly to create an item that repeatsat the same interval, regardless of when you completethe action. For example, if you wanted to remind yourselfto give your cats a snack every day, you could set the24

action to Repeat every 1 day. However, if you forget, the cats will surely remind you thatsnacking has become part of their daily routine.Actions that repeat only on specific days of the weekcan be scheduled by choosing Repeat every xweeks, and then selecting the weekdays that apply.For example, if you brush the cats on Mondays,Wednesdays, and Fridays you can set a repeat of thataction every week (every M, W, F) on just those days.Setting DependenciesDepending on the task, you may find the need to configure action items that recur at regularintervals. Choose the Defer Again After Completion section to create a repeating actionwhose defer date is dependent upon the completion date of the action. This is best usedwhen you don’t want the action to be available again until the selected interval has passed.For example, if you get your hair cut every three weeks, you could set the action to repeatevery three weeks. Even if you’re a little late for your next trimming, the next time you needto go is still three weeks after your last visit. The action is given a defer date in the futureand is considered unavailable until that time.Choose the Due Again After Completion section to create a repeating action whose duedate is dependent upon the completion date of the action. This is best used when it’simportant to have a task completed by the time a set interval has elapsed. For example, ifyou want to refill a prescription when the current batch runs out, you could set the action asdue to repeat after a number of days corresponding to your dosage. Unlike the haircutexample, this is a repeated action that must be completed within the amount of time you’veallotted.Of course, choose none (the default) to specify that an action does not repeat.25

Providing More Detail with NotesWhen you’re working on a project or tryi

Note: OmniFocus for iPhone and iPad are sold separately on the App Store. OmniFocus for Mac is available on the Mac App Store and directly from The Omni Group. OmniFocus for iPhone complements OmniFocus for Mac and OmniFocus for iPad, bringing all the power and versatility of the OmniFocus system to the palm of your hand. It uses the