workflow review

Every week or two, I get a kind note from someone who has stumbled on the site and pillaged the archives. This is usually a Mac switcher or someone who is just trying to get their workflow in order. Some of the posts where I describe my workflow, especially the Capture Everything series, are now over a year old. A new reader emailed me yesterday and asked if I still am using the same workflow, specifically OmniFocus and Yojimbo. The short answer is…


I like tinkering with my workflow, and I do revisit it from time to time. But I don’t want it to become a time trap, always being reworked and altered. I want my workflow to get out of my way. I want a system I can rely on so I don’t have to think about it, and so I can get on with making and creating things.

Now for a longer answer, here’s why most of my workflow is still in place:

Capturing Tasks: OmniFocus is still my app of choice for tasks — items with a specific end goal that can be checked off. My thoughts about OmniFocus vs. Things still hold true for me. I know plenty of people who use Things, and I don’t know anyone who has been disappointed with it. The Hit List also looks promising. But it will take a catastrophic event to pull me away from OmniFocus. It works and it’s reliable. When I do have an issue, OmniGroup’s support is fantastic. Any time I contact them with an issue, it’s clear to me that they understand their own product, and took the time to read my request enough to understand my issue. I know that sounds like how all software support should be, but it isn’t.

Capturing Ideas: I’m still using Yojimbo to build a catalog of notes and ideas. To be honest, I gave Evernote another good look this week. After months of silence, I was disappointed that the Yojimbo 2.0 release still didn’t have any kind of iPhone accessibility. After trying 2.0, I’ve found that some of the additions don’t sound like a lot, but they add significant usability. It’s simply a great app. If I were starting today I would give Evernote a good look just because of the sync. But in terms of usability day to day on my MacBook Pro, Yojimbo is a better choice for me.

This isn’t all there is to my workflow. As I’ve expanded my freelance design work over the last year, there have been a few additions to complement that. I’ll do a post or two about those in the coming weeks.

3 thoughts on “workflow review

  1. I keep on wondering, what does one use Yojimbo (or one of the other programs) for? I might not have a suitable workflow for it, or simple no need, cause I can’t really think of how to use it…

    What do you *do* with these kind of programs?
    (not criticizing, just very curious and puzzled)

  2. John, thanks for the links! It helps to ‘see’ what others do exactly instead of just the mention of ‘capturing ideas’.

    I have now started using Together ( ) which clicked a bit better with me than Yojimbo or Devonthink. I have a project going to make a drawing for my nephew’s new bedroom wall, and I collected a few inspiring images and sketches I made myself into the program (tagged with ‘nephew’s room’) so I have it all together in one place. This was actually exactly the missing link in some of my projects, I just didn’t know it and didn’t know how to get started.

    Thanks for putting me on the right track!

    Finding so much useful info on your site (I *love* Hazel) and it has helped a lot in getting other things back on track too. Can’t thank you enough!

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