workflow review

September 4, 2009 | 3 Comments

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.

  • 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)

  • John

    Thanks for your comment…a little about how I use Yojimbo is described in these two posts:

  • 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!