workflow review

September 4, 2009

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.

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