Things I Like



PaintCode is what you’d get if you cross OmniGraffle with XCode. WSIWIG editing of various shapes along with their colors, gradients, etc. and get Objective-C code as output. Cut-n-paste into your XCode project and you’ve got live drawing code in a matter of minutes.

Seriously, in one of their tutorials, you go from nothing to having a dynamically resizable comment bubble (including proper handling of the corners and pointer) in just a few minutes.

No more tedious creation of simple graphics in Photoshop, no more cutting assets and no more bulky PNG files in 3 different sizes and resolutions. If you do any graphics work for MacOS or iOS projects, you really must check this thing out.

What do you recommend for someone with 2,500 emails in inbox???


Better spam filtering?

Seriously, though… I’d recommend you apply the GTD workflow to the individual emails. Start by deciding how far back any email could possibly still be relevant and delete everything older than that.

Next, read each one quickly and simply decide whether any action is required. If you take 10 seconds on each email just to make that one decision, you’ll be able to identify all the actionable ones in a few hours. As you read through, flag / star / move each actionable email to a folder or whatever works in your email set up. Just be sure to get them out of your inbox. Delete everything else. Your inbox should now be completely empty.

Of course, that doesn’t mean you’re finished. Next, go back through the actionable emails and just finish anything which requires just a quick reply or some similarly quick and simple action (i.e., apply the 2-minute rule from GTD).

What’s left represents your actual work. Set aside some time every day to work down the list of items and knock them out. At this point, I’d be surprised if you had more than a a few dozen emails remaining, so it shouldn’t be too daunting.

Going forward, adopt the same process to all incoming email so that you wind up with an empty inbox several times a day.

I'm trying to use your OmniFocus GTD guide, and got to perspectives and it would be really helpful if you could list out how each one is configured specifically in the way that works for you. Is that possible?


I think it would be a bit much to list all of them, but I can give you a quick idea of what I do. For example, I have a “Home” perspective which is set to the context view and which has all of the contexts which I can possibly be in when I’m at home. I add a button to the toolbar for that perspective so that whenever I sit down with my computer, I can click a button and see everything. Then, I can un-select contexts which currently don’t apply.

For example, let’s say my Home perspective has my “Computer”, “Wife”, “Desk” and “Chores” contexts selected. That means the main right-hand view has all of your actions for any of those contexts visible.

Now, let’s say my wife is out of the house. Of course, that means I won’t be able to do any of those actions. So, I un-select the “Wife” context and all of those actions are hidden, leaving me with just the actions for “Computer”, “Desk” and “Chores”.

Hope that helps!

Apr 3

HiI am looking for someone who can help teach my Dad the basics of OmniFocus. He is 83 and learns best with someone who he can ask questions. I bought him an iPad and a Macbook and installed OmniFocus on both. He said the programs are too different and its too difficult to learn both at the same time. I think the iPad version is easier for him. He is not into watching videos so I need someone to tutor him. Can you recommend someone?


I’m afraid I don’t know anyone who offers lessons specifically on OmniFocus, although there are a lot of very knowledgable people out there! Perhaps he would do best by attention a day session with the David Allen Company ( They have a number of instructors and do both public sessions as well as 1:1 tutoring.

Hi Andrew I LOVE your Omnifocus and GTD guide!When you are talking about creating Perspectives (which I figured out how to do), I am stuck on how to group contexts, using the same ones twice for different perspectives. Do you duplicate the context, so for example you would have a "business hours" context for the Home context perspective, and another "business hours" context for the Business perspective? And can you explain how to do that? Thank you! Kim


All you need to do to use a context in a perspective is put OmniFocus into context view, and then use control-click to select and unselect the contexts you’d like to see. Once things look just the way you want, save the perspective. Then you’re free to set things up for the next perspective and save that one. If you want to re-use one of the contexts in multiple perspectives, just keep it selected in both.

OmniFocus & GTD: Maintaining Relationships

One of the things I’ve noticed I (and most other people) have trouble with is keeping in touch with friends, acquaintances and colleagues, and of course GTD is a great system to help with that. I often find that unless someone deliberately reaches out, we only keep in touch with people who are convenient, despite how important a person really is. Here’s how I manage that with my GTD system.

First, I should mention there are two different ways I do this. For former colleagues or acquaintances where all I plan to do is a quick action (e.g., call or email), I just keep a simple bucket project (image) called “Maintain Relationships”. In it, I add a repeating action item for each person called something like: “Email John Smith to check in” and make it repeat however often I’d like to touch base (e.g., 3m, 6m or 1y).

However, there are other relationships, especially friends and family, where I want to do more than just send off a quick email. These, of course, will require projects. However, I don’t often know what project will be appropriate until the time rolls around to touch base again. So, I use the same mechanism of a bucket project with a repeating action for each person, but for these, instead of a real action, I put in a reminder to touch base. When it comes up in my tickler context, I then decide exactly what I’d like to do and create an appropriate project.

I’ve found this system very nicely helps me remember to keep in touch with the people I value, but, for one reason or another, it’s a bit harder to keep track of.

Jan 6

What’s Your 20 Mile March? | The Art of Manliness

After having worked in a variety of different environments (including a couple of startups), I’ve become increasing convinced that the measured pace described in this article is the best way to deliver results on long term goals. Well worth a read.

Jan 1

Will your gtd omnifocus setup work for a person ith ADHD and is trying to get organized ?


I think GTD is particularly well suited to people whose ability to concentrate is fragmented for any reason. Apart from needing to spend some concentrated time once per week to thoroughly review your system, you break down tasks into small, easy pieces, and spend most of your time working from that list. It also gives you a way to record what you’re doing so that you can move from task to task without forgetting where you are. I highly recommend picking up a copy of the book (or audiobook if that’s easier) to get the real, in-depth explanation of the system.

(via LEGO Finds Spare Discontinued Set So Boy Who Saved Up For 2 Years Wouldn’t Be Disappointed – The Consumerist)

What a fantastic story! That’s what we used to call customer obsession at Amazon, and why both companies deserve the loyalty they receive from their customers.

One Giant Bite: Woman with Quadriplegia Feeds Herself Chocolate Using Mind-Controlled Robot Arm (by upmc)

You really must watch this. It is the most remarkable piece of bio-mechanical engineering I’ve ever seen. It truly borders on science fiction. But even more than that, it’s incredibly touching to see how much it means for the patient to be able to interact with the world again.