OmniFocus-buttonIn the business course I teach to people about to launch a new business, I always spend time discussing how challenging it is to successfully run a business. The difficulty lies with having to manage and do every aspect of running a business. There’s not an accounting department, corporate attorney, marketing team, or social media community manager. Additionally, and most important, someone has to do the work once clients are obtained while all the other aspects of the business must be maintained as well. These aspiring business owners sitting in class each week are also mothers, fathers, husbands, and wives; they have important responsibilities outside of running a business.

How to do it all can be overwhelming. These competing responsibilities can even mean the difference between success and failure in the critical early years of a business. I understand all of these time management challenges because I, like my students, face the challenges of remembering to book the pediatrician appointment, schedule one-on-one time with my fiancé, manage my household, prospect for my business, successfully complete work for existing clients, manage the accounting for my business, run a social media campaign for NG Media as well as the various websites I own, and work on two new online ventures I am launching later this year. Additionally, I write for my lifestyle blog four to five times per week as well as guest write for other sites.

Having a solid time management system is the best way I know to excel in reaching goals and keeping a healthy balance in all areas of life. In the 23 years I have used organizational systems to balance home and work tasks, nothing has been better than OmniFocus from the OmniGroup. Not even close, actually. The product tagline says it best:

“When you are ready to get serious about personal productivity.”

Capturing all that needs to be done is simple with OmniFocus. All the miscellaneous to-dos can be placed in the inbox for processing. I do a mind dump once a week; this is my way to transfer my mental list of everything from big projects to small tasks into OmniFocus. Throughout the week, anything else that comes to mind is added as well.

Processing from the inbox involves assigning the task to a project and also a context. Context is the type of work mode required to complete the task (errands, Mac: online, Mac: email, phone, etc). This makes the tasks searchable both ways, which is very valuable in processing tasks.

Refining capabilities for the tasks are endless. Start and due dates can be set, essential tasks can be flagged, forecast of projects can be viewed, and repeat tasks can be created. There’s an essential review activity for reviewing each project for relevancy (which can lead to putting something on hold if necessary).

Synching your data is easy and effecitve. OmniFocus provides the synch service for free.

OmniFocus-Synch-300x243

Price: when suggesting OmniFocus, there is typically resistance when I mention the cost. If evaluated as a business tool or by comparing the suite to other personal productivity products, it’s worth the price. In fact, it’s inexpensive. What I find, however, is people compare it to the cost of other apps; in comparison, it’s costly at $79.99 for the app download to a Mac. I encourage anyone considering OmniFocus to evaluate the cost not as an app, but rather see it as a powerful must-have tool for business and personal productivity. The $139.97 I spent for all three apps (Mac, iPhone, iPad) was the best business expense to date.

To evaluate OmniFocus in more detail, I recommend watching the videos offered on OmniGroup’s website. There are 12 introductory and 7 for more advanced concepts.

Do you use OmniFocus?

If so, what is your favorite feature?

Note: This is not a paid review for OmniFocus.

Image Credit