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by ryan davis

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Weekly Review

Published 2012-05-21 @ 12:00

Tagged productivity, omnifocus

This is part of the Productivity Pr0n series.

According to 43folders:

Regular Reviews ensure the organisation is a system that can be trusted, by scheduling collect & process stages to ensure that nothing escapes, ensuring that projects are associated with sensible next actions, pruning action lists of irrelevant actions, and looking over sometime/maybe lists for new spurs to action.

What it means to me

Review prevents chaos from winning. Review is my time to reflect on what I have on my plate as well as what I have (un)planned for the future. I go through a subset of my projects every single Friday and my job is to decide 3 things:

  1. whether the project itself is still relevant.
  2. whether the tasks within are still relevant.
  3. whether I want to schedule any of them for the upcoming cycle.

That’s it! Normally it takes between 15-30 seconds per project. Once you catch up with backlog and are in the groove of things, it’s actually a very speedy process and provides a lot of peace of mind.

Managing Many Projects

I can’t reasonably review every project every week. This is why I prioritize all of my projects and schedule them to review at different times and with different repeat intervals. I described this setup in my Omnifocus Project Organization post. Here’s what my current review schedule looks like:

          date\ tot 1w 2w 3w 5w 7w 
2012-05-25 Fri:  27  8  6  5  6  2 
2012-06-01 Fri:  20  0  7  5  6  2 
2012-06-08 Fri:  13  0  0  5  6  2 
2012-06-15 Fri:   5  0  0  0  3  2 
2012-06-22 Fri:   8  0  0  0  6  2 
2012-07-06 Fri:   2  0  0  0  0  2 
         total:  75  8 13 15 27 12 

Every Friday I have somewhere around 27 projects to review, give or take a couple. For 5/25, 8 of them are p1 and repeat every week, 6 of them are p2 and repeat every 2 weeks, 5 of them are p3 and repeat every 3 weeks, etc. This is the only way I could come up with a balanced review schedule for things of obviously widely different priorities and activity levels.

Omnifocus for iPad

Currently, there is only one place that I do my reviews and that’s on my ipad:

omnifocus on ipad

The interface is just slick. This screenshot only shows 1 errant project in the sidebar so it probably isn’t the best example in the world, but you get the gist. It only shows 1 project’s tasks at a time so they’re easy to read through, schedule, delete, or reassign to a different project, as needed. At the bottom you have the ability to put the project on hold or mark it completed. You mark each project as reviewed and it automatically moves on to the next until there are no more to do.

If/when omnifocus for mac gets updated with a better review UI, I’ll switch back to that to maintain better continuity. Until then I’ll stick to the ipad version.