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Dec. 21, 2020, 6 a.m.
How Oogie McGuire Uses OmniFocus

Oogie McGuire is a shepherdess to a flock of Black Welsh Mountain sheep at her farm in Colorado. When she's not farming, she can be found digitally archiving community photos, curating her Animal Tracker database, or thoughtfully planning and processing her business's next steps.

Show Notes:

Oogie leverages OmniFocus to handle the details, rhythm, and unpredictability level that raising sheep on her family farm provides. Whether it's pulling up her "calls list" during a quiet moment or elegantly addressing the multiple needs that a new season brings - Oogie and OmniFocus pull it off together.

Some other people, places, and things mentioned:

  • Android
  • Apple Pencil
  • Desert Weyr (Oogie's Farm)
  • DevonThink
  • FoxBASE
  • Getting Things Done book
  • GoodNotes
  • Animal Tracker (Previously Lamb Tracker)
  • LibreOffice
  • Obsidian
  • OmniFocus
  • Oogie's GitLab page
  • Python
  • SQLite
  • Zotero
  • Scrivener
  • Transcript:

    Andrew J Mason: You're listening to The Omni Show. Get to know the people and stories behind the Omni Group's award-winning productivity apps for Mac and iOS. My name's Andrew J. Mason and today we talk with Oogie McGuire, shepherdess in Colorado who uses OmniFocus to get things done.

    Andrew J Mason: Hey there. Welcome to the Omni Show. Like I mentioned, my name is Andrew J. Mason and today we have the honor of hanging out with Oogie McGuire. Oogie's a shepherdess who herds a flock of sheep in Colorado along with a lot of different roles that we're going to get into so that's just one slice of who she is. But first Oogie, thank you so much for joining us today. We're so, so grateful to have you with us on the show.

    Oogie McGuire: Oh, it's good to be here. It's kind of interesting to be sort of the first ordinary person on the show. Everybody else is like a rock star in tech.

    Andrew J Mason: Well after our conversation with Sal Soghoian last episode I don't want to be guilty of pouring glue on anybody's head. So at the risk of underselling, I will say, I believe you're a rock star in your own right and people are going to hear some of that too. Talk to us about, I mentioned shepherdess. What are some of the other roles that you currently play?

    Oogie McGuire: As you mentioned, I work and live here on a farm in Western Colorado and raise black Welsh mountain sheep. I'm also the registrar for the U.S. and Canadian registry for those sheep. They are a rare breed. I've also been involved for now the last six or so years working on a flock management program for rare breed sheep flocks called lamb tracker. And it's now in the process of its second major incarnation into a program that can handle more species than just sheep and also do more functions, population analysis, registrations, and things and that's been renamed as animal tracker and that's a new thing I've been working on now. It's going to be written in Python. Both lamb tracker and animal tracker are all open source.

    Andrew J Mason: Very cool. And maybe some of what sets you apart in terms of the farming community is your reliance upon technology as a scaffolding in order to get things done. Is that unique to you?

    Oogie McGuire: I don't think I'm that unusual in using technology to manage. Farming is actually a very technical field. There's a lot of things you have to know, a lot of things you have to work with. How people manage that may vary, but some of the new technologies with drones and doing very detailed information on animals in plants in crops and fields is all very much technology driven. So it's changing, but there's still this you've got to get down and dirty in with the sheep or on the tractor kind of thing. So it's an interesting combination.

    Andrew J Mason: And also the role of archivalist. What's that all about?

    Oogie McGuire: So we have a local historical society here in our small town and they have a collection of about 1500 glass plate negatives from the early 1900's of the area. And so a project that my husband and I started a number of years ago is to sort of save that collection initially by just getting it out of the open shelves in a dirt basement and clean them and very, very, very slowly scanning and cataloging those items and making them available to the public for enjoyment use education because it's kind of an interesting archive of the small area. Related to that I've started a project between my own family. My parents, myself, my step-dad, my husband. We have a very large collection of other photograph images of varying sorts. And so that's an ongoing scanning, cataloging, archiving project.

    Andrew J Mason: Interesting. So how do you save those files and do you do any retouching once you do save them?

    Oogie McGuire: So for all the photograph things for the historical society, I'm following Library of Congress archive standards. So we're using TIF's as the data file and there is no retouching on the master files. The goal is to capture it as it exists for your master file. Then you can create additional files where you play with various things in Photoshop or Lightroom to get it to look really good, but you always want to capture what it is now and then you can always go back to that original file. Once that master files made, it needs to sort of stay intact.

    Oogie McGuire: For personal images, the color slides actually using a system where they're being stored as JPEG files. Feeling on that is that right now that's probably good enough to get them cataloged. There's about 50,000 images. So there's a lot of data to deal with. So that's a good way to get it down. We can get it in, get it cataloged, and then if we need to go back, I'm not going to throw away the slides. I need to go back and do a more professional or higher quality scan of those things I can do it.

    Andrew J Mason: So cool. Well let's get to it. I know the reason that you're here is to share your usage of OmniFocus. So I'm very curious to hear about that and something we always ask people is how did you first come across the Omni Group and OmniFocus? So do you have any recollection of that?

    Oogie McGuire: Not in detail. I know that I got the Getting Things Done book in June of 2008 and joined connect on David Allen company about then as well. Started an implementation in life balance, very old app at that point. Got ready for anything in July 2008 and making it all work in January 2009, sort of the trifecta of books to read about this. I started an OmniFocus implementation in spring of 2009. Best I could do going back through my records was that was in March. So that would've probably been as part of my spring Equinox quarterly review. And at that time I was sinking to POM using missing sync to get that to all work and finally got an iPod touch in 2010. And it wasn't until late 2011 that I got an iPhone and was able to get rid of this flip phone and the iPod touch. So I've been on OmniFocus basically since 2009.

    Andrew J Mason: IPod touch. My goodness. That feels like eons ago, but really it was only 11 years since 2009. Just feels like lifetimes ago. But since we're on the subject, share with us what is your current technology setup? How does that look? What devices do you use day-to-day?

    Oogie McGuire: So my main computer is a fairly elderly iMac, 2013. I do have a new iPad pro 11 inch with Apple pencil, which I dearly love. The pencil has been a game-changer for note-taking. And then my phone is an iPhone eight. I also do work with Android because the lamb tracker shoot side system is Android-based. So it's written in Java and runs on Android tablets. The current tablet is an Amazon Kindle Fire. There is no iOS version of lamb tracker for lots of technical reasons, unfortunately.

    Andrew J Mason: All right. Perfect. So from 2009 on we now know kind of your hardware setup, how things are looking and feeling. Talk to us about your system. Has there been any major changes over the years?

    Oogie McGuire: It started kind of as this general thing where you put absolutely everything into OmniFocus, everything you're currently doing, everything you might want to do. Bought totally into the projects next action mindset of GTD, which fits very well with that. That falls apart for me in OmniFocus. So what changed fairly rapidly is finding an alternative way to keep my someday maybe or the things that I want to do, but I'm not working on things. And the population of that is so large that it just had to move out of OmniFocus. It just got too cumbersome to deal with there. Right now that set of stuff is somewhere over 1800 items and those can be projects that might span years or even decades. So projects for me, I'm an outlier. Projects are not just something that happens in one year. They can take a very long time and can be worked on in this particular season.

    Oogie McGuire: That's a key feature of how I work with my OmniFocus system. So I mentioned my quarterly reviews. Farming is very seasonally driven. There's lots of things that happen based on seasons and that can only happen or can only start in those seasons. So I do a more in-depth review of what's in my to do list, my OmniFocus system, each solstice and Equinox because that's a convenient time to do it. It kind of ties it to the natural cycle that we're working with with the animals. And at that point I move out of the current system. Anything that's not done and can't be continued on in the next season and look at my lists of other projects, which currently are in DEVONthink as just straight text files and pull in everything that now needs to become active or could be worked on.

    Andrew J Mason: So in a sense, you've got a menu of different projects, some of them that you are actively working on you take off the active menu, throw them into DEVONthink, and then when they come back around, they go active again, you put them back in OmniFocus. Kind of have this like list to choose from.

    Oogie McGuire: Correct. It is not as automated as perhaps I would like. On the other hand, the lack of automation does force me to take a look at that when I both put it off away for a while to make sure I've covered where I am so I can start up again easily and when I bring something back or add a new one in, I bring it in to OmniFocus, I need to really take the time to clean it up and get it ready to work.

    Andrew J Mason: That's really cool though because you hear a lot of people leaning into automation, but your decidedly not automating allows you to have a more active attention placed on each of the projects that you're working with. Talk to me about your day-to-day. How does it look when you're using your system day-to-day and you have all your different actions available to you? Could you run us through what a typical day looks like for you?

    Oogie McGuire: I start my morning looking at my OmniFocus lists, checking the weather, checking news, kind of seeing just what's coming up. There are a lot of things that are weather dependent so I need to know what the weather is going to be like for the day before I can really plan my day. But I also review my OmniFocus lists, my next action list every single morning. I keep them short enough for me, I'm a fast reader, I like long lists, but I have enough different contexts that I can quickly review those contexts, an entire set of things in that context in sort of one page view on my iMac. The way I work it is in the morning I take a look and since I work and live in the same place, I can choose what context to go in. So if I see that I've got a whole bunch of things in a particular software package, I might look at the weather and say, "Well it's going to be cloudy or snowy."

    Oogie McGuire: So let me do a couple hours of work in that particular software package and I can knock out a of those actions. That daily review is critical to my planning for the day and how I'm going to get things done. Then during the day I try to use little obvious breaks to do a couple things. One is whatever context I'm in I decide very quickly at that point, should I stay in that context or should I change context? I might be working in LibreOffice on a bunch of things and after an hour or two, my brain is fried and I know that if I continue to work on those tasks, I'm going to make mistakes. So I'll look at my list and say, "Oh. I've got a bunch of things that I need to do outside in a particular field or over in the red barn or in the shop building."

    Oogie McGuire: "So why don't I get up and I'll walk over to that context and work on those things," so that I get a break, but I'm still getting things done that I need to get done. The other thing I do is there's some tasks, particularly with the sheep, where I need to still be there, present and watching, but I have space or time to do other things. An example is filling water tanks. I've learned, unfortunately through my own mistakes, that if I walk off and leave a hose in a water tank, I'm likely to forget that I was filling a water tank and that can waste water number one or can fill the barn up and risk getting hay wet, which is not good. So I stand there and watch the water tanks filling now.

    Andrew J Mason: So you've realized just through distractibility that you actively need to attend to the tanks as they're filling up. Does that ever get boring?

    Oogie McGuire: Well there's not a whole lot to do. I mean, you're watching a hose run. So what else can I do? Well I can pull out my phone, pick up my OmniFocus lists there and say, "Oh. I've got these phone calls to make. Maybe I can make a couple phone calls." I always carry a little note pad and a pen in my wallet. Women's clothes don't have pockets or at least not good ones. So I make a little belt pouch that I hook on my belt that carries my wallet and my phone.

    Oogie McGuire: And so I have a piece of paper and a pen so I can take notes on a phone conversation or if I'm thinking of something. The standard GTD of a mind sweep. Sometimes when you're just standing there looking out gazing at the sheep, looking at the pastures, looking at the mountains, your mind is free to think of all the things that you would like to do or an idea on a project that wasn't really something you were working on, but you've just now got a brilliant idea of it. So that's a good place for me to capture.

    Andrew J Mason: Well I do have to ask, you mentioned having a pad and paper, but also your phone nearby. Why not using your phone or like Siri to capture?

    Oogie McGuire: Siri and I have a very difficult relationship. Siri does not understand the difference between ewe, E-W-E and you Y-O-U. So whenever I try to say about sheep in general Siri gets it wrong. Siri also doesn't understand tag numbers. So if I say something like 936, the assumption is it's 936 and the reminders will get set to flag then or remind you then. That's not what I want. So I very rarely use Siri unless it's the absolute only way I can get a note made. And even then I have to go and look at Siri right away, see what Siri thought got heard, and correct it before I forget what I was doing. I did find that you can improve the voice recognition by changing Siri's output voice. I don't know why that matters. It doesn't make sense to me, but I found that for me the UK male output voice tends to result in better input recognition on Siri for me.

    Oogie McGuire: So if you're having problems, give it a shot. Maybe some other voice will be better. I tried everything that was available. The Australian, the UK, US, various ones and it turned out the UK male voice resulted in better incoming voice recognition. So as I'm working through actions, I don't tend to add things in on either my iPad or my iPhone. I try to do all my adding and major work in OmniFocus on the Mac mostly because that's where all my tools are, I'm much more efficient at it, and I don't want to waste time, but I do use the iOS devices in doing mode. So I check off things in OmniFocus and then come back and they sync.

    Andrew J Mason: Fair enough. And before this conversation, we were actually talking, you mentioned not being as huge of a fan of the shared cloud syncing services.

    Oogie McGuire: I'm very cloud adverse. So I don't use OmniFocus web server, I don't use iCloud, I use Google docs very rarely for very specific things, I use Dropbox for a few specific things, but the way I synchronize OmniFocus is I have it going to my own WebDAV server. So yep. If I'm out and about and I work in OmniFocus, I'm not going to get new updates, but I found that doesn't really matter. I get back to my home base often enough, both during the day and across days that the fact that I have to be in one physical location to synchronize my iOS devices isn't really a problem.

    Andrew J Mason: I love this next question because each expert you talk to has a different answer on how to approach it, but what advice would you give for somebody who maybe has OmniFocus, they've cracked the software open, but they haven't really taken a whole lot of first steps yet. What do you suggest somebody does?

    Oogie McGuire: Play with it. You need to figure out what's going to work for you. I've gone through several iterations of how I organize my stuff in OmniFocus. I've got one that's worked out quite well now for going on four, five years that hasn't changed much. But it took a while to get there. So OmniFocus has lots of features, there's lots of things you can do with it, there's lots of customization that you can do both within the app and by adding scripts or plugins or other things that other people have written and you need to figure out what's going to work with you and it could be overwhelming to a new user because it is so full-featured. It's got so many things you can do.

    Oogie McGuire: So the best thing I could tell a brand new person is play with it, take whatever you're currently using and as you add new things, put them into OmniFocus. Still run in parallel for a while. And slowly over time you'll find what works for you in OmniFocus and then can move into it. The other thing is sort of the general GTD thing is a weekly review. Spend at least some time, at least once a week, really looking at everything. And initially you might need to do that daily.

    Andrew J Mason: You mentioned just a bit ago that your system has been to your liking as of the last couple of years, but the change that happened right before that, can you talk a little bit about what led to your most recent change and what your system does look like now that it has been changed?

    Oogie McGuire:So what triggered the last change was that I won an award of some coaching from David Allen Company and ended up with Meg Edwards who also used OmniFocus and we could screen share and she could look at my system and see how I was using it and then just gave me some things to try. So I went off and tried that and ended up with kind of a hybrid of what I had been doing and what she suggested and that's worked really well. So I have in OmniFocus two lists that are single action lists. One is miscellaneous and one is errands. We live in a rural area and especially now with the pandemic, going to town or going shopping is not something that happens regularly. So it's real important to know what are all the stores we have to go to when we drive to the nearest city where there's a large box store, which is a 75 mile one way trip.

    Oogie McGuire: So you don't want to do that very often. You want to make sure that when you're there you get everything done. Then I have a folder that has the current sort of active projects and those are the basic ones that I'm working on that would be the non-recurring projects. So then I have a series of recurring projects, folders. So I have one for things that happen weekly, one for things that happen monthly, and then a folder for each of the major seasons, January through March, April through June, July through September, and October through December. And those folders are for projects that tend to happen on a recurring basis, I've figured out the steps I need to do, and they need to start in that season. They may not finish in that season, but they need to start in that season. And then my last folder that I have is checklists, which would be sort of the equivalent of a template in OmniFocus. They're projects for things that happen on an irregular schedule.

    Oogie McGuire: So I can't set it as a repeating thing. Some trigger makes me need that list, but I figured out what I need to do and I don't want to have to redo that thinking. So I've created a project that's on hold and effectively in OmniFocus I tear off a copy by making a copy of that project, setting it to active, and moving it into my active folder. So I leave my template alone. Examples of that, we do performance recording on our sheet. And so several times a year, I take all the phenotypic data that I've collected on the animals, put it into the spreadsheet format that's the data input, ship it off to Australia for processing, then I will get results back and then I have to incorporate those results into my lamb tracker database for our flock records. There's a whole series of steps to make that all happen.

    Oogie McGuire: And so I need to do that whenever I get ready to send data in and I don't want to remember the fact that the data comes back in this very weird format and I have to use this terminal command to unencrypt it and get it to where I can use it. So it's like figured that out once I've got it down once it's in there so I don't have to remember that. And so I'll just make a copy. And the last thing on the get data ready to send to Australia is fire off a copy of the project to get the results into lamb tracker. So I link projects that way.

    Andrew J Mason: Is there anything about your system that over time you found that you've done a full-on reversal over or said, "I did think this, but now, you know what, I'm actually going back. I think this."

    Oogie McGuire: So I had been adamant for a long time that you didn't really need more than a single context, even though things could be in multiple context. So far the only real use I found for the expansion in OmniFocus of tags, to allow multiple tags, is that I now have tags for each area of focus. So I can quickly pull up a perspective of how many projects or actions are in a particular area of focus. And just that perspective has made a very interesting difference in how I approach projects and what I'm working on.

    Andrew J Mason: That's interesting. I've never heard anybody doing this before because I manage by folders with the areas of focus. I've never heard of anybody doing tags based on areas of focus, but now that you say it, of course. There are some projects that we engage in that can apply to multiple areas. Maybe this affects health and my family at the same time and you can now have projects that belong to multiple areas of focus utilizing tags and perspectives.

    Oogie McGuire: Right. Those tags start with AOF and then a space and then whatever the focus area is that's added. When I create a project, I can typically put it into that so then it's in the top level so it automatically adds to all actions, which is great. And then I can go pull a quick perspective report to say, "Hey. You've got 50 projects in this area of focus and nothing over here. Does that mean you need to look at that? What are you falling down on?"

    Andrew J Mason: That's a fantastic tip. Talk to me about what's been the hardest thing to implement or the biggest challenge for you?

    Oogie McGuire: The hardest lesson is to process everything fully. It's really easy to say pick up a piece of paper or a note or an email and say, "Yep. I'm done with that. File it," and you're not really done with figuring out what you have to do with it. So there's an easy temptation to just shove things down the road and not deal with them properly when they first come up.

    Andrew J Mason: You mentioned processing or clarifying fully, but how do you know when something, for you, is truly fully clarified or fully processed?

    Oogie McGuire: If I think of it again or if it comes up again, then the thinking wasn't done the first time.

    Andrew J Mason: Has anything changed in your processing in regards to the pandemic or how the last couple of months have played out?

    Oogie McGuire: One group of sort of these checklists, templates that has definitely been affected by the pandemic is I now have a whole bunch of them that say how to process incoming bills or how to deal with some of the ongoing things, bank statements and stuff, not because I need them to do the tasks, but because if something happens to me, somebody else might need them to know where to go to get the information. So it's almost like an emergency backup of things that have to get handled in case I'm not able to do it.

    Andrew J Mason: Yeah. That's got to be a relief.

    Oogie McGuire: Yeah. I mean, if nothing else it's helpful because it kind of calms the mind and says it's like, "Okay. If something happens to me, I know that that wall's not going to get dropped."

    Andrew J Mason: Do you have any specific examples of that?

    Oogie McGuire: I'm a registrar for the sheep. So I have a set of templates about what you do when you get a registration request, when you get a birth notification. How do you handle processing a death of a sheep in the registry system? How do you process transfers? What do you have to do? Where do I get the certificate paper to print registration certificates? Where do I buy the little gold seals that we put on them that we emboss so that they know it's a valid registration certificate? Because right now, yeah I know exactly where I do it, what I get, how to do it, all of that, but I'm going to need to pass that task onto somebody else and somebody else needs to be able to pick it up and not spend a lot of time figuring out what I already did.

    Andrew J Mason: Now what about perspectives? You mentioned areas of focus, which I think is absolutely brilliant, but how about any other perspectives that you use?

    Oogie McGuire: So I also use perspectives for the weekly review. Omni has the ability to set a review time for projects. It's typically set at one week standard, but you can make it longer or different. And I found that that is not nearly as helpful. It's better for me to keep the project lists small enough that I can really review everything in OmniFocus in a week. But what matters to me is finding any projects that are stalled, that don't have an action because that means that when I did the last action, I didn't finish it, which is do I have to do something else? That's like the last action of something. So I need to find those. I need to find any that are pending because I do set start dates as needed on projects. So I need to kind of look at what's coming up so I can say, "Hey. There's going to be a whole bunch of things coming up in the next week or two."

    Oogie McGuire: "So I don't want to plan on being able to do too much else that week." I like to review everything that's on hold just because that's where I review my templates because they're all on hold. I generally don't have on-hold projects per se. My projects that are on hold are really my checklists. And then I go and review active ones, which is really kind of the meat of the review of everything that's currently active. And if I see something that I haven't been working on, usually it means that I didn't describe the actions fully enough. So that's where I fix that.

    Oogie McGuire: And then sort of my catch all at the end is review remaining, which catches anything that I thought of like if I think of a new project it's like, "Oh. That's not an action. That's another whole new project." I kick it in and then it'll show up at the end. I do not like sub-projects in general. I don't tend to use that feature in OmniFocus. So I tend to put everything out at like a top level project. And that means that right now, for me, I'm actually at sort of my lowest level of projects. I've got 172 current active projects and that's actually low. I think my high has been around 250 to 280.

    Andrew J Mason: All right. So that's awesome. Let's talk about day-to-day implementation. What has been the most difficult thing to implement as you've been going throughout your work day-to-day?

    Oogie McGuire: So I have a phrase that I use a lot. I don't know if you can put the entire thing in the show, but the total thing is sheep happens, genetics is a (beep), and beer must flow.

    Andrew J Mason: It's there now.

    Oogie McGuire: Someday I'm going to get a t-shirt made with that on it because when you really think about it, that covers just about everything that you have to deal with as a problem. Sheep happens, genetics is a (beep), and beer must flow and that usually helps.

    Andrew J Mason: If you had any weaknesses in regards to how your system runs, what would they be?

    Oogie McGuire: I'm terrible at figuring out how long something's going take. So even double or triple or even following any sort of formula to figure out how long things are going to take, it's never accurate. Particularly so right now with the whole animal tracker programming. One of the things I have to do is I have to move an entire database from one database system into my database structure.

    Andrew J Mason: And what makes that a difficult to estimate task?

    Oogie McGuire: I thought that that was going to be something that I could figure out a procedure and then pass chunks of this off to volunteers because I've got people in the registry that are volunteering to help with this task and let them go do it. I'm discovering that I'm still about a month and a half later on the first 1000 animals to convert and I've got 13,000 of them to do. And not only that, but I'm finding things that mean that I have to go back to the original records from 1973 to make sure that when I do the conversion it's done right. And that's not something I can delegate to anybody else because right now there's only one copy of those records available.

    Andrew J Mason: Oogie, do you feel like anything would actually help that process along for you?

    Oogie McGuire: Well actually there's two things that would be highly helpful. One is the database structure that it currently is, is FoxBASE, which has been deprecated years ago. And it's moving into an SQLite database. A lot of it depends on knowledge of the animals and the genetics so there may not be much to do there, but what would be really helpful is if anybody knows Python programming with SQLite and wants a really cool project, that would be very helpful for genetic diversity in livestock species, which translates to food security and better resiliency in our food system, which as we know during this pandemic is not as stable as we all thought, then go out to my GitLab repository. It's Oogie M, O-O-G-I-E-M at GitLab and dig in because one of the things that slowed me down on that is that I didn't know Python. I still don't know Python. I'm still trying to learn Python.

    Andrew J Mason: Oh my goodness. So inherent in this project that we thought maybe we could template out, guesstimate some of the time on it, and then replicate that time is the sub-project learn Python, which is more than a little bit of a detail. Well I think you heard it here first folks. If there's any Python programmers out there that are aspiring to have a gem of a resume builder, I think we've got a worthy program for you.

    Oogie McGuire: Yeah. And there's a lot of things like I've talked to some Python programmers and it's like, "Well we can use all these different extra tools." It needs to be a graphical user interface, needs to run on a desktop, needs to run on Mac, Windows, Linux. And one of the things that I made a decision on fairly early as I'm going to stick with TKinter, which isn't great as a GUI builder, but at least you do it once and it does work. The advantage of anybody working on this is that I'm using this stuff daily.

    Oogie McGuire: When I was doing the development for the lamb tracker mobile, there are times where we took the laptops out and we're debugging while the sheep are standing in the chute because something did network. And as a user, the thing is a programmer, you always try to guess what the users want and they tell you what they want, but then you watch them and that's not what they really wanted because they don't know how to explain it. So the advantage of this project is that I'm a user. I can tell you what I want and then I can go try it and say, "Nope. That's not quite right."

    Andrew J Mason: Now what about looking to the future? Are there any features that you're interested in for OmniFocus as far as coming up?

    Oogie McGuire: The big one would be better ways to share projects with a team. So say we get four or five folks that are Python programmers that are using OmniFocus that want to work on this. Right now I don't have a way to have a shared project that we can all work on. So we're going to be doing things the way standard software development would work. We've got a Slack channel, we've got Google docs that we can share, obviously Git, I'm using Git so any programmer could use that. But a team option for projects would be really nice, but it needs to be sandboxed so that the individual user sees their stuff, plus the team stuff. It can't be an all or nothing. You got to be able to do it on a project level.

    Andrew J Mason: Something else that was really interesting to me and I think that our audience will find it useful too and even Sal Soghoian mentioned this too, that a lot of times OmniFocus is only one slice of somebody's workflow. Can you talk to me a little bit about what your workflow looks like and how it interacts with OmniFocus in different ways?

    Oogie McGuire: Yeah. OmniFocus is just one piece. And one of the things I've discovered is that the way I work, I like to have a stack of applications that are for my needs best in breed for specific things. I'm not looking for an application that does everything. I want the best task manager, that's OmniFocus. I want the best long-form writing app for me, that Scrivener. I want the best quick notes index find stuff app for me, that's DEVONthink. I'm adding to that a little bit. Right now I'm playing with two applications that are probably going to have a place in the stack. One is Zotero as a bibliographic. I do have a couple of research papers that are out and published on sheep reproduction, and I've got some ideas and things I want to do. Our flock was a research flock for 13 years with the USDA on sheep reproduction.

    Oogie McGuire: So tracking that scientific paper, bibliographic stuff is important and I've never had a good bibliographic manager. So I'm looking at Zotero for that. The other one that's a new one that I'm working with is Obsidian. The big advantage Obsidian has over a lot of the other similar apps is that your data is your own. It's on your system, and the fact that it'll run anywhere, it's available for all operating systems is particularly useful and that gives a linking view of notes and data that's not possible anywhere else, even with the new expansion of linking in DEVONthink.

    Oogie McGuire: You can't see those links visually the same way you can see them in Obsidian. The other app that's probably become very important for me right now is GoodNotes on the iPad because I have terrible handwriting number one, but GoodNotes is able to recognize my hand writing with about a 95% accuracy, which is just awesome. And I like to write paper notes and I've effectively replaced most of my paper notes with GoodNotes because then I can go back in and I can handwriting recognition it and then save that text out in other formats.

    Andrew J Mason: That's awesome. Oogie, thank you so much for giving us the insight into what your workflow looks like, how you utilize OmniFocus every day to get things done. I hope our audience has found it really useful. If people are interested in finding out more of what you're up to and how they can connect with you, how can they do that?

    Oogie McGuire: So probably best way is to go through the farm website, which is desert weyr, D-E-S-E-R-T W-E-Y-R .com. And you can click and send an email there. That is where my blog posts are, which are very irregular. Maybe about two or three times a year, maybe four. I also am on Twitter. I'm not as active on there. I'm also Oogie M, O-O-G-I-E-M on Twitter. Activity there really ramps up during lambing season because the lambing is tweeted with all new lambs.

    Oogie McGuire: Originally started out as that was the way I got research data back to our USDA researchers from the field without having to wait until I went in to the house to send emails. So I could send, "Yes, we got a lamb. Here's the mom. Here's the dad. Yes, it was an AI. Yes, here was the synchronization." Because I was already out there with all the data, but I could send it that way. So Twitter again is intermittent during this time of year. And obviously I'm on Mac power users forums, OmniFocus forum, and the GTD connect forums and I'm Oogie M there as well.

    Andrew J Mason: Perfect. Oogie, thank you for your investment of time today.

    Oogie McGuire: Thank you for having me.

    Andrew J Mason: And thank all of you for listening today. Hey, we're curious. Are you enjoying the shows? Are you enjoying learning how people are getting things done utilizing Omni software and products? Drop us a line @TheOmniShow on Twitter. We'd love to hear from you there. You can also find out everything that's happening with the Omni Group at omnigroup.com/blog.