03
Jul-2011

Using the iPad for video post: OmniFocus

20110703-083000.jpg Since I got my iPad last year, I’ve been using it extensively to help me edit the projects I’ve cut. Along the way, I’ve found some great tools to help keep an edit (and an editor!) organized, so here’s a first blog entry attempting to describe one of them. I’ll just address a single app in each post, with an eye to giving each application it’s due, and keeping the task manageable for myself as well.

OmniFocus

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This is where I do most of my organizing. It’s a “to do” type of application, which is insanely powerful and flexible. I used it for about 4 months on the desktop just to keep some lists before I stumbled into the “perspectives” functions, which promptly blew my mind and made the software indispensable rather than something I’d read was pretty good.  Basically, perspectives are sets of filters you can apply to your lists, and save, and then recall with keystroke. So, you can make a perspective that’s as simple as “Show me just Act 1”, or as complicated as “Show me actions from this show that I’ve marked as being completable in 15 minutes or less and I’ve flagged as important”. It’s a feature that allows you sift through big lists and get to specific sets of data very quickly. I love it. The desktop version of Omnifocus is amazing.

Well, it turns out the iPad version is very, very good – it even has some great new things the desktop doesn’t have yet. Presently the iPad version doesn’t fully implement the perspective functions, but I’ve learned to adapt; the “forecast” mode kind of makes up for it.

Sometimes I wish it was a little faster to create a new item, but as I’ve learned to use it over the course of the shows I’ve edited, I’ve found a system that works for me without slowing me down. Typically I’ll end up making a list of fixes I want to do for each act of a show, and I’ll add the fixes from my producer/writer into those lists. I’ll also keep a list of tasks I want to assign to an Assistant Editor at the end of the day, and a few other lists, including one I call “Find a place for this!”. When I spot a good shot that I’m sure I’ll use SOMEWHERE, I drop it in a sequence and make a note about it in this list in OmniFocus. Coming back to this list a few times during the week will usually result in making some good connections I might not have made otherwise.

When I can, I often use both the desktop and iPad versions as they sync with each other perfectly. But lately I’ve found myself in some offices with PC based edit systems, or simply older Macs that for one reason or another can’t run the current builds of OmniFocus and I can confidently say that the iPad version is quite usable on it’s own.

So, that’s item number one in my arsenal of iPad tools to keep my edits moving along quickly and to make sure I don’t miss things that need to get done.

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