OmniFocus Workflows with Allen Pike

OmniFocus aficionado and entrepreneur, Allen Pike shares how he uses OmniFocus to help run his app design and development company, Steamclock Software alongside personal areas of life.

Allen has been using OmniFocus since 2015 and has developed his own, unique approach to using OmniFocus. He took us on a tour of his OmniFocus setup and workflows, highlighting his use of projects, tags, perspectives, and defer dates.

Allen’s approach emphasizes the personal nature of OmniFocus and how you can use this app in a way that’s most appropriate to your style of thinking and working. He shares practical ways of determining if OmniFocus is making your life more relaxed and productive (or if it’s a source of stress) and provides strategies for making any necessary adjustments.

Along the way, he highlights some of the mental models he applies to OmniFocus that help him support his team and strategies for differentiating between work tasks and personal tasks.


Allen took us on a deep dive into his OmniFocus setup and workflows, sharing details on how he’s using OmniFocus to manage his life and work. Topics covered include:

- Why Allen moved from Things to OmniFocus.

- How OmniFocus helps Allen cultivate and maintain a state of calm in all areas of his life.

- Strategies he employs to keep his system fresh, relevant, and fun.

- How he manages his OmniFocus Inbox.

- How he uses his “Now ☕️” Forecast Tag in conjunction with flags and due dates.

- A clever trick for using the active/on-hold status of tags to quickly and conveniently change the active state of specific types of actions.

- How he uses the Forecast perspective to surface his most important work.

- Custom Perspectives that Allen uses to navigate personal tasks and to identify actions that are waiting in the queue.

- How he uses projects to ensure all areas of his life are getting the appropriate amount of attention.

- How he uses the Review perspective to help ensure that tasks and ideas don’t fall through the cracks.

- Practical ways to distinguish work that needs to be done from “menus” of fun opportunities to explore.

- How and when he uses defer dates.


Allen co-founded Steamclock Software in 2010 after working as a Software Engineer at Apple. He runs a team of designers and developers who produce polished apps for iOS, iPadOS, and Android.

He has a wealth of knowledge and experience that he’s cultivated over his many years working in the software industry. Allen enjoys teaching and sharing stories that encapsulate his experience. He’s a called-upon speaker and podcast guest and co-hosts the monthly Fun Fact podcast with Arik Devens.

Allen is also the director of Two Spies, a turned-based game for iPhone and iPad that made its debut on the App Store in December 2019.

In his downtime, Allen enjoys playing his guitar and writing articles for his personal blog.

You can follow Allen Pike on Twitter @apike.

OmniFocus Workflows with Allen Pike