One of the most useful key combinations in OmniFocus is “< option-command-r >“. I’m not sure if I could get by without it.

What is it?

  • When you are in Planning Mode, it will take the selected task and present it as it stands in Context Mode.
  • When you are in Context Mode, it will take the selected task and present it as it stands in Planning Mode.

Why is it so important?

No matter how well you may think you’ve planned out a project, it will inevitably go off in some direction you had not anticipated. There may be steps you’ve left out, others that have become redundant, or a whole set of steps that no longer apply. This is not poor planning. This is just how plans change.

“< option-command-r >” allows you to adjust context tasks when you see things have changed. There are many reasons as to why this could be the case ranging from a poorly worded task to a major shift in direction. The context view does not present the planning aspects of work for a very good reason: this is where we are simply carrying out the orders we’ve given to ourselves earlier. But, “< option-command-r >” is a way to provide feedback to yourself as supervisor and planner.

In the larger scheme of things, i.e. beyond this particular key combination, plans are just maps. But like maps, plans are never the actual landscape. They are only a representation, and more often than not, a crude one at that.

Still, maps are tremendously useful in giving direction, to remind us where we are, and to plot out our future steps. There is always use in taking stock of where we are and how things appear now that we have arrived at some point in the path of a project, be it a simple 2-step project or a complex journey.