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-   -   1.7 Perspective Changes (and the thinking behind them) (http://forums.omnigroup.com/showthread.php?t=13401)

xmas 2009-08-14 10:55 AM

1.7 Perspective Changes (and the thinking behind them)
 
[B]Note[/B]: Kaijin's post below includes a great explanation of how the controls in the revamped Perspectives window works. Thanks very much! Click [URL="http://forums.omnigroup.com/showpost.php?p=65666&postcount=3"]here[/URL] to jump to it.

As OmniFocus has evolved we've added quite a few new features, and we've done a lot of work on Perspectives. At their core, Perspectives are supposed to make it easy for you to use/access your OmniFocus data in the way that you want to, whether that's adding new actions in the Inbox, planning and organizing your projects in Project mode, working in a context based method in Context mode, seeing your due and overdue actions, or doing a review of your work.

Initially we didn't add any perspectives by default, and it was a little intimidating to get to the different areas in OmniFocus. (For instance, setting up a Review perspective was a lengthy process that required far too much advanced knowledge) We added in some "Built-in" perspectives to address this in 1.5, and we've now revamped those for 1.7.

The problem was that the built-in perspectives behaved very differently from the perspectives users could make.

What we want to do in 1.7 (and we're not quite there yet, which is why we value your input on this matter) is let you define your Perspectives in such a way that they'll do as much, or as little as you want.

Here is a breakdown of the saved information for perspectives in 1.7:

[b]Always Applied[/b]
View State (Project or Context)
View Bar Settings (Sidebar Filter, Action Filters, Grouping, Sorting, Flagged)

[b]Optionally Applied[/b]
Selection (buggy in some cases right now)
Expansion (might also be buggy)
Columns
Focus
View Bar settings from a Perspective of the other view mode

[b]Only applied when holding down OPTION to open a new window[/b]
Size
Position
Sidebar State (this might be buggy)

[b]Not Currently Saved[/b]
View Bar visibility
Toolbar visibility


The thinking behind all of this is that your perspectives should be predictable, configurable, and not get in your way.

If you want to just change the Focus and Filters, you should be able to do so, without reverting to some random position on the screen that you maybe didn't mean to save.

However, we weren't happy with some of the inconsistencies in the interface as a result of being "in" a perspective. Which is why anytime your view bar settings deviate from the default they turn a color, and why when you change any of those settings you're no longer "in" a perspective. We found this was confusing, as there wasn't a good way to clearly indicate why things would be blue sometimes and not others, and the only way to show that you were "in" a perspective was to look at the title bar (unless you happened to have the toolbar button on your toolbar).

We welcome your feedback as we continue work on this feature to make it as useful as possible to you, so please feel free to post here and let us know.

P.S. We'll likely be adding in a way to access the saved size, position and sidebar state, since that seems to be a pretty frequent request already.

Greg Jones 2009-08-14 11:53 AM

[QUOTE=xmas;64628]However, we weren't happy with some of the inconsistencies in the interface as a result of being "in" a perspective. Which is why anytime your view bar settings deviate from the default they turn a color, and why when you change any of those settings you're no longer "in" a perspective. We found this was confusing, as there wasn't a good way to clearly indicate why things would be blue sometimes and not others, and the only way to show that you were "in" a perspective was to look at the title bar (unless you happened to have the toolbar button on your toolbar).[/QUOTE]

Thanks for the post on Perspectives and the thinking behind changing them. I believe the challenge that I will have to overcome with the new behavior of perspectives is the idea that the 'default' view bar setting is not user-configurable and perspective-specific, but rather what Omni has determined should be the default. As the user can now change the built-in perspectives, it's possible for the view bar to always be blue in one or more columns in every perspective that the user has-correct? I'm not sure how valuable the blue feedback is, when something is always blue?

I'm sure I can adapt to the change, and I'll look forward to hearing the thought of others about the new perspectives. But if I were king for today, I would have the 'default' view bar settings to be determined by what is saved in each perspective. If I am 'in' that perspective and make a change in the view bar, I would want the item to turn blue as is now, as well as have the document title change as is now. When I am done with that particular change in the view bar, clicking on the 'x' at the right of the view bar would return me to the defaults for that perspective, the blue item(s) would change back to black, and the document title would change to reflect the selected perspective.

xmas 2009-08-14 12:07 PM

Well, the big issue I had with the old way of doing Perspectives was that it was very hard to get "out" of a perspective. And clicking the "X" button would do things differently based on weather you were "in" or "out", and since it was hard to get "out" it felt untrustworthy.

I do think it's worth looking into at least muting the blue until you make a change, since you make a great point that having lots of blue all the time does sorta defeat the point.

omnibob 2009-08-14 12:32 PM

Sorry if any of this is covered above.

- Make the default perspectives open in a new window (or at least make that an option, without having to hold down the option key).

- Make custom perspectives' default to open in a new window, and restore other mode (or at least make those options to be defaults for one's system).

- Allow perspectives to be linked in notes fields (in 1.6 as a workaround you could drag perspectives as aliases from the perspectives folder in the Finder).

thanks, Bob

xmas 2009-08-14 01:31 PM

[QUOTE=omnibob;64635]
- Make the default perspectives open in a new window (or at least make that an option, without having to hold down the option key).

- Make custom perspectives' default to open in a new window, and restore other mode (or at least make those options to be defaults for one's system).
[/quote]

We likely won't be making anything open a new window by default. Having multiple windows is a relatively advanced feature, and can be confusing.

We will likely add an option to open certain perspectives in a new window, but it will be off by default, as it was before.

[QUOTE=omnibob;64635]
- Allow perspectives to be linked in notes fields (in 1.6 as a workaround you could drag perspectives as aliases from the perspectives folder in the Finder).
[/QUOTE]

This is a great idea.

Greg Jones 2009-08-14 02:47 PM

[QUOTE=xmas;64628][b]Optionally Applied[/b]
Selection (buggy in some cases right now)
Expansion (might also be buggy)
Columns
Focus
View Bar settings from a Perspective of the other view mode
[/QUOTE]

I am noticing that Columns might also be buggy as well. The Completed column often stays visible, even though it is unchecked.

[img]http://homepage.mac.com/jgregjones/.Pictures/Misc/OFBar.jpg[/img]

More on topic of the concepts of perspectives. Currently there are still two perspectives, or views, that are non-editable. That would be Completed Items and All Items. Would it make sense that Completed Items view/perspective by default includes the Completed column?

Ken Case 2009-08-14 03:42 PM

[QUOTE=omnibob;64635]- Allow perspectives to be linked in notes fields (in 1.6 as a workaround you could drag perspectives as aliases from the perspectives folder in the Finder).[/QUOTE]

You can do this in 1.7 using the perspective's URL, e.g. [URL="omnifocus:///perspective/Inbox"]omnifocus:///perspective/Inbox[/URL].

xmas 2009-08-14 03:42 PM

[QUOTE=Greg Jones;64649]
More on topic of the concepts of perspectives. Currently there are still two perspectives, or views, that are non-editable. That would be Completed Items and All Items. Would it make sense that Completed Items view/perspective by default includes the Completed column?[/QUOTE]

This makes sense, I'll file it.

Kevin Yank 2009-08-14 07:09 PM

[QUOTE]We will likely add an option to open certain perspectives in a new window, but it will be off by default, as it was before.[/QUOTE]

Yes please!

Kevin Yank 2009-08-14 07:19 PM

I concur that having the blue highlights in the View Bar appear whenever a setting deviates from the "Default" view (even if it is defined by the current perspective) is the right way to go. Way more consistent, and easier for the new user to build a mental model around.

That said, I think the point that the "Default" view settings are currently controlled by Omni and not the user is an important one. I believe that the user should be able to configure the Default view settings separately from the Perspectives system. Ideally, this would be a new tab in the preferences window (as much as I know you try to avoid those).

That way, if I wanted Context Mode to group my tasks by due date instead of by context most of the time, I could select that as the default view setting. I might then set up a perspective like "Delegated Tasks" to deviate from that default, grouping tasks by context. That setting would then be highlighted in blue in the view bar when I switched to that perspective.

I realise this proposal creates another layer of complexity, but I think it would make the application easier to understand than it is currently, with seemingly arbitrary view settings that are the “default” for no readily apparent reason.

bashosfrog 2009-08-14 09:01 PM

The blue highlights are good, but there needs to be another layer of information to tell you when you've changed a perspective, as in 1.6. Perhaps shading on the drop-down text bubble?

newguy 2009-08-15 05:01 AM

One of the issues I have with Perspectives is how it currently handles note toggling. In my custom perspective, I would like to always show notes expanded. As far as I can see you can sort of do this. By going to Edit and Toggle the Notes and then taking a snapshot of the Perspective.

The problem I always seem to have, is some of my Perspective lose this setting and the notes are not displayed. I think what actually happens is that if you have completed all actions in a Perspective and then create a new action with a Note it won't be displayed. The perspective forgets about the setting.

Given the work that being done in Perspective, is there any chance an extra checkbox that simply says restore notes could be added? This would also make it more obvious.

I have submitted this feedback to Omni. What do others think?

pjb 2009-08-15 11:05 AM

I would like notes to stay where I left them, even if the window is not active. Right now, if a note is expanded in one window, and another window opens, the note in the background window collapses.

pjb 2009-08-15 11:28 AM

Only applied when holding down OPTION to open a new window
Size
Position
Sidebar State (this might be buggy)"

What if the Perspective is opened via a toolbar button? Does the option key still work? My preference would be for all settings to update by default and a modifier be used to say "instead, just change the action list pane according to My Perspective, leave the rest of the window along, and don't actually change to that Perspective".

As for communicating the state of the Perspective, I'd prefer you just stretch the metaphor used in apps which manipulate files where the titlebar icon (next to the name of the Perspective) becomes gray and a dot appears in the leftmost button when the Perspective needs to be either saved or any changes (in blue) will be discarded. You may even go so far as to remind the user they have made changes to the Perspective when they try to change to another, although this hasn't seemed to be necessary in OW. Basically, I'm not a fan of the X on the rightmost view bar.

Also, I do not like the addition of the redundant view bar titles above the drop down menus. If there needs to be redundancy for the sake of clarity, I would rather each selection, once chosen, say "Grouped by Contexts" and "Grouped by Project" etc. (could
also use" {} Grouping: None", "{} Grouping: Contexts", etc.)


-Paul

curt.clifton 2009-08-15 12:25 PM

[QUOTE=pjb;64710]I would like notes to stay where I left them, even if the window is not active. Right now, if a note is expanded in one window, and another window opens, the note in the background window collapses.[/QUOTE]

I'm not seeing this. You might try View → Always Show Full Row Text.

pjb 2009-08-15 04:26 PM

That does it. One of the prefs I'd not changed in a long time but not saved with the move to 1.7. Thanks.

Toadling 2009-08-15 06:51 PM

[QUOTE=pjb;64711]As for communicating the state of the Perspective, I'd prefer you just stretch the metaphor used in apps which manipulate files where the titlebar icon (next to the name of the Perspective) becomes gray and a dot appears in the leftmost button when the Perspective needs to be either saved or any changes (in blue) will be discarded. You may even go so far as to remind the user they have made changes to the Perspective when they try to change to another, although this hasn't seemed to be necessary in OW. Basically, I'm not a fan of the X on the rightmost view bar.
[/QUOTE]

I don't think it's generally a good idea to use a well-known interface metaphor for something different like that. Those "dirty" indicators invariably mean the document in memory differs from the version on disk. That's not the case here; in OmniFocus, only your view settings have changed, not your actual data. Mixing UI behaviors like that would be confusing, especially since OmniFocus saves real data changes automatically.

I think the little "X" on the right end of the view bar is a better approach. It works just like the same control that appears in search fields.

-Dennis

pjb 2009-08-16 05:12 AM

But it is the data in memory which has changed from what is "on disk" (not exactly, since Perspectives are not files in 1.7). The indicators reflect the state of the Perspective and each Perspective is manifest as a window with a representative title bar. It seems like a small stretch to me.

pjb 2009-08-17 06:31 AM

[QUOTE=xmas;64628]...
The problem was that the built-in perspectives behaved very differently from the perspectives users could make.
...[/QUOTE]

I did not really use the default perspectives since I had my own already when they were introduced, so I cannot comment on the confusion they may have caused.

After a few days with the blue filters, I'm still not comfortable. The blue is a bit hard to read; how about just italics?

Why is the default non-blue set All Projects, Ungrouped, Unsorted, Any Status? When I switch to a prepared Perspective and some of the filters are blue and some are not but some of the non-blue are actually set to apply some filter, it just doesn't make sense.

I'm not a fan of using the filter text to show that one is in a Perspective. Unsaved changed to a Perspective, sure, but not any unchanged Perspective. Even among the two included perspectives, Projects and Context, only Projects has all black filters so even Contexts deviates from the default. So knowing the default is not so easy and then understanding the blue is not even possible for a novice user.

Those two included Perspectives are fine as starter Perspectives for the new user who wants to explore that feature but I would recommend encouraging the novice user to switch views using the Mode button instead until they choose to start using Perspectives.

uof 2009-08-17 04:13 PM

I'm not using the SP but have been reading the threads - I'd definitely find it distracting to have blue text in an unmodified Perspective.

I use the "no blue" as a quick safety-check that I'm not seeing a modified version of my Perspective - e.g. that could be hiding things I should be seeing...

It just feels right to click a perspective shortcut in my toolbar and see no blue modification warnings.

Ken Case 2009-08-20 06:48 AM

[QUOTE=uof;64809]I'm not using the SP but have been reading the threads - I'd definitely find it distracting to have blue text in an unmodified Perspective.[/QUOTE]

Looks like it didn't make the release notes yet, but we fixed this yesterday: View bar settings are no longer colored blue when you're in a perspective.

Greg Jones 2009-08-20 08:16 AM

[QUOTE=Ken Case;64970]Looks like it didn't make the release notes yet, but we fixed this yesterday: View bar settings are no longer colored blue when you're in a perspective.[/QUOTE]

Perfect! Thanks Ken-looks good.

pjb 2009-08-20 08:38 AM

[QUOTE=Toadling;64728]...I think the little "X" on the right end of the view bar is a better approach. It works just like the same control that appears in search fields.

-Dennis[/QUOTE]

Thinking a bit more about this, it may be that the Filter settings and the X (as in search fields) is not quite the same thing. The file metaphor works for me as a way of marking the Perspective dirty/unsaved. If what is dirty about a perspective is something in the Filter settings then blue lettering appears (this is a change from the early sp's) and an X is a means to manage those changes but if it were something else like a switch from Planning to Context mode or a pane size change then there needs to me some other way to know the Perspective is now changed from what was saved. Perhaps a more obvious change to the title bar other than the usual dirty file tricks would work for both of us?

edit: I see now that the title bar does change from {perspective name}:{selection} to just <empty>:{selection} when a Filter is changed (and the toolbar highlight is dropped if that Perspective was an icon there) and the menu now changes from Take Snapshot of {perspective} to the grayed-out/unavailable Take Snapshot of Current Perspective. The option to Save Window As > is still there. This seems like a transitional state in the beta builds. Perhaps Take Snapshot of Current Perspective will become active in a future build and automatically create a new Perspective or bring the Perspective pane forward to save the snapshot to a pre-existing Perspective or just disappear entirely. Either way, I do like this better than the recent builds (but not as much as using the file metaphor).

uof 2009-08-20 10:52 AM

Thanks for the reply Ken. I'm looking forward to the final 1.7 release. Some nice changes there.

Raptor235 2009-08-25 08:23 AM

Sorting?
 
What about sorting... you can't do reverse sorting... when you sort it's only applied to groups and not actions within those groups... it should be both...

also filtering... so you could do multiple contexts or multiple projects... the entire filtering / sorting system should be more like a db query rather then what we currently have...

whpalmer4 2009-08-25 08:55 AM

[QUOTE=Raptor235;65192]when you sort it's only applied to groups and not actions within those groups... it should be both...[/QUOTE]

Huh? If you group by X and sort by Y in context mode, each group has the contained actions sorted by Y. If you have an example showing otherwise, how about posting it?

Toadling 2009-08-25 08:57 AM

[QUOTE=Raptor235;65192]What about sorting... you can't do reverse sorting... when you sort it's only applied to groups and not actions within those groups... it should be both...[/QUOTE]

I agree it'd be nice to be able to reverse the sort order, perhaps by clicking on the column heading to toggle ascending/descending.

However, I disagree that view bar sorting should be applied to actions [I]inside[/I] projects/SALs when in planning mode. OmniFocus considers the order of actions inside projects/SALs as inviolable because it assumes [I]you[/I] have organized them in the order they are to be performed, indicating priority and dependence. Sorting actions with the view bar in planning mode breaks that very important functionality.

To [I]destructively[/I] sort actions in planning mode, you can either move them manually or use the commands in the Edit -> Sort menu (which operates on the current selection).

Or, switch to context mode where the view bar does operate on actions, since projects/SALs/action groups are not displayed.

[QUOTE=Raptor235;65192]also filtering... so you could do multiple contexts or multiple projects... the entire filtering / sorting system should be more like a db query rather then what we currently have...[/QUOTE]

It sounds like you're talking about smart folders. Last I heard, that feature requires some serious restructuring and is currently planned for the v2.0 release.

-Dennis

Flexattend 2009-08-28 10:31 PM

What in tarnation....
 
What is this:

The new version 1.7 Perspectives displays checkbox choices for "restore" as follows:
focus
layout
expansion
selection

Why? What? When?

Huh?

Mindreaders? No documentation.

Flexattend 2009-08-28 11:06 PM

Predictable you say? So why did all my Perspectives icons appear when the new install of OF first launched and, after quitting, they are gone?

Whadappend?

curt.clifton 2009-08-29 04:09 AM

Bummer about the documentation, but (as noted in the release docs) the early Snow Leopard ship date prompted Omni to ship a bit early.

The restore checkboxes control which features of a perspective are applied when the perspective is open within an existing window. If you don't check anything, then just the View Bar settings are applied. Checking the others causes the perspective to apply projects focused, window layout (toolbar, sidebar, columns), expansion state of groups and items, and current selection. I think the default is to check everything, but I've been running 1.7 sneaky peeks since day 1 and don't recall how these settings evolved.

(And no mind reading involved. Just release note reading and a bit of the scientific method.)

withnail 2009-08-30 01:07 AM

A really big whinge
 
Hello Guys,

First off the good, I love OmniFocus, as someone who is diagnosed with ADHD and who used to have very big problems with processing information and organisational skills, I've used GTD/OmniFocus to great effect and the results have quite literally been life changing. I'll save all that for a future post.

But the upgrade to 1.7 has been the biggest ball ache for me today.

And what really surprises me is the lack of documentation or warning from Omni, something I just don't expect from you guys.

First, custom toolbar gone. No biggy I thought, skitch screen shot and add the icons back to the specific perspectives.

Then I realised only around half of my Perspectives had been imported, after searching around on the forum I found this: -
[url]http://forums.omnigroup.com/showthread.php?t=13599[/url]

And added my perspectives back in and they simply don't behave how they did previously and as someone else has mentioned on here: -

* Focus
* Layout
* Expansion
* Selection
* Settings from a Context mode perspective:

What are these features, what do they do, I've been playing all day and am still not sure for certain.

The way the Inbox perspective interacts with my other perspectives now is just baffling and has really effected my workflow, to explain my issues would be really difficult via the medium of text in a forum and just as tricky to explain to the awesome support ninjas.

I do my weekly review on Sunday and this is the first time in about 2 months I've missed it and feel resistance to doing it, a real shame.

I'd say it took me around 6 months to feel totally comfortable with OmniFocus and have my Workflow exactly as I wanted it. And what's more I f***king love it.

Now I feel I'm back to square 1. :-(

One final note, I have a group of single actions that repeat every day, basic daily tasks such as "30 minute walk", "Process email to zero" etc, I had the repeating actions all to become available the next day after completion. After upgrading these all defaulted to simply "repeat every day after completion". A small fix to change all the actions to "start again 1 day after completion". But a heads up warning would've of been nice.

I really want to revert back to the old version but as I've made edits in 1.7 now, 1.6 simply crashes on every launch. I could revert back to a time machine back up from August 23rd (I back up every 7 days), but then would lose my current changes/database over the past week.

Finally what really irks me, is this is so Un-Omni like, I've trusted my whole life to this app and have reaped the rewards, this is a real kick in the teeth, especially as I have an exam within the next 10 days, so this a really bad time for me.

</end rant>

whpalmer4 2009-08-30 08:44 AM

I think a big part of the problem was that Apple decided to ship Snow Leopard earlier than expected. Omni had some Snow Leopard compatibility changes that needed to go out, and the thinking was probably that there was plenty of time to put out a good 1.7 release with them, a bigger list of new features, polished documentation, etc. When Apple suddenly announced that Snow Leopard was going to ship at the end of last week, that plan, uh, changed :-) Personally, I think it might have been better to do a 1.6.2 release with only the SL changes and let the 1.7 sneaky peek process continue, but it's easy being an armchair quarterback...how would you do on your exam if you found out today that it's actually tomorrow, not in 10 days?

You need to find a copy of 1.6.1, not 1.6, which has a known incompatibility if you've got any custom icons with your perspectives.

kaijin 2009-08-30 10:01 AM

[QUOTE=withnail;65643]
* Focus
* Layout
* Expansion
* Selection
* Settings from a Context mode perspective:

What are these features, what do they do, I've been playing all day and am still not sure for certain.[/QUOTE]

There is quick explanation in [URL="http://forums.omnigroup.com/showthread.php?t=13586"]this[/URL] thread.

The Restore checkboxes allow you to preserve aspects of a perspective when you switch perspectives within the same window. In the following examples, [I]Perspective X[/I] represents a custom perspective, and [I]Current View[/I] represents any view or perspective other than [I]Perspective X[/I].

[B]Focus[/B] - Preserves the project(s) focus assigned in [I]Perspective X[/I] settings. When you create [I]Perspective X[/I], you can focus on a project or projects, rather than see all projects. If you check this box, switching from [I]Current View[/I] to [I]Perspective X[/I] will display only the focused on projects (or no focus) as assigned in [I]Perspective X[/I].

For example, [I]Current View[/I] has a focus on Project A, ie only displays actions in Project A and sub-folders of Project A. [I]Perspective X[/I] has no focus and the “Restore: Focus” checkbox in Perspectives > Show Perspectives is checked. Switching from [I]Current View[/I] to [I]Perspective X[/I] will drop focus on Project A and display all* projects. If “Restore: Focus” is not checked for [I]Perspective X[/I], then only Project A will continue to be displayed after switching from [I]Current View[/I] to [I]Perspective X[/I].

*[SIZE="1"]According to the the “Project Sidebar Filter” view bar settings for [I]Perspective X[/I]. So if [I]Perspective X[/I] only displays Active projects, switching from [I]Current View[/I] to [I]Perspective X[/I] would drop focus on Project A and display all Active projects.[/SIZE]

[B]Layout[/B] - Preserves the appearance of toolbar and sidebar, and the presence or absence of columns in [I]Perspective X[/I]. If you check this box, switching from [I]Current View[/I] to [I]Perspective X[/I] will display only the OF window layout items assigned in [I]Perspective X[/I]. If this checkbox is not selected, switching from [I]Current View[/I] to [I]Perspective X[/I] will continue to display layout items assigned in [I]Current View[/I].

For example, [I]Current View[/I] uses the default toolbar, shows the sidebar, and displays the Name, Context, Due, and Duration columns. [I]Perspective X[/I] uses a customized toolbar, hides the sidebar, and displays the Name, Project, and Flagged columns. If the “Restore: Layout” checkbox in Perspectives > Show Perspectives is checked for [I]Perspective X[/I], switching from [I]Current View[/I] to [I]Perspective X[/I] displays the customized toolbar, hides the sidebar, and displays the Name, Project, and Flagged columns.

[B]Expansion[/B] - Preserves which items are expanded or collapsed in [I]Perspective X[/I]. Projects and groups can be expanded or collapsed, as can action notes. If you check this box, switching from [I]Current View[/I] to [I]Perspective X[/I] will display items collapsed or expanded as assigned in [I]Perspective X[/I]. If this checkbox is not selected, switching from [I]Current View[/I] to [I]Perspective X[/I] will continue to display collapsed or expanded items as assigned in [I]Current View[/I].

For example, [I]Current View[/I] expands only items in Project B and Project C with all other items collapsed. [I]Perspective X[/I] expands selected items in Project D. If the “Restore: Expansion” checkbox in Perspectives > Show Perspectives is checked for [I]Perspective X[/I], switching from [I]Current View[/I] to [I]Perspective X[/I] will expand only selected items in Project D and collapse all other items.

[B]Selection[/B] - Preserves which folder or folders are selected in the sidebar in [I]Perspective X[/I]. When you click on a project in the sidebar, it is highlighted to indicate it is selected, and the task pane only displays the items in the highlighted project(s). Selected project(s) can be saved as part of a perspective. If you check this box, switching from [I]Current View[/I] to [I]Perspective X[/I] will highlight selected project(s) as assigned in [I]Perspective X[/I], and the corresponding items in the highlighted project(s) will appear in the task pane. If this checkbox is not selected, switching from [I]Current View[/I] to [I]Perspective X[/I] will continue to display the current highlighted project(s) and their corresponding items in the task pane.

For example, [I]Current View[/I] has Project A selected in the sidebar (with Project A items displayed in the task pane). [I]Perspective X[/I] opens with Project C selected in the sidebar (with Project C items displayed in the task pane). If the “Restore: Selection” checkbox in Perspectives > Show Perspectives is checked for [I]Perspective X[/I], switching from [I]Current View[/I] to [I]Perspective X[/I] will select Project C in the sidebar (with Project C items displayed in the task pane). If this checkbox is not checked, switching from [I]Current View[/I] to [I]Perspective X[/I] will continue to select Project A in the sidebar since it is the current project selected.

withnail 2009-08-30 02:23 PM

[QUOTE=kaijin;65666]There is quick explanation in [URL="http://forums.omnigroup.com/showthread.php?t=13586"]this[/URL] thread.

The Restore checkboxes allow you to preserve aspects of a perspective when you switch perspectives within the same window. In the following examples, [I]Perspective X[/I] represents a custom perspective, and [I]Current View[/I] represents any view or perspective other than [I]Perspective X[/I].

[B]Focus[/B] - Preserves the project(s) focus assigned in [I]Perspective X[/I] settings. When you create [I]Perspective X[/I], you can focus on a project or projects, rather than see all projects. If you check this box, switching from [I]Current View[/I] to [I]Perspective X[/I] will display only the focused on projects (or no focus) as assigned in [I]Perspective X[/I]).

For example, [I]Current View[/I] has a focus on Project A, ie only displays actions in Project A and sub-folders of Project A. [I]Perspective X[/I] has no focus and the “Restore: Focus” checkbox in Perspectives > Show Perspectives is checked. Switching from [I]Current View[/I] to [I]Perspective X[/I] will drop focus on Project A and display all* projects. If “Restore: Focus” is not checked for [I]Perspective X[/I], then only Project A will continue to be displayed after switching from [I]Current View[/I] to [I]Perspective X[/I].

*[SIZE="1"]According to the the “Project Sidebar Filter” view bar settings for [I]Perspective X[/I]. So if [I]Perspective X[/I] only displays Active projects, switching from [I]Current View[/I] to [I]Perspective X[/I] would drop focus on Project A and display all Active projects.[/SIZE]

[B]Layout[/B] - Preserves the appearance of toolbar and sidebar, and the presence or absence of columns in [I]Perspective X[/I]. If you check this box, switching from [I]Current View[/I] to [I]Perspective X[/I] will display only the OF window layout items assigned in [I]Perspective X[/I]. If this checkbox is not selected, switching from [I]Current View[/I] to [I]Perspective X[/I] will continue to display layout items assigned in [I]Current View[/I].

For example, [I]Current View[/I] uses the default toolbar, shows the sidebar, and displays the Name, Context, Due, and Duration columns. [I]Perspective X[/I] uses a customized toolbar, hides the sidebar, and displays the Name, Project, and Flagged columns. If the “Restore: Layout” checkbox in Perspectives > Show Perspectives is checked for [I]Perspective X[/I], switching from [I]Current View[/I] to [I]Perspective X[/I] displays the customized toolbar, hides the sidebar, and displays the Name, Project, and Flagged columns.

[B]Expansion[/B] - Preserves which items are expanded or collapsed in [I]Perspective X[/I]. Projects and groups can be expanded or collapsed, as can action notes. If you check this box, switching from [I]Current View[/I] to [I]Perspective X[/I] will display items collapsed or expanded as assigned in [I]Perspective X[/I]. If this checkbox is not selected, switching from [I]Current View[/I] to [I]Perspective X[/I] will continue to display collapsed or expanded items as assigned in [I]Current View[/I].

For example, [I]Current View[/I] expands only items in Project B and Project C with all other items collapsed. [I]Perspective X[/I] expands selected items in Project D. If the “Restore: Expansion” checkbox in Perspectives > Show Perspectives is checked for [I]Perspective X[/I], switching from [I]Current View[/I] to [I]Perspective X[/I] will expand only selected items in Project D and collapse all other items.

[B]Selection[/B] - Preserves which folder or folders are selected in the sidebar in [I]Perspective X[/I]. When you click on a project in the sidebar, it is highlighted to indicate it is selected, and the task pane only displays the items in the highlighted project(s). Selected project(s) can be saved as part of a perspective. If you check this box, switching from [I]Current View[/I] to [I]Perspective X[/I] will highlight selected project(s) as assigned in [I]Perspective X[/I], and the corresponding items in the highlighted project(s) will appear in the task pane. If this checkbox is not selected, switching from [I]Current View[/I] to [I]Perspective X[/I] will continue to display the current highlighted project(s) and their corresponding items in the task pane.

For example, [I]Current View[/I] has Project A selected in the sidebar (with Project A items displayed in the task pane). [I]Perspective X[/I] opens with Project C selected in the sidebar (with Project C items displayed in the task pane). If the “Restore: Selection” checkbox in Perspectives > Show Perspectives is checked for [I]Perspective X[/I], switching from [I]Current View[/I] to [I]Perspective X[/I] will select Project C in the sidebar (with Project C items displayed in the task pane). If this checkbox is not checked, switching from [I]Current View[/I] to [I]Perspective X[/I] will continue to select Project A in the sidebar since it is the current project selected.[/QUOTE]

Hey kaijin,

Thank you so much for this post, after a couple of reads and a fiddle I get it and have got my perspectives just the way I like'em.

Much much love and a big gold star!

Cheers

Flexattend 2009-08-30 10:59 PM

Curt, you are truly the honorable sleuth! I respect your apparent discipline, persistence and diligence. It benefits us all. Your explanation of the restore feature is the only coherent one I've noticed.

However, I still ache from the homework that OF appears to require. I believe I understand the View Bar, and have created numerous perspectives (though was bummed by the way that all my perspectives icons vanished the second time I launched the OF update).

But I have yet to really leverage the view bar and perspectives into a replicable routine for truly GTD. I currently have 793 actions recorded, 89 contexts, 236 projects and 18 perspectives.

What happened? They multiply like topsy.

Part of my difficulty lies in 2 issues. First, many of my actions are paper dependent. I'm separately working on a way to organize my files and documents, and align OF tasks in some way with their corresponding reference/work papers.

Second, to borrow a concept from evolutionary economics, the choices one makes in implementing GTD, both digitally with OF and physically with paper files, is highly 'path dependent'. Roughly put, the path one takes and the choices that subsequently emerge both evolve as a consequence of prior choices made and are constrained by them.

More bluntly, I do believe that OF is so powerful that it will take you exactly where you tell it to. That's its power and that's the problem.

Pertinent metaphors here are "blind alley" and "painting oneself into a corner".

Oh, of course, I know I've strayed from orthodoxy and the code enforcers will be on my back! There ain't no potatoes; the frost done killed the vine.... {cheers:}

kaijin 2009-08-31 03:03 AM

Flexattend, [URL="http://forums.omnigroup.com/showthread.php?t=13607"]this thread[/URL] contains another explanation to supplement Curt's great summation of the restore features.

paulduv 2009-09-11 09:21 PM

Option to have perspectives open in new window
 
[QUOTE=Kevin Yank;64685]Yes please![/QUOTE]

Yes please too!

One thing I did before the latest update was to add a symbol in the name of perspectives that opened in a new window. So, those two perspectives were called:

Search >
Sort >

Those were small windows that I'd use, then close right away, so it was nice that it was clear that I wasn't dismissing my "main" window.

I wonder if you could have a little arrow badge added to icons when perspectives open in a new window, along the lines of the alias arrow added to icons in the Finder?

paulduv 2009-09-11 09:30 PM

Didn't know about that! I really like it, but how about...
 
[QUOTE=Toadling;64728]
I think the little "X" on the right end of the view bar is a better approach. It works just like the same control that appears in search fields.

-Dennis[/QUOTE]

I had been assuming that that X just hides the bar. I wonder if that little X would make more sense as a "looping back" arrow — like the circular icon in iTunes that takes you back to the currently playing song.

Toadling 2009-09-12 06:37 AM

[QUOTE=paulduv;66686]I had been assuming that that X just hides the bar. I wonder if that little X would make more sense as a "looping back" arrow — like the circular icon in iTunes that takes you back to the currently playing song.[/QUOTE]

That's interesting, paulduv. Safari uses a similar "loop back" icon (colored orange) in the Google search field for the SnapBack feature that returns you to your original Google search results.

The X icon, on the other hand, is usually used to indicate the clearing or removing of data. The most obvious examples are search fields, where clicking the X icon clears the current search terms.

For me, the purpose of the X icon in the view bar was immediately clear because it looked just like the "clearing" X icon in search fields -- it felt very natural.

So I think arguments could be made either way. Does the view bar button "clear" the current filter settings or does it "return" you to your original filter settings?

-Dennis

howardtnyc 2009-12-08 09:37 AM

perspectives suggestion - more complex logic
 
One opportunity to expand perspectives woudl be to allow users to add more logic to their perspectives. For example perhaps I want to see all items due within 3 days, and all flagged items, but also all items of less than 10 min duration.

Or I want to be in project view but I want to exclude certain context (I *really* want to be able to do this!)

Or I'd like to create some sort of boolean search value (which I dont think you can do in the toolbar)

I can understand how you dont want to clutter up the toolbar with too many sopsticated tools, but an "advanced" tab for the setup of a perspective where a user could create more sophisticated selection criteria would be great.

whpalmer4 2009-12-08 04:49 PM

[QUOTE=howardtnyc;70586]One opportunity to expand perspectives woudl be to allow users to add more logic to their perspectives. For example perhaps I want to see all items due within 3 days, and all flagged items, but also all items of less than 10 min duration.
[/quote]
You can do all items of less than 10 minutes duration which are either due within 3 days or flagged, but not all items which are 10 minutes or less OR due within 3 days OR flagged. I am a bit dubious about the utility of the latter -- why do you want to mix seemingly high priority stuff with random stuff that just happens to be short? Why not just look at the high priority short duration list, and if there's nothing there, only then look at the all-encompassing short duration list?
[quote]
Or I want to be in project view but I want to exclude certain context (I *really* want to be able to do this!)
[/quote]
I'm really curious about this one. What's the application? In any case, I believe you could do a fair approximation of this in context mode by selecting all but the excluded contexts, then grouping by project. I'm assuming that your projects are mostly parallel ones, where precise replication of the task order won't be critical, because it seems odd that you would want to view sequential projects with some of the actions suppressed, but maybe I'm just not sufficiently imaginative :-) It would make some sense to me if you wanted it to not show projects where the next action was from a context on the "don't show" list (because you weren't in that context) but you don't seem to be asking for that, or are you?

I realize these are just examples, and I'm [b]not[/b] trying to shoot down the idea. If you want the suggestions/requests to be noticed by Omni, you need to send them in with Help->Send Feedback or email to [email]omnifocus@omnigroup.com[/email] so they'll be counted.


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