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-   OmniFocus 1 for Mac (http://forums.omnigroup.com/forumdisplay.php?f=38)
-   -   Sort actions manually? (http://forums.omnigroup.com/showthread.php?t=13489)

sumnerp 2009-08-23 09:29 PM

Sort actions manually?
 
Is there a way to manually drag and drop actions into whatever order I want?

For example, I have a meeting and I need to discuss three agenda items during the meeting. I have one action entered for each:

Information item ABC
Information item 321
Information item 987

Omnifocus has a variety of sorting options -- project, flagged, name, due, start, etc. -- but none do what I want. I want to order these actions to match the order I need to present these items in the meeting, so I need complete manual control in sorting order.

whpalmer4 2009-08-23 10:20 PM

If you are in project/planning mode, you should be able to just drag them into the order you want, if they are all actions in the same project. The little dot at the left end of the row is a handle for dragging.

sumnerp 2009-08-24 07:58 AM

What about in Context mode? this is where i need to manually sort.

each of the "information items" i described is related to a different project, but all share the same context because the place to make progress on them is in one meeting, which i have set up as a context. so i see all these information items under the same context, and i want to manually sort them to match the meeting's agenda.

curt.clifton 2009-08-24 08:37 AM

OF doesn't support manual sorting in context mode. Sorting in Context mode is controlled by the View Bar settings for grouping and sorting. If there is a tie between two items based on those criteria (or if grouping or sorting is turned off), then the order of the items in Planning mode is used. This lets people use the order of projects and actions in Planning mode as a fine-grained priority mechanism. (This has been debated on the forums. It's hard to see how manual rearranging in Context mode would work with the current scheme.)

One workaround for your purposes might be to abuse the duration column. You could turn on the estimated duration column (View → Columns → Estimate) and sort by duration. Then you could enter ascending numbers for your agenda items (1, 2, 3, …). Of course, this only works if you aren't already using estimated duration on these tasks for its stated purpose.

whpalmer4 2009-08-24 09:03 AM

Nope, no manual sort in context mode, and personally, I find the notion problematic -- what is supposed to happen when the underlying data gets changed?

You can drag the actions into a TextEdit window if you just want a quick ad-hoc list you can rearrange. Another slightly unorthodox tactic would be to temporarily assign due dates/times to those actions in the order you want to present them, then sort by due in context mode. Or make a project for the meeting with actions to present the various items, and add links to the actual items in the notes field which you can do by dragging and dropping the action onto another (the quick entry box works well for building up such things if screen space is limited). I think this last approach makes the most sense from a GTD standpoint as there are going to be other tasks in preparing for the meeting so it looks like a project. When you are in the meeting, clicking the link in the notes field of each action will get you a window with the original containing project so you have all the relevant material to present.

Lucas 2009-08-24 12:04 PM

You might also group by project in context mode so you can easily find the projects you're looking for when you reach them on the agenda. Just a suggestion.

MattofRI 2009-10-09 01:06 PM

I was looking for the same solution as sumnerp and came to this thread. I'm new to OF and love a lot of the features of it, but I find this limitation surprising and problematic. I know one poster said being able to sort manually in context mode would be troubling, but I don't see why. I would think OF would be able to create a list (like the text solution somone posted, but without leaving OF) that would be a copy of the items and wouldn't change the project level structure.

My post is really to say I'm wondering if someone has the "answer" to what I perceive as a huge weakness of OM. I like being about to create projects based on the project topic but then to use context to deal with the items when I'm doing them. In this way, I'm using OF to generate to-do lists. Since the order I do things (e.g., errands) in has nothing to do with the order created in the project I find OF much less useful than I'd have hope or expected. While the "abuse duration" solution proposed works great on the desktop, it doesn't work on the iPhone app, so when I'm actually out doing the errands, they are not in the order I need to do them which requires me to continually scan the list for the next store rather than follow my list in order as I used to do with a paper list.

[COLOR="Blue"]Has anyone come up with a useful way of sorting things within context so they are still in that order when synced to the iPhone app? [/COLOR]

Brian 2009-10-09 03:05 PM

Here's how I have stuff set up:

[IMG]http://forums.omnigroup.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=1111&stc=1&d=1255128428[/IMG]

On my Mac, I have a parent "Errands" context with sub-contexts for the various specific stores I visit. If I don't have a context that applies to the task in general, it gets assigned to this one.

Grouped inside the Errands context, I have more specific contexts that correspond to specific places (or categories of places) I create tasks for frequently. The contexts I assign stuff to or visit most frequently are at the top of the group.

With the ordering set up this way, I can launch the iPhone app, tap Contexts from the home screen, then tap "Errands" at the top of the context list. At that point, I can either drill down to the specific context to look at the actions for the next store I'm going to, or scroll to the bottom for all the random one-off stuff.

Brian 2009-10-09 03:17 PM

Re-reading your post, I'm wondering if I missed the point a bit - if that's the case, I'll apologize in advance. Give me more info and I'll be happy to assist. :-)

Especially for shopping-type tasks, when I'm in a given context, I generally don't care about what order the tasks are presented in that context. If the tasks are available, I want to do them all, regardless of what project they're from.

It sounds like your workflow is organized differently, though. If you can provide a bit more detail on why the above wouldn't work for you, we can help or write up a feature request as appropriate.

whpalmer4 2009-10-09 03:26 PM

Looks like you've got a bum link there for your picture, Brian...


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