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-   -   NEED Priorities (http://forums.omnigroup.com/showthread.php?t=5788)

Journey 2007-11-24 08:46 PM

NEED Priorities
 
I think that the usability of Omni Focus would be greatly enhanced by including a priority field that could be sorted on in Project view (which would naturally carry over to how activities are listed in context view).

Because people have different ways of prioritizing activities, it would be nice to have it as a user-definable list which would include the ability to specify the sequence of the priority values.

Example 1:

Someone might want priorites:

1
2
3
4
5

In which 1 sorts first and 5 sorts last,
or:

5
4
3
2
1

in which 5 sorts first

Example 2:

Someone might want:

Highest
High
Normal
Low
Lowest

Sorted in that order.

Example 3:

Franklin-Covey people might want:

A1
A2
A3
B1
B2
B3
C1
C2
C3
Master

Almost every task organizing software has priorities, for a reason -- they are very useful, especially when there are a large number of tasks within a project.

Some task organizing software allows one to order things manually but sort when desired.

In Omni Focus it might be most useful to have the priority field as optional (since many people do not want it), let the task order be determined by drag-and-drop positioning, and have on-demand sorting by priorities.

Leaving priorities out of Omni Focus will reduce the usefulness of the program for a large number of users (which would result in lower acceptance and sales of this product), and would almost certainly be a feature wanted by many users in the future.

Note: I think priorities would be specified in Project view. In context view those would automatically be sorted by priority just as they are now by position.

robsquared 2007-11-24 09:07 PM

I second that. Well said.

Tim Wood 2007-11-24 09:54 PM

We originally had a priority field and we removed it. There is always the possibility that it'll come back later, but not for 1.0.

OmniFocus' mantra has been that we need to help people get stuff [b]done[/b]. Fiddling settings doesn't get stuff done (styling & tagging, I'm looking at you too!) Still, right now we have a bunch of ways to indicate relative priority:

- Due dates; if something bad will happen if it isn't done by then
- Flags; in the morning, flag the stuff you want to get done that day, then do it via a 'Flagged' perspective.
- Ordering in the project sidebar; put higher priority projects up top, order context view by project and complete your actions in order.

Merlin has an [url=http://www.43folders.com/2006/10/01/priorities-vacuum]excellent post on 43folders about priorities[/url].

I've flip-flopped on priority before, but for now I'm more into flagging the occasional item and then getting to work checking stuff off.

Journey 2007-11-24 10:11 PM

Thanks for your reply and for being clear about the fact that priorities might come back later, but not for 1.0. It's nice to hear clearly where the development efforts are and are not at any point in time.

I think any possible implementation of priorities might actually be improved by doing it in a post-1.0 release. That way it will be more apparent if there are a significant number of users that want it, and what problems users have when they don't have a dedicated priority field.

I will probably end up using a workaround for prioritization -- e.g. using dates not as date fields but as a way of sequencing tasks, that is if other means such as flagging are not useful enough.

curt.clifton 2007-11-25 05:53 AM

Journey,

You might be interested in [URL="http://forums.omnigroup.com/showthread.php?t=3836&highlight=priorities"]this long thread[/URL].

brianogilvie 2007-11-25 06:10 AM

[QUOTE=Journey;25982]I will probably end up using a workaround for prioritization -- e.g. using dates not as date fields but as a way of sequencing tasks, that is if other means such as flagging are not useful enough.[/QUOTE]

You could also just put a priority in the action name, perhaps preceded by a unique character ($, #, whatever). Then you could use the search field to find all your $high, $medium, or $low priority items.

pjb 2007-11-25 02:46 PM

Been using Palm for years with 5 levels of priority. These days, many OF Tasks start as tasks on the PDA while I'm out and about, sync with iCal when I'm home, then sync with OF when I'm ready to go over my Inbox. Never found priorities to be useful and don't bother setting them on the PDA. OF, marks tasks that came from the PDA with the default priority level as flagged. This is not good and one reason to have 5 level priorities in OF would be to keep the information syncing correctly. I still won't set them, though, but somebody would.

Journey 2007-11-25 03:21 PM

[QUOTE=pjb;26082]Been using Palm for years with 5 levels of priority. These days, many OF Tasks start as tasks on the PDA while I'm out and about, sync with iCal when I'm home, then sync with OF when I'm ready to go over my Inbox. Never found priorities to be useful and don't bother setting them on the PDA. OF, marks tasks that came from the PDA with the default priority level as flagged. This is not good and one reason to have 5 level priorities in OF would be to keep the information syncing correctly. I still won't set them, though, but somebody would.[/QUOTE]

Priorities are definitely an individual thing. For the legions of people who use the Franklin-Covey method, priorities are extremely important. MS Outlook uses three levels of priority, and Palm uses five.

In my original post above the system of definining ones own priorities is probably not the best. A simple 5 level priority scheme would be enough and wouldn't over-complicate things.

Something that is interesting is that the major Palm and Pocket PC (Windows Mobile) programs (Datebk6, Agenda Fusion, and Pocket Informant) have a way of implementing the Franklin-Covey priorities. They had to find ways to implement this despite the foundation programs (Palm Datebook, MS Outlook) not havingthat flexibility. So, it would seem to be prudent to look at the foundation program this time -- the alpha and betas.

I think an exception to this is Life Balance which I briefly used on the Palm Platform.

My favorite program of all time is Ecco Pro 4, which is free for Windows users and was killed off when Microsoft provided Outlook for free for a brief period.

macsailor 2007-11-29 01:34 PM

[QUOTE=Tim Wood;25980]We originally had a priority field and we removed it. There is always the possibility that it'll come back later, but not for 1.0.

OmniFocus' mantra has been that we need to help people get stuff [b]done[/b]. Fiddling settings doesn't get stuff done (styling & tagging, I'm looking at you too!) Still, right now we have a bunch of ways to indicate relative priority:

- Due dates; if something bad will happen if it isn't done by then
- Flags; in the morning, flag the stuff you want to get done that day, then do it via a 'Flagged' perspective.
- Ordering in the project sidebar; put higher priority projects up top, order context view by project and complete your actions in order.

Merlin has an [url=http://www.43folders.com/2006/10/01/priorities-vacuum]excellent post on 43folders about priorities[/url].

I've flip-flopped on priority before, but for now I'm more into flagging the occasional item and then getting to work checking stuff off.[/QUOTE]

I'll give my vote on getting Priorities back into the application before the release of version 1.0.

I have already paid for the OmniFocus (always been found of the applications coming from the OmniGroup) and I would really like to have this feature already from the start. I do not believe in using the flag in replace of the priority function.

You will really help me to get stuff done by implement (or re-implement, since you pulled it away) the priority feature again.

Why not make it an option like the suggestion at [url]http://forums.omnigroup.com/showpost.php?p=15371&postcount=4[/url]


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