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-   -   Another "red number" suggestion (http://forums.omnigroup.com/showthread.php?t=5483)

MichaelShapiro 2007-11-09 04:48 PM

Another "red number" suggestion
 
It'd be nice if the red-number count were based upon actions visible in the current filter. When looking at my "Today's Actions" filter, it's disconcerting to see a red-number count that's higher than the visible number of actions in a project.

curt.clifton 2007-11-10 06:57 AM

Dealing with the non-urgent, but important
 
I agree that it's disconcerting, but the discrepancy helped me identify a couple of overdue actions that I had been missing. The actions were overdue, but were blocked by undated actions. The red numbers prompted me to go looking for the overdue actions in Planning Mode and clean up a couple of open loops that I had missed. So, in my initial use, I like that the numbers are totals rather than just total visible.

I can imagine changing my mind over time, though. For example, if I'm in a context where I simply can't take action on an overdue item, then the red number is merely a stress inducer. I could push the due date forward, but that seems perilously close to copying to-do items from one page of a planner to the next.

Rather than push due dates forward, I could just use fewer due dates on items. My trouble is that, as an academic, my actions are very urgency driven. Class sessions must be prepared four times a week, homework graded and returned before exams, papers submitted before deadlines, etc. In the midst of all those urgent and important tasks, I don't even notice the non-urgent, important tasks unless I give them a false sense of urgency with a "due" date.

I don't think GTD provides much guidance here. Allen says that only hard landscape items should go on the calendar. He defines hard landscape as items that must be done [I]on[/I] a particular day. But in my readings I haven't seen any discussion of projects that must be done [I]by[/I] a particular day. I'm handling those by breaking them into sequences of actions with intermediate, artificial due dates.

This issue of maintaining progress on non-urgent projects in the midst of a storm of urgency is my biggest challenge. I'd love to hear how others are successfully dealing with that.

MichaelShapiro 2007-11-10 09:22 AM

[QUOTE=curt.clifton;24309]I agree that it's disconcerting, but the discrepancy helped me identify a couple of overdue actions that I had been missing. [/QUOTE]

I agree that it helped you identify a couple of overdue actions, but it's disconcerting. :)

I think clarity here should override the seemingly-paternalistic approach of overriding the user's own display preferences. At the very least, the user should be able to eliminate the concept of "soon" - so that red numbers only appear when an action is due today.

Ken Case 2007-11-11 08:13 AM

[QUOTE=MichaelShapiro;24320]At the very least, the user should be able to eliminate the concept of "soon" - so that red numbers only appear when an action is due today.[/QUOTE]

In Data Preferences, you can change the definition of "soon" to "due within the next day." Is that the preference you're wanting?

MichaelShapiro 2007-11-11 08:15 AM

[QUOTE=Ken Case;24403]In Data Preferences, you can change the definition of "soon" to "due within the next day." Is that the preference you're wanting?[/QUOTE]

No, I'd actually like to collapse it into "due today". In my workflow, I only focus on tasks when they're actually due, and find advance warning distracting.

zedboy 2007-11-11 10:49 AM

On a similar note, I think there are some other things that shouldn't appear in the "count" but currently do. (and I sent feedback to this effect):

* Items which have not started. I have a particular action that occurs every couple days and needs to be done that day. I have the start and due date set the same, and a repeat every two days - that action never disappears out of the count on the left, which is kind of annoying since I can't actually *see* the action.

* Items which are not available because they are blocked as part of a serial action. I realize there is some space for argument on this front, but I don't think I should see a count of things I can't do yet.

SpiralOcean 2007-11-11 10:57 AM

[QUOTE=zedboy;24420]On a similar note, I think there are some other things that shouldn't appear in the "count" but currently do. (and I sent feedback to this effect):

* Items which have not started. I have a particular action that occurs every couple days and needs to be done that day. I have the start and due date set the same, and a repeat every two days - that action never disappears out of the count on the left, which is kind of annoying since I can't actually *see* the action.

* Items which are not available because they are blocked as part of a serial action. I realize there is some space for argument on this front, but I don't think I should see a count of things I can't do yet.[/QUOTE]

I have the same problem...
The solution I am using now is...
use a start date instead of a due date
mark the due date to three days after the start date (t +3)

I could work with this system... but there is another bug I found.
I cannot mark an item with a due date three days in advance if I use the
repeat from completion date
The completion date will not go beyond the repeat interval.

I am working around this by using the repeat from assigned date.
However, if I miss a week of something... I have to complete 7 days of tasks to get it caught up.

On my completed grouping, it shows I successfully completed the item 7 times, when in fact I only completed it once.

MichaelShapiro 2007-11-11 11:45 AM

[QUOTE=SpiralOcean;24421]I have the same problem...
The solution I am using now is...
use a start date instead of a due date
[/QUOTE]

Hey, thanks for the tip. Since I often don't distinguish between start and due dates, I'm guessing this will solve my problem.

SpiralOcean 2007-11-11 11:54 AM

[QUOTE=MichaelShapiro;24432]Hey, thanks for the tip. Since I often don't distinguish between start and due dates, I'm guessing this will solve my problem.[/QUOTE]

It sorta solves it... there's a bug when both start date and due date exist and an item is set to repeating. Just posted a thread on it if you want to check it out.

Please report to Omni if you think it should be fixed.

pjb 2007-11-12 05:09 AM

[QUOTE=MichaelShapiro;24284]It'd be nice if the red-number count were based upon actions visible in the current filter...[/QUOTE]

I'm not so sure about this. Focusing on Next Actions, for example, already shows me the items due now but just doesn't count them for me. There had been talk of putting some info in the bottom (where the OW icons and text info appear) but that got nowhere. I like the value of having the count of the superset of upcoming Tasks. A View specific count somewhere else might also be useful.

curt.clifton 2007-11-12 08:05 AM

[QUOTE=zedboy;24420]
* Items which have not started. I have a particular action that occurs every couple days and needs to be done that day. I have the start and due date set the same, and a repeat every two days - that action never disappears out of the count on the left, which is kind of annoying since I can't actually *see* the action.

* Items which are not available because they are blocked as part of a serial action. I realize there is some space for argument on this front, but I don't think I should see a count of things I can't do yet.[/QUOTE]

I agree with your first point for "soon" items, and have also sent feedback on it.

I strongly disagree with your second point. If a blocked action is due, I need to be reminded of that fact so that I can get the blocking actions done too. If I truly can't get those actions done, then I must re-negotiate the due date on the blocked item.


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