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-   -   Puzzled about cleaning up an item (http://forums.omnigroup.com/showthread.php?t=8217)

gumby 2008-06-18 12:59 PM

Puzzled about cleaning up an item
 
I have a project with all items concluded that won't go away. Is that normal?

I had a project called "Fix auto body" with tasks solicit advice on shop, call for appointment, bring car in. All of those are completed and the checked-off items are now invisible unless I use the View menu to show all. But the project remains. If I try to delete it I am warned, "Oy, if you delete this all the hidden items are gone too!" In this case I don't care, but I sort of think that it's probably useful to keep old items around for the same reason I don't consider emptying iCal of appointments from last year: once in a blue moon it's EXTREMELY useful to be able to figure out what happened way back when.

So...should I just nuke the project or what?

Despite what I said it's useful to have recurring projects (e.g. my weekly sunday review) remain since I may add tasks to it. But this one, being one-shot, is worthless.

Toadling 2008-06-18 02:17 PM

It sounds like you've completed all the actions currently defined in the project but you haven't completed the project itself. You can do this in a number of ways:

1) Select the project(s) and hit the spacebar

2) Select the project(s) and go to Edit -> Status -> Completed in the menubar

3) Select the project(s) and right-click on it, selecting Completed from the contextual menu

4) Select the project(s) and click on the Completed button in the Inspector palette (one with green check mark)

5) Select the project(s) and click on the Complete toolbar button (big green check mark, not displayed by default but easy to add)

Hope this helps.

-Dennis

gumby 2008-06-18 03:33 PM

Thanks, I had missed that. It's confusing that there is a check box for tasks and the space bar for projects.

What happens if I "complete" a repeating action? Will it come back?

What happens if I fail to complete a repeating action? Will all the completed tasks reappear upon the next repeat date?

Toadling 2008-06-18 04:54 PM

[QUOTE=gumby;38284]Thanks, I had missed that. It's confusing that there is a check box for tasks and the space bar for projects.[/QUOTE]

Actually, the spacebar works for both projects and actions.

I think projects don't have a checkboxes to help reduce visual clutter and simply because you don't typically complete projects as frequently as you complete actions.

I actually find clicking the big green check mark in the toolbar to be very satisfying when I complete a project.

[QUOTE=gumby;38284]What happens if I "complete" a repeating action? Will it come back?[/QUOTE]

A new action is created when you complete the current repeating action. However, the new action might not be immediately visible, depending on your view settings and how you've got the repeat set up.

[QUOTE=gumby;38284]What happens if I fail to complete a repeating action? Will all the completed tasks reappear upon the next repeat date?[/QUOTE]

If you don't complete an action before the next repeat date, a new action is not created until you complete the previous action. You can develop a backlog this way if you fail to complete the original action for long enough.

For example, if you have an action set to repeat every minute from the start date (now) and you go sit on the porch for 30 minutes, when you return and check off the action, a new action will immediately be created. When you check off that one, another will appear, and so on for 30 or more actions until you get caught up to the current time (one action for each minute you sat on the porch).

Does this make sense?

-Dennis

gumby 2008-06-18 04:59 PM

"Make sense?" Well I can understand why it might be implemented that way. However I guess I'd thought repeated actions would be appropriate for implementing (say) my weekly review. If I don't get around to doing one of the items (say, "empty /~Downloads folder") then I won't get prompted, which is arguably the wrong thing for Weekly review, 10K review etc.

I can't make a good case for changing it though. Thanks for following up on all this.

Toadling 2008-06-18 05:52 PM

[QUOTE=gumby;38295]Well I can understand why it might be implemented that way. However I guess I'd thought repeated actions would be appropriate for implementing (say) my weekly review.[/QUOTE]

I'm not sure I understand what the problem is. Repeating actions and projects are ideally suited for implementing things like weekly reminders (conduct weekly review, empty downloads folder, get haircut, mow lawn, etc.) Why aren't they appropriate for you?

[QUOTE=gumby;38295]If I don't get around to doing one of the items (say, "empty /~Downloads folder") then I won't get prompted, which is arguably the wrong thing for Weekly review, 10K review etc.[/QUOTE]

Why won't you be prompted? Won't the action still be on your list of things to do?

-Dennis

gumby 2008-06-18 09:07 PM

OK, by the way (not completely germane to your comment): I do realise that no program can be 100% appropriate in all cases for 100% of the people. I also realise that I may not be using the program properly -- hence this entry. Thus:

[QUOTE=Toadling;38300]I'm not sure I understand what the problem is. Repeating actions and projects are ideally suited for implementing things like weekly reminders (conduct weekly review, empty downloads folder, get haircut, mow lawn, etc.) Why aren't they appropriate for you?

Why won't you be prompted? Won't the action still be on your list of things to do?
[/QUOTE]

I'm just trying repeating actions for the first time. This is all in an attempt to replace the paper tickler files (for daily, weekly, specific to months, etc)

I have a weekly review project. It has tasks such as "empty iPhone voice mail", "empty home voice mail", "drain any iPhone notes collected during the week", empty wallet etc ... and then later "sweep inbox to make sure all items are assigned...empty ~/Downloads .. and so forth. They are ordered tasks since the first ones result in lots of quick entries which later are organised.

I had made the "weekly review" project recur, on the presumption that the whole project would recur. However if I understand it the weekly [i]project[/i] won't reappear unless all its tasks are closed out, right? Consider that one day I am careless or my wife is on the phone for a long time and I never get around to emptying the home voice mail. Ideally the next week when my weekly sweep reappears [i]all[/i] of it would reappear. After all, these tasks are like a bus: if you don't clean up your inbox today you don't need to do it "twice" next week. It would be annoying if this one stray task kept the whole project from reappearing.

Yes, the right thing would be for me always to be diligent about doing all the tasks or just canceling this one. But this action is important but not urgent and can easily slip, human nature being human nature.

Whew! Sorry to be so lengthy but I was afraid we might be talking past each other. Perhaps the only thing for me to do is just tick it off when I've either done it or resolved that I won't do it this week. Dunno if that's all that good either.

Cheers,
d

Ken Case 2008-06-18 09:54 PM

If you want actions to repeat independently of other actions (e.g., you want to empty your voice mail regularly whether or not you remembered to empty your wallet and vice versa), I recommend putting them in a parallel project and setting independent repeat dates on each action. (You might even want to change the project type to the "shoe box" of single actions, so they all appear as their own next actions.)

For things which happen on a fixed schedule (like "Pay rent"), you'll want to set them to repeat from their assigned date (so you always pay on the same day each month). For things which don't have a fixed schedule (like "clean up inbox"), set them to repeat from their completion date (since, unlike rent, you don't need to do it "twice" next week just because you missed it today).

Does that help?

gumby 2008-06-19 09:18 AM

Yes thanks, I think that's what I will do.

I think it's inconvenient to have the "empty voice mail" task reappear as soon as I mark it completed (if I understand Toadling's point above) if I missed one or several. On the other hand the UI is already overwhelming enough that adding a feature might not be a good idea (apart from all the [i]other[/i] reasons why adding "just one more feature" is usually a bad idea).

Cheers,
g

sriggins 2008-06-19 09:26 AM

[QUOTE=Toadling;38294]Actually, the spacebar works for both projects and actions.[/QUOTE]

Spacebar? Who knew. That is not intuitive.


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