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mpw 2010-09-17 08:33 AM

Cleaning up the archive
I seem to have a relatively large OF database. I say this because behavior, especially on my iPod Touch, can be very sluggish at times. In order to keep things as quick as possible I archive my completed tasks on a regular basis.

Now I've noticed that whenever I open the archive, it can be VERY sluggish to find what I'm looking for. Searching for a string inevitably starts the colorful wheel spinning for a while.

I have a number of repeated maintenance projects and tasks that I perform and mark as completed every day and every week. I really don't need a record of these items in the archive, and I bet it's all of these completed maintenance items that really slow down work when I'm in the archive.

I was afraid that deleting these items would be as sluggish as a search, but I did some deletion yesterday and I was pleasantly surprised to see that the wait was tolerable. Of course, the best way to ensure that I delete as many of the unnecessary items as possible is to perform a string search, and that's when sluggishness rears its ugly head.

I was wondering if anyone else has large archives that they have to prune? Does anybody have any ideas how to prune effectively and as rapidly as possible?

Any thoughts appreciated!


CatOne 2010-09-21 09:37 PM

I don't know that my archive is overly large, but I regularly delete projects that repeat on a weekly or monthly basis (and are identical) from OF once they're completed, often before they even _get_ to the archive. I don't see a real need for knowing that I did my weekly tasks 1.5 years ago, and every week since, when they're the same :-)

RobTrew 2010-09-22 05:53 AM

You can run [URL=""]Where in OF[/URL] from the toolbar of your main document, and conduct quite powerful house-keeping searches of folders|projects|tasks|contexts in your archive. The search language is essentially applescript (with a few extensions), and draws on several recent (Ver 1.8) enhancements to the OmniFocus applescript library.

(You just need to prefix any search with the word [I]archived[/I])

Apart from obvious text and date searches like:[INDENT][I]archived projects where <txt> is in name or <txt2> is in name[/I][/INDENT][INDENT][I]archived tasks where (completion date ≥ <dte>) and (completion date ≤ <dte2>)[/I][/INDENT]
you can also build more complex searches like:
[INDENT][I]archived projects where ((singleton action holder is false) and (number of available tasks < 3) and (number of completed tasks > 10))[/I][/INDENT]

(It's fairly fast in my rather heavily pruned archive, but I haven't tested it with enormous archives)


mpw 2010-09-22 07:50 AM

Thanks, CatOne. That gives me an idea. I will create perspectives to display the repeating tasks that I don't need to archive for posterity, and then I'll schedule a repeating task to remind me to view the perspectives and delete the tasks.

That will keep me in good shape for the future.

mpw 2010-09-22 07:52 AM

And thanks, RobTrew. I'll take a look at the script. Maybe I can use it to clean up the archives as much as possible without too much hassle.

I think I'll be able to get my act in pretty good shape using both these hints. Thanks!

RobTrew 2010-09-22 08:37 AM

If you want a view which displays (in the main OF database) only the kind of projects which CatOne describes, you could try something like:
[INDENT][I]projects where (unit of repetition) is week or (unit of repetition) is month --sh nw[/I][/INDENT]
(Where [I]--sh [/I]makes it a saveable shortcut, and [I]nw [/I]makes it display in a new window)

mpw 2010-10-24 08:28 AM

I've finally gotten around to trying to use this script for my purposes. It works quite nicely but I am having one problem. I'm using the following search string:

tasks where its repetition is not missing value --nw=yes --st=complete

The tasks that this finds seem to be exactly what I'm looking for. Unfortunately, it also selects projects and groups that are not completer. They probably contain tasks that meet the criteria but I just want to delete the tasks, not the uncompleted projects/groups.

I was wondering, Rob, if there is a way to filter out the cases I just mentioned. I suppose I could just go through the list by hand and unmark the ones I don't want to delete but it would be a lot nicer if the process were completely automatic

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