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-   -   Parallel or not parallel (http://forums.omnigroup.com/showthread.php?t=6338)

abruenin 2007-12-17 02:32 PM

Parallel or not parallel
 
I like the idea of having parallel or sequential tasks. But is this only configurable for the project? I have projects that have both, sequential and parallel tasks. Can I do this in OmniFocus?

ptone 2007-12-17 02:41 PM

This is where you want to create action groups

Create an action that appropriately would label a set of actions.

Create another action below this and then indent it by hitting CMD-]

You can now set the parallel vs sequential for this group of actions (your group is only one, but you can now add others.

-P

grillgod 2007-12-25 10:51 AM

[QUOTE=ptone;28990]This is where you want to create action groups

Create an action that appropriately would label a set of actions.

Create another action below this and then indent it by hitting CMD-]

You can now set the parallel vs sequential for this group of actions (your group is only one, but you can now add others.

-P[/QUOTE]

I've done this for a project I have to Learn Portuguese.

It's a sequential project and the first action item is a parallel action list to purchase several items.

Only the first item is showing as a next action. Shouldn't all items in a parallel action list (or project) show as next actions?

Toadling 2007-12-25 12:07 PM

My impression has been that in GTD there is always a single next action, even if the project is parallel. Maybe think of it as the next, most likely or most important action, even though any number of actions could be performed instead or at the same time. I guess that's why OF shows the top-most action in purple in a parallel project.

I think the main difference between a sequential and parallel project in OF is that the remaining actions in a parallel project are not blocked (i.e. they're displayed in black rather than grayed-out text).

grillgod 2007-12-25 01:28 PM

[QUOTE=Toadling;29711]I think the main difference between a sequential and parallel project in OF is that the remaining actions in a parallel project are not blocked (i.e. they're displayed in black rather than grayed-out text).[/QUOTE]

True, but there is also the "Single Action List" that has all items showing as next actions. The "Miscellaneous" project that comes with OF out of the box (or download) is one of these and all the items I have there show as next actions.

I tried creating a single action list and dragging it to the project, but it changed to a parallel action group rather than what I hoped would be a single action group where all the items would be next actions.

Hopefully this will be added at some point. It seems they're awfully close to this already.

FYI, The Project name is "Learn Portuguese", a sequential project. The first item is "Purchases" which has several items in a couple of different contexts. If I'm "Online" in that context I want the entire list to show. If I'm running "Errands" I want to know the entire list of items I can buy while I'm in that mode.

davisre 2007-12-25 01:41 PM

[QUOTE=grillgod;29707]I've done this for a project I have to Learn Portuguese.

It's a sequential project and the first action item is a parallel action list to purchase several items.

Only the first item is showing as a next action. Shouldn't all items in a parallel action list (or project) show as next actions?[/QUOTE]

OmniFocus makes a distinction between "next" actions and "available" actions. In a sequential project, there's no difference, but in a parallel project, all of the actions become available while there remains just one next action.

This way, people adhering to strict GTD can filter for next actions and see at most one per project, but others can filter for available actions to see everything that can now be done, taking into account the parallel-vs-sequential setting on a project or action group.

Toadling 2007-12-25 04:08 PM

That's very helpful. Thanks, davisre.

How about an explanation of why all items in a Single Action List are considered "available" and "next"? My take is that they're independent actions that work toward different goals. They're almost like mini projects. Since there's no sequence or dependancy between them, they all show up as both "available" and "next". Is that right?

grillgod 2007-12-25 10:27 PM

[QUOTE=davisre;29718]OmniFocus makes a distinction between "next" actions and "available" actions. In a sequential project, there's no difference, but in a parallel project, all of the actions become available while there remains just one next action.

This way, people adhering to strict GTD can filter for next actions and see at most one per project, but others can filter for available actions to see everything that can now be done, taking into account the parallel-vs-sequential setting on a project or action group.[/QUOTE]

I understand all that. But in addition to parallel and sequential projects there is the Single Action List and *All* items in the list are next actions. There is one that comes standard called "Miscellaneous".

But when I create a new Single Action list and try to move it to my project it transforms to a parallel project and now only shows the first item as a next action.

sprugman 2007-12-27 06:24 AM

Single action lists are a second-level item, below folders, but on the same level with projects. You can't put them inside projects.

Lizard 2007-12-27 07:52 PM

Toadling: Yes, they're basically actions you need to do that don't necessarily move you towards any goal, or fit into any ongoing area of responsibility. For example, you might plan to pick up your grandma on the way to Christmas dinner, but perhaps you don't have a whole "Christmas dinner" project. It's just a one-time random thing you need to do. Since it's got no connection to your other single actions ("buy new cell phone battery" and "stop by Joe's to pick up forgotten hat"), they're all equally "available" and "next"

Toadling 2007-12-28 08:45 AM

Thanks for the explanation, Lizard. That really clarifies it for me.


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