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-   OmniFocus 1 for Mac (http://forums.omnigroup.com/forumdisplay.php?f=38)
-   -   How do I use "Waiting For" or "@waiting"? (http://forums.omnigroup.com/showthread.php?t=6437)

bashosfrog 2007-12-16 04:26 PM

I think this is exactly what I'm trying to say in some related posts today. I find myself wanting to click column headers to add an extra level of sorting, or exclude or add something that the current implementation doesn't allow. But I don't know if there's an easy fix.

rmathes 2007-12-16 05:12 PM

I will say this, if the current level of choices available in the View bar holds relatively steady, and if no other selection/sorting criteria become available, then I'm just not sure OmniFocus is going to allow me to sufficiently, um, focus.

Which is kinda ironic, when you think about it.

I知 honestly surprised they致e gone this route in the design. It痴, by definition, FAR more limited than a smart folder approach, and smart folders have proven in other apps to be the difference between a decent app and a great one. I would assert that smart playlists and mailboxes in iTunes and Mail are key functionality that provide a rich and robust ability to see what I want to see and nothing more. Task management seems the perfect venue to make the most powerful use of this kind of functionality and OF went a completely different (and so far, in my opinion) and limiting direction.

Waiting to see where this goes, but right now, I'll be honest. The more I use it the more I'm hoping iGTD2 gets Smart Folders and tabs right.

Ken Case 2007-12-16 06:11 PM

We actually started out with a smart folders implementation, but it quickly led to a combinatorial explosion of smart folders if we wanted to provide quick access to anywhere near the number of combinations available through the view bar. It's much, much slower to explore the different views of your tasks if you have to create a new view and switch over to its customization sheet every time you want to try something a little different.

What sort of combinations do you find yourself wanting to create that you aren't able to create now?

bashosfrog 2007-12-16 07:02 PM

Here's two for starters:

I have a Contexts perspective: Due, Due, Remaining, Any, All. This works well except for one thing: I'd like to exclude the "Waiting" context from view. I only want to see those actions I have to act on, especially since I may have 10-20 calls out waiting for a response. As far as I'm concerned, they should be off the immediate to-do radar.
OF allows me to group by Context, but it doesn't give me that same big-picture look at what's in store for me as the Due grouping.

Or, as mentioned in another thread, I'd like a Planning view that allows me just to see Projects - ie. the top-level items - grouped and sorted by due date. At the moment, Project sorting is affected by action due dates, which I find less than ideal for planning.

These are two examples of where a smart folder approach would give more granular control than the filter bar. But I also see Ken's point of view: my sidebar is already pretty well populated, and adding smart folders would make it unreadable. I've got no brilliant ideas on this - too busy working through the appalling list of to-dos I've generated in OF - but would hope the brains at OmniGroup have a neat solution.

Because apart from this, and attachments, and time entries on actions ( :-)) OF is genius.

Matt

Ken Case 2007-12-16 07:26 PM

[QUOTE=bashosfrog;28867]I have a Contexts perspective: Due, Due, Remaining, Any, All. This works well except for one thing: I'd like to exclude the "Waiting" context from view.[/QUOTE]

You can get that view by selecting all your contexts except the Waiting context and making a new snapshot. (That's pretty much the same as what you'd be doing with a smart folder, but in this case you can see your results as you select without having to finish creating your folder first.)

[QUOTE]Or, as mentioned in another thread, I'd like a Planning view that allows me just to see Projects - ie. the top-level items - grouped and sorted by due date. At the moment, Project sorting is affected by action due dates, which I find less than ideal for planning.[/QUOTE]

The addition of smart folders wouldn't help with this; the problem is simply that sorting projects by due date currently (intentionally) means to sort them by the first thing coming due within a project. It would actually have been far simpler to make that sorting option just sort by the due date of the projects themselves, but we thought用erhaps wrongly葉hat most users would want the first project in the list to be the first one that had anything due.

By the way, I do think it would be great to have some of the flexibility of smart folders, and we are exploring how we might accomplish this in future releases. But right now, the combination of focusing on a set of folders and projects, selecting some items in the sidebar, and the view bar gets you most of the way there. (And if you did have a smart folder selected in the sidebar, it wouldn't be as easy to combine its filtering with that of any of those other interface controls, e.g. you couldn't select a single project or folder without replacing that smart folder.)

Ken Case 2007-12-16 07:33 PM

[QUOTE=Ken Case;28870]You can get that view by selecting all your contexts except the Waiting context and making a new snapshot.[/QUOTE]

Actually, I should point out that the more natural way to get this particular view in OmniFocus is to show all your Available actions rather than your Remaining actions, and set your Waiting context to block actions. That way your list will truly show only the actions that you can currently act on, not the ones that are blocked by your Waiting context, or blocked by a future start date, or blocked by earlier actions in a sequence.

bashosfrog 2007-12-17 12:56 AM

aHA. I hadn't explored the "block actions" option. This was a case of not reading the manual. Of course, there isn't much there in the manual to read as yet. But the "Block actions" option is exactly what I was after.

[QUOTE=Ken Case;28870]It would actually have been far simpler to make that sorting option just sort by the due date of the projects themselves, but we thought用erhaps wrongly葉hat most users would want the first project in the list to be the first one that had anything due.[/QUOTE]

Can this be an option in preferences? I'm a journalist, and most of my projects due dates are article deadlines. Actions are mostly the phone calls I make for interviews. I schedule these calls well before the deadline, so that the due date of my last action usually bears no relevance to the deadline of the article/project.

I can see that for some, the "last action sets due date" thing would work, but for me it just creates unecessary panic because I tend to have deadlines stacked up like aircraft entering LAX. Getting them all down safely is a delicate thing, and easily upset by action due dates posing as REAL deadlines.

I'm not sure I want to see smart folders as such, but as others have said, an implementation of filters that provides boolean options, or otherwise allows the user to slice and dice with more finesse, would be welcome.

Thanks for the assistance!

VicDiesel 2007-12-17 06:25 AM

[QUOTE=rmathes;27414]
this is one more reason why i do not like "well could you adapt such and such functionality to make it work" approaches. [/QUOTE]

I agree. That's why I gave up on Life Balance: that product hasn't been updated in forever, and any time you ask on their forums "how do I" you get an answer "you could adapt so and so".

Anyway.

Let's say you have a task "read the 2007 report draft", and you realize that you haven't got it from Joe's secretary yet so you call him to get it. Now click on the "read" task, hit the Switch button (or whatever keybd shortcut) to get to planning view. Hit Shift-Return to insert a task bofore it; enter "wait for report", and give it a due date 2 months from now.

It will then disappear from your "coming due" perspective, and it will prevent the "read" task from being available. If you have another perspective that does show the long range tasks, you'll find the blocking task there; check it off and the "read" task becomes available again.

I don't like changing the context of tasks, because my contexts are bound to physical locations.

Victor.

joelande 2007-12-17 07:09 PM

[QUOTE=Ken Case;28870]You can get that view by selecting all your contexts except the Waiting context and making a new snapshot. (That's pretty much the same as what you'd be doing with a smart folder, but in this case you can see your results as you select without having to finish creating your folder first.)[/QUOTE]
the problem is, next week my list of list of potential contexts may have changed - you have to keep maintaining these perspectives

sprugman 2007-12-18 08:14 AM

If you create some top-level super-contexts that isn't as likely to be a problem.


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