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-   -   Feature Request: task prioritization! (

jpathomas 2009-07-27 07:28 AM

Not sure I'm going to wait much longer
I'm starting to lose interest in OF 2.0, and wonder if there's something else out there. I've been asking for this for YEARS, and it's been said it will come, but it's taking way too long.

curt.clifton 2009-07-27 08:55 AM

[QUOTE=jpathomas;63585]I've been asking for this for YEARS, and it's been said it will come, but it's taking way too long.[/QUOTE]

It sounds like 1.7 will be in public sneaky peek Real Soon Now. I'd expect 2.0 development to move forward more quickly after that. I'm guessing they have 2.0 prototypes in house to experiment with smart folders, custom meta-data, and other goodies. Omni has some amazingly talented/dedicated people, but I'm afraid the complexity of maintaining compatibility and synchronization between desktop and iPhone versions means slower release cycles. There's also the challenge of Apple's App Store approval for each iPhone release.

(And "YEARS"? Really? OF has only [URL=""]publicly existed[/URL] for about 27 months, and if [URL=""]your first post on this [/URL]is accurate, you've only been using it for just under 14 months.)

jpathomas 2009-07-28 01:29 PM

Okay, I'm short a bit on "years" lol. Let me rephrase that: I've been waiting for this since I first started using OF, and if you check my first post I think I asked how to do task prioritization then. That being said, I've done my GTD homework, I've been using OF on my mac and my iphone for a significant amount of time now, and I still want my freekin' task prioritization. Yes I know, it's not "pure" GTD, that being said it works for me.

And I want my iPhone to sync faster, but that's another matter.

whpalmer4 2009-07-28 02:01 PM

And I want my iPhone to sync faster, but that's another matter.[/QUOTE]
How long does it take, and how long do you think it should take? Have you followed the various steps in the slow sync thread?

abates17 2009-07-29 10:41 PM

If OmniFocus starts trying be be a "Jack of All Tasks" and not a "Master of GTD" — then I suspect that it will eventually fade into a bland and generic toy that doesn't serve the real needs of anyone.[/QUOTE]

And I suspect that you are wrong. The software industry is rife with examples of programs that added functionality without becoming homogenized or useless.

[QUOTE=Lecter;62745]Regarding iTunes, my point was that with all of the fields visible, it [B]does[/B] present a [I]confusing[/I] interface. Have you tried that? Turning all of the iTunes fields on? I have. Showing more fields makes for a overly busy and cluttered interface.[/QUOTE]

And yet iTunes continues to add those fields. If they make the interface “busy and cluttered,” then why has Apple added them? Do they not know anything about software design or usability? No, it’s because they know that you can add features without adding complexity. The fields are customizable, and users don’t need to see fields they don’t want. A priority field in Omnifocus is the same.

[QUOTE=Lecter;62745]I am sharing my thoughts and my processes as examples. They are things that I have found to work. If you choose to ignore them, that doesn't mean that I am not trying to make suggestions/educate by what I chose to do.[/QUOTE]

And I could say the same: I have provided examples of why a priority field (or recurring tasks sorted by least recently completed, for example) IS useful to me and DOES help me get things done. Yet you continue to ignore those claims, and argue that I’m “doing it wrong.”

[QUOTE=Lecter;62745]With his strategies, I feel 100% confident that I am always on track, always doing the best task/next action, and none of it requires tracking which item was done least recently.[/QUOTE]

Good for you. I have found it useful to know which recurring tasks have been done recently, and which haven’t been done in a long time. Without information like this, it is easy to fall into the trap of doing the easy tasks first, and avoiding the difficult ones. A priority field helps me with this.

[QUOTE=Lecter;62745]Currently, the most annoying one for me is that the Flags column cannot be hidden. I would hate to see the proposed meta-field (or any future additions to OmniFocus) be designed the same way.[/QUOTE]

No one has suggested that it won’t be hidable. Can you please drop this complaint now?

[QUOTE=Lecter;62745]If the (current) tool itself makes users feel overwhelmed, adding unnecessary fields, obscure features and complexity will further alienate users.[/QUOTE]

Your belief about which are “unnecessary fields” does not match the belief of a large number of users.

[QUOTE=Lecter;62745]To get back to the subject of prioritization, here are some articles that will hopefully add some substance to this thread, rather than just fanning the flames of the fire:[/QUOTE]

Yes, I get it: More quotes by people telling me that I shouldn’t want or need a priority field. Well guess what? I’m a big boy. I can figure out what fields I do or don’t want. I don’t need Merlin Mann to tell me what features I shouldn’t need.

Lucas 2009-07-30 05:25 AM

Would those who are interested in such a priority field be interested in some sort of short video about how people have used OF to handle priority information? I'd be willing to work with a couple of people on that if folks would be interested.

jpathomas 2009-07-30 09:35 AM

In regard to the iphone sync question, yep, I've followed all the advice and tips. I'm syncing on a regular schedule (twice a day), I don't have any files or attachments that are syncing with my database, and I'm archiving old task. Still it seems to take three to 5 minutes to sync. Just for the record I have a 32gig 3GS.

As for a video on how others use OF's current functionality to handle prioritization I'd watch one if it were available. I'm always interested in how other people handle these challenges.

Toadling 2009-07-30 11:20 AM

[QUOTE=jpathomas;63796]I'm syncing on a regular schedule (twice a day), I don't have any files or attachments that are syncing with my database, and I'm archiving old task. Still it seems to take three to 5 minutes to sync.[/QUOTE]

I posted this same reply in another thread but thought I'd add it here too. While I don't have an immediate solution for you, here are my results for a point of comparison:

According to OmniFocus on my iPhone 3GS, I've currently got 369 projects and 2290 actions in 19 zip files. I sync over a cable broadband connection to MobileMe, and then to a recent model MacBook Pro.

Doing a sync right now from my iPhone took ~21 seconds and compacted my number of zip files down to 1.

Doing a sync on my MacBook Pro took ~4.5 seconds and also compacted its local database down to 1 zip file.

Additional syncs from the iPhone now take 2 - 4 seconds. Additional syncs from my MacBook Pro now take 1.5 - 2 seconds.

I have no embedded attachments but many, many links and notes.

So something is definitely not right if your sync are taking several [I]minutes[/I] to complete. Have you contacted the Omni ninjas for help? How many zip files do you currently have? Have you checked what clients you have registered for syncing; maybe you have a stale client in there?


Brian 2009-07-30 07:15 PM

[QUOTE=jpathomas;63796]Still it seems to take three to 5 minutes to sync. [/QUOTE]

If there are no stale or duplicate client files when you open sync prefs on your mac and press "Show Clients" then something very unusual is going on here. Email the [EMAIL=""]support ninjas[/EMAIL] and we can help.

Flexattend 2009-08-01 04:20 PM

OK: all those in favor of prioritization, line up over here. How dare you? Haven't you read and understood or, if not, at the very least, memorized, Mr. David Allen's book? Line up and get ready for your spankings, to be followed by tar and feathering, excommunication and being cast into outer darkness. By the numbers, march......

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