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-   -   Notification options? (http://forums.omnigroup.com/showthread.php?t=4886)

seebs 2007-09-16 11:27 AM

Notification options?
 
It looks to me as though OmniFocus might be The Magic Productivity Tool I've always wanted.

What does it have for options for, say, notifying users of things? I need periodic reminders of things, because I don't check my lists if I don't have something to tell me to.

Also, assuming there's any notification, how configurable are the forms? I will throw laptops across the room before using something that flashes, bounces, or otherwise animates constantly when it wants attention. (Changing color or something like that is fine, but motion swamps me very quickly and throws me into sensory overload. I can't cope.)

curt.clifton 2007-09-16 11:46 AM

[QUOTE=seebs;21224]It looks to me as though OmniFocus might be The Magic Productivity Tool I've always wanted.

What does it have for options for, say, notifying users of things? I need periodic reminders of things, because I don't check my lists if I don't have something to tell me to.

Also, assuming there's any notification, how configurable are the forms? I will throw laptops across the room before using something that flashes, bounces, or otherwise animates constantly when it wants attention. (Changing color or something like that is fine, but motion swamps me very quickly and throws me into sensory overload. I can't cope.)[/QUOTE]

There are no notifications. Notifications are anathema to the GTD methodology which stresses developing the habit of regularly reviewing your lists of projects and actions. Several people have asked for the ability to highlight overdue actions, but thus far nothing like that is in the application. I wouldn't personally call such highlighting a "notification". To me, notification implies something that interrupts what I'm doing to tell me to do something else.

seebs 2007-09-16 02:39 PM

Fair enough. Actually, colors and highlighting are a big win for me. Notifications... I'm just not sure. I really do need them for, say, meetings -- but maybe something like iCal could do that. The problem is that I tend to get utterly absorbed in anything that I have to work on, and I can go 8-16 hours without coming out of it enough to notice things like "being hungry" or "being thirsty", let alone "I have to go shopping this afternoon before the store closes".

So, for me to be functional, I need SOMETHING to generate occasional interrupts. It might not have to be the application that manages the list of tasks -- and OmniFocus looks like it might be enough better at that to be worth it anyway.

brianogilvie 2007-09-16 03:41 PM

[QUOTE=seebs;21233]So, for me to be functional, I need SOMETHING to generate occasional interrupts. It might not have to be the application that manages the list of tasks -- and OmniFocus looks like it might be enough better at that to be worth it anyway.[/QUOTE]

If you haven't read David Allen's [I]Getting Things Done[/I], I suggest doing so. One point Allen emphasizes is the distinction between your hard landscape--things that must be done on a certain day or time, or they won't get done--and your other tasks. The latter might need to be done by a deadline, or just as soon as possible, but they don't have to be done at a fixed time or on a fixed day.

I use iCal (and DateBk6 on my Palm) for the hard landscape items and, when I think I might need them, reminders. OmniFocus handles task management. For other reminders I have been using Meridian's alarms or timers, but now that I've discovered QuickSilver's "Run after delay..." or "Run at time..." commands, I'm finding myself using those more and more.

If you need a reminder to check your task list, you could use a reminder application to pop something like that up on your screen from time to time.

seebs 2007-09-16 04:01 PM

Yeah, that sounds plausible. I actually am reading GTD, I just think...

Well, basically. I would rather have an OmniSomething do my reminders than Apple's, because Apple's idea of "usability" is bouncing dock icons, which are INCREDIBLY ANNOYING. (Seriously, if I met the person who thought that a constant erratic motion was a good idea, I might punch that person in the face -- and I'm very very close to a total pacifist otherwise.)

So, while I recognize that GTD itself may not use notifications, I would love to see them done competently and cleanly, and I figure the Omni people are my best bet. :)

djbell 2007-09-16 04:42 PM

(Not really related to the topic -- Before buying a gun, you might want to just disable the dock bounce the icons, and have an app just say, "excuse me, AppName needs your attention." iCal doesn't notify you by that method only though.)

It's pretty unlikely you want to do items notifying you. There's a program called iCalFix that makes it so iCal popup notifications for calendar events are totally automatic (and you can specify time to notify), I recommend it.

seebs 2007-09-16 04:50 PM

How does one disable dock bouncing? I've never found an option to shut it off.

curt.clifton 2007-09-16 05:07 PM

[QUOTE=seebs;21245]How does one disable dock bouncing? I've never found an option to shut it off.[/QUOTE]

There's a Dock pref to turn off "Animate opening applications". That gets rid of some bouncing. I don't know if it works for alerts though.

seebs 2007-09-16 05:26 PM

It doesn't.

I think maybe I should grab the Unsanity stuff again, I never got it for this machine... Drat. Dock Detox doesn't work on Intel.

I can't believe that Apple hasn't yet realized that making a horrendously intrusive notification that cannot be disabled or stopped is not user-friendly. (BTW, a trivia point: The open-app bounce doesn't bother me. The "alert" one does to the point where it makes me cranky for hours. Yes, I have a formal diagnosis of autism, why do you ask?)

LizPf 2007-09-17 08:09 AM

A couple weeks ago, I did a search for a good alarm program for the Mac, and found Alarm Clock SE does pretty well for me.

The features I was looking for were the ability to run an AppleScript at any given time, and flexible repeats. AC SE was a bit of a challenge to understand and get working, but I now have a morning alarm that:
- starts my iTunes streaming radio
- opens Firefox to my Freecycle moderation page (so I can get that job over with)
- opens Gcal so I can see my calendar
- opens an AppleScript created Morning Review checklist

This is already helping me stay on track [B]a lot[/B]. When I can, I'll add alarms for an evening review, a weekly review, and anything else I think I need.

The one feature I'm missing would be "fuzzy times" -- so my morning alarm would trigger when I open my laptop AND it's sometime between 6:00 am and 8:00 am. [Right now it's set for 6:30, which is a bit late sometimes, and too early others, and useless on the weekend.] Anyone know of a program that can do that?

--Liz


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