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Originally Posted by laura View Post
A - Absolutely must get done today
B - Should be done today
C - Would be nice if done today

A flag system does not handle that, as it's only binary.
Well, I also suggested how you could use the Duration field (which you denigrate as a useless concept, so it should prove no loss of vital functionality to you) to have as many states as you might need. Or another approach would be to knock off all the A tasks, then scan again to see what deserves your attention for the rest of the day. As I said, they've provided some tools with which you can implement a priority scheme; if you don't care for them, by all means, you should investigate other options. I was hoping to hear something interesting about why you couldn't make the current offering work, but I guess that won't be forthcoming. My loss; I don't bother asking questions if I'm not interested in hearing the answer.

I find the duration field to be useful, myself; it lets me fill up small blocks of time productively when all the more important stuff comes in chunks that can't be done in the time available. If I have a meeting starting in 10 minutes, it isn't going to be a productive use of my time to start reading a block of code looking for a subtle bug; I might be able to knock off 2 4-5 minute lower-priority tasks in that time if I don't have to spend 3 minutes figuring out what my options are. Same argument as is used for needing to keep the prioritization effort written down, except in my opinion slightly better justified as the time it takes to photocopy your timesheet or call to make an appointment for a tune-up isn't going to change because the boss decided the team needed to go in a different direction today. And while you sneer at doing the short things first, it's also useful in the other direction, when one finds that unbelievably there's going to be a solid, large block of time without interrupts, what's some task that needs to be handled as a unit and never gets worked on because there's never enough time to do enough work to make it practical? Better do the biggest one that will fit! A co-worker mentions that they won't need their test gear for an hour, and I can make faster progress on a given class of problems using their gear; what are some test cases I can do that will make best use of that time? It's all the same priority, it all needs to get done before we can ship...

Call me persnicketey for wanting more functionality than a glorified laundry list of tasks. Some of us can actuall evaluate tasks and know which ones are the most important for the day, and not based on how long they take (which strikes me as a ludicrous idea).
How does OmniFocus interfere with your workflow, in that case? Oh, right, you need a pre-printed glorified laundry list that has a priority column and fits in a snazzy leather binder :-) You've got all your tasks, can view them in ways not remotely possible with a paper system, seems like a step forward to me.

Ha! I would submit that this would be important data then. After all, if you take the alternative and are constantly doing all the little tasks that come in, you aren't getting the important things done. If that doesn't matter to you, wonderful. Me, I need more, and I guess my investment on this app was wasted in the battle against dogma.
I'm afraid you misunderstood my point. My experience was that I could fill just about every day of the week, week after week, with what you would call "A" tasks. And behind them, when there was an occasional lull, enough "B" tasks to fill my days, week after week. So assigning tasks of priority "C" to me (never mind "D", "E", and so on), if I was expected to only work on the highest priority tasks until no further progress could be made on any of them, that was equivalent to dropping the task for a few weeks (until someone came around asking why nothing ever got done about it, and took my advice that if it was important to them that it get done, find another resource to do it). It's a pretty short step from there to flagging or focusing on whatever it is I'm going to work on today, because on most days, everything that gets touched will be on the same priority level. Little tasks, if they got done at all, were usually done only because there was some reason a bigger task couldn't be worked on, or it was something that interested me and I'd already spent as many hours working on priority matters as anyone could reasonably ask (in other words, done on my own time).

As Master Yoda might say, "do, or do not - there is no priority C" :-)

I'm not anti-priority. I am however opposed to the good folks at Omni spending too much time on it when there are already some features that can (so it seems to me) do much of what the priority requesters want when that prevents them from getting work done on features that can't readily be done with what they've already given us. This will undoubtedly lose them some customers who feel they just can't survive without a purpose-built multi-level priority scheme, and undoubtedly gain them some customers who think that whatever else they did with those resources was something that made the app worth buying. I want the company to make the choices that enable it to thrive in the long run, even if some of those choices aren't exactly what I want, because I look at how much time I spend using everything except OmniDazzle and OmniGraffle and I think of how much more time I would have to spend with other, lesser tools. Right now, they seem to be spending their OmniFocus resources on the iPhone app and synchronization. In my opinion, that's the right thing to do -- and at the moment, it's of absolutely no use to me whatsoever.

It's good that I still have a few hours left in which to do the important stuff today :-)