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I was just doing some cleanup work on my OF records, and i was thinking, "wouldn't it be nice if I could see a graph of all the things I'm getting done?"

Then I though, "wait a minute, Omni did that with their bug-tracker. They could do that pretty easily for OmniFocus. I'll just send them a quick little note, saying they ought to do it."

And so I started writing.

But the idea kept growing, and before long it was this awesome tool, not just for self-assessment, but for planning as well. Imagine you're working through your inbox, assigning dates to tasks, and in the background you have a graph that tells you when you're going to be slammed, and when you'll have room to breathe.

In the graph, the x axis represents time (by days) and the y axis represents number of tasks. There are all sorts of useful lines to plot, but imagine these for your planning session:
  • available tasks
  • due or overdue tasks
  • tasks due "soon"
  • tasks completed
  • tasks added
  • tasks changed
  • tasks for review

Perhaps the graph includes the past month, so you can see how you've been doing. Data series could be broken down by groupings (project, context, relative due date, relative start date). The graph could show multiple lines at once, so that you can see whether there's an apparent relationship between adding tasks and completing tasks, or between # available tasks and your task completion rate. They could use the Perspectives to store sorting options, such that a graph would simply be a picture of the past, present, and future contents of a given perspective.

With a graph like this, you can not only do effective evaluations (how many things was I doing, when?), you can do some load-balancing while planning your work. Maybe you could tell OF to assume you'll continue your current rate of task completion (an average daily rate over the past month?), to assume no task completion, or to assume task completion exactly on deadline.

If I could get that graph (especially the one showing past performance) to serve as my desktop background, and do fun things as a screen-saver, that would probably do some amazing things for my productivity.

What do y'all think? Worthwhile feature? Must-have for version 1.1? Easy enough for version 1.0? Too challenging for version 2? Other useful things to do with pictures of our GTD progress using OmniFocus?

Curiously,
Gavin
--
Gavin White
gavin.white@alumni.reed.edu
http://wandreilagh.org
971-404-7294

Last edited by gavinwhite; 2007-12-06 at 02:39 PM.. Reason: added signature