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Originally Posted by convergent View Post
Turbo... haha... that's a good one. :)

I think I have a good understanding on what a project is, vs. what an action is. That wasn't really my question. My question was more about the difference between a folder and a single action list. As I said, you can put a project in a single action list, so it seems redundant to set up a separate single action list for every folder.... rather than just putting everything in the single action list.
No, you can put a action group into a single action list. You can not put a project into a single action list. I would say more, but I'll just dig up threads where others have said it better than I can. There are a lot of differences between action groups and projects. They're easy to promote/demote to one another, but they are definitely different.

ETA: and whpalmer posted stating some of those I won't go looking for threads :)

That said, I'm doing it now like you suggested because I noticed the color difference for single action lists and figure there is more to this than I can comprehend at this point. I am also naming my projects with a folder prefix in the name so that they sort orderly in the Context view.

I'm a veteran certified project manager, so as you can imagine... I'm really seeing lots to like here, but I have to be careful that organizing my work doesn't become so much of the project that doing it falls to the back burner. So far though, I think I'm going to like working with this once I get my initial set of stuff organized and in here. I have spent a couple of days researching these tools and trying to get going. It is such a time commitment to invest in a tool like this that I really, really don't want go down the wrong path.
No argument there. I've revamped my folder/project and context structures two or three times in two or three months.

I think the big thing is really understanding how Omnifocus handles all this stuff so that I pick the right combination of stuff to get the expected outcome. For example, I have a website forum I run... similar to this actually. I have a project called "Update Website X". I am using it to just collect things I need to do on the site... with no particular order right now. The thing is that some of the actions I've dropped into this project, I know I will eventually develop into full blown projects on their own... because they will take me weeks to do once I start them. I've dropped a lot of other actions into the same project that can literally be done in 5 minutes and need to be done soon... for example, adding a new forum for a particular product that was recently released. When I look at my Context view, I am only seeing one action cued up to work on for this project since they are parallel, its picking a "next".
You can choose to look at it like this or not with the view bar. Under View>show/hide view bar will bring it up if it's not showing currently. You can choose to show next action, available actions (hiding those that aren't available due to future start dates or sequencing of actions in sequential projects...and maybe something I'm forgetting), remaining actions (with those just mentioned showing, but still 'blocked'), completed actions, or actions with any status (all of the above). Something else you said makes me think that you haven't experimented with the view bar yet. Mine is always showing.

If I had put the shorter actions into a separate single action list, I think that OF would be showing the all as next... then I could just pick one and do it. I need to re-read the "book" to remember which is better. One is less "focussed" and one is more "focussed". The reality is that several of them relate to a context that is literally "updating forum software", but I don't want to micromanage my contexts like that. I do in my mind try to group activities like that because I can do them all quicker if I do them at the same time.

Sorry for the long winded response... just rambling on here.
There is also a duration/time estimate column, which I thought I'd never use, but I find it helpful for sorting by duration to knock out quick tasks. I use that often, but don't really ever use next actions. I know that many people do use next actions, I just haven't ever gotten into the swing of that. You can show the duration column (hide it if you don't want to use it) and several other column options also by going to View>Columns.

Last edited by malisa; 2008-11-01 at 01:44 PM.. Reason: messed up quoting