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Originally Posted by Toadling View Post
However, keep in mind that asking for a priorities feature in an open forum for an application that is inspired by a methodology that actively eschews explicit priorities is sure to draw criticism and debate.
I think this is why this thread refuses to die. People who are not using a strict (or even halfway) GTD methodology don't understand why priorities are considered a Bad Thing by GTDers. They don't understand that a priority assigned during processing (rather than at the moment of action) is at best arbitrary and at worst a tool of procrastination rather than productivity. It's a hard concept to work out since we have been taught for years that prioritizing tasks is a fundamentally good habit, and those of us who have accepted this methodology had a hard time adjusting to it as well.

I'm glad I did though, because eliminating the priority field is one of the most productive things I've ever done. It's right up there with adding context to my todo list. If more people tried it, I think they'd understand why. I've already explained (at length) why priorities are harmful to productivity in a GTD methodology, somewhere in this very thread way back when so I won't beat that horse any further.

However, I think a generic, multi-purpose metadata column that could be used for priorities (among other things) would be an acceptable compromise. I hope that maybe others feel the same way.
It sounds like Ken Case already answered the feature request question. He said exactly what Omni's plan is and even said which version they expect this feature to be in, so complaining that this is a "chapel instead of a feature release thread" is kind of silly. The fact that other people, users whose opinions count just as much as yours, disagree with your request and have decided to say so should hardly cause so much distress. This is especially true considering that the real question, "Will there be priorities in OF?", has already been answered. If you want priorities, you'll have to set up the meta-data field to enable priorities in version 1.2--done. I suspect that some enterprising soul will even make an Applescript to do it for you if you really want (or perhaps there will be a "priority" preset for the meta-data field).

If you want more than that, realize that at least as many users as you don't. So this is the compromise that Omni has come up with. When you think about it, a configurable meta-data field actually sounds better because now we can use it for all kinds of things beyond just priority. So what's with all the fuss?

Finally though, Omni does listen to feature requests from users, and they do sometimes add features that clearly exist outside of the strict GTD domain. Case in point: we can see actions without a context in the context view. I and a few other users argued passionately against the inclusion of this feature. We even ended up in a debate over what the definition of "next action" was, or should be, simply because of the introduction of this feature in one of the new alpha builds. The context-less context list was ultimately added due to overwhelming demand from other users and the implementation at the time was fraught with problems for strict GTDers (IMHO).

But we're all in luck, because Omni ultimately addressed mine and other's concerns as well. They added an option to decide how items would get cleaned up from the inbox (the old behavior was one of my primary complaints) and I'm pretty sure I can set up perspectives to never ever see context-less actions in my context view (which was my other primary complaint). It took some time, but Omni found a way to make everybody pretty happy in this instance.

It may take some time to find the same happy medium with priorities. Priorities are a bigger issue frankly; GTD basically breaks when you add in priorities so it's going to be hard to implement a solution that makes the priority users happy while still not interfering with those of us who have let go of pre-assigned priorities and are comfortable factoring priority into our real-time decision making process. If any priority feature is implemented, it has to get out of the way of the people who don't want to use it--preferably by disappearing completely when configured properly.

This won't happen overnight as there will obviously be many different ways to achieve such a goal and Omni will likely try to explore them (since they're good at what they do and don't rush these things). But I'm sure it will happen. They solved a set of problems that I thought were deal breakers almost a year ago when I deleted OF from my hard drive and vowed never to return. I'm sure they'll figure this out somehow.

Now, can we please stop posting to this thread?

Last edited by MEP; 2008-06-17 at 03:45 PM..