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This is also something I've never been able to implement.

My opinion on this... is it could be done in an outlining fashion.

The way I work with outlining is, create a project, then list all actions that I know it would take to complete the parent.

If I get to an action that isn't really an action, then I create children of it that move that parent toward completion.

In my ideal world, this is how I see horizons of focus working. It's not implementable in OmniFocus. It's not implementable because you can't complete folders, and to attempt to organize by using folders to create an outline appears maddening. I've tried this a couple times but it breaks down when I attempt to list my life purpose and principles. I create a folder for each of the visions, then a folder for the goals and objectives inside of the vision, then areas of focus, but when I get down to the project level I have so many different nests of folders that it is difficult to see all the projects easily. It's also difficult to remember what horizon I should be listing out at that folder outline level. Even having the ability to change folder colors would help. The other difficulty is to easily find horizons of focus that don't have any projects in them and are not moving forward.

Visions and life purpose may not be completable, as these are things for me to strive toward. For the 40,000 levels and down, those are completable long term goals. Putting them in a folder doesn't allow me to complete it. I know this is a small thing, but I want to be able to complete a long term goal.

In order to do this in OmniFocus, I think there would need to be some sort of outlining structure that would walk me through creating goals and life purpose. A structure that would not rely on folders, be outlineable, and have the different horizons labeled so I know what horizon I am working on.

I would like the ability to complete long term goals when I reach them. The ability to review long term goals like we do with projects so I can make sure they are on track. I envision being able to zoom in and out of those horizons, only looking at what is on each level and not seeing all the projects.

Starting with 50k, life purpose, I would only see the children of it... 40k, children. I would list out the children, then zoom in to that first child and only see the 30k, list out the children there. Then zoom into the 20k. However, this could be maddening as well. I would want to see the entire outline in case I needed to move a vision or goal around.

For example:
If I have a 50,000 level of life purposes. I take the first life purpose and then brainstorm... what would this look like in 5 years. This would be my 40,000 foot.

Then I take the first 40,000 foot level and ask, how can I move this vision closer to completion under 5 years.

This would be my 30,000 and ask, what can I do to move this forward in under 3 years. This would be my goals and objectives.

Then take that first goal and ask, what can I do to move this forward in under a year.

Then I take that first area of focus and list out what projects would it take for me to complete this. These would be my projects. Then I take the project and ask, what actionable steps do I need to do to move the project forward. These are actions.

One problem I've found with this method is GTD breaks at the 20,000 level. Allen calls this areas of focus. But when I've gone through this in the book, there seems to be a gap between areas of focus and the goals and objectives. That is to say, areas of focus don't tie into completing goals and objectives. They are more areas of responsibility, and some of those responsibilities fall outside of vision. Things like... changing the oil, and all the mundane things that we do. True, I could create a hierarchy with a vision of something like... be a responsible human or be self sufficient or just a maintenance vision or goal. However, every time I've attempted to do this, I hit a roadblock with the organizing of it all.

It's almost as if the areas of focus are outside of the goals or outside of the horizons all together. Projects are under the goals, vision and other horizons.

Completing a project should move me forward toward a goal, which should move me forward toward a Vision, which should move me toward my life purpose. Areas of focus is the red headed stepchild of things outside my life purpose.

In theory, I should be able to start at the bottom with all the things that are taking up psychic space, and then ask myself, where does this project belong in my 50,000, or any of the other levels. Then objectively look at the horizons and see what I want in my life, things that I don't want I can then say no to or just resign myself that they are things that I need to do to keep my life running. And then add visions, purpose and goals and brainstorm projects that move me toward those, working up and down the horizons.

Then again, maybe I have the answer and am just resisting using folders to implement. Thanks for stirring this up again for me. Maybe it's time for me to try it again.
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