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Working around lack of tags for projects Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Here's my sitch: I have my (work) projects organized in folders -- one per client. Within each folder are usually 2-10 projects. In my head, these are categorized by Status as:
  • Active (moving forward normally -- these projects need attention almost daily)
  • Stuck (for some reason the client has put these on the back burner and they are not moving forward right now -- they need attention once a week or so to prod the client, follow up on something, etc.)
  • Pending (these are truly in Waiting For mode -- nothing I can do to get them moving right now. Usually there's a specific future date when I'm supposed to follow up.)

What I wanted to do was to get a list of just my Active projects. But if there are tasks that need to occur for the less-active ones, I don't want those to disappear as they will if you set a project to "On Hold (Waiting)" mode. And I don't want to have to micromanage the start dates for projects (I do enough of that with Tasks), if possible, though maybe that's a solution.

I recently tried making a Context for each of these states and dropping each project into the appropriate one. But this has two problems:
  • I can't see the tasks under the project when I'm in Context view
  • All new tasks get assigned to the default Context (not terrible, but annoying)

The obvious solution to me would be tags. If I could just tag the project with the appropriate Status, I could sort on that and get my lists just the way I want to see them. But I don't think OF can do that.

I'd love to find a simple way to handle this that doesn't screw up my reasonably functional organization by client, and that doesn't involve writing a complex Applescript, etc. if possible. I don't want to spend more time tweaking my system than doing the actual tasks in it.

Love to have your insights. Thanks.
Well, OmniFocus was designed to handle situations like this with the start date field - which is really a "don't bother me about this until" date.

In both the Stuck and Pending cases, my suggestion would be to a start date off in the future for the items. That gets them off your plate until that point in time. (You can use the note field if you want to record why the item has been deferred.)

I know that wasn't your preferred solution, of course, but I hope it's still at least somewhat helpful. :-)
Brian, that sounds reasonable. As you say, it's not exactly what I was looking for but, yeah, it could probably work. As usual, the trick is to be pretty vigilant about your weekly review so you can keep those dates updated. Seems to be the hardest part of GTD for a lot of people. Including me!
Looking at it again, I find that the date idea doesn't quite work. It's fine for the projects I want to look at in a week or a month that are stuck or on hold. But there are also categories like, say, pro bono projects that do need to move forward, but get attention when others are out of the way, or have at least been reviewed first. And then there are projects that just have to get invoiced that I really don't even need to see on my project list until I'm doing invoicing. I guess I just like the idea of being able to filter things out on the basis of some settable characteristic. Call it a tag, or whatever.
For the pro bono stuff, why not put those project folders in a folder called pro bono, and only select that folder when you are feeling ahead of the game with the paid work? I'm making an assumption here that clients are pro bono or paid work, not a mixture.
Originally Posted by joshfree View Post
I guess I just like the idea of being able to filter things out on the basis of some settable characteristic. Call it a tag, or whatever.
Would it work to flag your most active projects?
Closing this thread (and similar ones in the other OmniFocus forums) in favor of the consolidated thread for this topic.

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