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How does OF for iPhone handle "Someday/Maybes" and "On Hold"? Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
I haven't yet purchased OF for iPhone simply because I have a few questions that I need answered before I take the plunge.

I'm basing some of what I say in this post on a few minutes of playing with "Things" for iPhone. A friend of mine decided to go the Things route and it's the only point of reference (on the iPhone) that I have. Unfortunately, I don't know anyone who's purchased OF to get a chance to play around with it before buying.

My dilemma is the following: I'm a Mac user at home and a Windows user at work (not by choice might I add). Therefore, since the iPhone goes with me wherever I go, I'm looking for the best task-management/GTD based app for the device that can basically do it all. I'm definitely not looking for something that's crippled and isn't fully featured.

That being said, I have yet to find any concrete information regarding "Someday/Maybes" and "On Hold" items/projects on the iPhone version. so I guess my questions are:
  1. I want to know how the interface (if it exists) on the iPhone works for handling or putting projects/actions "On Hold"? I know OF for iPhone supports these, but is there anyway to actually put the projects/actions on hold on the iPhone? I often have to postpone projects or actions and I don't want them cluttering up views if I don't need to see them.
  2. Second, how do people handle "Someday/Maybes"? Things for the iPhone allows you to put actions into this list thereby eliminating further pollution of your "must-do" actions/projects. I don't see a lot of mention on this forum of Someday/Maybes, but I know it's something I would definitely need

Again, this is all for OF on the iPhone. I'm not interested in what the standalone Mac version can do since I won't be buying it.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JRArseneau View Post
I want to know how the interface (if it exists) on the iPhone works for handling or putting projects/actions "On Hold"? I know OF for iPhone supports these, but is there anyway to actually put the projects/actions on hold on the iPhone? I often have to postpone projects or actions and I don't want them cluttering up views if I don't need to see them.
Yes, you can put them on hold. In the projects list, tap edit, then the project you want to change, then select the appropriate status. You can then choose to have projects show either available (which will hide items on hold), or remaining (which won't).

Quote:
Originally Posted by JRArseneau View Post
Second, how do people handle "Someday/Maybes"? Things for the iPhone allows you to put actions into this list thereby eliminating further pollution of your "must-do" actions/projects. I don't see a lot of mention on this forum of Someday/Maybes, but I know it's something I would definitely need
Well, I have a folder called "Someday, Maybe", and everything in it is on hold. In effect that's exactly the same as what Things does I think, except that OF doesn't automatically put items in that folder on hold. It'd be nice if a FOLDER could be put on hold I guess, though you could use a project instead of a folder. I prefer a folder myself because my someday items all tend to be projects (often with no actions decided on yet) rather than individual actions.

The impression I get is that Things is probably closer to what many people want out of the box, but is far less configurable than OF so that you're stuck with their idea of how it should be.

That said, I'd like OF to be even more configurable - the main need being editable perspectives rather than the fixed ones we get now.

The lack of trial versions for the iPhone is a real pain, though I don't know if maybe Apple's refund policy is flexible enough to act a bit like a trial scheme.

Where are you based? Maybe there's someone on here who's close to you and willing to let you have a play.

Mark

Last edited by MacBerry; 2008-08-03 at 02:32 AM..
 
First, thanks for the response Mark.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MacBerry View Post
Yes, you can put them on hold. In the projects list, tap edit, then the project you want to change, then select the appropriate status. You can then choose to have projects show either available (which will hide items on hold), or remaining (which won't).
How about individual actions that aren't necessarily assigned to a project? Can these be put on hold as well (I guess you could call them "floating" actions).


Quote:
Originally Posted by MacBerry View Post
Well, I have a folder called "Someday, Maybe", and everything in it is on hold. In effect that's exactly the same as what Things does I think, except that OF doesn't automatically put items in that folder on hold. It'd be nice if a FOLDER could be put on hold I guess, though you could use a project instead of a folder. I prefer a folder myself because my someday items all tend to be projects (often with no actions decided on yet) rather than individual actions.
You know, you're probably right with the way Things accomplishes this task. It makes perfect sense that they would chose to go this route. It's rather trivial now that I think of it and having a folder that's on hold for these types of actions and projects effectively accomplishes the same thing Things does.

Speaking of "folders", the OF for iPhone screenshots don't lend credence to how these work vs. Projects. The home screen only shows "Inbox", "Projects", "Contexts", and the due's... When you talk about folders (vs. projects), are you talking about Contexts or something else completely? I"m not sure how this is differentiated on the iPhone version (but I see how it is on the Desktop ver).

Quote:
Originally Posted by MacBerry View Post
The impression I get is that Things is probably closer to what many people want out of the box, but is far less configurable than OF so that you're stuck with their idea of how it should be.
This is the impression I get as well (and why I think my friend went with Things).

The Things approach to putting tasks into your "Today" list is something I'm struggling with. I'm not sure if I really like this method or if it would be something I would get eventually get frustrated with. If you (or someone else reading this) doesn't know, with Things, actions get put into your "Today" list automatically based on due date/start date/"when to appear in the Today list" date, but there's also a "Next" perspective that allows you to view all your tasks (this is where I worry that having a lot of tasks would get confusing) and picking and choosing which tasks you want to accomplish that day (by going into "star" mode and putting a star beside each of the tasks you wish to do). I know this somewhat follows traditional GTD mantra by forcing you to do a daily review and picking what you want to accomplish, but I'm still on the fence with that one.

I'm in Ottawa, but I think I'll make a decision soon. Paying for OF isn't necessarily what's stopping me from purchasing it. I would simply like to avoid the scenario where I start using on of the apps (Things or OF) and have to switch (and migrate all my tasks) into the other app should I decide the first one I buy isn't for me.

- JR
 
Folders on the iPhone work "horizontally"; tapping projects moves you right to a list of folders if you have them, along with projects that aren't in folders. Tap a folder and you see any projects and actions in it. Tap a project and you see it's actions. If you have a Mac the best analogy is columns view in Finder, but with each column on a separate page accessed by tapping on something in the previous page.

Think of folders in exactly the same way as file folders - they are containers for things, but not really actionable "things" themselves.

Re the today list, you can do the same in OF using flags. On the desktop I have a "perspective" (a saved view to anyone but Omni!!!), that shows only available incomplete actions I've flagged during a daily review of all my available actions. The only limitation is that you can't have a view in OF that shows all due actions regardless of flag status, plus all others that are flagged, the equivalent of Things putting everything that's due into your today list automatically, but that's not to much of an issue as the list you're reviewing from can be sorted or grouped by due date so you just flag all the ones at the top before doing anything else!

BUT, that's on the desktop. For me it works reasonably well to do the review on the desktop, and then just look at the today list (under "flagged") on the iPhone. I'm not sure how easy it would be to do on the iPhone. I reckon it's possible, but it might not be a very smooth workflow because you're stuck with the views (perspectives) you're given. That's precisely why I think it's essential we have editable perspectives on the iPhone ASAP.

You can't specifically hold an individual action, but you can put it into a held context which effectively does the same thing.

Hmm, Ottawa. I'm in Portsmouth, UK, so maybe a tad far off to let you play with my copy! Mind you, I'm meant to be on holiday this week, so if you fancy stumping up the air fare I'll gladly pop over !! :)

HTH

Mark

Last edited by MacBerry; 2008-08-03 at 08:47 AM..
 
That's quite unfortunate that I can't put a single action On Hold and that I'm forced to relegate it to a folder (once i find it).
 
I think the generally suggested approach is to revise the start date.
 
Well I hate playing with start dates, as you don't want to put the start date back too far for fear of missing the action if it turns out you CAN do it in the meantime, yet don't want to have the date too close to now or you'll have to keep changing it. Very "un-GTD"!! Fine if you absolutely know when it'll want to come off hold, but most times you (sorry, I) don't.

Better to put it in an on hold context until you can deal with it IMHO. That way you can still review an "on hold" list each day, and you don't have to change anything until you're ready to work on it.

But you don't have to relegate it to a folder. You just give it a context that is on hold (waiting being the standard one but you can put any context on hold). It doesn't matter where the action is (in or out of a project, in or out of a folder), you can still do this.

When you want to unhold it, you just assign it a context that's active.

Works a treat.
 
Maybe it's just me but this seems almost like a kludge (messy work around).

I agree though, playing with start dates... bad idea in my opinion. For me, if something is on hold, I never want to be "reminded" of it - hence why it's on hold. To me, the very definition of an action or project "on hold" is something that I have to consciously think of going back to at some point in the future.
 
I don't think it's a kludge at all. If it's on hold, then it's not in a context such as office - that would be meaningless. It's context, both practically and philosophically (!!) is something like "waiting".

Mark
 
I was implying the fact that you have to change the start date would be a kludge :)

Your method is the way I would go about it as well.

Sorry for the misunderstanding.
 
 


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