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Something I'd really like to see Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
I REALLY like this app and to date I've found it to be the best digital implementation of GTD going. But I have a question for Ken Case and the crew: is there any plan to evolve the app to start to capture things above the 10,000 foot level?

For example, I would love to have a section of OF where I can specify my Areas of Responsibility (20,000 feet) and Goals (30,000). But especially the AORs. Not all of actions are related back to a project. For example, I might have an action that says ďrun 5 miles todayĒ. Thatís not part of a project, itís a single action that supports an AOR (Build and Maintain Optimum Health).

It would be VERY cool and powerful to be able to click on an AOR and be able see my projects and tasks that support it. It could be incorporated into my weekly review process and if I see that some AORs have a bunch of tasks and others have few if any, thatís a signal that perhaps I'm losing balance.

Just wondering if thereís been any discussion to this end, thanks.
 
Isn't this just a folder for the AOR with relevant projects and a single action list to hold any single actions (and if I'm correctly understanding what I've heard, even that SAL won't be necessary in 2.0)? What essential functionality isn't yet provided? I'm not saying there isn't opportunity for some incremental improvements (like standalone single actions as mentioned above), but whenever I see a "why doesn't OF support roles or areas of responsibility" post, I'm always left wondering just what it is I'm apparently missing about these concepts, because it all looks like stuff one can do with OF right now.
 
Thatís absolutely one way to approach it. What that would really entail is instead of having a single ďsingle action listď, then having one for each AOR. So I suppose what I could do is as you suggest, create project folders for each AOR, then within each of those have like a ďmiscĒ project that was a single action list for that AOR.

Thatís a good idea, I'll implement that and see how it works. For whatever reason Iíd only looked at folders in the project view as a way to next projects into basic buckets like work and personal and just never taken that next evolutionary step of looking at them as discrete AORs.

Thanks for the suggestion.
 
OK, I've realized one limitation for this approach. Project folders are, well, just project folders. I canít set any attributes for them whatsoever. One issue here is I canít add notes for a folder. So just like for a project I want to be able to delineate what my intended outcome is, I want to do that for my AORs as well and since I canít create notes for a folder, thatís a problem. One workaround is I create a placeholder project within each folder that is simply there as a descriptor. Not ideal, but I guess thatís one way I could work around this.
 
You could use the Single Action List that holds the miscellaneous bits as the note holder for the folder as well...then you don't have any dummy projects, everything is functional.

Agreed that in an ideal world one could attach notes to folders as well as projects and actions, Help->Send Feedback, you know the drill :-)
 
thatís actually what I was intending to do. I know SALs are not technically projects, but I was meaning anything below the folder level.

But the more I think about this, the more I'd really like to see AORs as a discrete data entity. Here are some of the things I'd like to be able to do with AORs:

establish review cycles for them, just like projects. For example, set my AORs to review quarterly, and some even monthly, while others perhaps annually.

Assign status conditions to them, like active or on-hold. I may have an AOR that is active, then my job is modified for a year so a given AOR is on hold but will resurface.

Then yes, add descriptors/notes.

Iíll use the work arounds weíve discussed, but ideally I'd see something more robust. Itís the next natural step in the product design. OmniFocus starts where GTD recommends you start, by collecting, processing, organizing, reviewing and acting upon your inputs and agreements. But once you start to get a handle on that stuff, the process starts naturally begging the question of exploring, defining, refining and reviewing your AORs. Iíd love to see the product add this functionality to its tool set.
 
That's a thoughtful suggestion!
 
would be helpful to be able to have a note associated with a folder (and to optionally see the folder in project views.

See this thread on related topics

http://forums.omnigroup.com/showthread.php?t=14750
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rmathes View Post
But the more I think about this, the more I'd really like to see AORs as a discrete data entity.
I'm currently using folders for AORs and they do a decent job. Personally I think that's the best use for folders (people using a "Work" folder and a "home" folder are essentially doing the same thing; "Work" and "home" are loosely defined AORs) but I do agree that there are limitations to this approach.

One of the biggest ones is probably review cycles, as you list. Status is less of a problem because at the moment you can definitely "drop" a folder but I wouldn't mind having the option to place a folder on hold either.

However rather than having AORs as a whole new entity, I think it might be better for folders to be given a more robust functionality. Those attributes you describe could all be applied to the existing folder framework instead.

That way you and I could use folders for AORs, but people who wish to use OmniFocus as simply 10,000 and below, whilst using other applications/tools for their AORs and the larger outcomes (I believe Curt's said he uses OmniOutliner for that purpose, for example) could still do so and make use of the added functionality in whatever way they're currently utilising folders.

I think making folders better would add functionality without sacrificing the flexibility that makes OmniFocus so good (and apps like Midnight Inbox, in my view, nowhere near as good). That's not to dismiss your suggestions; I think the added functionality would be great, I just envision a different way to make use of it.
 
Iíd be good with getting that functionality into folders. Would DEFINITELY want status, though. Canít just drop a folder from active view if it has project history in it, for example.

One decision OmniFocus has to make is how Ďhighí they want to go on the horizons of focus. If they use folders for this, we can use those as AORs and then weíve pretty much maxed out. And I could certainly understand if they wanted to stop there.

But how cool would it be to have an app that integrates both the 10,000 level and below, but also has sections for vision, goals and AORs and allows those to be tied together systematically? That would really be powerful. Can certainly do it offline, I've got AOR definitions now in Notebook, but would love to Ďunfragmentí all this stuff as much as possible.
 
 


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