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OmniThings; Blackbelts: Please show us your complete workflows Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Is there anything speaking against a Someday/Maybe SAL?
I use the method of putting projects on hold as well for someday/maybes, but only for things that i have a vague plan for. Stuff like 'visit japan' goes on the SAL.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jasong View Post
So, with that background, I often find that I have many single action list items that I need to put on hold, because they are no longer "important" enough for me to complete.

...

What I've been doing instead is turning it into an actual project and *then* putting it on hold. I do this relatively easily by selecting the item, hitting command-[ to "outdent" it, which makes it a project.
If you are saying that the issue in THIS example (and that it happens frequently for you) is that it's not a project, it's really a single-action-list-type action and you don't want it to have to be a project but you want it on hold...couldn't you just have a separate SAL that's On-Hold SA's and move it from one (active) SAL to another SAL (on-hold)?

ETA: I hadn't read Linada's post before posting because I hadn't noticed that there was a page 2.

Last edited by malisa; 2010-02-21 at 05:36 AM..
 
On a positive note about converting a single action to a project is it is easily seen in the completed projects view. Makes me feel like I've done something. :)

One way to organize these is to create a folder for all these single action projects.
 
There's nothing *wrong* with using a SAL for someday/maybe items. In my case, it breaks my workflow and organization.

For example, I have a Personal folder and a Work folder. I have Single Action Lists for each of those already. I'd then need SALs for someday/maybe items in those folders.

Then, it's not very easy to move an action in a SAL to another SAL, unless you have both items showing in your Focus/Filter list, or you have the Project column showing in your Perspectives.

Neither are show-stoppers if these things are already true in your workflow, of course. For me, they add a level of additional mental twisting that seems unnecessary, if only I could just put a SAL item "on hold", or treat projects and actions equally.

One of the things I love about OF is that I can bend and twist it in dozens of ways; one of things I dislike about OF is that I sometimes need to bend and twist *me* to fit OF's ways.
 
Hi Robbie1702,

You might find some workflow ideas in this old thread of mine.

Regards,

Jhn
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robbie1702 View Post
2) How does anyone using OmniFocus deal with not being able to put single actions on hold? - The lack of this feature just blows my mind whenever I try to use my workflow on a daily basis. There simply are single actions in my projects I want to put on hold, but there just seems to be no way to do so...!
Tab over to the start date column, type "2099". Done. It won't show up on your active list in this lifetime. If you want to look for all your "on hold" actions, bring up a context mode view, grouped by start date, sorted by start date, and those "on hold" actions will all be at the end of the "Start more than a year from now" group.

Last edited by whpalmer4; 2010-02-21 at 05:10 PM.. Reason: Duh, meant start dates, not due dates
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by curt.clifton View Post
I just create a task like "From Alice, completed TPS reports" and give it a Waiting For context and perhaps a future start date. There's no other appropriate context for that task. My only action is to wait. If the start date rolls around and Alice hasn't gotten back to me, then I have a new task, "Remind Alice about TPS reports". (Or more often than not, I use the two-minute rule and fire off an email reminder. In that case I push the start date on the "From Alice" task off for a couple of days.) I catch Waiting For tasks with start dates in my morning tickler review. I catch other Waiting For tasks in my weekly review.
I don't get it how is the "From Alice" item even a task? Why would you want it distracting you until it's time to "Remind Alice..."? Seems to me that all you need is the "Remind Alice" task with an appropriate context (@Phone, @E-mail, @Agenda:Alice or whatever) and start date. It's easier just to delete it if it pops up after Alice has actually turned in the reports, than to go to the trouble of creating a separate waiting-for task (and context to hold it) beforehand. Your only actual task is to follow up if Alice is late; otherwise you can deal with the report when she hands it in on time just as you would any other inbox item.

I can imagine a scenario where I'm waiting indefinitely for something to happen, not taking action until then, and want to be reminded to check whether the trigger event has happened ("Has Stella finished her dissertation yet? If so, call her up and congratulate her"). But even there, "waiting" isn't an action, and the easiest way to deal with it is still to have a single task, with the appropriate context for the actual action, and reset the start date at whatever interval is appropriate.

I've never seen the utility of having everything I might be waiting for (but can't actually do anything about right now) in a separate list or context.
 
I'm waiting for the item from Alice. It blocks the subsequent tasks in my project. If I don't want it distracting me, I put a future start date on it. When the start date roles around, if I've received the item then I check off the task and move ahead with the project. I don't want an item popping up telling me to Remind Alice about the TPS reports if, in fact, she already gave them to me. If I did it that way, then I'd have to evaluate every Remind action before doing it. As it is, I have to evaluate every Waiting For action, but those are neatly identified with this system and are captured in my tickler review.

This system works fine for me. The OP specifically asked what I'm doing. I answered. If that doesn't work for you, feel free to do something different. I won't have an argument about which approach is right.
__________________
Cheers,

Curt
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by curt.clifton View Post
I'm waiting for the item from Alice. It blocks the subsequent tasks in my project. If I don't want it distracting me, I put a future start date on it. When the start date roles around, if I've received the item then I check off the task and move ahead with the project. I don't want an item popping up telling me to Remind Alice about the TPS reports if, in fact, she already gave them to me. If I did it that way, then I'd have to evaluate every Remind action before doing it. As it is, I have to evaluate every Waiting For action, but those are neatly identified with this system and are captured in my tickler review.

This system works fine for me. The OP specifically asked what I'm doing. I answered. If that doesn't work for you, feel free to do something different. I won't have an argument about which approach is right.
I'm sorry if I sounded a little brusque. I don't think of it as an argument, but rather as a discussion of best practices. Which is what this forum is for, isn't it?

So, if you have an action with a future start date blocking a sequential project, whether the action is "Waiting for Alice" with context @WaitingFor or "Remind Alice" with context @E-mail doesn't alter the blocking effect. And either way, assuming you have a mind like water, what will trigger your going back to that project will be one of two things, either receiving the report from Alice or having the task with the start date pop up. "Having to evaluate every Remind action" is not really an issue, since you end up evaluating the action when it comes up either way. If Alice was on time and you returned to the project before the deadline, the only difference is checking off your Waiting action versus deleting my Remind action.

Other than that, the difference is that, my way, 1) you don't have to generate a new, separate Remind action when your Waiting action comes up, and 2) the separate Waiting For review is eliminated which seems like a pretty significant savings of overhead to me. If it makes you more comfortable, you can phrase the action in if-then form.

Of course I'm not telling you that you must do things my way. That would be silly.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robbie1702 View Post

2) How does anyone using OmniFocus deal with not being able to put single actions on hold? - The lack of this feature just blows my mind whenever I try to use my workflow on a daily basis. There simply are single actions in my projects I want to put on hold, but there just seems to be no way to do so...!

3) Waiting for stuff to be done by others. - I just want to be able to mark single actions with a tag that says "waiting". That way I could just include that tag in a perspective filter (like in Things) and see all my 'waiting for"s without altering their context or place within my folder structure.
I feel like I'm still an OmniFocus Newbie, as I've only been using the software for about 4 months, but in my workflow, I handle both of these issues the same way - I flag these items.

I know that's not the normal way people use flags, but I got into that habit with Mail about a year ago (when I had to use Mail as my to-do list, because I didn't have OmniFocus) due to the way I was using smart folders to filter things. Basically, I had two "filter" mailboxes - one that pulled everything that wasn't in my Archive folders, and one that pulled all flagged items. Then, I created other smart folders that acted like the projects I now have set up in OF, but would have the smart folder exclude anything from my flagged items folder. That way, I had a simple way to hide a task/email I couldn't do something on, but it could stay in the appropriate project folder.

When I moved over to OmniFocus, I did something similar since I was already familiar with that use of the flag. So, my "Work" perspective is set up to show me only unflagged items. If I'm waiting for someone to get back to me, or need to "hold" an item indefinitely, I'll flag it, and it disappears from my list.

To keep from losing those items, I created a "Waiting" perspective as well, which shows me everything that is flagged. I can then periodically review the Waiting perspective to see if something needs to be poked on again, if it should be unflagged, or if it's done now, and I should check it off.

Obviously, trying to do this wouldn't work if you use the flag to denote items that are higher importance than others, but it's a trick I've found to be very useful for me.

Thanks!
 
 


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