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I recently discovered nested projects and have been playing around with them.

I'd like to be able to create a single aunt action as a serial task, with multiple "bucket" child tasks.

That made no sense, did it?

An example might be better.

Let's say I want to make an omelet, bake a cake, and cook a meatloaf. What do you need for all three of those? You need eggs. I have no eggs. So I need to set up a hierarchy like this:

1) Buy eggs

2) Make omelet

2) Bake cake

2) Prepare meatloaf.

The final three tasks on that list are all numbered 2 because it doesn't matter what order I do them in. I can make the omelet first, bake the cake, or cook the meatloaf. Doesn't matter. But I do need to get those eggs first. Can't do any of the three without the eggs.

Any way to arrange aunt and child tasks in some combination of parallel, serial, and bucket to do that?

Of course, in the time I've spent pondering this question I could have done all the tasks on the list many times over....
 
Absolutely. Action groups are extremely powerful in planning projects. You can layout some really complex series of actions if you want (not that I'd ever waste precious time doing such a silly thing ;-).

Anyway, your "Cooking Project" might look like this:

Code:
Prepare Meals (serial project)
    - Buy eggs
    - Prepare dishes (parallel action group)
        - Make omelet
        - Bake cake
        - Prepare meatloaf
By making your project serial, only the "Buy eggs" task is available initially; everything else is blocked. Once you complete the "Buy eggs" task, however, all the tasks in the "Prepare dishes" action group become available because it's set for parallel execution.

BTW, what you refer to as a "nested project" is officially called an action group. It's similar to a nested project but isn't really (hence the different name).

Hope this helps.

-Dennis

Last edited by Toadling; 2008-10-28 at 04:21 PM..
 
Dennis - Thanks! That works! What is the difference between an action group and a nested project?
 
I'm glad that worked for you, Mitch.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mitch Wagner View Post
What is the difference between an action group and a nested project?
In OmniFocus 1.0.3 and the upcoming 1.5, action groups are really kind of a cross between projects and actions, but they're probably closer to actions than projects. Here are several differences:
  1. Action groups don't have the same state settings as projects and single-action lists (i.e. they cannot be dropped or put on hold). In this regard, they behave more like regular actions with only two states: completed or not completed. Also note that action groups aren't considered for the "next" and "available" action states, but rather resolve to their contained actions.

  2. Action groups don't have their own review intervals. Instead, they get grouped for review by their containing project or single-action list again, just like regular actions.

  3. Action groups aren't displayed as "headings" when you set your view bar to group by project in context mode.

  4. Action groups don't appear in the project menu for each row (e.g. in the project column that appears in the inbox on in context mode).

  5. Action groups don't show up alongside projects and single-action lists in the sidebar.

  6. You can't focus on action groups like can be done with projects and single-action lists.

  7. Unlike regular actions, however, action groups do not show up as do-able tasks in context mode. They're strictly an organizational structure for your actions, appearing only in planning mode.

  8. Like projects and single-action lists, action groups can contain actions and other action groups, can be set for parallel or serial execution, and, of course, can be expanded/collapsed for easier viewing.

Did I forget anything? Well, it's at least as start. :-)

-Dennis

PS - This forum contains a lot of discussion on the purpose and behavior of action groups, particularly from earlier this year. Some people like them the way they are, other people don't. So the behavior of action groups may change in future versions of OmniFocus.

Last edited by Toadling; 2008-10-29 at 11:21 AM..
 
 


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