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GTD Processing on iPhone? Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
I do most of my work at home, but I'd love to be able to take advantage of my ten-minutes-on-the-subway time to process my inbox.

I can't figure out a good way to do that on the iPhone, though. Many inbox items need to have a new project created for them. For example, "Call Jim at 555-1212" needs to be an action inside a newly-created "Sell the elephant to Jim" project.

I can convert "Call Jim" into a project, but then I have a project named "Call Jim", not "Sell the elephant to Jim". I can edit the name of the project, but then I lose his phone number. And I can't seem to create a new project from within the Inbox - or, rather, I can't create a new project inside a folder. (If I create a project called "Personal:New Project", I get a project with that literal name, including the colon.)

Is there an iPhone workflow that will let me effectively take an inbox item, create a new, properly-nested project, and move the inbox item to that new project?
I second this request.

In my attempts to process from the iPhone, I've run into roadblocks like the one described.
I guess I'm not understanding why not , go to projects , hit the plus sign to create new, enter what you want , go back to inbox and move the items into the newly created project .
That's what I do .
Ext -

I think it's probably because I have a huge inbox (>100 items), which in turn is because I never process it, which is what I'm finally trying to do :)

If I go back to the home screen and then the Project screen to create a new project, and I then go back to the Inbox, I've lost my place - I have to find the inbox item I was working on.

So it's (1) too easy to get distracted, and (2) a bunch of extra clicks: Home, Project, +, Home, Inbox, inbox item, assign the project I just created. Compared to a hypothetical "Add to a new project" button, it feels way out of the way.

When every item in the Inbox needs a new project created, it's a PITA. I tried moving things to a "Create a new project when I'm on the desktop" action, but that just moved the inbox around.
oh my .. yeah, the most i let it get to is 25..
That's a very different situation.
I guess it all comes down to omni can't really duplicate all the features on the phone from the desktop .
Maybe they can but I'm guessing it would seriously slow down the app.
I think there is a strong germ of an issue here. Which I hope the developers listen to. Whether you have 25 or 300 you should be able to process them on the iPhone. The workflow on the iPhone is an area these guys have to work on but I think it is an evolutionary issue rather than a flaw. I think the desktop app is just starting to work on all cylinders. I think there are a few more issues to resolve there (for me it is "consistency" of terms/functions throughout the program and some sort of prioritization either by "custom column" or some other solution.
I would imagine after they get desktop feature set really working they can move to a more complete iphone product.
These guys have been great in making a very solid program in which each upgrade, for me at least, has had no data loss or corruption - to meet the very first need of "the collection process" - a trusted system.
Also there are issues with the iPhone itself that have not but will evolve- namely the push notification discussed way back when. With the announcement of iPhone 3.0 one can only image the energy need to mesh the new software with all the aspects of both products.
The very fact that these guys have maintained a very active communication with there user base is impressive - I have dropped using competitive products simply because there have been a loss of communication with developer.
And lastly is the community of those that depend on this software - I have learned so much by reading how others approach the issue of collection, focus, context, and processing.
All in all between the product, Omni developers and community I have become enriched and somewhat more efficient ( I am a serial procrastinator it was my major in college!)
Current workflow I'd suggest on the phone would be to add the project-action to the inbox, and then use the 'move inside existing item' on the action you want to move; that implicitly makes it a project.

Using Jim's example: Make "sell elephant", then move "Call Jim" into "sell elephant"; no need to visit the project interface.

I think this is one of those things that's going to be a lot easier in the context of a full-size keyboard and mousing/dragging interface that the Mac offers. (If folks have suggestions for how it could be improved, of course, we're interested.)

Yes, with a hundred items in the inbox, the above suggestion may not work as well. I think this is a case where doing a review to get those actions out of the inbox, then keeping it under control going forward is probably the best approach. :-)

Last edited by Brian; 2009-03-24 at 04:05 PM.. Reason: tailor example to original post.
Suggestion for improvement:

Give me an "Add this to a new project" button on Inbox items. It doesn't need any dragging at all; you know the item that needs moving (the current inbox item) and the item I'm moving it to (the newly created project).

Have a process inbox application. Either part of OF or a separate OF app.
This could take a user through the different GTD steps of processing an item and be a series of yes / no buttons. (see workflow below).

But this idea is slightly off topic.

In reviewing project creating from an inbox action, I think this is fairly solid with the exception of a user cannot create a nested project inside of a folder by using the :.


In the inbox:
new action

select action
select project
type 'new project'
hit create 'new project'
select context
assign context
move to next item and the action has been processed from the inbox into the newly created project.

The only issue is the newly created project is not in the Home folder.
It is in the top level of projects.

You can move this project into the home folder by navigating to projects
hitting edit
then select project
move project to folder

My setup has a second level of folders inside the top:


when I create any new project from the inbox, it shows up in the root level (on the desktop version or the iPhone version).

new project

this makes it easy for me to see newly created projects that I can either place on hold (someday/maybe) or move into the appropriate folder.
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The most difficult part for me to process GTD items is email.

Would be nice of there was a way for me to process my email from the iPhone, and move new actions with a link into OmniFocus.

That and adding calendar items.

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