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How to deal with delegated or "waiting for" actions Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
I'm new to GTD and omnifocus on the mac and iPhone. What are some solutions to indicate that I'm waiting for an action? I see how I can do this with a particular project, but not a specific action. Right now I'm considering moving the action to a specific context.
 
Creating one (or several) contexts that are in the On Hold state and assigning actions to that context is a popular approach.

Here's what I prefer, though: I have contexts for the various folks I work with, so I don't have actions like "email Steve about secret lair". I know who it's for from the context, so I just have an "email about secret lair" action.

Once it's done/delegated, I bump the start date and add "check on " to the action name. The future start date keeps it off my active list until that date rolls back around, at which point it pops back on automatically.

This works for me, without requiring a separate context to hold those actions I'm waiting on. They just stay in the context for the person the task was handed off to.

Last edited by Brian; 2010-05-04 at 01:48 PM.. Reason: clarify my method a bit
 
I have a [single] "Waiting For" context setup in my context lists.

So, let's say that I have an action with a "Phone" context. I make that phone call on the prescribed date, but now need to wait for something back from the person I called in order to move the project forward. I briefly write down a summary of the call in the note section under that "Phone" action, and then change the context to "Waiting For" with a due date of, say, three days out.

Now, three days later when I'm in context view I can readily see that a red badge next to my "Waiting For" context indicates that I have one item due. I click on the "Waiting For" context, and there it is, a recap of that phone call of three days ago. Since I haven't yet received whatever it was I was waiting for,

I now have three choices: a) Call that person to follow-up; b) Bump the due date forward another two or three days; or c) Ignore it and let the action sit there in red until I do something with it.

Last edited by Brian; 2010-05-04 at 01:45 PM.. Reason: make clearer that keone has a single waiting context
 
This is helpful. Thank you. I have a waiting for context now. This is helpful to flag things for later. Setting it as a context makes it easy on the fly.

For some reason, I have a project labeled "waiting for." Is there any sense in this? If its tagged with the context, then I can leave it with the appropriate project.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bisimpson View Post
For some reason, I have a project labeled "waiting for." Is there any sense in this? If its tagged with the context, then I can leave it with the appropriate project.
No, there is no sense in it. By creating a separate project of all of your "Waiting For" actions, I think you were trying to accumulate them together in one area in order to stay on top of them. However, now that you have a "Waiting For" context, let OF accumulate them for you in the context view. That way you can keep all "Waiting For" actions in their respective projects. Just make sure that when in context view, you have the "Project" column visible in the right panel. That is "Project" should be checked in the Columns preferences (VIEW>COLUMNS>PROJECT). That way, you'll readily see the projects that your "Waiting For" actions are linked to.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by keone View Post
I have a [single] "Waiting For" context setup in my context lists.

So, let's say that I have an action with a "Phone" context. I make that phone call on the prescribed date, but now need to wait for something back from the person I called in order to move the project forward. I briefly write down a summary of the call in the note section under that "Phone" action, and then change the context to "Waiting For" with a due date of, say, three days out.

Now, three days later when I'm in context view I can readily see that a red badge next to my "Waiting For" context indicates that I have one item due. I click on the "Waiting For" context, and there it is, a recap of that phone call of three days ago. Since I haven't yet received whatever it was I was waiting for,

I now have three choices: a) Call that person to follow-up; b) Bump the due date forward another two or three days; or c) Ignore it and let the action sit there in red until I do something with it.
This is how I am going to deal with it from now on. I hate having overdue actions with a @waiting context. I'll start bumping the date out. One thing I'm struggling with is projects:

Web Design Project
1. Input content
2. Send Sample
3. Upload

That's very basic, but when I lay out a project, I want to have every action with a start and due date. If I have #1 with a due date of tomorrow and #2 a due date of Saturday and #3 with a due date of Sunday, when I can't take action on #1 b/c I've not been sent the content yet, I end up having to bump everything back b/c if I dont, the due dates will be wrong. I am using sequential tasks here. Any advice here?
 
Use Dan Byler's Defer script: http://bylr.net/files/omnifocus
Defer will change the dates for multiple items simultaneously, and is great for things like adjusting the remainder of a project when a delay strikes.

Also, don't put on more dates than necessary, especially due dates. A start date on each action isn't really necessary in a sequential project unless you are not willing or able to start on an action before the start date.
 
So basically leave the 2nd action no start/no due and when I complete the first action, decide when it starts/is due? Wow, that makes a ton of sense and I really dont know why I never thought of that
 
Has anyone come up with an easy method of emailing OF tasks with notes to colleagues? While I have a good method of tracking delegated tasks within OF, it would be a huge timesaver to be able to export an individual OF entry (with notes) to my email client (or any kind of text/report) and send it straight to the colleague that I need to chase for an update.

Thanks
 
I'm reading over the GTD and Omnifocus document, and in the "Delegate It" discussion on page 11, it mentions putting the action into the "On Hold" context or "Waiting" context, or even creating a context for the specific person you're waiting for.

What's the difference between these approaches?

Steve
 
 


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