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What are the outstanding workflow issues in 1.8? Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
In OmniFocus 1.8 (currently available as sneaky peek previews), projects and groups can show up in context mode lists, such as Context lists, Due lists, and Flagged lists. This change solves some a number of workflow issues (e.g. due inbox items and projects falling through the cracks), but it sounds like it has introduced new workflow issues as well.

I'd like to identify new workflow issues introduced by this change and figure out potential workarounds and solutions.

Here's an example issue:
With most of my projects listed under "No Context" (since they don't need one), it's hard to review the list to find individual actions which are missing a context.

Current workaround: Since projects are not considered available until all their children are complete, you can hide most projects from that list by only showing Available actions.

Disadvantages: This doesn't help you find unavailable actions which are missing a context. And projects without actions will still be in the list.

Possible solution: Add a view option which hides and shows projects and can be saved as part of the perspective.
Can you help me identify other workflow issues caused by 1.8's changes? I'd appreciate your help!
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Case View Post
With most of my projects listed under "No Context" (since they don't need one), it's hard to review the list to find individual actions which are missing a context.

Current workaround: Since projects are not considered available until all their children are complete, you can hide most projects from that list by only showing Available actions.

Disadvantages: This doesn't help you find unavailable actions which are missing a context. And projects without actions will still be in the list.

Possible solution: Add a view option which hides and shows projects and can be saved as part of the perspective.
Since you made projects/groups visually distinct in context view, I have no problems with them showing in "No Context".
I think the user should decide this through the choice made in the Inspector "Mark complete when completing the last item". If that box is ticked, group/project header is not actionable anyway and should not appear in context view at all. There shouldn't be any need for extra view options.
You might simply add a little text snippet under the "Mark complete (...)", both in Preferences and Inspector: "If you tick this box, your group and project header(s) will not appear in context view
 
Ken,

I tend to use context mode mostly for 'doing', so I'm only viewing available actions anyway. Besides that, I never have the No Context bin selected: I don't want to see the inbox items, since I haven't committed to them; and tasks don't escape my inbox without a context.

This gets at why the current implementation doesn't actually do what I hoped it would for my workflow. I expected that having parents show up in context mode would let me retire my Verify Next Actions Exist script. However, in day-to-day use I don't see any parents popping up in context mode, because I'm not viewing the No Context bin and none of my parents have a default context. (I don't use default contexts, because then tasks might automatically and accidentally get the wrong context.)

So, projects and groups still stall until my evening review when I run the script. If the script identifies a parent without an incomplete child, then I am using the No Context bin to navigate to the item.

I still like a couple of the proposals in this thread. My proposal would probably be simpler to implement, but jdh's is more flexible (assuming a default parent context preference). Either of the proposals would let me have context mode perspectives that showed stalled parents without showing the No Context items in my inbox.

In sum, I'm not personally getting much benefit from the new behavior. It's close but not quite discriminating enough to show the information I want. Based just on my own experience, I wonder whether the change in workflow required of users—and the attendant support costs of helping users through the transition—are worth the benefits. They might be, but implementing something that would allow viewing the parents while omitting the inbox items would make the difference for me.
__________________
Cheers,

Curt
 
(Third time's the charm, I hope) I've written a detailed response and lost it because of login issues. In a nutshell: I add Contexts to everything now, even if artificial, and the flow works fine.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by curt.clifton View Post
Ken,

I tend to use context mode mostly for 'doing', so I'm only viewing available actions anyway. Besides that, I never have the No Context bin selected: I don't want to see the inbox items, since I haven't committed to them; and tasks don't escape my inbox without a context.
What if you could just have the current parents display in context mode without the presence of Inbox items in the No Context bin? You could then add the No Context bin to your context mode selections to pick up the group and project parents in real time without otherwise cluttering your view, right?
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by whpalmer4 View Post
What if you could just have the current parents display in context mode without the presence of Inbox items in the No Context bin? You could then add the No Context bin to your context mode selections to pick up the group and project parents in real time without otherwise cluttering your view, right?
That would work for me, Bill. But my understanding was that having inbox items appear in context mode was an important feature for many people. (Witness the many forum posts from people confused about why their actions weren't showing up.)
__________________
Cheers,

Curt
 
Right, I was thinking that it would be an easy option to add, most likely, and perhaps one that could linger in the obscurity of a CLI setting...
 
CLI or otherwise, this would be a highly unsatisfactory solution: From the perspective of usability, it would feel like a hack. It also would not meet the needs of those of us who want their inbox items to appear in the 'No context' bin, and have an automatic mechanism for placing groups/projects in their own separate bin, and ensure that this mechanism does not implicate the 'default context' field (and therefore does not interfere with the creation of new children).

I would find it unfortunate if we—the users—started negotiating between ourselves in an apparent effort to minimize the developers' effort. Our role should rather be to request optimal solutions. I truly do believe—as I have repeated elsewhere—that it should all be easy for us [users], not for the developers.

The solutions suggested by jdh and Curt (see links above) are, in my view, the only satisfactory ones proposed so far.

Thanks.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by curt.clifton View Post
I tend to use context mode mostly for 'doing', so I'm only viewing available actions anyway. Besides that, I never have the No Context bin selected: I don't want to see the inbox items, since I haven't committed to them; and tasks don't escape my inbox without a context.
Would it help if you could put your Inbox on hold (like you can do with projects)? It sounds like this would let you retire your "Verify Next Actions Exist" script.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Case View Post
Would it help if you could put your Inbox on hold (like you can do with projects)? It sounds like this would let you retire your "Verify Next Actions Exist" script.
P.S. — You can put your Inbox "on hold" now by using this Deactivate Inbox page. This should work in the OmniFocus 1.8 sneaky peeks as well as the iPhone app—though I should note that it's not yet supported and doesn't have a lot of testing.
 
 


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