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Suggestion: Have OF Import OPML files as a new Project Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
I read two articles that I found helpful regarding brainstorming a project, and another that recommends not doing the brainstorming within OF:

The author recommends that we keep project planning out of OF, which I think is an excellent & practical suggestion that helps 1) keep OF free of junk tasks/projects you haven't yet committed to and 2) helps keep the mental weight of using OF down, since you would know that any tasks you have in OF are ones you have decided to commit to (which may change upon review sessions).

The second article is by OG evangelist MacSparky who recommends we brainstorm with OmniOutliner or iThoughts HD (a mindmapping app) and make use of the versatile OPML file format.

I find those articles to be helpful since I use mindmapping with iThoughts HD when I want to have a free flow of ideas. For more structured & linear brainstorming, I tend to put my ideas down in outline form. So since both of these apps support OPML, OF can tie in better with OO by being able to import OPML files as a project.

So if we could complete MacSparky's workflow: 1) creatively brainstorm with mindmaps, 2) export the file into OO 3) sweat the details using OO & create actionable tasks 3) then export the final version of our brainstorming into OF as a project that specifies a list of tasks to execute. Can we add OPML import as a feature?
Look, if you want to use all those tools, fine. But there's no reason why you can't do your brainstorming in OmniFocus if you so choose. Make a folder, mark it dropped, and put the projects you're brainstorming in there. They won't show up in your active work, and you don't have to worry about converting between tools. When you are ready to commit to the project, move it to its proper place in your hierarchy and it becomes active. Asking Omni to deliver some new feature in a short time frame is an exercise in frustration for most.
Hey whpalmer4, appreciate the suggestion. But as you are an OF customer who consciously chose to spend $80+ on a task management app vs $0 for TextEdit or $20 for Pages, you presumably understand that it's oftentimes important to use the right tool for the right job. As I wouldn't suggest you hammer nails with a wrench, brainstorming ideas would be more effective outside of OF. Sure, it can be done, but I wouldn't trust your shelf held together by nails to reliably hold your items.

When customers make product suggestions, of course OG would have to weigh the idea on feasibility, time, value, priority, and many other factors. I wouldn't respect OG if they didn't. And one customer's suggestions shouldn't invoke a bit of defensiveness from another. Relax.
No defensiveness here, if you want to go buy one of everything in the App Store, why should I care? However, I don't see any point in buying a separate tool just because one hasn't committed to some project yet. There are long-time features present in all 3 versions of OmniFocus which allow one to effectively wall off anything that isn't on the front burner. Not everyone is aware of these features, so I'm pointing them out.

The neighbors are going to be surprised to learn that nails aren't effective at holding things together the wood framing of their house is being constructed with nails. The building inspector doesn't seem to have gotten the memo either.
FWIW, and at the risk of adding to the profusion of apps in everyone's toolbag, I do tend to sketch and refine a project as an external outline before committing to OmniFocus, mainly because (while I find OF quite wonderfully solid and dependable), I do also find it a little bit slow (certainly as an outliner anyway - part of its solidity is that a lot of prudent house-keeping seems to go on in the background each time we indent or outdent).

I use a plain text outliner for developing projects (FoldingText), and I have drafted scripts which:
  1. Export from FoldingText to OmniFocus
  2. Import OPML into FoldingText
  3. Export OPML to FoldingText

(No guarantees roughly hewn and intended for my own use but available anyway on Github).
Sometimes brainstorming outside of OmniFocus is a good idea. It depends on how we think, perceive, and process information.

For some folks, an outline format in OmniFocus or OmniOutliner is best for people who like to view a project in list format.

For other folks, planning a project in a mind map format works better. A person gets to see relationships between different nodes.

I've worked in both. It depends on how I feel. Sometimes a mind map makes more sense. Other times, a "On Hold" OmniFocus project is better.

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