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BIG feature request: Change the whole structure of projects Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
The Folders/Projects/Groups structure is plain confusing. We should instead just have items which act as projects if they contain other items, and act as actions if they don't contain anything else. Actions can exist at the top level, they don't need to have containers.

Users should be able to nest these action/projects to an unlimited number of levels.

Eliminate parallel projects. They're just confusing. I know what the theoretical difference is between parallel projects and the other kinds of projects. I just don't see parallel projects as useful. To the contrary, I see their existence as harmful.

Single-action lists do essentially the same thing. The default for new projects should be configurable in preferences as either sequential or single-action lists.

I plan to write this up as a feature request and submit it to the appropriate email address; I'd just like to hear from the community about it before I do, to see if I overlooked anything.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mitch Wagner View Post
The Folders/Projects/Groups structure is plain confusing. We should instead just have items which act as projects if they contain other items, and act as actions if they don't contain anything else. Actions can exist at the top level, they don't need to have containers.

Users should be able to nest these action/projects to an unlimited number of levels.

Eliminate parallel projects. They're just confusing. I know what the theoretical difference is between parallel projects and the other kinds of projects. I just don't see parallel projects as useful. To the contrary, I see their existence as harmful.

Single-action lists do essentially the same thing. The default for new projects should be configurable in preferences as either sequential or single-action lists.

I plan to write this up as a feature request and submit it to the appropriate email address; I'd just like to hear from the community about it before I do, to see if I overlooked anything.
I have to disagree. I use OF for both work and private purposes and the ability to sort my large amount of projects into folders for their various main areas of responsibility is priceless. Would I just have a long list of projects without any additional sorting, I would lose track fast. Imagine being in the office and checking the todo for the day. I do not want to go through 300 projects to find what I need to work on this very day at the office.

As for parallel projects, I do not see them as harmful. On the contrary, I think it is necessary to have projects which need a number of tasks to be done for the project to be completed and in which those tasks have the same priority / are not directly dependent. Why not do that with a single action list? Well, because to me a single action list holds all the little things I need to do at some point but which are that, single actions (like, setting out the garbage or getting a certain book from the store). Single single actions belong on a single action list from which they will simply disappear once com
Competed. Multiple single actions needed to complete a greater goal belong into a project to mark their dependency and to have them "in one place". The sorting (parallel, sequential) is only that, a way to sort them by what has - or does not have to - be done first. If none of the actions have to be done to enable me to start doing the others then that's parallel actions in a project. I want that.

May I ask why you think a different structure would be more useful? How many projects/tasks do you have and how many (all numbers roughly, of course) of those tasks are in parallel projects / single action lists?
 
I have to agree with Christian, I like the ability to set the structure up as complex or as simple as I want it to be. I have set up folders to represent my 30k, 20k, 10k and runway levels as well as a separate folder for Home. Within those folders I have projects related to that level, and nested folders for large projects. Within these nested folder projects I may have one or many projects that break down the different sections of that large project - some may be parallel, some may be sequential dependent on the needs of that part of the project. I also keep a "Notes Project" in there that is put on hold so I can keep a list of notes for that specific project all together in the same container. I also have a Single Action list on top of all that for those actions that do not fit into any project, as well as a Single Action list in my Home folder.

This separation gives me the ability to set up perspectives to see exactly what I want to see at any given time. Or, if I want to determine the status of a project at 1 PM on Tuesday because my boss asked all I have to do is focus on it's folder and I will immediately see any outstanding actions (and completed ones if I want) as well as all the notes for that particular project without having to go anywhere else to gather the information, or to do any searching.
 
Quote:
Actions can exist at the top level, they don't need to have containers.
I could be mistaken, but I believe that I read somewhere that this is being considered for 2.0.

Quote:
Eliminate parallel projects. They're just confusing. I know what the theoretical difference is between parallel projects and the other kinds of projects. I just don't see parallel projects as useful. To the contrary, I see their existence as harmful.
Just curious-why do you find them confusing, to the point of being harmful?

Quote:
Single-action lists do essentially the same thing.
Not really. Single action lists show all actions (not otherwise blocked) in the list when the Next Action filter is applied. Parallel projects show only the first, non-blocked, task when viewed with a Next Action filter. Single action lists are also, for the most part, intended to be open buckets, while projects should be completed (or terminated) at some point.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mitch Wagner View Post
The Folders/Projects/Groups structure is plain confusing. We should instead just have items which act as projects if they contain other items, and act as actions if they don't contain anything else. Actions can exist at the top level, they don't need to have containers.

Eliminate parallel projects. They're just confusing. I know what the theoretical difference is between parallel projects and the other kinds of projects. I just don't see parallel projects as useful. To the contrary, I see their existence as harmful.
I actually disagree with everything you say in the quoted parts above. Actions and projects are fundamentally different and need to be treated as stuff.

I do not have one action which is not in a project or SAL and I use Folders to segregate different types of projects. I personally would not welcome this change at all.
 
In my view, sequential projects are basically just like a sequential group and single-action lists are basically just like a parallel group. And I believe this is exactly what you're saying.

So if you don't like the folders, etc., you can just make yourself one huge single-action list at the top level and put everything in there, either as a parallel group, sequential group, or single action (possibly nested under some other group). Voila. No more folders. No more arbitrary distinctions.

That wouldn't work for me at all. But OmniFocus is extremely flexible and can accomodate many different styles of working. You shouldn't feel obligated to use folders or projects if you don't like using them.

- Aaron
 
If Groups function exactly like projects then that could make OmniFocus much more elegant for me. I need to look into that.

Thanks for everyone who responded to this thread. I meant to reply in more detail but you've given me a lot to think about. Also, my OmniFocus action list has been full and urgent lately....
 
 


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