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Feature Request: task prioritization! Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
whpalmer4,

Quote:
Originally Posted by whpalmer4 View Post
...(I've posted numerous workarounds over the years involving duration estimates and the notes field which largely suffice for me when I do need to avail myself of such things)...
Could you point me to those posts? I've done a quick search and not found them.

P.S.: Your private message store is full :-)
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by HiramNetherlands View Post
I'm new to GTD, but one of its features that is really improving my productivity is that it doesn't rely on prioritization. So I'm with the others here who say that if prioritization were added, the user should be able to steer clear of it altogether, hiding all related UI elements with one click in preferences.
+1 I totally agree. Should be able to turn prioritization off if it becomes one a task attribute. In general I don't find I miss this feature.
 
I'd like to be able to flag 5 or so, out of the total set of 900, for today, tomorrow, the weekend, etc. during review.

A second use is: Energy level (page 49 of GTD).

Priorities are not a priority for me.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluecoat93 View Post
Just got started with my sneaky peak, and OF is just plain *awesome*. However, there's one killer feature that is keeping me from moving over from iGTD permanently and taking my chances with the Alpha: prioritization of tasks! I realize that setting priorities is a bit "anti-GTD" to purists, but in my case it's absolutely necessary.

I'm a network engineer, so my @Online and @Computer contexts have somewhere in the neighborhood of 500 tasks between them. Without some kind of prioritization, I'm lost when it comes to wading through those. In KGTD, I hacked around this by creating contexts like @Online-P1, @Online-P2, etc., however I'd much rather be able to have all my online tasks be grouped under one true context and sorted by priority. Makes scanning, reviewing, and re-prioritizing *much* easier.

iGTD does this pretty well with their 1-5 prioritization column. I'm hoping Omni can come up with some kind of similar solution for OF.
I am with you 100% on this one!! It is logical and efficient - it beats me why there is so little take-up on the concept.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reivax View Post
Um, whatever happened to this?
WHat happened to this concept? Please OmniFocus f you thought it was a good idea then, listen to your users, some of us think it is high time you added this feature: For me specifically: I would like to be able to prioritize tasks in Context mode.
 
Prioritizing is easy when you only have a handful of tasks. But when your projects and tasks start growing, prioritizing is not as efficient.

Imagine using the ABC priority. Then use A1 for high priority, A2 for high priority but in 2nd place, A3 for 3rd place. Then B1, B2, B3, etc.

But sometimes we mislabel something as high priority when it really isn't. There is a test for Level 1 priority, Level 2 priority, and everything else.

I relabelled the following perspectives and put them on my toolbar to indicate Priorities. No tags required




High Priority - Priority 1 (originally titled Due perspective)

Refer to your Due perspective to look for urgent, high priority items. These are time-sensitive tasks that are either due or due soon. You should be working on these items first.

If I want something to be labelled as urgent, I set the due date to today. I can also set it to a future date. When that date approaches, the task will appear in this perspective because it will be due soon. When the task turns red, I know that I really have to work on this immediately because it is either due today or is already overdue.

Medium Priority - Priority 2 (originally titled flag perspective)
Refer to your flagged perspective to look for the second level of items. These are items that you want to focus on your attention this week. You can work on these items after you've finished your due tasks.

I flag all of these items to indicate Priority 2 items.

Low Priority - Priority 3 (originally titled Next Actions available)
Anything left are all discretionary tasks that can be done at your leisure.

These tasks do not have a due date and also are not flagged.


Micromanaging and shuffling things between @Online-P1, @Online-P2 will not be easy. It may look fun in the beginning. But when you start amassing a larger list, it becomes cumbersome to re-prioritize.

If you start to go granular and try to apply A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, C2, C3, you'll go nuts from micromanaging. When someone else comes in and says that their request is more urgent, you end up shuffling things downward or upward trying to move tasks around. It gets pretty pointless to prioritize because everyone else thinks their request is the most urgent. So, your priorities and someone else's priorities will not match and result in even more friction.



http://self-help.vocaboly.com/archiv...ot-work-today/

http://www.time-management-central.n...trategies.html

Last edited by wilsonng; 2013-02-26 at 10:49 PM..
 
FIrst, I agree that it would be incredibly useful to be able to reorganize tasks in a perspective like "Today". But, a workaround that I learned from David Sparks is to use the Start Date to set a specific time to do each task. If you have 500 tasks, there is NO WAY you are going to touch all 500 much less complete anything. So, you select the X number of tasks (10?) that you want to accomplish today and set a Start Time for each. In the sort field, use "start time" and in the availability field you use "Available". A task that is scheduled for 8a will sort before the one at 9a, etc. If the current time is 10a, only the tasks you want to work on prior to 10a will show on your list. They will only appear as the time encompasses them.

No idea if this helps or is unique to this thread. But, it is the workaround I use. Thanks to David Sparks.

My vote is still to providethe ability to reorganize the tasks as the user wants. Grouping and sort just need to be turned off in the perspective.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by wilsonng View Post
Prioritizing is easy when you only have a handful of tasks. But when your projects and tasks start growing, prioritizing is not as efficient.

Imagine using the ABC priority. Then use A1 for high priority, A2 for high priority but in 2nd place, A3 for 3rd place. Then B1, B2, B3, etc.

But sometimes we mislabel something as high priority when it really isn't. There is a test for Level 1 priority, Level 2 priority, and everything else.

I relabelled the following perspectives and put them on my toolbar to indicate Priorities. No tags required


High Priority - Priority 1 (originally titled Due perspective)

Refer to your Due perspective to look for urgent, high priority items. These are time-sensitive tasks that are either due or due soon. You should be working on these items first.

If I want something to be labelled as urgent, I set the due date to today. I can also set it to a future date. When that date approaches, the task will appear in this perspective because it will be due soon. When the task turns red, I know that I really have to work on this immediately because it is either due today or is already overdue.

Medium Priority - Priority 2 (originally titled flag perspective)
Refer to your flagged perspective to look for the second level of items. These are items that you want to focus on your attention this week. You can work on these items after you've finished your due tasks.

I flag all of these items to indicate Priority 2 items.

Low Priority - Priority 3 (originally titled Next Actions available)
Anything left are all discretionary tasks that can be done at your leisure.

These tasks do not have a due date and also are not flagged.


Micromanaging and shuffling things between @Online-P1, @Online-P2 will not be easy. It may look fun in the beginning. But when you start amassing a larger list, it becomes cumbersome to re-prioritize.

If you start to go granular and try to apply A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, C2, C3, you'll go nuts from micromanaging. When someone else comes in and says that their request is more urgent, you end up shuffling things downward or upward trying to move tasks around. It gets pretty pointless to prioritize because everyone else thinks their request is the most urgent. So, your priorities and someone else's priorities will not match and result in even more friction.



http://self-help.vocaboly.com/archiv...ot-work-today/

http://www.time-management-central.n...trategies.html
I am largely talking about my "Today" perspective which is derived from my planning perspectives (review of tasks and then flagging items to go into my "Today" perspective)

It's not a lot to ask: I have already narrowed down my tasks for the day (I am just talking about my active tasks that I am working on in the present - not all my multiple lists and projects) - I just want to see them in a logical order. Perhaps it's just my ADD that makes this so important to me - but surely this is logical for other people too? because I can't logically organize that list of up to 10 items, I find that I will hover over certain action items for much longer than I need to because for the 3rd time that day I am trying to make sense of it's logical order - it's distracting me, which is not productive.

I will add the ABC contexts that you suggest - as I am very frustrated not being able to put my "Today" list into a logical order.

On the bigger picture regarding prioritization of tasks - I really don't like assigning random dates and start dates (perhaps the nature of my work is more fluid than yours). I only use real dates or real start dates (very few of my tasks qualify for actual dates). I just want to know that I have some system of prioritization so that I can divide and conquer my lists efficiently - and not miss the stuff that should have been marked NOW or Urgent.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by clarejulian View Post
I am largely talking about my "Today" perspective which is derived from my planning perspectives (review of tasks and then flagging items to go into my "Today" perspective)

It's not a lot to ask: I have already narrowed down my tasks for the day (I am just talking about my active tasks that I am working on in the present - not all my multiple lists and projects) - I just want to see them in a logical order. Perhaps it's just my ADD that makes this so important to me - but surely this is logical for other people too? because I can't logically organize that list of up to 10 items, I find that I will hover over certain action items for much longer than I need to because for the 3rd time that day I am trying to make sense of it's logical order - it's distracting me, which is not productive.

ahh..... a today list.....

I have an alternate "today" list set to the following:

Context filter: Active
Grouping: Due
Sorting: Due
Availability filter: Available
Status filter: Due or flagged
Estimated time filter: Any duration

This sorts out all of my tasks so that the tasks are sorted by:
Due within the last month
Due today
Due within the next 3 months
No due date

The Due and flagged status filter combines all available tasks with a due date and flagged tasks together.


So I try to work on overdue tasks first. The first task in this grouping is the oldest due date and probably needs addressing ASAP. Then I work down the list with a first-in, first-out mentality. The first task that has the oldest due date gets worked on first.

But if I have a group of tasks where all are roughly equal in importance, I just start working on one of them. It doesn't matter which one. I just knock it off and it helps to reduce my today list down by one.

Sorting doesn't matter when most of the tasks in the group are roughly equal in importance.

It is like trying to clean a storage room. The storage room looks impossible to clear because it is cluttered from floor to ceiling with junk. All that really matters is that you just start somewhere instead of just staring at the list and delaying the inevitable - just start... You'll find momentum and naturally look at the next item on the list to do.

I was listening to an NFL football draft podcast recently. The radio host asked the guest about how he does his Power Rankings - ranking all the teams from 1 to 32. The guest said that's difficult. He just has a group of the top 5 elite teams that can realistically beat each other and were projected to go deep into the NFL playoffs. Then He has teams number 6 to 15 which represents the second level or above-average teams. Then he has teams number 16-29 which represents the average to below-average teams. Then he has teams number 30-32 as the bottomdwellers with no chance to going any higher.

Sorting these teams beyond the 4 groups becomes pointless and is a subjective choice.


I used to be obsessive about sorting. Now I just sort things into groups

Urgent (all overdue dates)
Important (due soon)
Interesting to work on this week (flagged)
Discretionary (I can do these at my discretion. No due date and no flag).


If the urgent tasks (the Priority 1 perspective) are all important, I may as well just start on the oldest overdue task first. Or just pick one - any one - and get going.



Trying to sort past the four groups led me to just sitting in front of OmniFocus trying to "plan and sort" but not really getting anything done. I thought I was "busy" by "planning". I was just procrastinating.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by wilsonng View Post
If the urgent tasks (the Priority 1 perspective) are all important, I may as well just start on the oldest overdue task first. Or just pick one - any one - and get going.
Depending on the situation, a task which is already overdue may not be quite as important as preventing a task which isn't yet overdue from becoming so. Running after the bus you've already missed may be less productive than making sure you don't miss the next one :-)

As for priorities, I rather enjoyed the natural tendency of everyone dumping their problems in my lap to label their work as the utmost priority. When everyone did it, I could work on whatever I wanted because it was all important :-)
 
 


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