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Keeping notes with a project? Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
I'm new to OF, and was hoping there was a clean way of doing the following.

One of my "projects" is a committee that I'm on. The meetings we have are action items, as are the things I specifically have to do for the committee. I would love to be able to integrate my meeting notes, rough thoughts, whatever, in with the action items themselves (so that when I'm reviewing the work to be done, and planning additional actions, I have the full picture). The committee work is ongoing, so this is something where I'm continually revising and adjusting the plan, and the notes are critical for doing this.

Is there a way to mark an item as "non-action"? My notes are not something that makes sense to "complete" -- and I don't want them to disappear from view when I check them off. Notes should not show up on a list of "next things to do."

I'm using OF on both my Mac, and my iPhone. If I keep my notes in a separate file on the Mac, I won't be able to read them on the iPhone.

So far, I'm loving OmniFocus. I had been trying to do a paper version of GTD for about a year, but kept falling off the wagon. OF seems to be much easier for me to drive, and simple enough that I think I'll be able to keep things under control.
 
Maybe not the most elegant solution but what works for me is to have a "NA" context. I put it all the way at the bottom of the context list. This way my notes are with my projects, and I just ignore the "NA" context when working out of context view.
 
I've been using Evernote for my notes.

They have a desktop client that you can enter your notes into, and those notes get synced to a server.

They have an iPhone app to access the server. One of the drawbacks with using Evernote is it is web server based. If you aren't connected to the internet you have no chance of seeing your notes.

They recently added a preference to mark notes that you want to store on the phone.
 
Or add your notes to the project itself.
 
Thanks for the suggestions; I think I'll go with the NA context approach -- not ideal, but it gets the job done. I'll send Omni a feature suggestion, and with luck, a good solution will appear at some point.

I've looked at Evernote; cool idea, but I'm hoping to avoid having things stored externally to the main bucket.

In the iPhone sync, it seems like the notes listed under the project itself are not propagated. I can see the note on an individual action item, but not the project itself.

Anyway, thanks again -- I appreciate the input.
 
Along with using OF I also use SOHO notes, so that might be an option.
 
This can easily get into a much-too-long discussion about modality of your information and so on, but here are my sacred rules for information management:
  • OmniFocus is my central nervous system for everything related to Projects.
  • Evernote is my central nervous system for odds-and-ends and general knowledge.

Those two facts work hand-in-hand with the following corollary:
  • Each Project has a Name. This Name, like a child's name, is unique to a project, and must be used in its complete form. This is the tie that binds us; it minimizes "glue" necessary to keep a system together. When a piece of information is tied to a Project, it will have the Name of that Project in some form or fashion. If the information is a random file, it will live inside a folder with the Project's Name. If it is an email, it will live in a folder with the Project's Name. If it's a web bookmark, it will be tagged with the Project's Name. And so on. And so forth.


I use the OmniFocus Project's Notes field as the be-all-end-all of information for that project. That doesn't necessarily mean that EVERYTHING lives inside the OF document, but I know I can ALWAYS go there to START looking for something tied to a project.

Info that is SOLELY tied to A project goes directly in the Project's notes. In my job, a "Project" usually comes with a link to one or more web pages, several files on my hard drive, and some random notes. I'll add links to the web sites directly into the notes section of the project. I'll also include an alias to that project's folder on the hard drive. If a project is big enough to require its own folder/tag in Mail.app, I'll create that, then note it in the Project notes. (Man, I wish you could create hyperlinks to Mail.app folders in addition to specific messages).

Notes are where it gets really tricky. Most of the time, when I start taking notes, I just open TextMate and start typing. After I'm done, I have to decide what to do with it. If it's info that's only applicable to a project, I put it in journal-style in the notes of the project. (Some of my notes sections get pretty long.) If it's more "general info" about technology or something like that, I'll add it as a new note in Evernote and tag it with my Project Name.

If stuff really starts to pile up in a project, I'll create a Smart Folder in the finder that searches for my Project Name (there it is again). This will show me EVERYTHING related to the project. I'll link to that from the OF notes as well.

tl;dr: Separate project-related and general information. If something's tied to a project, make sure it's connected to something that has that project's name in a form you'll use repeatedly.
 
Excellent response cebailey. I do much of the same things you do with the exception of not being as disciplined with the project name. This can bite me when I have a different project name in the mail project folder than I do in OF.

I haven't used notes in OF to create links or even to document a project. And I haven't created project names in Evernote. I'll usually create some kind of note title in Evernote and then a few tags like work or home and any specific tags, like a vendor.

One trick I do with projects in Mail and on my hard drive is to place a bullet in front of them. (option + 8) Shorthand for 'stake in the ground'. This will sometimes force a name to the top of a list if sorted alphabetically.

Thanks for the detailed look into your workflow.
 
SpiralOcean, I learned the hard way about project names. It makes everything a lot easier when you know you have a set phrase to search for. Plus, you can use TextExpander to make your life easier :)
 
Can I see a project's note in the iPhone app?
 
 


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