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Feature Request: task prioritization! Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Quote:
Originally Posted by otter View Post
Which non-GTD styles are those, precisely?
You don't have to look far on this forum to find all kinds of people using decidedly non-GTD techniques in customized, hybrid approaches, many inspired by a variety of traditional practices and other, more formalized programs. I don't know what people call them, but it's not David Allen's GTD.

In my experience, such home-grown systems seem more common than true, by-the-book GTD. In fact, around here, GTD purists are frequently branded as zealots.
 
Well, if you can't name these, could you at least describe some of these traditional practices or other more formalized programs?

There's no questioning that OF provides a large degree of flexibility for implementing GTD -- by the book or otherwise.

But what about the wholly other? What -- besides prioritization -- actually constitutes something wholly other than GTD? And how is it being implemented in OF?
 
Quote:
OmniFocus works great as a Getting Things Done® trusted system but can also be used to fit other task management styles
I think this is a little bit of marketing. Don't read too much into it. You can't expect omnigroup to curtail possible sales but calling it an only gtd app. Also, systems come and go. Maybe in 2 years gtd is still going strong, maybe it's here to stay. But it's also possible that something new comes along that steals some of its thunder. If that happens an application built on gtd principles, but advertised as usable without gtd, would be easier to sell.

Omnifocus is definitely a gtd application. The fact that some people are using omnifocus without strict gtd principles doesn't change that. I used omnifocus for months, and I use loose gtd principles, but I need priorities. No, not flagging, but a simple priority system. So I left omnifocus and I'm very happy for doing so. I'm much more productive not using omnifocus (there's many more reasons omnifocus isn't for me, but priorities was a main one).

I'm not putting down omnifocus. It's a great application, and omnigroup is a great company. It's just not for me, so I moved on (and forgot my earlier screen name, so this is a new one).

To summarize, I can understand why omnigroup is marketing omnifocus as gtd 'inspired', but I think it's a stretch to think, for most people, its going to work when principles are used that are not gtd inspired.
 
There are a lot of features in OmniFocus which allow methodologies that don't fit within traditional GTD.

For example, with the Flagged and Due Soon filters, you can sort your objects into Stephen Covey's four quadrants (Important = Flagged, Due Soon = Urgent), and using Perspectives you can give each of those quadrants a button on your toolbar (each with its own representative custom icon).

The notion of focus (i.e., focusing on your Work or Personal folder—or even a single project—and ignoring all the other actions that you could be doing in your current context) is also very different from the traditional GTD workflow (which suggests you look at everything available in your current context when deciding which to do next).

GTD suggests you only use due dates when you have a hard date that you absolutely cannot miss without making the action irrelevant, but many people using OmniFocus use due dates exclusively to plan and schedule their work load, ignoring the contexts altogether.

Some people implement more granular levels of priority by using the context list to hold priority levels (e.g., contexts like URGENT, High, Medium, Low) and ignore the way GTDers might use those contexts.

OmniFocus supports planning out a project in detail (with parallel and sequential actions), while GTD suggests you just figure out the very next action you need to do to move a project and then go to work on that.

So yes, we were inspired by GTD and we think OmniFocus does a great job of supporting GTD's patterns, but those are certainly not the only source of inspiration and those are not the only patterns it supports.

Last edited by Ken Case; 2008-06-19 at 07:09 AM..
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dandc View Post
To summarize, I can understand why omnigroup is marketing omnifocus as gtd 'inspired', but I think it's a stretch to think, for most people, its going to work when principles are used that are not gtd inspired.
You mean principles like keeping lists? I'm pretty sure they predate GTD :-)

You want a priority scheme, and can't wait until 1.2? Here are some options:

Reading a discussion on Laura's blog from about a year ago, I gather that she wanted (or F-C provides, I'm not sure which) a letter-based priority with a numeric ranking. A1, A2, A3, A4, B1, B2, etc. Anything that is an A is higher priority than anything that is a B, A2 is ahead of A4, B3 is ahead of C1, etc.

Use the duration field. It's a number. There's good support for sorting and choosing. A1=1, A2=2, A3=3, A4=4, B1=11, B2=12,... C1=21, C2=22,... D1=31, D2=32, etc. A sort by duration will now give you the list in priority order. If you want to only see things C and higher, choose Show Actions with Duration 30 minute and you'll screen out the D and E items. If you want to see what hasn't gotten a priority, choose Show Actions with Duration unestimated.

Another option would be to simply add A1: or C3: or whatever to the beginning of the action title. Sort by alphabetical order whenever you need to sort by priority.

I don't understand the fuss about the labeling. It is not factually incorrect. Omni bends over backwards to allow you a full trial of their products before any money has to change hands. Hard to see how one could try it out for a few weeks or even a few days and not notice the absence of a feature ostensibly essential to their daily workflow!
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Case View Post
So yes, we were inspired by GTD and we think OmniFocus does a great job of supporting GTD's patterns, but those are certainly not the only source of inspiration and those are not the only patterns it supports.
I have no doubt that many are using omnifocus that do not subscribe to the complete gtd system, or maybe none of it.

For me, it still felt like I was taking an application that was geared for gtd and trying to change it. The results were either frustrating or overly complicated. For me, the gtd inspiration was too strong. For others, it won't be.

By only point was that for some users the solution will be to find an application that better supports their methods. Expecting omnigroup, or any application, to please everyone is unrealistic.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Case View Post
There are a lot of features in OmniFocus which allow methodologies that don't fit within traditional GTD.

...

So yes, we were inspired by GTD and we think OmniFocus does a great job of supporting GTD's patterns, but those are certainly not the only source of inspiration and those are not the only patterns it supports.
Thanks, Ken, this is a good list of examples. It's good to get an idea what O.G. means by 'Other Styles.' It's also interesting (especially in the light of the details of this whole long thread) to see a strong statement that you do not regard OF as "strictly", "purely", "canonically" ( ... or perhaps even "mostly") a GTD app.

My thought is that there is a big unrealized marketing opportunity for O.F. in the "Other" area -- which can be tapped into basically by exemplifying the diverse styles you have identified (say for example, by having a section Entitled 'Management Styles Supported by OF' each with a link to a personal account by/about someone using these styles. ... Of course, several of these accounts would illustrate diverse GTD styles ... ).

Be that as it may, I think it's fair to say that the clearer (and stronger) the definition of O.F. you put out, the less warring there will be in places such as this forum about what O.F. is.

By the way, thank you once again for clarifying the commitment to meta tags.

- Art

Last edited by otter; 2008-06-19 at 11:20 PM..
 
Big disclaimer that I never read the David Allen book, but I think that I buy into the GTD concept.

With that said, I set up OF to do priorities entirely sufficiently to my tastes, because I was a little distracted from doing the priority tasks by my other tasks. You've probably all tried this anyway, but maybe you never thought of it.

Most of my priority stuff and non-priority stuff is in front of the computer & using a little subset of contexts. I duplicated those contexts into priority, which I should be accomplishing but put off, and normal. I grouped the priority ones into a context group. I arranged them near the top of my contexts list.

Now I really sort by three levels of priority: everything that is flagged is top of the list, everything that is in a priority context, then everything that is in a normal context.

Maybe this will be a useful idea for someone else.
 
Hey, that is an interesting idea. You can give a project overall priority by flagging the project (which makes all the actions have a phantom flag as well), and you can bump up the priority of crucial tasks in otherwise lower priority projects by just sliding them into the higher priority duplicate contexts when you do your daily overview of what you want to accomplish. Especially if you only needed to duplicate a few of your contexts, this could be a very useful approach...
 
It's my understanding that the ordering reflects the sequence, not the priority. If a task is higher than another task within a project, it will be completed before the next task begins. It is not necessarily more or less important than the next task.

Until OF implements tagging into the workflow, you can use the flagging to reflect greater priority.
 
 


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