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I appreciate the time that went into the explanation, but it was a long way to go to explain your preference for child actions for waiting fors!

I would have gotten it with "I prefer to think of 'waiting for' actions as part of a sub-project/action group, so I can brainstorm any additional actions that might be needed for that sub-project when the waiting for action is completed".
 
True. I didn't know my audience.

For me, if I'm not using something the same way someone else is, I have a hard time understanding a persons workflow.

Less is more... in this case I went more... and maybe communicated less. But someone out there may have benefitted from seeing another persons workflow.
 
Agreed; it was an interesting insight into how you organize your projects. It did make me wonder once again why action groups aren't treated like projects, but that opens a whole new kettle of worms [tm].

Jason.
 
If your definition of project is... something that requires more than one action to complete... then yes, a parent is a project in that definition.

However, a project is a combination of parents & children.
Parents and children are always moving a project toward completion.
A project has no parent, other than your life, that is being moved toward completion.

I do not think any of us want an application where a project only consists of a single parent and one level of children.

We may as well go back to using a folder with a flat list of pieces of paper in it of things to do.

Allowing an action to have children that move the parent forward to completion is a tremendously powerful organizing, brainstorming and processing tool.

A waiting for action as a child action falls into this method of thinking.
The parent action cannot be completed, until the waiting for item has been completed.

When the parent item appears in the context view again, it allows a person to think:
is this completed?
if not, what will it take to move toward completion.
and you create more children to move that parent toward completion.

We already think of projects this way.
What actions (children) must I take to move the project forward to completion.

My definition of a project is...
Something you want to happen in your life that requires more than one action.

My definition of a parent action is...
an action that moves a project toward completion that requires more than one action for it's own completion.

My contention with how OmniFocus currently deals with projects and parents is...
OmniFocus is hiding projects and parents from the user.

This can be solved in one of two ways:
1. projects & parents could show up in context views
2. projects & parents with no child actions to move the parent toward completion could be grouped, or filtered so a user can see what is holding up a project or parent.

If you agree, please send a suggestion to Omni.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpiralOcean View Post
My definition of a project is...
Something you want to happen in your life that requires more than one action.

My definition of a parent action is...
an action that moves a project toward completion that requires more than one action for it's own completion.
My problem with these definitions is that they are really the same definition, which is why I don't like your model (or the current OF model) of how parent actions should work. It seems to me that you're using parent actions as a stand in for subprojects. This can work (and is the only way to do things in the current OF), but it's not the Right Way to do things because it confuses the distinction between actions and projects.

Here's the distinction between an action and a project: actions can have prerequisites, but not postrequisites, while projects can have both pre- and postrequisites. So an action might have to wait for something else to be done first, but once all the prerequisites are done, the action can be completed in a single step. On the other hand, as you say, projects are things that require multiple actions. IIRC, this is the Dave Allen definition as well.

I'll do a post a little later on How Things Should Work. (IMO, of course!)

Last edited by Chris; 2007-09-19 at 07:37 AM..
 
My distinction between a project and a parent action is...

There is nothing a project is moving forward by completing it.

We could interchange the word goal with project.

It always helps to have a specific fleshed out example of a real world project to talk about, instead of concepts.

I look forward to your specific example Chris.
 
Action groups are due for a makeover soon; they'll look more like projects and less like actions, adding the parallel/sequential control and removing the context column.

The reason projects and action groups don't show up in context mode is because they don't have a context themselves: they aren't really discrete physical actions. They're just intended to be a planning tool, and as such they only show up in planning mode. Hopefully that will be a little more clear when they don't look quite so much like normal actions.

Also, yes, Find and Replace is coming soon. (The interface is already there, but it only works within a single text field; the functionality hasn't been implemented for the outline itself yet.)
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Case View Post
Action groups are due for a makeover soon; they'll look more like projects and less like actions, adding the parallel/sequential control and removing the context column.

<snip>
Ken, I'm relatively new to GTD (but I *have* read the book. ;-) ) and project planning in general, but I've found OmniFocus a valuable organizational tool for me, even in its alpha state. I'm very pleased to see you plan on allowing action groups to be either sequential or parallel. Currently, as I define projects and tasks within a project, some tasks are definitely sequential in nature, while others are not, and the same would be true for subprojects within the project. The ability to have that flexibility with action groups would be extremely useful to me. It may or may not be part of the "true religion" of GTD, but that would allow me to use OmniFocus to mirror the way I like to organize my tasks.

My 2 cents...

--> John
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnEndahl View Post
I'm very pleased to see you plan on allowing action groups to be either sequential or parallel. Currently, as I define projects and tasks within a project, some tasks are definitely sequential in nature, while others are not, and the same would be true for subprojects within the project. The ability to have that flexibility with action groups would be extremely useful to me.
John, the function you're looking for already exists - it's just the interface that will be changing. If you open a contextual menu on an action group (e.g. Ctrl-clicking it) you will see a "Parallel" option that can be checked or unchecked to set up parallel or sequential actions respectively.
 
 


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