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I wanted to make a suggestion for a feature in OmniFocus. I have created a work-around for this functionality, but imagine it could be implemented better as an explicit software feature. Forgive me if this actually does exist, if the suggestion has already been made, or it is philosophically at odds with the OmniFocus approach.

One of things I like to do is keep track of progress in working to complete an action item. Say, for example, I have an action item to "Get information from Tom on new product announcement." The first thing I will likely do is email Tom to request the information. After I send the email, I create a note a note in the action item as follows:

15/03/10 - Sent Tom email requesting information: "Link to email I sent"

Where it says "Link to email I sent" is, of course, a link to the email I sent Tom. I do this by going into my "sent messages" and dragging the email over to the notes section. This creates a hyperlink to the original email. I find this useful to keep track of the status of the action item and to recall what I have already done. Often, I will click on the email link to send it again if I haven't gotten a response or to jog my memory on what I requested.

If, for example, Tom responds to my email and suggests I contact someone else for the information, I then note the new progress in the notes section of the action item. For example:

15/03/10 - Sent Tom email requesting information: "Link to email I sent"
16/03/10 - Sent Jane email requesting information based on Tom's suggestion: "Link to email I sent"

And so on and so forth. I know some might suggest I should create a project with an action for each of these steps, but sometimes it's just easier to create fewer action items and then track progress within the action.

So, while my work-around works, it's a bit cumbersome. It would be nice to have a solution integrated within OmniFocus. I would imagine this could be accomplished by adding a new section to the action called "Tracking". By clicking a "+" icon, one could add a new tracking entry that would default to today's date (but allow you to select a different date, if necessary) and then one would type comments about the particular status update.

To go even further, it would be nice to have a service in applications (e.g. Apple Mail) where one could select a mail message and send it to OmniFocus as a tracking item.

I'm sure there are many ways this could be implemented, but I just wanted to throw out my ideas.

Thanks for listening!

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