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Things user wants to move to OmniFocus but struggles with single contexts. Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
+1 to have waiting as a state. I suggested this to them ages ago and wrote about it in he forums and got slaughtered in conversation by the die-hards who tried to convince me it was better their way and the only way to indicate "waiting for" should be a context. To make waiting a state makes so much more sense! No changing contexts, no creating new contexts, no hacking scripts...

I'm so pleased I'm not th only one who thinks that way =)

Although I also think, as you say, a state (like on hold or dropped) would be best way to implement it, it COULD also be done with a tag...

Please don't forget all these features for OF Mac Omnigroup. Don't put you sole focus on the iPad. Seriouly... You won't go bust if you bring out all these features in OF 2.0 for Mac! I promise. =)

Last edited by Robbie1702; 2010-04-22 at 10:39 AM..
Originally Posted by Ken Case View Post
Would it make sense for us to make [waiting] a task state like the others for OmniFocus 2?
I use waiting contexts a lot. A waiting task state would work great for me, provided it blocked subsequent (sequential) tasks. Appropriate filtering options would also be needed. It seems like a waiting task should be 'remaining' but not 'available'. We'd also might need a way to just show 'waiting' tasks in context mode for reviews. One very nice consequence of treating waiting as a separate task state is that waiting tasks could have a style to differentiate them.

@Ken - now I get it. I thought I had read another of your explanations for why multiple contexts are unnecessary recently, and I didn't get the extra work of two tasks. But with this explanation, I get it. I can add one task, and two subordinate tasks, each with a different context. If one is dependent on the other I make them sequential, if completing one of the two will suffice, I make them parallel, and simply tick off the parent task when I talk to one of the parties.

My waiting context would require a bit more work, but I guess I can make the parent context waiting, and a repeating subtask with the context of the party involved, making it repeat weekly until I get an adequate answer/action, and then check off the parent.

Thanks - after using OF everyday for over a year, I've learned something very valuable here. John
Folks mentioning the 'Waiting For' idea may be interested in this feature request I just submitted:

Last edited by cbeams; 2010-06-05 at 11:10 AM..
It seems to me that the need illustrated in your example vanishes entirely if you execute your tasks from Context mode, rather than Planning Mode. Switch to Context mode, show Available tasks, sort or group by project if you want to see tasks from the same project together. I am assuming this is a sequential project, of course.
Originally Posted by Brian View Post
I just wanted to say that I think this is a really great encapsulation of the different approaches that OmniFocus and Things take to the same underlying task, and that the most important takeaway is that neither approach is wrong.

I suspect that OmniFocus and Things both reflect the preferred work style of the folks that wrote them. That doesn't make either one more correct; just different.

I know for a fact that there are big chunks of folks that think each app got it totally wrong. For OmniFocus 2, we're going to do our darndest to create an app that gives you as much of the upside of both approaches while exposing you to as little of the downsides. :-)
let's hope apple don't bring out more new classes of device which divert omni development resources away from OF2 ; )

how is that OF2 roadmap coming along by the way?
As a Things user as well, I think its undeniable that Tags are super useful and allow for further customization views that Perspectives currently is not supporting ie, Project Perspectives, Perspectives are very good but only for context right now and since one can't assign multiple contexts per views then they can't replace tags. In another post I suggest searchable text fields and then came to the realization that those are Tags, jaja. In that Things is better than OF, that OF has more options, so true and as a customer for both iphone/desktop its obvious to me.

Guys enable tagging and let use them View option(glasses menu) add another column for that and most are problem with Project Perspectives would be gone because one just tag the project and sort by specific tag which would make sense in my humble opinion and not redraw things. Also if a Project is tagged with any tag automatically let it children inherit that tag/s very slick and powerful.
This has been a really good thread to read.

I've tried just about every GTD app out there and none fit the bill. I'm currently using things, but have OFand attempted to use it several times, but never succeeded.

My simple problem with OF is the lack of a "people" criteria. Everything said so far is great in terms of what is the next action and where does it need to occurr. Hoever, I am responsible for people and I need a way of being able to see everything related to one person easily. For all its functionality, this is not possible in OF. Some of you know doubt will say use a context, but this kills my GTD. It means I have to check every context related to every individual every day to see if there are any actions pending. In Things I can just tag each action related to an individual with its correct context and the person it relates to. By calling up the person's tag I see every task related to them.

The other danger I see with OF is that because you have to be so specific with only one context it invites the user to create to many contexts. In Things I have around 10 contexts. I would be interested to hear how many contexts you are all using in OF.

If I could crack the "people" criteria I would definitely us OF as Things has no OTA sync.
svsmailus, can you give us an example of the kind of action you're struggling with? When I delegate an action to or need to talk to a particular person, I just assign it to their context 99% of the time. (I don't also put it in my "email" or "phone" context, in other words.)

Here's a post where I describe the system I use for these kinds of actions in more detail. If that doesn't cover what you're trying to do, let us know; once we have a better understanding of the kind of actions you're struggling with, we may be able to help.
Originally Posted by svsmailus View Post
I would be interested to hear how many contexts you are all using in OF.
I have one general purpose "Errands" context which contains another 9 contexts meant to be used with the the location/mapping feature in the iOS apps. (Business searches for "Pharmacy", "Grocery Store", and "Apple Store" for example.)

I have 7 other general-purpose contexts like "Mac", "Wife", "Home", and "Phone".

I then have a whole bunch of Person and Task-group contexts related to my work at Omni, but that's what happens when you're middle management in a 40 person company. :-)

(Despite the 40-ish contexts, it works out fine. I'm able to find the stuff I need when I need it.)

Hope this helps!

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