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How to quickly give status in a meeting? Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Hi all -

This may be a context flow or may be a perspective, but here's my scenario. I'm in a staff meeting. In that staff meeting I get an action item or items. I do a quick entry of that item. When I process my inbox, the action item may become a project with multiple actions. Next week, we have another staff meeting. By that time, my action items (action/projects) may be not started, partially completed, waiting on someone, or completed. It comes around to status giving time on the agenda and my boss says, "Tom, can you report on your action items?"

What's the best way for me to manage my actions in Omnifocus so that when I'm asked for my status I can look at Omnifocus and do a quick run down of everything relevant and where they are on their way to completion?

Here's a scenario. In the staff meeting. My boss gives me the action item, "Update the team wiki with the release management documentation that Bob wrote". I do a quick entry of that AI. I later process that into a simple project.

-- Email Bob to get Release Management Document (@Email)
-- Add Release Management document to team wiki (@Corp_Network)

Now... I've e-mailed Bob, and moved that action to "Waiting on" using the "Complete and Await Reply" script. I may have 5 or 6 other similar AI's that I may have completed, or not started, partially completed, etc. Next week rolls around and I'm in staff meeting again and my boss says "Give me your status". I want some easy way to view Omnifocus and be able to give a run down of everything relevant that I'm working on. I want to be able to quickly realize and report that, "I've e-mailed Bob and waiting to hear back from him on the document".

I hope I'm making sense. What's the best way of doing this? A perspective perhaps? Do I need to move the actions into a different context or project?


It sounds like you will typically have a bunch of different projects for which you might have to offer up a quick status report, correct? I'm going to further assume that you might serve a number of different masters in this regard, possibly with some overlap. For example, you've got your direct boss, and then there's the cross-functional team directing work on the new platform of which you are a part, and so on. I'll assume that someone who is interested in the status of an action which is part of project XYZ won't be unhappy about hearing the status of actions in project XYZ in general, or that you can quickly skip over items that don't apply.

You could do a reasonable approach with a project/planning mode perspective per reporting area. Depending on how many irons you have in the fire, you might wish that one could have folders of perspectives! These perspectives would include only a subset of your full sidebar, and would be fairly dynamic -- you'd have to take a new snapshot every time you added a new project (or folder of projects) to the mix. You should be able to flip through the perspectives and give a cogent report even with the boss breathing down your neck. Think of your individual projects as index cards describing what's going on with that project, and the perspectives are simply groupings of those cards to fit the expected audience, whether that be you, the boss, the new product team, etc. If you try to tackle the job by changing contexts or shuffling projects around, you'll have a difficult time organizing for more than one audience, I think.
Here's an idea...

Assuming you have "Work" Folder, you could make a "Meeting" subfolder, and drop the relevant projects in that folder just before the meeting. During the meeting you scan through the one folder (instead of every single work project). When the meeting is over, just drag the projects out of the "Meeting" folder again.
Ok... I think I've come up with a plan. I'm rewriting the "Complete and Await Reply" apple script. I'm going to make one called, "Complete and Give Status". It's only a slight modification to the original script and it'll allow me to put items into a paused context called "For Status" or something like that.

I think it'll work great.

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