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Checklists (again), Omnifocus, Alternatives and 'Perfect' Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Having searched through the forums, I have come to the conclusion that Omnifocus doesn't do checklists (or at least not in the way (I think) I want to work).

One rule of the universe appears to be that there are more things to do than there is time to do them (that's why we use omnifocus - right!).

I have a number of things that I 'Should' do every day/week/month but a much shorter list of things I 'must' do.

Omnifocus is fine for the 'musts' - if I don't do them then the pain of clicking complete or switching the date is a necessary consequence.

For the once in a blue moon checklist stuff I understand that there are scripts (not much good on an iPad) that will use a template to populate omnifocus

Omnifocus can't handle the regular 'Should' checklists though - the things like 'empty bathroom bins' or 'exercise' where the world won't end if we skip it once or twice.

So what does a good checklist (to be used alongside Omnifocus) look like?
  • It doesn't try to replicate functionality in Omnifocus, so individual elements of the list don't have due dates etc. (That would make it an Action)
  • The contents of the list itself are constant (with functionality to add, edit or delete components of the list)
  • If (big If) there is a reporting/review requirement then the items should have the status completed/Uncompleted/Missed (missed is a setting for if a list 'expires', the completed is set when the user clicks the checkbox).
  • The list can repeat or not. If it does repeat it is at the frequency set. (daily, every monday, monthly 1st of month, monthly 3rd friday in month etc.)
  • A repeating list expires. Any uncompleted actions are flagged as missed and the list re-generates as uncompleted.
  • The display has a flag to show, hide or grey out completed items (hidden list = 'still to do', greyed out = 'still to do' plus gentle reminder of 'done')

So, if Omnifocus can't (or won't) add suitable checklist functionality what is the best alternative for the iPad (I don't get on well with iPhone apps that are on the iPad)?

Incidentally, I think that this is more of an iPad sort of thing. If I am working on a Mac/PC then the checklist could be kept on a spreadsheet or

If we can persuade Omnigroup to add checklist functionality what else would we want to chuck in the specification? What have I missed?
 
Still waiting on OO iPad... That might do it.
 
OmniOutliner for iPad might be a while in coming (Don't hold your breath).

I also suspect that while it would be passable for printed checklists, it won't do what I want for routine checklists.

Had a nasty experience with OO Mac and so somewhat cautious..

Phil
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by philrob View Post
OmniOutliner for iPad might be a while in coming (Don't hold your breath).

I also suspect that while it would be passable for printed checklists, it won't do what I want for routine checklists.

Had a nasty experience with OO Mac and so somewhat cautious..

Phil
What kind of nasty experience, if I may ask?
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by philrob View Post
Omnifocus can't handle the regular 'Should' checklists though - the things like 'empty bathroom bins' or 'exercise' where the world won't end if we skip it once or twice.
For what it's worth, I use no due-date actions set to "Start again [X days] after completion" for this. Once I do it, the action hides itself for a few days, then reappears and stays visible until I do it.

Does that help at all?
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian View Post
For what it's worth, I use no due-date actions set to "Start again [X days] after completion" for this. Once I do it, the action hides itself for a few days, then reappears and stays visible until I do it.
I tend to do the same as Brian - i.e. start date task with "start again"

I wonder if the issue of the checklists relates to the concept of "should"? If a maintenance task is showing up more frequently than useful, it may be worthwhile to decrease its frequency.

Another thought might be to create the list as its own project. Set that project itself to have a start date and a start again frequency. Then use a separate project to carry tasks addressing the Should task list.

In other words, one project has your "shoulds". The other project has repeating tasks to perhaps remind you to print a report of the list with the Availability filter set to "Any Status" at some set frequency. This would effectively show what was able to be completed and what wasn't. After printing the report, you could then check off the remaining tasks in your Should list so that it resets with a new start date.

If no report is needed, then instead use the task in the maintenance project to alert you as to the Should's list expiration. For extra credit, you could add a link to the Should list from the maintenance task using the Copy as Link functionality.
 
 


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