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How do I use "Waiting For" or "@waiting"? Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
No offense Shirley : ) [never heard that expression before], but I think we're talking past one another here. I shall not try to dissect each one of your answers to either of my statements, which are often boldly misunderstood, for the confusion could take ages to unravel....

All I'd appreciate is if the real Dennis (not the one from the example) could kindly help me out and give me practical advice by laying out how he deals with "waiting, someday/maybe and on hold" - since he seemingly has figured out how to make his OF work for him.
 
It's a quote from the disaster movie spoof "Airplane!" -- the entire flight crew has gotten sick from food poisoning, and the only other pilot they've found on board (Striker) is afraid of flying:

Rumack: Can you fly this plane, and land it?
Ted Striker: Surely you can't be serious.
Rumack: I am serious... and don't call me Shirley.

I don't recall if Dennis has ever laid out his complete workflow, though he does have a thread planning the 2009 (San Francisco) Bay Area OmniFocus get together at the end of this month, and I'm sure he'd be happy to explain it in detail if you attend :-)

As for the reluctance to split things into their component actions, Curt Clifton has penned a script that will automate this in his Complete and Await Reply script. To quote from his description:
This one marks the selected action as complete and creates a new action, like the selected one but prefixed with “Reply on:” and placed in your Waiting For context. Great for email and other actions where you expect a reply.
Proof that I'm not the only lunatic who thinks these are separate actions :-)
 
Haha, that shirley is funny =)

I'd love to come to San Francisco for Omnifocus, but I live in the UK, so the closest thing to attending that get together for me would be to stare at my Golden Gate bridge painting hanging on the wall next to me...

It would be brilliant though, if some real "blackbelts" in GTD using Omnifocus could publish their entire layouts (routines, templates, project folders, someday maybe lists, due dates, start dates, repeating due dates, review strategies, shopping lists, single action lists, contexts, ways they formulate actions etc... EVERYTHING) onto a page for all "non-blackbelts" to view so they can learn from it. I know there is no one single way of organising things, but some excellent examples would surely be helpful to sooooo many people.

(I'd be happy to share my own content, but as you can tell by my frustration with "waiting", someday/maybe, on-hold and still refining my review strategy - I'm far from blackbelt)

With regards to the script - I don't see why it can't be built into OF if it's so useful... But besides, until someone can prove me wrong: waiting is still NO CONTEXT in my books - it's a state of an action (like "on hold"). A context is an ESSENTIAL PHYSICAL REQUIREMENT I NEED to complete an action (Tool, person etc.). If the person I need to see to complete the task is "Peter" (i.e. the context), why would I EVER need to change the context to anything else - simply because I'm waiting for him "Peter" - and not him "Peter:Waiting". I simply need to see "Peter". The thing is - if I am with Peter and I click on the context "Peter" (on my iPhone or Mac) to see what I need to get done in his presence, I will fail to see the tasks that are in "Waiting:Peter". Hence there should only be ONE context (i.e. "Peter) - PLUS the option to right click a little status button (as suggested in the feature request) indicating that I'm waiting for him to do something.

Ohhh blackbelts, let us see how you do it...!

Sometimes I wish I had stuck to Microsoft(!) Word Notebook Layout for managing my life .................. : P

Best list manager ever :D :D :D

Robert
 
I've just read up on this thread that seems to have spanned for years now.

As for myself, any action step in a project that involves me waiting for some one/thing will be added the "Waiting For" context. Doesn't matter what it is, whether its a phone call or package in the mail to arrive. It'll be @ my waiting for context and is always viewable in my available context. I don't really focus on it since theres not much to do but "wait" for the person or thing to get back to me. Yet its still available so I know i'm waiting on it; I don't fret over it yet its there if I wanna set it. Plus it also helps seeing a few actions steps there explaining why a few projects aren't inching forward; i'm simply just waiting.

Has worked well for me so far.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robbie1702 View Post
It would be brilliant though, if some real "blackbelts" in GTD using Omnifocus could publish their entire layouts (routines, templates, project folders, someday maybe lists, due dates, start dates, repeating due dates, review strategies, shopping lists, single action lists, contexts, ways they formulate actions etc... EVERYTHING) onto a page for all "non-blackbelts" to view so they can learn from it. I know there is no one single way of organising things, but some excellent examples would surely be helpful to sooooo many people.
A lot of us have posted this sort of thing, though rarely all in one place, and some of it is admittedly difficult to dig up even if you sort of remember the post! You might find it productive to just do an advanced search on the forum for posts by Toadling, Curt.Clifton, and Ken Case to name a few that have taught me quite a bit. Some of the more contentious discussions that rattle on for many pages have quite a bit of good material -- I'm thinking of threads on multiple contexts, tagging, and oh, yeah, how to use waiting contexts :-)
Quote:
With regards to the script - I don't see why it can't be built into OF if it's so useful...
Ah, but someone just retooled the script for a very different purpose (take an action and turn it into an email to someone, complete with attachments) and that wouldn't necessarily have been possible if this was a built-in feature. Built-in features are nice, but the ability to build your own features is often even nicer, especially if your desired features depart from the mainstream view! And given that Omni can only devote a small amount of engineering effort (relative to the size of the union of everyone's wish list), it's better that they spend the effort implementing features that can't feasibly be done by 3rd parties.
Quote:
But besides, until someone can prove me wrong: waiting is still NO CONTEXT in my books - it's a state of an action (like "on hold"). A context is an ESSENTIAL PHYSICAL REQUIREMENT I NEED to complete an action (Tool, person etc.). If the person I need to see to complete the task is "Peter" (i.e. the context), why would I EVER need to change the context to anything else - simply because I'm waiting for him "Peter" - and not him "Peter:Waiting". I simply need to see "Peter". The thing is - if I am with Peter and I click on the context "Peter" (on my iPhone or Mac) to see what I need to get done in his presence, I will fail to see the tasks that are in "Waiting:Peter". Hence there should only be ONE context (i.e. "Peter) - PLUS the option to right click a little status button (as suggested in the feature request) indicating that I'm waiting for him to do something.
You do yourself a disservice by sticking to the notion of a context being an essential physical requirement. It's actually a much more flexible tool if you lift that restriction and think of it as a way of grouping or subdividing your tasks. Ken's post gives some nice examples of what might be termed virtual contexts, and read the rest of the thread for more examples (there's another very descriptive one from him a few posts earlier).

I agree that having multiple contexts where your interactions with Peter might be filed can be a cause for trouble if checking them all isn't second nature. However, OmniFocus doesn't force you to use such a structure if it doesn't provide you with sufficient benefit. You could equally well just have put both the "send Peter email requesting quarterly report" and the "receive quarterly report from Peter" actions in your Agenda : Peter context, and not have a Waiting for : Peter context at all. What you lose by doing that is the ability to have a context you can look at to see all the things you are waiting for, but maybe that isn't of much utility to you. You could also come up with a standardized fashion of noting such actions, like prefacing the action name with "Waiting For:" so that you could do a search to pull them all out if you needed a list. Perspectives retain a search string present when the perspective is captured, so you can even set it up as a toolbar button.

Examples are good, and I agree it would be very helpful to new users and seasoned veterans alike to be able to see detailed examples of different working practices (indeed, seeing how others approach the tools is one of the primary attractions of the forums for me). I strongly believe, however, that there is significant value in experimenting a bit in order to make an informed choice. And even after you settle on a choice, look back after 3 or 6 months and think about what has worked well and what creates friction. There's no universal truth that says the correct approach for you now should always be the correct approach.
 
Haha, these philosophical discussions could go on forever...

All I was trying to do was to suggest a feature that would make life easier. I'm not saying it's the only way - of course there are workarounds, but -in my view- it would be a more intuitive and quicker way of marking "waiting" single actions/projects. Maybe the OmniFolks will consider it in their new build =)

For now I'll just plow through the blackbelts' posts and see how I can get it to work for me right now.

Got to go..... to get things done....... and not only talk about it =)

Robert
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robbie1702 View Post
All I'd appreciate is if the real Dennis (not the one from the example) could kindly help me out and give me practical advice by laying out how he deals with "waiting, someday/maybe and on hold" - since he seemingly has figured out how to make his OF work for him.
I'm afraid I don't really have a "silver bullet" answer for you, Robert. I think the only real difference between my approach and yours is philosphical.

I treat "waiting for" items just like any other action in my system. I don't view them as being in any kind of special state. In fact, I rarely use any kind of "waiting" context either.

If I'm tracking an action that requires some input from an outside party (usually a person), I simply assign that person's context to the action.

Quote:
Wait for Natalie to review user documentation @Natalie
If the action is waiting on some entity that I don't have a "person" context for, I use a medium-based context (i.e. the medium by which the entity is most likely to respond).

Quote:
Wait for response from OmniFocus ninja @email
If absolutely nothing else fits, then I might throw the action in my waiting context simply because I can't think of anything better. But this is pretty rare.

Quote:
Wait for economy to improve @waiting
Of course, the down side to this approach is that I can't easily bring up a consolidated "waiting for" list (other than searching for the string "Waiting for"). I know David Allen suggests making such a list -- maybe it's useful in a paper-based system -- but I just never found much need for it in OmniFocus.

If I have Natalie on the phone or run into her in the cafeteria, I can quickly bring up her context and see that I'm still waiting for her review of the user documentation. If I'm working through my email in the morning, I can check my email context and see that I'm still waiting for the OmniFocus ninja to respond about that great feature request I submitted. And if I really need to keep a close eye on a particular "waiting for" item, I can always flag it or assign a due date.

Hope this helps.

-Dennis
 
Thanks, I'll try it out and see if it works for me... =)
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Toadling View Post
Of course, the down side to this approach is that I can't easily bring up a consolidated "waiting for" list (other than searching for the string "Waiting for"). I know David Allen suggests making such a list -- maybe it's useful in a paper-based system -- but I just never found much need for it in OmniFocus.
The unwritten key to your system, Dennis, is that you got religion about doing your reviews, and so you can trust that you'll notice in relatively short order that you're still waiting for Natalie to get that review done, even though you don't have a list of things you are waiting on. Without that safety net of knowing you're going to put your eyeballs on that project on a regular basis, the ability to generate and check a list of "actions receivable", to coin a term, is invaluable. Those of us who prefer the comfort of both suspenders and a belt can do reviews and keep a list, too :-)
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by whpalmer4 View Post
The unwritten key to your system, Dennis, is that you got religion about doing your reviews, and so you can trust that you'll notice in relatively short order that you're still waiting for Natalie to get that review done, even though you don't have a list of things you are waiting on. Without that safety net of knowing you're going to put your eyeballs on that project on a regular basis, the ability to generate and check a list of "actions receivable", to coin a term, is invaluable. Those of us who prefer the comfort of both suspenders and a belt can do reviews and keep a list, too :-)
I don't want to be a nudge or anything, but it seems to me that being able to assign multiple contexts to a task would resolve this problem as well.

See NEED assign to multiple Contexts.

Regards
omniinmo
 
 


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