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One of the big holes in my system is being able to find projects without NA's. In theory, I would find these during my weekly reviews. I would love to be able to apply a filter and find projects without NA's or have some sort of badge or color change for projects in need of a NA.

Would this be helpful?
How are people working around this without some sort of filter or badge?

Curt Clifton has an applescript which will add "Missing NA:" to each project that is missing NA's. Although this works well, I find it cumbersome to constantly fiddle with deleting "Missing NA:"
 
I concur... other threads have been talking about this almost since the inception of the Alpha.

Put in the request through the feedback form if you agree.
 
I definitely would like some built-in system for identifying projects and actions groups without next actions. My script is really just a hack until Omni bakes this in. In the interim, would it be helpful to add another script for clearing the "Missing NA:" prefixes that my first script leaves behind?
__________________
Cheers,

Curt
 
Here's a quick script that I banged together for clearing the Missing NA prefixes: Clear “Missing NA” Prefixes.zip This hasn't been tested as much as I'd like, so I'm not putting it on my software page yet. Please try it and let me know if it works for you. If it seems stable I'll post it to the main site.

The script clears any "Missing NA" prefixes from the selected items in OF. Any items that lack the prefix should be left unchanged.
__________________
Cheers,

Curt
 
Curt,

Thanks for doing this. I will definitely test it out and let you know how it works. Typically, when I run your script I end up with 20 projects that are missing NA's. Manually undoing the title of the project after having added NA's is always a block to me actually running the script.

Steve
 
We have bugs logged for:

<bug://bugs/38655> (mark projects when they do / don't have a next action)
<bug://bugs/38053> (Request: Filter to see only projects with no tasks/single items ("blocked projects"))

so feel free to reference those in feature requests to omnifocus@omnigroup.com. Neither of these are currently scheduled for 1.0, though this would definitely be useful in some fashion.

As the OP noted, one reason these didn't make it in is that this overlaps with project reviews -- a weekly review of active projects will already let you find blocked projects. Now, in some cases, you might find a more timely notification useful, so it would be helpful to explain situations where you'd use this where a weekly review wouldn't be sufficient.
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CTO, The Omni Group
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Wood View Post
As the OP noted, one reason these didn't make it in is that this overlaps with project reviews -- a weekly review of active projects will already let you find blocked projects. Now, in some cases, you might find a more timely notification useful, so it would be helpful to explain situations where you'd use this where a weekly review wouldn't be sufficient.
I checked for blocked projects and action groups without next actions on at least a daily basis, in my evening review. As an academic my work is incredibly deadline driven. Dozens of firm deadlines pass by every week. A weekly review for action groups without next actions isn't even close to sufficient.

A typical specific use case is that I'll add an action group like "Write Final Exam" to my "Enthusiastically Delivered Intro. to Software Development Course" project. Within that action group I might add a couple of actions, "Print previous final exams" and "Review previous exams to spark problem ideas". I won't fully list all the steps to completing the action group.

Now, I review my deadline-rich projects on a daily basis, but occasionally I haven't metabolized enough caffeine to notice that I'm missing a next action. Having some highlighting to draw these items to my attention would be helpful.

The due-date badges help with this use case by drawing my attention to action groups with deadlines. I no longer have to fear missing a deadline because it was on an action group without a next action.
__________________
Cheers,

Curt
 
How are you guys defining a "blocked project?" A project without action steps? Next actions that are blocked by a Next Action that can't be done for some reason?

Curt when you wrote
Quote:
I won't fully list all the steps to completing the action group.
is this because once you are involved in the project you will intuitively know the next step?

I have a friend who only writes the NA. When he is done with that NA, he will figure out the next step. I have tended to write mega detail going through each step of what it will take to finish a project. Sometimes I'm afraid I'm putting in too much detail and taking too much time to fiddle with writing down all the steps.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by steve View Post
I have a friend who only writes the NA. When he is done with that NA, he will figure out the next step. I have tended to write mega detail going through each step of what it will take to finish a project. Sometimes I'm afraid I'm putting in too much detail and taking too much time to fiddle with writing down all the steps.
I write only the next actions for routine projects where I know what to do and in what order.

I use more detail projects that are new or out of the ordinary. I find going into some detail helps me to identify what is the most effective next action, which, as often as not, is something different from what I thought it would be when I started detailing the project.

I also use more detail on projects that I am dragging my feet on for some reason. Those I break down into smaller and smaller actions until I find a pill I can swallow.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by steve View Post
is this because once you are involved in the project you will intuitively know the next step?
I only write as many steps as occur to me in the moment. If I'm already in serious planning mode, then I might do more planning of steps. But sometimes a couple of sequential actions will occur to me while I'm doing something else. I'll send them both to the Inbox using QuickEntry. While emptying my inbox I'll group the actions into an action group to express their sequential dependency.

I tend to capture fairly fine grained actions for a couple of reasons. I often meet with students who just drop by my office. The fine grained actions serve to get me back on task later. Also, if I find that certain patterns of actions are generally useful, I might capture them for use as a template.
__________________
Cheers,

Curt
 
 


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