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On Hold projects not populating auto-complete Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Currently, when a project is placed on hold, it no longer comes up as an available project when you are adding new tasks in Quick Entry or the Inbox.

How does everyone feel about this?

I have a big problem with it, because quite often projects on hold are simply still in the process of being developed. I'm not ready yet to take them on, so I don't want them showing up everywhere, but I'm still getting ideas in the back of my head for how to do them. This is precisely the type of situation that Quick Entry is good for: When you are doing something and have an idea for something else that you want to make a quick note of. As the system currently stands, you have to do a lot of jumping through hoops to get this "quick idea" into the appropriate location. You can just leave it blank and hope you remember want the task was for when it comes time to process the inbox, or you have to bring down filters, set to All Projects, locate the holding project, and then manually drag the task into the holding project.

I'm sure the argument for not including them is good. You want a clean project list everywhere, and putting things on hold is part of keeping things clean. My response to that would be: Isn't that what auto-complete is for, to make long lists of things quickly accessible with a few keystrokes? To, in essence, reduce massive lists to smaller user comprehensible lists? This is how programs like QuickSilver and LaunchBar work. I have hundreds of thousands of searchable items in there, but I'm always able to reduce that number to One in a matter of seconds.

So yes, what are your opinions? I've already sent mine to the OF team, and they stated that it is a concept under debate amongst themselves. But since then they have only made the project list culling more tight, by also hiding projects beneath inactive folders.

The way I see things going for me is that On Hold is going to become less and less useful for me. I'm going to have to live with a much greater amount of clutter in the visible areas of the GUI, to keep the invisible areas populated. Because the simple fact is this: I'm always thinking of everything in some part of my mind. Inspiration shouldn't be hampered by whether or not I am actively working on a project yet. Just because something is on hold doesn't mean it should be difficult to evolve its preparation for the time when it is not on hold.
 
Well articulated, Amber!

I would also like to have inactive folders and on-hold projects show up in the project entry column. This "improvement" seemed like a regression to me.

I do like the fact that children of inactive folders are hidden in Active Project view. This makes it very easy to hide/show my Pending projects, which are all under inactive folders named Pending (themselves under folders for each of my life roles). But during quick-entry, I want access to every project that isn't already completed.

Here's a crazy idea for consideration: What if project searches included just active projects when the search text was in lower case, but included every incomplete project when the search text was in upper case? A preference could toggle the upper/lower case behavior.
__________________
Cheers,

Curt
 
Hmm. That's not a bad idea; better than the one I discarded and did not write up above (population of menus dictated by filter state--not cool because you still have to mess with filter toggling). Users of QuickSilver who are used to using caps to automatically switch to actions would probably take to this method quickly.
 
I'm with Amber. It's called Quick Entry, so if I want to add to something I know is in OF, no matter what the state, then by gosh, I should be able to put it where I want without having to get there by using Robinson's Bridge. Otherwise, it's not really a Quick Entry, is it?
 
What about if on hold projects matched at a lower priority than active projects ? That way when there were a lot of possible completions (i.e. one or two letters typed) they would sink to the bottom of the results. They would be less visible and less in your way but still accessible by either scrolling down further or providing enough text to make the match less ambiguous. Perhaps the name could be shaded a little lighter as well in the results list to indicate their on-hold status.
 
I prefer that to case sensitive searching.
 
I wouldn't that like because then you reduce consistency. The reason why the whole abbreviation matching thing works so well is that your brain picks up on these things exceptionally quickly. You only need to type in an abbreviation for something a few times before you'll remember it very well. When the software is being adaptive on the other hand and adjusting to how your memory takes to these things, it is a very powerful combination. If you start messing with what matches and what does not match, it will slow down your recall. It seems like a small thing, but if you are used to typing 'mhea' for 'Mental Health', and decided to put that on hold for a while and suddenly 'mhea' starts matching 'Miles Heath Contract', it would mess with your brain. And the moment I have to start reaching for more characters to type in, or worse, the arrow keys to select a highly demoted project--the process becomes cumbersome when multiplied by constant usage.

Personally, I don't think there is any need to artificially restrict access to holding projects. As I said above, I can zip through thousands of possible matches in seconds using LaunchBar. I hardly think 30 projects is going to be that encumbered by the addition of another 20 or 40 holding projects. It isn't as though we are talking about adding 100,000 new items to the list.
 
I'd prefer to see on-hold projects appearing in the completion menu at all times, mixed with active projects, and not ending up lower down the list as a kind of punishment for being on hold. But perhaps they could be in italics? Or in grey?

Last edited by HiramNetherlands; 2007-06-25 at 10:54 PM..
 
Well I guess I just figured that if the project was on hold then your need to add items would be of the occasional inspiration sort not constant usage as you suggest. Seems odd to me but to each their own.

I understand your thinking that filtering through a few dozen more projects (although some people on here report having thousands) shouldn't be a technological hurdle but I'm assuming that the developers made this change for a reason perhaps on input from other users who found it too cluttered. I admit that I sometimes find the matching list less than precise. Maybe I need to have more differentiation in my naming. Anyway, you certainly have the right to lobby for putting it back the way it was but providing they decide not to do so what else might solve the problem for you?

I wonder if there might be a way in the project inspector to add a nickname or keyword field, sort of like how you can for bookmarks in Camino or Firefox, so that you could create your own absolutely matching shortcuts such as the mhea in your example above then you could make it something memorable that wouldn't even have to match the exact name very well at all but would be guaranteed to always be the first match. I think Quicksilver has a feature like this too. Maybe this sort of match could override the current behavior as long as it was exact. Just a thought.

Last edited by whalt; 2007-06-26 at 06:11 AM..
 
 


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