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Feature request: Reusable Projects Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes

I think the reuse of list or project would be very usefull. I've been looking also to iDB, that is also a sort-of-planner and it supports this feature. It would make some repetitive tasks a lot easier than every time reinvent the wheel.

Think of reoccurring projects that a view times a year or only yearly:

- Vacations
- Updating the Dreambox (sort of European TiVo) a lot of work and backing up the correct files for channels etc.
- Tax submission, once a year but a lot of information needed

I would very much like OF to support reusable projects as well :-)


UPDATE 20:14 Oct 20th: I've submitted this to the support desk as requested in a sticky note here.
Could some of the admins drop this forum message?

Last edited by Wessel; 2008-10-20 at 10:14 AM..
are you aware that you can create a repeating action group ?

to me a " project " is a one time deal , if it's repeating, it's a routine , and for me [YMMV] action groups fit that need very nicely .
You can create repeating projects, action groups, or actions in OmniFocus for Mac with various repeating schedules (every 2 weeks, every year, etc.). This is all handled in the inspectors. If that's not what you're looking for, please describe how this doesn't meet your needs.
I can give you an example. I am able to work from home (wfh) twice a week but I don't always do it and it isn't always the same two days. However, the format of the project is always the same:

1. Book wfh (at least 2 days in advance of x date)
2. Send e-mail notification that I will be wfh on x date (at least 2 days in advance of x)
3. Turn on out of office message (on evening before wfh day)
4. Turn off out of office message (on evening before first day back in office)

Another example would be travelling for work - I do it 4 to 5 times a year but on different dates each time. However, I need to take essentially the same set of items with me each time as it is a work trip. Again, the current set-up doesn't work for this as the dates are not regular or repeating.

My workaround is to create a 'Template' for this type of project which contains all the actions that I need to repeat. I then duplicate the template each time I need to generate my e.g. 'WFH' project and then populate the timings manually. It is OK to an extent but is more work than it should be and also means that I constantly have 'ghost' projects and actions in my listing which are non-functional (other than being the templates for the real projects).

It is also a real drag that we don't have relative timings in OmniFocus so that e.g. I can set 1. and 2. to be always 2 days in advance of 3. in the example above.

Edit: As an aside, this also doesn't work for OmniFocus on the iPhone as you can't duplicate the template project, so some mechanism for using old projects as templates for new ones is required there as well!

Last edited by JKT; 2008-10-21 at 12:08 AM..

I agree that built-in template projects would be great. In the meantime I keep my template projects inside a Template folder in OF. With the right combination of folder status and perspectives, this works really well.

I have the folder status set to Dropped, so it doesn't show in my library (unless I change the view settings). I have a separate Templates perspective which (a) opens in a new window, (b) shows All Projects according to the view bar, and (c) is focused on my Template folder. With this arrangement I can choose Perspectives --> Templates and get a separate window showing all my template projects. Otherwise, they aren't in the way.

To handle the relative dates, I use my Populate Template Placeholders script available here.

I do this similarly to Curt, but don't have the complex dating issues so don't require the script. One thing I do is put the first action on the project to duplicate the project so I don't mess up my template. I also put the last item on it to review the project at the end to see if I made any changes that need to be made to the template so that I have them for the next time I use it. This isn't that big of a deal and I can't envision how much some more elegant solution would help me. It seems it would be the same number of steps and have some of the same pitfalls (going back and updating the template to include changes for the next time.)

However, because I often have several projects with similar looking actions, I always preface those actions with something that makes it distinct to a certain project (a chapter, a course, a date, whatever makes sense for the situation). Each time I highlight the 'intro string', replace it with the new one, highlight it again, copy, then go down through each action individually highlighting (double clicking) and pasting. THAT's what I would love to happen more automatically.

Maybe a script could help me out, but that's the part I'd really look forward to a built in, more elegant solution for.

Curt's scripts allow you to plug in parameters as well as dates. From your description, it sounds like your "intro string" that appears in the actions could easily be inserted by the script instead of by hand. For that matter, the script automatically generates the new project (so you don't have to remember to duplicate the template), and your template of course could have the "check to see if the template needs updating" action. If anyone hasn't gotten the message yet, I really like Curt's Populate Template Placeholders scripts, thanks Curt! :-)

A somewhat contrived example:

Run the script, plug in E104, Cannon: Dynamics of Physical Systems, Durand 201, and 10/21 for the parameters, and I get this:

I see that the window I captured the results in doesn't show the date columns. You get what you pay for :-)
Originally Posted by curt.clifton View Post
To handle the relative dates, I use my Populate Template Placeholders script available here.
Hi curt, I'll give it a spin - I did download it ages ago now, but forgot all about it. Cheers.
Originally Posted by whpalmer4 View Post

Curt's scripts allow you to plug in parameters as well as dates.
Thanks. I always heard about it when relative dates were discussed, so I didn't really pay attention. I'll give it a try this weekend.

And scripts scare me.
Fear not ; ) I've run just about every script on Curt's page , never had an issue, they do what they say they do , nothing more, nothing less .

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