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Quote:
Originally Posted by curt.clifton View Post
I checked for blocked projects and action groups without next actions on at least a daily basis, in my evening review.
So, if we had a 'blocked' indicator of some hypothetical sort, would you find that annoying throughout the day, or useful? Another option that would avoid adding yet another visual indicator might be to bump the review interval on these types of projects to daily; of course, that assumes you know up front the project is going to be of fast turnaround type. Yet a third option would be to have an indicator that is not in the sidebar, but is in a status item or dock tile or the like.

Any ideas about why any/all of the above would/wouldn't work would be helpful when we get around to this (I've attached the thread to our bug database).
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CTO, The Omni Group
 
I'd like to suggest that you stop adding visual indicators for stuff, and instead add smart mailboxes or other filters that can be used to "pull" items together. An "overdue" filter, a "missing actions" filter, a "due soon" filter, etc.

I think seeing, e.g.

OverDue Items (5)
Coming Soon (12)
No Next Action (32)

would be helpful to me, and would eliminate the need to scroll through dozens or hundreds of projects and actions to find those "important" items, eliminate cluttering the already-busy interface with more indicators, and provide a way of hiding the "reminders" for those who don't like them ("don't create smart mailboxes/filters with that criteria").
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Wood View Post
So, if we had a 'blocked' indicator of some hypothetical sort, would you find that annoying throughout the day, or useful? Another option that would avoid adding yet another visual indicator might be to bump the review interval on these types of projects to daily; of course, that assumes you know up front the project is going to be of fast turnaround type. Yet a third option would be to have an indicator that is not in the sidebar, but is in a status item or dock tile or the like.
I do review those projects daily, but sometimes in the heat of battle I'll fail to notice that a next action is missing. I'm definitely not looking for a sidebar item. That would be too noisy and would be annoying throughout the day. In Planning Mode it's fairly obvious when a project is missing a NA (though less so now with the due date highlighting, since a non-actionable items might be in bold-faced orange or red and not in italic). The real issue for me is when Action Groups are missing NAs. Perhaps the action group's disclosure triangle could be used to carry this information?

I have to admit that the number of notifications competing for attention has reached (or exceeded) the saturation point. I posted one idea for how to deal with that here.
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Cheers,

Curt
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jasong View Post
I'd like to suggest that you stop adding visual indicators for stuff, and instead add smart mailboxes or other filters that can be used to "pull" items together. An "overdue" filter, a "missing actions" filter, a "due soon" filter, etc.
This is the best use case for smart folders that I've seen yet!
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Cheers,

Curt
 
It seems like there are two different preferences among users for how to distinguish sets of tasks. One is to segregate items into a separate list through the use of smartfolders or filters. The other is to highlight items within a larger list through visual cues. Both approaches are useful and not need be exclusive. For example, I personally like the visual cues in most cases, especially regarding dueness and availability, and I'd also readily use a smartfolder for blocked projects that have no next action.

I suggest having both alternatives available: smartfolders that can be built from smart queries using named attributes and styles that can be built using named attributes (somewhat like styles in OOP). Because of the possibities for style confusion/overload, OF could continue to provide a default "sane" set of styles for some attributes such as next actions, unavailable actions, overdue actions, etc. But users could change or nullify any style they wished.

Quote:
Originally Posted by curt.clifton in another thread View Post
As the display gets busier, I wonder if it would be helpful to have a UI feature for highlighting the highlights.
I agree that it would be useful to be able to identify which tasks have certain named attributes. If OF used styles in a manner similar to OOP, then, just as in OOP, you could click on the style and have all matching items identified in the outline via a kind of neutral highlighting.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jasong View Post
I'd like to suggest that you stop adding visual indicators for stuff, and instead add smart mailboxes or other filters that can be used to "pull" items together. An "overdue" filter, a "missing actions" filter, a "due soon" filter, etc.

I think seeing, e.g.

OverDue Items (5)
Coming Soon (12)
No Next Action (32)

would be helpful to me, and would eliminate the need to scroll through dozens or hundreds of projects and actions to find those "important" items, eliminate cluttering the already-busy interface with more indicators, and provide a way of hiding the "reminders" for those who don't like them ("don't create smart mailboxes/filters with that criteria").
I'm a little confused by this suggestion. Some of it already exists; you can group and sort by due date, so that takes care of the first two.

Also there seem to be two different suggestions here. New filter settings are pretty different than smart groups (which would live in the sidebar?) Would smart groups just exist in planning mode, or would they appear in context mode as well?

I guess I can't quite visualize what's being suggested here.
 
I just got around to testing the script (found here), and I'm sorry to report that I can't seem to get it to work on my machine. Have others gotten in to work?

I think an essential component to GTD is being able to find project that are missing NA's.

Steve
 
Hi Chris, sorry for taking so long to respspond. I'm not sure which part of my suggestion is confusing, other than perhaps the use of filter and smart mailboxes together.

A “smart mailbox“ (aka “smart folder“), is a definable repository which pulls together items of similar nature. “All unread mail”, e.g., or “No next actions”.

A “filter” is a way of limiting the display of a large body of content to a definable subset of that content, e.g. “From Jason” or “Available actions”.

The two are indistinguishable except in presentation. A smart mailbox/folder groups the results into a special location for reviewing at a time of your choosing; filters tend to act on the view you're currently seeing, showing and removing items as necessary.

The two can work together; you can create a smart mailbox of, say “All Overdue items”, and then further filter them to show only items with a time estimate under 15 minutes.

You note that the first two items, OverDue Items and Coming Soon, already exist. True, they exist, in that you can see items which are overdue, or which are coming soon. What you can't do is group them together in some meaningful way. Grouping and sorting by start date dont show me my overdue actions, nor do they show actions which are deemed “coming soon”. I currently have five items marked as “overdue”, and to find them, i have to scroll through my 106 active projects. A smart folder would put those five overdue items into a single folder I can easily click on and review.

If you've never used smart mailboxes (in Mail, Journler, iTunes, NetNewsWire and a host of other applications), I suggest giving them a try. They're a fantastic way to view slices of your data.
 
Jason,
Thanks for the terrific description of smart folders and filters. Reading your post made me want smart folders even more. I find them vital in other applications.
Steve
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jasong View Post

The two are indistinguishable except in presentation. A smart mailbox/folder groups the results into a special location for reviewing at a time of your choosing; filters tend to act on the view you're currently seeing, showing and removing items as necessary.

The two can work together; you can create a smart mailbox of, say “All Overdue items”, and then further filter them to show only items with a time estimate under 15 minutes.
You can already do this in OF right now. You can group items by due dates and then filter it by time estimate. If you expand only the overdue items and collapse all the others and save it as a perspective, then you can get back to this quickly.
 
 


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