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Feature request: "Bucket" default project type Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
In the preferences pane, in "General | Data | New Projects and Action Groups," please let me set a default of "bucket lists." Nearly all of my projects are bucket lists.
 
I'm confused. First, can you clarify what preference pane you're talking about? Second, what is a "bucket list?"

-Dennis
 
I'm talking about the main preference pane for OmniFocus.

"Bucket" is one of the three types that projects can be -- "sequential," "parallel" or "bucket." I get the idea that the Omni Group is trying to deprecate the bucket project type. I would hate that.
 
I doubt very much they are trying to deprecate single-action lists (or bucket lists as you termed them). That doesn't mean that every single spot in the program necessarily works as well with a single-action list as it does with a parallel or sequential project, and this would seem to be one of those spots. The preference in question controls whether projects and action groups are parallel or sequential in nature, and there is no such animal as a "bucket list" for action groups, so accommodating you would require another preference setting at the least. File your request with Help->Send Feedback to have it officially tracked....

There's stuff above that section dealing with single-action lists, so I find the evidence that they are deprecating single-action lists is hard to see. I'd guess no one thought it was worth the trouble to make a single-action list a default project type, given the annoyance of having to provide another UI element, and the expectation that most people are going to be making regular projects the bulk of the time.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mitch Wagner View Post
"Bucket" is one of the three types that projects can be -- "sequential," "parallel" or "bucket."
Ah, you mean Single-Action Lists. I've never heard them referred to as "bucket lists" before. :-) Although, an early version of the single-action list icon was rendered as a little bucket (long before the original 1.0 release); perhaps that's where you're getting that name?

Anyway, I think part of the confusion here is that single-action lists are not projects. And while you can nest action groups inside single-action lists, I don't think the capability is often used.

By definition, a single-action list is a parallel group of unrelated actions. They're never sequential. A sequential list is a project, not a single-action list. So in my mind, adding "bucket list" to the following preference setting makes no sense:

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I must admit I'm still not 100% clear on what you mean by the "main preference pane for OmniFocus." I'm referring to the above screenshot from Preferences -> Data -> Projects & Action Groups mainly because that's what whpalmer4 referred to.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mitch Wagner View Post
I get the idea that the Omni Group is trying to deprecate the bucket project type. I would hate that.
I haven't gotten that impression at all. Sure, OmniFocus (and the whole GTD system, really) is focused on organizing by project, but there's still need for single, unrelated actions. David Allen certainly recognizes that, and from everything I've seen, so does the Omni Group.

-Dennis
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Toadling View Post
Anyway, I think part of the confusion here is that single-action lists are not projects. And while you can nest action groups inside single-action lists, I don't think the capability is often used.

By definition, a single-action list is a parallel group of unrelated actions. They're never sequential. A sequential list is a project, not a single-action list. So in my mind, adding "bucket list" to the following preference setting makes no sense:
Yeah, you'd need something additional to configure the default sequential/parallel setting for Action Groups independent of the setting for Projects if you allowed Single-Action Lists as a choice for default project type. Maybe if you selected Single-Action Lists as the default project type you'd get that extra pair of radio buttons for Action Group to appear.
Quote:
I must admit I'm still not 100% clear on what you mean by the "main preference pane for OmniFocus." I'm referring to the above screenshot from Preferences -> Data -> Projects & Action Groups mainly because that's what whpalmer4 referred to.
I think that has to be what he's talking about, and he just wasn't looking at the actual preference pane when he typed the message.

I've got 22 SALs in my database, some of them with very high turnover, so the OP wouldn't be the only unhappy camper if they got rid of the SAL without providing some sort of superior replacement! I use them for my never-ending responsibilities, often with repeating action groups. For some reason, it just doesn't seem right to have a project that doesn't have a discernable endpoint. My only complaint is that Curt's Verify Next Actions Exist won't currently help me find empty action groups inside SALs. It hasn't been enough of a problem that I've been spurred to tinker with the script. As my old boss used to say in response to any complaint about how some piece of system software I helped maintain worked, "you know where the sources are" and with little or no difficulty, I can look at Curt's avatar and hear those same words once again :-) (Curt has been quite helpful with advice about how the script might be revised, lest anyone get the wrong impression)
 
I was a member of the early "alpha" testers ...

We had to lobby Omni for those single action lists. Originally there were only Projects, but we convinced them that Single
Action lists were necessary.

And yes, we originally called them buckets, and the icon was a small blue bucket.

I wouldn't worry about them going away ... they are far too useful.

BTW ... I sometimes refer to OmniFocus as OmniFu. This was another early thing, from way back in the Kinkless GTD days when we wished Omni would come out with a GTD app. Omni listened ... and they still listen.
 
I use a lot of single-action lists as well, but really other than the icon (which is a very nice visual distinction), I've been at somewhat of a loss to understand the real difference between a single-action "bucket" list and a project set to parallel actions.

Perhaps somebody can enlighten me as to what the advanced distinctions are, but I seem to recall these buckets simply as a holdover from the early days of OF when all "Projects" were sequential and there simply was no "parallel" choice for projects.
 
No, parallel projects were there before single-action lists.

The main difference I encounter between parallel projects and single-action lists is the behavior in context mode of the Next Action selector. For a parallel project, the next action will be the first available action in the project. For a single-action list, the next action will be all available actions in the single-action list. This makes sense to me: OF treats ordering in a parallel project as significant, in case you do also. Therefore, the first action will be the next action. For a single-action list, there isn't assumed to be any significance to the ordering (because they aren't assumed to be connected in any way except their location in the same SAL) and thus they are all treated as next actions. If you have an sequential action group in a SAL, the first available action in the action group will appear as the next action, and all available actions in the action group will appear as next action candidates if the action group is parallel.
 
Not sure the source of the confusion when I say "main preferences pane for the application." It's the pane that pops up when you go to the menu bar, click on the application name ("OmniFocus") and then select "Preferences."

And others on this thread here are correct -- when I say "bucket" list I mean "single-action" list. I've been using OF since beta, I guess I never lost the old terminology.

jdh -

Quote:
Originally Posted by jdh View Post
I use a lot of single-action lists as well, but really other than the icon (which is a very nice visual distinction), I've been at somewhat of a loss to understand the real difference between a single-action "bucket" list and a project set to parallel actions.

Perhaps somebody can enlighten me as to what the advanced distinctions are....
As I understand it, the difference between a single-action list and a parallel list comes up when you're filtering OF to only show next actions. With a parallel list, only the first available item of the list will show up. With a single-action list, ALL the available actions of the list come up.

I use sequential projects rarely, and parallels projects virtually never. My next actions tend to be fairly large items: "Do newsletter," for instance, rather than the step-by-step "select stories for newsletter," "write editor's note," etc. I've done it many times before, I don't need the step-by-step.
 
 


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