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I'd like to open a discussion about how to use / change the Next Actions.

One of my projects is Mac Maintenance. Some of the tasks are weekly repeaters (install updates, go through my Pending folder, etc.) I also have a few tasks for the kid's Mac, things that I should do someday but no urgency.

The issue is, after I check off my repeaters, the other tasks rise to the top, and the repeaters never become Next Actions.

I also have other Projects where I'd like to see several NA's at once. These tasks don't belong in sub-projects, and they have no dependencies.

I use my Context View as a "things I need to do today" list, and I only want to see the Next Actions. All available would show far too many tasks, but NA as currently set up doesn't show enough.

I don't know if I'm doing things wrong, or if this is a fault of the GTD/OF system. And I don't know if a solution exists.

[I sometimes envy the people who have "real jobs" ... they seem to have a much easier time setting up a GTD system. As a housewife/mom/several very part time jobs person, I have a number of *very different* things to keep track of. GTD is working better than other systems I've tried, but it still has faults.]

--Liz
 
Have you tried using flags to identify the things you need to get done in a day and then filter by "Flagged"?

I know that it requires flagging and unflagging things (Autoflagging tasks on their due date, that's a neat feature idea!) but it would give you a daily list.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LizPf
I use my Context View as a "things I need to do today" list, and I only want to see the Next Actions. All available would show far too many tasks, but NA as currently set up doesn't show enough.
I struggle with this a bit also. I think canonical GTD would say that a context list is distinct from a "must do today" list. I'm hoping for filtering by flagged status as a separate filter from the others. Then I can show Available Actions filtered by Flagged to focus on urgent and important tasks.

Currently I write down my four or five top tasks on paper during my morning review and try to chug through those in order as time, energy, and interuptions permit. That's especially helpful when the tasks aren't computer-based as it is easy to resist the temptation to check email, read the OF forums, check for new sneaky peaks, etc.

I don't actually use Next Actions as distinct from Available Actions, so I can't comment on that part of your (excellent) post.
__________________
Cheers,

Curt
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LizPf
I also have other Projects where I'd like to see several NA's at once. These tasks don't belong in sub-projects, and they have no dependencies.
Don't forget Liz, there are sequential and parallel projects. Maybe setting your "Mac Maintenance" project to a parallel project would help some of the confusion here?

-Will
 
When you decide what will get done today, or at least what will show up on today's to do list, you've created some prioritization. Except for flagging and ordering, OF doesn't offer much in the way of prioritization (which I like). Like a shopping list, the contents need to travel with me during the day and a Do Today List may best be kept out of OF. Creating the list is the act of moving actions out of the GTD tool and into the real world (piece of paper in my pocket, iCal ToDo list on the Dashboard, etc).

Now I wouldn't mind at all if OF offered a handy right-click kind of way to identify some of the Available tasks to create a printable Do Today List.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pjb
Now I wouldn't mind at all if OF offered a handy right-click kind of way to identify some of the Available tasks to create a printable Do Today List.
pjb,

(This sounds like an advertisement. Sorry about that...)

If you're an OmniOutliner user, you might find my Send to OmniOutliner script handy. With it you can select items in OmniFocus and have a new OO outline generated from the selection. From there, you have the extensive formatting and printing power of OmniOutliner.

You can download the script from my software page. It's part of the OmniFocus-OO Export package.
__________________
Cheers,

Curt
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pjb
Now I wouldn't mind at all if OF offered a handy right-click kind of way to identify some of the Available tasks to create a printable Do Today List.
Hear, hear. I second the motion.

Even better perhaps (for me at least) an option to create such a list and leave a very minimalist Stickies like window on the screen with the items in a large font and the ability to check them off and have the status reflected back to OF proper. Think of it as a Quick Reminder window to complement the Quick Entry window.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by curt.clifton
If you're an OmniOutliner user, you might find my Send to OmniOutliner script handy. With it you can select items in OmniFocus and have a new OO outline generated from the selection. From there, you have the extensive formatting and printing power of OmniOutliner.
That does sound handy, I might check it out myself. Thanks for contributing this to the community.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by wkoffel
Don't forget Liz, there are sequential and parallel projects. Maybe setting your "Mac Maintenance" project to a parallel project would help some of the confusion here?
Afraid not.

Let's say I have 20 items in my parallel Household Mac Maintenance ongoing Project. They are spread over 2 computers, with some weekly repeaters, some monthly repeaters, and some one-shot items. The one-shots have no due date, they are "when I get around to them" things.

If a Weekly task is at the top of the queue, it is my NA. When I check it off, next week's task appears further down the queue, after my one-shots and any earlier repeaters. Eventually, all my one-shots are at the top of the queue -- if I don't / can't do them, I'll never see a repeater as the NA.

Available shows me every task without a due date -- almost all of my future tasks except repeaters. This is too many to look at on a daily basis.

Flagging or metadata could work, but I'd need to be able to set "show me all my NAs AND all future flagged items. I can't do this now.

--Liz
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by whalt
Even better perhaps (for me at least) an option to create such a list and leave a very minimalist Stickies like window on the screen with the items in a large font and the ability to check them off and have the status reflected back to OF proper. Think of it as a Quick Reminder window to complement the Quick Entry window.
I like this!

As long as I had the tools to automate the creation of such a list. [See my post above for my rules for such a list.]

This would also let me keep the main OF window off my desktop. [I need to see my task list or I'll forget about it.]

--Liz
 
 


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