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Wish: On-Hold Action Items Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
After having spent a significant amount of time working in OmniFocus, I would like to offer one suggestion (on top of the other times it has been made). For me, this product would be reaching perfection if I had the option to put individual action items on hold. Here's the logic behind my thinking:

If I have a project with sequential action items, and one or more of those actions are "owned" by someone else (i.e. have to be completed by another person before I can proceed with those that follow), I would like to be able to put those on hold so that all following actions become inactive don't show up in my "past due" or "due soon" folders.

In theory, there is nothing I can do about my actions until the other person completes theirs, so my sequential actions shouldn't show up as "past due" or "due soon" because it isn't true.

If I have a project with parallel action items, I would still like to be able to put individual actions on hold so that they don't show up in my "past due" or "due soon" folders.

All actions that are "on-hold" and either "due-soon" or "past due" should be stacked somewhere else so I know I need to contact that person about their item. When that "on-hold" action is marked completed, all sequential actions should become active again.

OmniFocus comes very close to this now with the ability to assign the "on-hold" status to contexts. However, if the first action in a sequential project is assigned an "on-hold" context, the following actions are not made inactive. Likewise, if an action in a parallel project is assigned an "on-hold" context, it is not made inactive or handled any differently than normal actions.

Here's a silly example to illustrate this need:

My neighbor needs me to clean out his gutters. I agree to do it within the next week, and he agrees to go buy a ladder for me to use at the hardware store. So I create a plan in OmniFocus to help me do this efficiently. Action 1: Receive the ladder. Action 2: Set up the ladder. Action 3: Climb the ladder. Action 4: Clean the gutters. In this example, I would need to put Action 1 on hold and have all others become inactive, regardless of their due dates. I've agreed to clean the gutters by next week, but if he doesn't get me the ladder, I am unable to do anything else.

I have come across the need for "on-hold" action items many, many times in serious business projects. While OmniFocus is excellent in its current form, this would be a great enhancement.
 
I believe it's been mentioned in a few places that this should come in 2.0, whenever that is.

I hope the iPad implementation of OF doesn't slow the desktop version down too far, frankly.
 
My experience using the software is that it works exactly as you wish. On hold actions do make the remainder of a sequential group inactive.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucas View Post
My experience using the software is that it works exactly as you wish. On hold actions do make the remainder of a sequential group inactive.
Currently, I believe only projects can be given the "on hold" status, not individual actions.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brentus View Post
Currently, I believe only projects can be given the "on hold" status, not individual actions.
You can assign an action to a context which is on hold...
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by whpalmer4 View Post
You can assign an action to a context which is on hold...
That is correct, but actions assigned an "on-hold" context don't make sub-sequential actions inactive or keep the action from being displayed as "due soon" or "past due." It seems to stack actions in the "on-hold" context folder and nothing more.
 
I'm pretty sure that putting an action in an on hold context will make the subsequent actions in a sequential group inactive. Note that in the current version both active and inactive actions show up in the due soon context filter.
 
Brentus did make the point that overdue actions in a project which is on hold do not appear in the due soon lists. On the other hand, I'm not sure there's a lot of point in maintaining the due dates in a project which is on hold so long that subsequent actions are overdue -- either they are worthless, and can be removed, or they aren't, and should be displayed, even if the project is on hold. One bothered by the due dates appearing could simply select all the offending actions, bring up the inspector and clear the due date field.

In any case, the usual rule applies: if you want to reliably communicate a feature request to the OmniFocus developers, use Help->Send Feedback or email omnifocus@omnigroup.com.
 
 


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