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I thought I'd seen this posted elsewhere, but can't find it in a search.

Now that I'm using OF daily, I'm finding having to click or cmd-k to cleanup an annoyingly unnecessary step.

Can we please have an option to automatically clean up whenever something is marked complete. I can see that not everyone would want that, but I have no use at all for completed tasks cluttering up my next actions list.

Mark
 
It was discussed a while ago. Early alphas of OmniFocus had a preference to automatically clean up after a user-specified amount of time, but it was never properly implemented and ultimately disappeared.

The problem (for many of us) with immediately cleaning up is that the completed action disappears immediately; if you are afraid you clicked the wrong action, you then have to hit undo and (if it was the right one) redo.

I'd like to see the original preference restored (clean up automatically after a user-specified time delay, which could be immediate). If you would too, use Help > Send Feedback... to get it in the feature request queue.
 
This might not help you, but what I did was use the system preferences to assign "Clean Up" to be cmd-s. Hitting cmd-s is so ingrained for me after making changes that I don't even think about having to do it.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacBerry View Post
I'm finding having to click or cmd-k to cleanup an annoyingly unnecessary step. Can we please have an option to automatically clean up whenever something is marked complete.
MacBerry, I feel your pain. I have been fighting OmniGroup over for this for ONE YEAR. We even had a STRONG minority fighting this on the forums, about 10-30%.

Every other major ToDo software I have used over the last 10 years has had this. Bonsai, Life Balance, EVEN iCAL!!!

I have given up. I love OmniGroup, but they must have a mental block against this one.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by santra View Post
I have given up. I love OmniGroup, but they must have a mental block against this one.
I really hope not. It's incredible to me that a piece of software should require me to do its work for it - if I've told it I don't want to see completed tasks in a view, why do I have to instruct it again?

It's the same in inbox - I have options set to clean up inbox when an item has a project and a context, yet it doesn't happen.

This all just makes unnecessary extra work for people.

I understand some peoples desire to have completed items hang around, but there are two way to achieve that without forcing the rest of us to suffer the same: either create two perspectives, one showing completed and one not, and switch to the second one once you're happy you've not inadvertently checked something you shouldn't have, or better still, make the behaviour optional.

This may seem like a small issue, but it's interrupting my workflow to the extent that it's extremely uncomfortable to use the software while actually "doing", which surely defeats the object. If Word asked you to hit return twice at the end of every paragraph, just in case we didn't mean to, users would be up in arms.

I will send feedback, but really I consider this to be core functionality rather than a feature it'd be nice to have.

Note that the iPhone version works correctly - no manual cleanup step required there.

Mark
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacBerry View Post
I have options set to clean up inbox when an item has a project and a context, yet it doesn't happen.
That preference setting means that the "clean up operation" simply should process items with a project and a context, not that it should necessarily process them immediately. On my system, this seems to be working as designed.


Quote:
Originally Posted by MacBerry View Post
I understand some peoples desire to have completed items hang around, but there are two way to achieve that without forcing the rest of us to suffer the same: either create two perspectives, one showing completed and one not, and switch to the second one once you're happy you've not inadvertently checked something you shouldn't have, or better still, make the behaviour optional.
I think you might be misunderstanding. The goal of the "clean up on demand" approach is not to allow people to keep completed actions around indefinitely, but rather to avoid having completed actions suddenly disappear as soon as you click them, like a rug being yanked out from beneath your feet.

In my view, having checked items immedaitely disappear can be very disorienting. Did I check the right one? Where did it suddenly go? What if I wanted to modify or copy the notes after checking the item off?

Besides, according to the manual, OmniFocus *does* clean up automatically, it just occurs on a delayed schedule (from page 29):

Quote:
It happens automatically every now and then, so that things stay tidy, but you can also clean up manually by clicking the Clean Up toolbar button, or choosing Clean Up from the Edit menu.
However, I guess I'd be open to a preference setting that determines how soon an action is "auto-cleaned" after being marked as complete (or at least a hidden default setting).

Quote:
Originally Posted by MacBerry View Post
If Word asked you to hit return twice at the end of every paragraph, just in case we didn't mean to, users would be up in arms.
The difference here is that when you hit return in Word, it doesn't make the previos paragraph suddenly disappear. All content is still visible and easily corrected - which wouldn't always be the case if actions immediately disappeared when completed in OmniFocus.

-Dennis
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Toadling View Post
That preference setting means that the "clean up operation" simply should process items with a project and a context, not that it should necessarily process them immediately. On my system, this seems to be working as designed.
As designed yes, but not correctly IMHO. The constant "did you really mean to do that?" implied by the way OF does things is hugely distracting. For me the simple question is; do I click incorrectly more often than I click correctly? If I do, then it makes sense not to hide completions, but if I don't it's simply an unnecessary distraction, given that we're not talking about anything that's not recoverable. And it's very un-GTD in principle too. it's not very "mind like water" to have something I've already dealt with hanging about.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Toadling View Post
I think you might be misunderstanding. The goal of the "clean up on demand" approach is not to allow people to keep completed actions around indefinitely, but rather to avoid having completed actions suddenly disappear as soon as you click them, like a rug being yanked out from beneath your feet.
No I understand the thinking perfectly, which is why I suggest an option not a change. When we tackled this issue on the Pocket Informant beta group, because the default was to have the task disappear as soon as it was checked, people were amazed how effective it was to simply add a short delay (less than one second) to avoid that feeling of having the rug pulled that you describe. Those that wanted it around so they could still work on it didn't filter completed tasks out, and everyone was content!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Toadling View Post
In my view, having checked items immedaitely disappear can be very disorienting. Did I check the right one? Where did it suddenly go? What if I wanted to modify or copy the notes after checking the item off?
Then don't filter out completed actions!!!! That's my point - if I've told OF I don't want to see them, I DON'T WANT TO SEE THEM!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Toadling View Post
Besides, according to the manual, OmniFocus *does* clean up automatically, it just occurs on a delayed schedule (from page 29):
If, as the manual suggests, it's accepted that it's untidy to keep them around too long, it's accepted that it IS untidy. The debate is then only about how long a user should tolerate that for. I find it distracting after 1 second max, as after that I want to be thinking about the next action, not wondering why the task I just completed is still bugging me, and clicking clean up to make it do what I've already instructed it to do.

Also I don't know how that schedule works, but if it's just the equivalent of "click cleanup every 30 minutes" for example, it's surely even more disorienting for you, as you never quite know when something's going to disappear for no apparent reason. It might even go while you're in the middle of that copy procedure ;)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Toadling View Post
However, I guess I'd be open to a preference setting that determines how soon an action is "auto-cleaned" after being marked as complete (or at least a hidden default setting).
Thank you. I've never understood why people argue against options that let others work the way they want to, while still letting you work the way you want. Yes if a way already exists to do what the requester is asking for, point that out, sure, but why would anyone argue that I shouldn't be allowed to work my way?

All it needs is a simple "clean up immediately" check box. A user configurable delay would be nice, but I can tell you from experience that if they're not given that option, users will never miss it so long as there IS a minimal delay of say 0.5 secs, during which the task is struck out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Toadling View Post
The difference here is that when you hit return in Word, it doesn't make the previos paragraph suddenly disappear. All content is still visible and easily corrected - which wouldn't always be the case if actions immediately disappeared when completed in OmniFocus.
Word wasn't a very good example, but the principal stands - if I tell an application to do something (hide completed tasks in this case), it should do it. The importance of that action to me is for me to decide, not for OG to second guess.

And, even if I was arguing for you to be forced to have the app behave like nearly all other such apps, and how I need it to work (which I'm not), why would it be so difficult to find a completed task and correct the issue, on the rare occasions when you do get it wrong? It's not as if we're talking about deletions here.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacBerry View Post
The constant "did you really mean to do that?" implied by the way OF does things is hugely distracting...And it's very un-GTD in principle too. it's not very "mind like water" to have something I've already dealt with hanging about.
I don't find it particularly distracting or un-GTD in principle. In fact, I find the tiny amount of effort spent hitting the keyboard shortcut to manually cleanup is negligible given the peace of mind I get from seeing exactly what I just completed. Ahh, mind like water. :)

Quote:
Originally Posted by MacBerry View Post
When we tackled this issue on the Pocket Informant beta group, because the default was to have the task disappear as soon as it was checked, people were amazed how effective it was to simply add a short delay (less than one second) to avoid that feeling of having the rug pulled that you describe. Those that wanted it around so they could still work on it didn't filter completed tasks out, and everyone was content!
...[snip]...
Then don't filter out completed actions!!!! That's my point - if I've told OF I don't want to see them, I DON'T WANT TO SEE THEM!
It's not as simple as "just don't filter out completed actions" because one is then forced to see *all* completed actions, not just the actions recently checked off. Talk about distractions!

Quote:
Originally Posted by MacBerry View Post
Also I don't know how that schedule works, but if it's just the equivalent of "click cleanup every 30 minutes" for example, it's surely even more disorienting for you, as you never quite know when something's going to disappear for no apparent reason. It might even go while you're in the middle of that copy procedure ;)
Well, either it's not that simple (maybe it's event-driven rather than simply time-based?), or it hasn't been a problem in practice. At least that seems to be the consensus from the Omni Group's original 1.0 beta program and whatever usability testing they do internally.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MacBerry View Post
I've never understood why people argue against options that let others work the way they want to, while still letting you work the way you want. Yes if a way already exists to do what the requester is asking for, point that out, sure, but why would anyone argue that I shouldn't be allowed to work my way?
Because every new feature, configuration option, UI element, etc., potentially increases complexity, risk of regression, and expends finite engineering resources to implement, test, and support. Nothing should be added without careful consideration and weighing of pros and cons.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MacBerry View Post
Word wasn't a very good example, but the principal stands - if I tell an application to do something (hide completed tasks in this case), it should do it. The importance of that action to me is for me to decide, not for OG to second guess.
And OmniFocus does hide completed tasks as you've asked. It also allows you to decide the importance of the operation by providing a means to cleanup exactly when you want.

Apparently, the Omni Group's test data led them to believe that a longer delay on auto-cleanup is more desirable for most people. And for those that want immediate gratification, a handy keyboard shortcut is available. It's not like the Omni Group arbitrarily decided to make your life difficult by withholding detailed control of the automatic cleanup interval. :)

Quote:
Originally Posted by MacBerry View Post
why would it be so difficult to find a completed task and correct the issue, on the rare occasions when you do get it wrong?
Maybe it's not difficult to correct such errors (Command-Z would do the trick, I suppose). But it's also not difficult to hit a keyboard shortcut to immediately cleanup completed items on the rare occasions when you need to see your view without them.

But, as I said before, there's more to it than just the ability to correct an erroneous completion.


-Dennis
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Toadling View Post
I don't find it particularly distracting or un-GTD in principle. In fact, I find the tiny amount of effort spent hitting the keyboard shortcut to manually cleanup is negligible given the peace of mind I get from seeing exactly what I just completed. Ahh, mind like water. :)
Then you don't need the option, which is fine, but I do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Toadling View Post
It's not as simple as "just don't filter out completed actions" because one is then forced to see *all* completed actions, not just the actions recently checked off. Talk about distractions!
Then we can draw a straight line between "don't want to see any completed items ever" and "always want to see completed items". I'm very very close to one end of that line, and you are part way along it, somewhere between the two extremes. My point is that it's not up to the software to decide where I should sit on the line.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Toadling View Post
Well, either it's not that simple (maybe it's event-driven rather than simply time-based?), or it hasn't been a problem in practice. At least that seems to be the consensus from the Omni Group's original 1.0 beta program and whatever usability testing they do internally.
You're probably right that that feature doesn't work as simply as I suggested, but none-the-less it doesn't help one bit with my issue.

As I know from experience, what's decided in beta is not always what a significant proportion of users want. For all kinds of reasons, beta testing groups, even open beta's, are not as representative as the developers would like them to be, and can only really be relied upon to give a good starting point.

An example of that is one you'll have to take my word for; when exactly this issue was debated in the Pocket Informant beta group, the consensus was completely reversed. It's very difficult to explain why, but it was, and that leads me to be rather wary of "but most people want it that way" type statements. It would be more acurate to say "most people here who've expressed a preference loudly enough, who have experience of the software from buggy day one, and who care at all, prefer it". For example, I didn't express a preference back then because the software wasn't useable for me, and I didn't have time to try it for more than a few hours in test mode.

And anyway, this is a case in which we CAN have our cake and eat it - it's a perfect candidate for an option.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Toadling View Post
Because every new feature, configuration option, UI element, etc., potentially increases complexity, risk of regression, and expends finite engineering resources to implement, test, and support. Nothing should be added without careful consideration and weighing of pros and cons.
And yet no-one ever argues against a feature they would find useful! My attitude is that if some users would find it useful, and it makes logical sense, then there's no reason for me to argue against it even if I don't see a need for it. Unless that is I see a problem it might create. It's up to the developers to decide what they do include, and to do so elegantly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Toadling View Post
And OmniFocus does hide completed tasks as you've asked. It also allows you to decide the importance of the operation by providing a means to cleanup exactly when you want.
No it doesn't!! It hides completed tasks eventually, which is no use at all to me.

And no the keyboard shortcut is NOT handy to me, because I don't find it handy!

However, it's futile for me to try and convince you to find it annoying in the extreme, because you never will. By the same token, it's futile for you to try to convince me that it's NOT annoying. You can convince me that you don't have a problem with it, and I hope you believe me when I tell you it's so annoying and intrusive to me that if there were a viable alternative, OG would not get my business, purely because of this one omission (as I see it). That's how annoying this behaviour is to me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Toadling View Post
Apparently, the Omni Group's test data led them to believe that a longer delay on auto-cleanup is more desirable for most people. And for those that want immediate gratification, a handy keyboard shortcut is available. It's not like the Omni Group arbitrarily decided to make your life difficult by withholding detailed control of the automatic cleanup interval. :)
With respect Dennis, what right do you have to tell me that the keyboard shortcut is adequate for me? I don't know how to explain it if you don't feel it, but it's about as far from being a solution to my issue as it's possible to be. The issue is NOT that I can't clean up whenever I want, it's that it's not done (almost) instantly and without intervention from me.

I'm not trying to create an argument here Dennis (there's no need for one as with a little engineering skill we can both be 100% happy), but I do want you, and more importantly OG, to understand that this issue is a major one to me, big enough to cause me to ditch OF the moment an alternative arrives, and that the current options do nothing to relieve it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Toadling View Post
Maybe it's not difficult to correct such errors (Command-Z would do the trick, I suppose). But it's also not difficult to hit a keyboard shortcut to immediately cleanup completed items on the rare occasions when you need to see your view without them.
Again, what insider take on my brain do you have that allows you to conclude that I only need to see my view without completed items, rarely? I'm telling you, because I'm the only one who knows, that to be comfortable with my workflow, which after all is the purpose of GTD and therefore OF, I need them hidden always and continuously and without ANY input from me. I wouldn't dream of suggesting that you're wrong and that despite what you say, you don't need to see completed tasks for a while, so please do me the same courtesy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Toadling View Post
But, as I said before, there's more to it than just the ability to correct an erroneous completion.
And there's more to it than the ability to hide completed tasks at will (cmd-k).
 
I don't want to interrupt the lovely debate you seem to be enjoying. I'll just interject that we are aware that maybe there should be more flexibility here and will consider this for an upcoming release. (Probably not 1.1, which has sat in beta for an awfully long time already.)
 
 


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