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Folder vs. Single Action List Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Quote:
Originally Posted by whpalmer4 View Post
Sorry, I shouldn't have added single-action lists to the list. With a serial or parallel project you only get one next action displayed, but single-action lists will show them all.
Yep, that is kind of a key design element for me... and it clinched how I input and plan. If I want to have Omnifocus tell me what to do next amongst a group of related tasks, then I put them into a project. If I truly want to look at the batch of stuff and pick one myself... then the single action list works better. Bottom line is you really can only do one thing at a time, but there are some things that can be more efficiently done together since they involved some startup time to get into the state to be able to do them. Perhaps they should be a Context, I don't know. I'm not sure I want to micro manage to that degree.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by convergent View Post
If I want to have Omnifocus tell me what to do next amongst a group of related tasks, then I put them into a project. If I truly want to look at the batch of stuff and pick one myself... then the single action list works better.
That's a good workflow. But if the items really are all steps toward the same goal, you can put them in a parallel project and use the filter for Available actions, not Next actions. OF will still identify a Next Action, but you can choose to do one of the others instead if you're more in a mood to do that. I tend to work with Available actions in Context mode unless I feel like I need to narrow down my options.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by brianogilvie View Post
That's a good workflow. But if the items really are all steps toward the same goal, you can put them in a parallel project and use the filter for Available actions, not Next actions. OF will still identify a Next Action, but you can choose to do one of the others instead if you're more in a mood to do that. I tend to work with Available actions in Context mode unless I feel like I need to narrow down my options.
Well it really gets to definitions of "Project". I have several Projects I'm assigned to cover that are ongoing. I have at any point and time a half dozen or so outstanding items that are part of the project, but don't necessarily have any dependencies. Then I also have other subprojects within these projects that have a start and end, and many steps. What I decided to do was create Single Action List for each of these projects to cover the random actions related to them, and then create stand alone projects for the things that do behave like a project.
 
As much as I love OmniFocus (especially after a brief affair with Things), the fact that "single actions" need to be grouped into a collection (and thus can't be individually dropped, put on hold, etc.) continues to be the single biggest frustration of this application.

As one of the many pre-release beta testers, I understand the genesis of this solution, yet continue to remain amazed that it hasn't been addressed.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jasong View Post
As much as I love OmniFocus (especially after a brief affair with Things), the fact that "single actions" need to be grouped into a collection (and thus can't be individually dropped, put on hold, etc.) continues to be the single biggest frustration of this application.
Have you tried making an "on hold" context to mark those actions on hold? See "using on hold contexts" in the help docs.
 
Yep, I've tried several of the workarounds. They work, I just don't like having "on hold" and "dropped" contexts: among other things, it means I must change the context from the "real" one, so when I again make it "active", I have to switch it back.

I've also tried putting them into "on hold" and "dropped" single action projects, which works a bit better, but still has issues, including the inability to archive just the dropped actions, rather than the single action project itself.
 
What sorts of single actions are you typically wanting to drop, put on hold, etc? I've never felt a need to do this, and am wondering if perhaps there's a good idea here I'm missing out on... Another possibility, of course, is that I'm just more willing to make very small projects that you are chunking into single actions.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jasong View Post
Yep, I've tried several of the workarounds. They work, I just don't like having "on hold" and "dropped" contexts: among other things, it means I must change the context from the "real" one, so when I again make it "active", I have to switch it back.
I don't think I would categorize on-hold contexts as "workarounds", because they are intended to provide the functionality you are describing. It's not like it's suggesting using a screwdriver as a chisel.

What I would do on point #2 is have on-hold variant contexts of the contexts that you put things on hold from. I personally only have an on-hold calls and a general on hold; but have you considered having, e.g. Calls: On Hold, Work: On Hold, a general on hold, and dropped?
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by whpalmer4 View Post
What sorts of single actions are you typically wanting to drop, put on hold, etc?.
Looking through my current list, I have, in a Single Actions "project":

* Rent 12 Monkeys (Netflix)
* Fix [some broken code] (Code Projects)
* Set up regular meeting with Sarah (People:Sarah)

Perhaps I've decided that I don't really want to see 12 Monkeys right now, but in the future, maybe I will. I would normally put such an action "on hold", but keep it in my "Netflix" context. That way I can look at my "Netflix" context, and use all the features of the View Bar to group and sort the items.

Instead, I have to either change the context to "Netflix On Hold", or change the project to "Single Actions On Hold".

The former loses the context. The latter means having three "Single Action" projects: normal, on hold, dropped.

End of the world?

Hardly.

But it does mean I have to do something "different" with single actions that I don't have to do with projects.

I consider these "workarounds" in the sense they workflow is different for them than for projects. A "single action" should be "a project with one action".

I've argued this before, and some agree, some disagree.

The OmniFolks currently disagree.

I'll live.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jasong View Post
Looking through my current list, I have, in a Single Actions "project":

* Rent 12 Monkeys (Netflix)
* Fix [some broken code] (Code Projects)
* Set up regular meeting with Sarah (People:Sarah)

Perhaps I've decided that I don't really want to see 12 Monkeys right now, but in the future, maybe I will. I would normally put such an action "on hold", but keep it in my "Netflix" context. That way I can look at my "Netflix" context, and use all the features of the View Bar to group and sort the items.

Instead, I have to either change the context to "Netflix On Hold", or change the project to "Single Actions On Hold".

The former loses the context. The latter means having three "Single Action" projects: normal, on hold, dropped.

End of the world?

Hardly.

But it does mean I have to do something "different" with single actions that I don't have to do with projects.

I consider these "workarounds" in the sense they workflow is different for them than for projects. A "single action" should be "a project with one action".

I've argued this before, and some agree, some disagree.

The OmniFolks currently disagree.

I'll live.
What don't you like about slapping a start date sometime in the future on your single actions you want to postpone? No need to change context or project, and you can still see it in the list if you look at remaining actions instead of available ones. I've got similar lists for books, movies, restaurants, and miscellaneous adventures managed in this fashion. It seems to work well enough, but maybe I'm just not realizing how badly it is letting me down :-)

Do you have just one single action list that contains all these bits of life? I get the sense from your earlier posts that you want the single action projects because you see them as completely unrelated, no two the same shape or size, and so lumping them together seems wrong. For me, it seems quite natural to have a movies SAL because the frequency at which I get to actually see them, I can't ever empty the list. The coding action I'd probably want as a project simply because with a little kid under foot, I rarely get to finish anything atomically, so the project makes a handy way to save the context to resume later.

I'm not trying to say that my way is better or anything like that; more like trying to see if your proposed way is better than what I've got now, so I know whether or not to start clamoring for single action projects :-)
 
 


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