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Limitations: Perspectives vs Smart Folders Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Perspectives are cool, but I sure long for smart folders sometime.

There is a view I can not come up with that I want, that would be easy with Smart Folders:

Match if any condition is true:
Flagged = True
Due Date < Now+2

Basically I want to see all my Flagged or due soon/overdue items.

Near as I can tell this is impossible with Perspectives.

Since the early beta days I've seen it told "Just expand the Due Today group and ignore the others" when one wanted to see tasks due today. This seems counter to the whole idea of "Focus".

Now I know that there have to be engineering resource allocation decisions, as this is a very finite and valuable resource. Sometimes it seems the culture at Omni is to push into new frontiers at the expense of convention (is the oft controversial column resizing behavior). This gives us some awesome stuff that you just can't find elsewhere, but there are tradeoffs.

Perspectives offer some very cool possibilities. BUT they are a new paradigm to learn in what is already an app with a substantial learning curve. I'd love to see at some point (perhaps along with the arbitrary metadata feature) an option to have a perspective/view/Folder whatever based on the smartfolder criterion matching paradigm. Even with its limitations, its become such a standardized paradigm that users both want/expect it, and already know how to use it well.

Peace Out.

-P
 
I strongly agree with the thoughts outlined above. A smart folder interface would be much more powerful and intuitive.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ptone View Post
There is a view I can not come up with that I want, that would be easy with Smart Folders:

Match if any condition is true:
Flagged = True
Due Date < Now+2

Basically I want to see all my Flagged or due soon/overdue items.

Near as I can tell this is impossible with Perspectives.
How about using the already-set-up Due Items perspective and set the view ribbon to filter out all non-flagged items? This isn't exactly what you want, but it certainly will show all your flagged items, sorted and grouped by due date.

A few months ago, I would have agreed that arbitrary meta-data, tags, and smart folders would be a better way to go. But now, I think my attitude has changed. The problem I have with less structured applications (eg, Things, which I think is actually quite good) is that I invariably end up tweaking things, reshuffling things, reorganizing, and just fluffing around instead of actually getting things done.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ambi View Post
How about using the already-set-up Due Items perspective and set the view ribbon to filter out all non-flagged items? This isn't exactly what you want, but it certainly will show all your flagged items, sorted and grouped by due date.
Yes, this is trivial - but only gives me %50 of what I'm looking for - "Not Exactly" is generous ;-)

Due dates and flags have similar but distinct meanings in my system (more so with the iPhone - now).

Due is concrete due dates in the proper use of them. Flagged are things I've bumped to be "near term" priorities - but with no hard due date.

These two things combined are my "hotlist" of things I need to be focusing on first.


Quote:
A few months ago, I would have agreed that arbitrary meta-data, tags, and smart folders would be a better way to go. But now, I think my attitude has changed. The problem I have with less structured applications (eg, Things, which I think is actually quite good) is that I invariably end up tweaking things, reshuffling things, reorganizing, and just fluffing around instead of actually getting things done.
I've been on and and off active on this forum since midway through the 1.0 beta cycle - and the general discussion topic you bring up has been very well hashed out many times. BTW, arbitrary metadata has already been disclosed as being on the roadmap as a future feature.

I think I have a pretty clear point about wanting to see flagged and due items - and perspectives doesn't do it.

-P
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ptone View Post
Due dates and flags have similar but distinct meanings in my system (more so with the iPhone - now).

Due is concrete due dates in the proper use of them. Flagged are things I've bumped to be "near term" priorities - but with no hard due date.

These two things combined are my "hotlist" of things I need to be focusing on first.
This is pretty much how I use these two things as well, and I've found my original trivial suggestion to be work well. So maybe there is something I am missing here. Can you please explain why this only gives you 50 percent of what you are looking for?

One thing that kind of bugs me about smart folders (in iTunes, for example) is that they are too simplistic and one needs to use several of them in concert to produce something interesting. What *would* be cool would be to allow, say, in a text box, an arbitrary boolean expression with brackets and so forth to get exactly what you want. I don't know if that's in the cards, though. Maybe Applescript can do the job, but I don't know Applescript.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ambi View Post
This is pretty much how I use these two things as well, and I've found my original trivial suggestion to be work well. So maybe there is something I am missing here. Can you please explain why this only gives you 50 percent of what you are looking for?
I want to see things that are due *OR* flagged. If I set the flag filter, I won't see items that are due but not flagged.

So while things that are Due AND Flagged might be of the "highest" priority, that is not the hotlist I'm trying to create.

Its actually easier on the iPhone then and desktop, as I can see on the home screen that I have 1 overdue, 3 due soon and 6 flagged items. While I have to jump into each screen, its still easier than trying to futz with "grouped by" groups in a perspective.

-P
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ptone View Post
I want to see things that are due *OR* flagged. If I set the flag filter, I won't see items that are due but not flagged.
Ah, I see now. Thanks for clearing that up. Like you, I use due dates for real honest-to-goodness due dates, and flags for things I *want* to work on. (I may be paraphrasing you a bit here.) What I usually do then, is actually work on the due items first since I *have* to do those, and then I go on to my flagged items. Of course, this doesn't help with what you want, ahem.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ptone View Post
I want to see things that are due *OR* flagged. If I set the flag filter, I won't see items that are due but not flagged.
Decidedly low-tech solution if you've got sufficient screen real estate: bring up 2 windows one showing flagged, the other due (and not flagged). Get rid of toolbars, view bars, sidebars. Align windows/columns. Start GTD :-)
 
We're already convinced; when we overhaul the interface, we plan to implement smart folders.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Case View Post
We're already convinced; when we overhaul the interface, we plan to implement smart folders.
Hmm, interesting! :) But I have two further questions:
  1. Any thought on whether smart folders will replace perspectives or be in addition to them?
  2. Is this interface overhaul more likely to appear in a hypothetical 1.2, 1.5, or 2.0 release? Or, in other words, is this a near-term or long-term plan?

-Dennis
 
 


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