The Omni Group
These forums are now read-only. Please visit our new forums to participate in discussion. A new account will be required to post in the new forums. For more info on the switch, see this post. Thank you!

Go Back   The Omni Group Forums > OmniFocus > OmniFocus 1 for Mac
FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

 
What is the Purpose of Flagging? Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Hello Omnigroup and list,

What is the purpose of flagging actions?

Isn't flagging just an admission that no matter which action fields you use to sort your context view, you still won't have what you want - a list of actions in some kind of intended order of completion? To those who haven't been following this forum lately, don't get the impression that I think that contexts don't help - I do - their just not currently as helpful as they could be. And please leave the arguments about the philosophy of getting things done and whether sorting of contexts is really necessary to the thread dedicated to this subject).

I am interested forum members. If flagging isn't always used for this purpose, what do you use it for?

Those who have been reading other threads on this forum know that I am arguing for contexts to be sorted (for when one is only really able to complete actions in one context - say a shopping trip in the car) but that flagging should continue as a feature but altered so that flagged items are sortable, enabling the sorting of actions ACROSS contexts.
 
I have used flags for the following cases:

* define that I am going to do that task in the next period of activity (doing)
* set a repeating task to be "active" when it has a start date and no due date

For the first case example ... after I complete my Due tasks for the day, I review my Next list and set flags on the tasks that I decide I will actually do next (even though they are not due today).

For the second case example ... I have a repeating task "get mail from PO Box" that comes up every 4 days and sits with no due date. It is flagged.

Perhaps how I use flags fits somehow (or not) with what you mean?

--
JJW
 
Yes your use of flags fits with what I suspect people use it for. If your had your ideal screen it would sort by Due and subsort by flag order. But because you don't have one that does that, you use two.

Your second example is an example of notifying yourself instead of OF notifying you because you cannot set an ACTION for review.

Last edited by usertech; 2013-02-24 at 02:55 PM..
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by usertech View Post
... If your gas your ideal screen it would dirt by Due and subsidy by flag order. But because you don't have one that does that, you use two.
Hmmm .... perhaps you mean, I want ONE screen where my tasks show as SORT by Due first and Flagged second. Then, my answer is a definitive NO! My first ideal screen is Due. Then, my second ideal screen is Flagged. The two are to be kept separate. I work more effectively with defined perspectives, not mixed ones.

Quote:
Originally Posted by usertech View Post
Your second example is an example of notifying yourself instead of OF notifying you because you cannot set an ACTION for review.
I think you are defining a problem where OF cannot be programmed to be able to tell someone precisely in sequence what he/she must/should/shall do next?

If so, what about the possibility that folks actually find greater issues with having their workflow dictated precisely at every instant of time, even or especially by a computer program that they "program" in advance?

Or perhaps I still misunderstand your concerns/questions?

--
JJW
 
There is at least one program which generates a schedule for you to follow, if you like that sort of thing. There was a little bit of discussion of it here a few years back, but I don't recall the name. Ah, I found it: http://skoach.com/

I work the items most immediately due, then draw from items starting today and flagged items (set up during my reviews). On the very productive days where those lists are completely exhausted (or I can't get any more done without being in a different context), I open up the context lists and look for high-value tasks in my current context(s). I use flags as a way to draw my attention to actions and projects which may or may not have immediate time pressure but are nonetheless items on which I wish to focus my attention. If I determine during my reviews that a project isn't making adequate progress, I will flag the project or perhaps the first few actions.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by whpalmer4 View Post
... I work the items most immediately due, then ...
It seems, we approach our workflow somewhat alike.

--
JJW
 
As long as we're talking about sorting flagged items, and context mode views in general, here's an implementation consideration.

How do you define the behavior when sorting only a subset of the list? Suppose I have the following flagged items:

Task 1@Context 1
Task 2@Context 2
Task 3@Context 1
Task 4@Context 2
Task 5@Context 2
Task 6@Context 1
Task 7@Context 3
Task 8@Context 3

I decide that Task 8 is the most important task, so I move it to the top of the list. Fine. Result looks like this:

Task 8@Context 3
Task 1@Context 1
Task 2@Context 2
Task 3@Context 1
Task 4@Context 2
Task 5@Context 2
Task 6@Context 1
Task 7@Context 3

Now what if I had been looking at a subset of the list when I did that? Suppose I was looking only at Context 3:

Task 7@Context 3
Task 8@Context 3

I move Task 8 to the top of that list. If I go back to the full view, is Task 8 at the top of the list, or somewhere in the middle?

Okay, I hear you say that the only reasonable place to put Task 8 is just before Task 7, regardless of where they are in the list. That makes for asymmetrical behavior, in that the first context will be special in a way that others are not, where moving an action to the top of its list will move it to the top of the overall list, but it isn't too hard to document that. We'll press on.

Suppose we were just looking at Context 2:
Task 2@Context 2
Task 4@Context 2
Task 5@Context 2

I move Task 5 above Task 4, so the new list is:
Task 2@Context 2
Task 5@Context 2
Task 4@Context 2

Now I go back to the full list. Is it

Task 1@Context 1
Task 2@Context 2
Task 3@Context 1
Task 5@Context 2
Task 4@Context 2
Task 6@Context 1
Task 7@Context 3
Task 8@Context 3

or is it

Task 1@Context 1
Task 2@Context 2
Task 5@Context 2
Task 3@Context 1
Task 4@Context 2
Task 6@Context 1
Task 7@Context 3
Task 8@Context 3

What if we flag additional items or create additional flagged items, where do they go?

This is all straightforward compared to sorting of contexts. I select context A, and shuffle its actions into my desired order. Now I select context B and do the same. When I select both A & B for viewing, what is the result? Do I put the first context's info up first (first context being the one that appears closest to the top of the sidebar), followed by the second context's? What happens when I then rearrange the combined view so that the two are mingled? What happens when I rearrange the order of the contexts? If I select a third context which hasn't had any manual sorting, where are its actions placed in the view, and what ordering do they have?

Sounds like a delightful feature to implement, document, test and comprehend. In the end, the users generally won't be any better off, because it will be one more thing to fiddle with endlessly instead of draining the swamp, and the Omni development staff will have spent countless precious hours of their limited time implementing this instead of something that might bring substantial results.
 
Hi whpalmer4.

In the case of the "sorting context view" I am only hoping to sort items WITHIN their contexts (and would require the sorting of context actions to occur when all the Remaining actions of a context are being viewed). In this circumstance the order of contexts or the non-selection of some contexts in that view would be inconsequential.

When sorting flagged actions it would be a design choice as to whether to allow the sorting of flagged actions without viewing every flagged action (by selecting only some contexts). If it would confuse the user then of course it shouldn't be provided. I think that the first inclination that you, whpalmer4, suggested each case, was logical and what the user would expect. I personally don't think that users who sort very few flagged actions would expect those they did not sort to be sorted effectively without their involvement. And I think a user could expect previously unsorted items to appear at the bottom of the list.

Last edited by usertech; 2013-02-26 at 01:44 AM..
 
 


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
What is the purpose of Outliners? Bojan OmniOutliner 3 for Mac 4 2012-02-18 04:40 AM
Flagging tvchris OmniFocus for iPad 1 2011-09-19 04:50 PM
Purpose of the summarize button vamp07 OmniWeb General 3 2007-10-29 03:13 AM
Purpose/intent of Inbox? IntlOrange OmniFocus 1 for Mac 4 2007-08-16 06:49 AM


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 12:33 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.