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Feature Request: task prioritization! Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
One more thing to digest...

Ken Case mentioned is one of his posts that OmniFocus already incorporates a form of priorities, because it lets you order your tasks in each project.

But (as I am sure others have pointed out many posts ago), nobody pursues only one project at a time. So where Priorities become useful is where more than one project's next action is competing for your time.

And my very last argument (I promise)...

I don't know about everyone else here, but over the past year, I must have changed systems 10 different times. I've used everything from paper to pdas to 3x5 cards, custom-built software, you name it. And even when the changes are minor, my system is still always evolving.

So today, I may not find priorities useful at all. But who knows what new "revelation" I'll have tomorrow! Wouldn't it be better to know that the system that (you will eventually be paying $$$ for) has the flexibility to service your needs regardless???

Last edited by Adam Sneller; 2007-10-16 at 07:05 PM..
OmniFocus lets me filter tasks that I think will take 15 minutes or less. That way I can get a quick email or phone call out of the way and not have to choose between it and something that I've already guessed will take me half an hour.
That's a really cool idea...

What you are describing are not "priorities", but something new. I like it. Why not? If that's what works for you, then by all means, that sounds like a terrific optional feature.

In fact, it almost seems like we shouldn't have an official "context list" at all. But instead have the ability to create Smart Folders that can be configured to display a variety of data using rules (contexts being one of them)...
Originally Posted by brianogilvie View Post
Because I use it for estimated time. :-)

That is, some tasks take a while but don't need much brain power. Others might be quick but I want to be at the top of my game for them. I can figure that out on the fly but I wouldn't object to having a way to note estimated energy required. I think estimated time is more important to my workflow, though.
I see. You want to filter for both x minutes and braindead. I notice and miss the ability to filter for multiple criteria at the same time in OF.

I don't think adding a priority feature would solve that for me. One reason I like GTD is that you don't pre-prioritize future actions. I agree with what MEP said:

Originally Posted by MEP View Post
I'm really only saying that when I finally ditched priority completely, it made a huge impact on the overall effectiveness of my entire GTD system.
Originally Posted by Adam Sneller View Post
That's a really cool idea...

What you are describing are not "priorities", but something new...

referring to filtering next actions by time, but this is actually recommended by the "the David". Selecting from among the non-prioritized next actions based on resources (Context and Time available) is what is supposed to make working the list easy.
I really would like to be able to set priorities. I personally love GTD but have been getting a little frustrated by not being able to sort by priority. Its so useful for me. I have many projects with many tasks going all the time. And when it comes to personal planning I think a large percentage like the feature. So why risk alienating them.

Last edited by Foosjitsu; 2007-12-03 at 09:20 PM..
Originally Posted by LizPf View Post
One of the reasons GTD abandoned prioritization is that is often doesn't work.

Say you're meeting someone in a downtown hotel for a working lunch at noon. You hit your subway connections well, your lunch partner called to say she's running late, so you have about 30 minutes waiting time in the hotel lobby. You pull out your laptop, look at your To Do list, and the top priority items are: Office Cleaning, check stationary order for typos, call printer and review design for ad.
None of these can be done while sitting in the hotel lobby.
With a GTD system, you can look at your "laptop-offline" and "phone-mobile" items, and see the tasks you can do there/then, without being reminded of the things you can't do. Maybe they're lower priority, but they still need doing (or you wouldn't bother to list them), and you CAN do them.

Yes, but from the remaining tasks in "Laptop-offline" or "phone-mobile" I want pick the most urgent ones by priority. If I had to to through all remaining task and need to think about what to do next, then the system is less usefull for me, because I am getting all of them back into the RAM in my brain.
I only want to see a maximum of the 5 most urgent ones and dont bother with the others.
Originally Posted by BwanaZulia View Post
You set the priority and that is the point. No software is going to know which one of those calls is the most important or process that information as quickly as your brain can.

Look at a list of 5 calls and you will know instantly which one you need to do first and you will.
This sure works great if you are lucky to have got only 5 calls to do. But if you have to go through a list of 30, you instantly have a list of loose ends in your mind. Then I'd better like to see only the 5 most important ones.
Originally Posted by HiramNetherlands View Post
You can drag items up and down the list to assign them priorities. This, to my mind, is much more precise than giving them numeral values for priority. What does priority 3 mean? "Ignore for now"? "Not very urgent, but still deserving attention within the next ten days"? Priorities are, by definition, relative, so dragging them up and down makes a lot of sense. And you can have as much priority levels as you have items (as Ken Case pointed out earlier).
Has been discussed earlier in this thread. The order in the project is only relative to this one project, but not comparable to other projects. Task 5 in project A might have a much higher priority than task 1 in project B.
Originally Posted by Ken Case View Post
Of course, that's not nearly as big a problem if you have a separate priority field rather than using it as the only indication of order. (Maybe an easier path would be to just give people more flagging options, so you can flag something as "high" or "low" priority rather than just "a" priority?)
Please keep in mind, that some people dont always carry their Mac around, so they sync to a more portable device like a smartphone. I sync my calendar and ToDo list from iCal to my Palm, which I carry around most of the time.
For doing this, I have to sync to iCal first, which has "High", "Medium" and "Low" priority.
Maybe it is a good idea to have these 3 levels also for iCal sync?
Originally Posted by Adam Sneller View Post
I have to throw my 2 cents in here.

I've just waded through 10 pages of people debating whether to include priorities in OmniFocus. To me, this only proves two things: (1) a lot of people use priorities and (2) a lot of other people do not. Trying to force one group of users to conform to another group's workflow is only going to end up alienating a large portion of your market share (who may end up turning to other solutions).
I 100% agree to you. If we all agree, that if priorities are added, they would be optional, this thread would be much easier. And syncing is defnitely an issue.

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