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I guess I'm confused as to why the active state of a context is a user-definable state instead of an automatic one.

To me, an active context should be something more like "this context has an available/next action in it" -- something that can be determined automatically. The "active" flag seems instead to be intended as an 'enable/disable' flag.

Hmm... maybe that's what I'm asking for. An enable/disable flag for contexts is fine, and I can see some times when you'd want to use that. But I'd really like to be able to filter out contexts lacking actions, so I can look in an instant and know what sorts of things are needing my attention.

Thoughts?
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by zedboy View Post
IHmm... maybe that's what I'm asking for. An enable/disable flag for contexts is fine, and I can see some times when you'd want to use that. But I'd really like to be able to filter out contexts lacking actions, so I can look in an instant and know what sorts of things are needing my attention.

Thoughts?
You can do this now with the outline: group actions by context and collapse all. The result will be a list of the contexts that have actions in them that match your current filter setting.

It would be nice if "contexts with actions" showed up in the sidebar, but it would have to change dynamically depending on whether you have filtered next, available, remaining, completed, or all actions. That would represent a pretty significant shift from the current UI. And I often move actions from a waiting or agenda context into another context by dragging, so I think I would usually show all active contexts. What if, in the sidebar, contexts with available actions were boldfaced or otherwise distinguished from those without available actions?
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by brianogilvie View Post
It would be nice if "contexts with actions" showed up in the sidebar, but it would have to change dynamically depending on whether you have filtered next, available, remaining, completed, or all actions. That would represent a pretty significant shift from the current UI. And I often move actions from a waiting or agenda context into another context by dragging, so I think I would usually show all active contexts. What if, in the sidebar, contexts with available actions were boldfaced or otherwise distinguished from those without available actions?
I'd love to see Action Count badges next to the contexts in the sidebar, like the unread counts in Mail's sidebar.
__________________
Cheers,

Curt
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by brianogilvie View Post
It would be nice if "contexts with actions" showed up in the sidebar, but it would have to change dynamically depending on whether you have filtered next, available, remaining, completed, or all actions. That would represent a pretty significant shift from the current UI. And I often move actions from a waiting or agenda context into another context by dragging, so I think I would usually show all active contexts. What if, in the sidebar, contexts with available actions were boldfaced or otherwise distinguished from those without available actions?
I don't think it's a dramatic shift from the current UI, in fact, I think it's more consistent following the principle of only showing what's necessary. For instance, if I have available actions grouped by project (in context view), and I complete the only remaining action, that project disappears from the view. Not a problem.

Similarly, I'm not calling for contexts to always be filtered, just to give the option to do so. It's not at contradiction with how you want to use contexts.

I'm also happy with Curt's suggestion of badges. Again, the point is to make me only have to deal with what needs to be dealt with.

I hope it's not too big a feature to be considered at this (relatively) late stage.
 
Those number badges always spur me into action.

A bit OT:

I mentioned awhile ago that I would like to have steal an idea from itunes. I think it would be mega cool if you could turn on a preference to show the estimated time of a project in the same way that itunes looks at a playlist and says 25 songs, 1.5 hours. If this was implemented you might see at the bottom of the screen: Focusing on Project X, 25 next actions, 2.5 hours remaining.

Pros
===
It would be great to focus on a few projects and see the estimated amount of time in the NA's. It would feel really good to see those disappear when you re-negotiated, delegated, or finished projects.

It would help me to have a more accurate sense of how long things will take. I'm constantly saying yes to new projects. I would love to tell my boss, "I'd love to do that, but I currently have 22 hours of NA's that are due in the next three days.

It would be great to focus on a reasonable number of important NA's, get it down to O and really enjoy the weekend.

Cons
===
I would hate to spend too much time fiddling with the "estimated hours" feature.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by curt.clifton View Post
I'd love to see Action Count badges next to the contexts in the sidebar, like the unread counts in Mail's sidebar.
Ditto. I've been asking for these for sometime now. Hope this feature makes it into version 1.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by zedboy View Post
I don't think it's a dramatic shift from the current UI, in fact, I think it's more consistent following the principle of only showing what's necessary. For instance, if I have available actions grouped by project (in context view), and I complete the only remaining action, that project disappears from the view. Not a problem.
That happens in the outline, but not in the sidebar. The sidebar has thus far changed only in response to user manipulations--dragging, expanding or collapsing entries, focusing, using the view filter over the sidebar, etc. Making the sidebar dynamic based on settings for the outline is what I would find a big UI shift.

I see the need for indicating more clearly which contexts have available or next actions when you've got the outline grouped another way. I like Curt's idea of using badges.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by zedboy View Post
I hope it's not too big a feature to be considered at this (relatively) late stage.
Not only is it not too late, it's just been implemented--in a way that should make both of us reasonably happy.

"Active Contexts" now include only those with at least one available action (unless the context is marked as hidden).

"Available Contexts" include all contexts that haven't been marked hidden.

Hidden contexts (a new term) are those that were not marked as "active" in the previous terminology.

Since the Active Contexts list is determined by available actions, it doesn't update dynamically when you change the view. But otherwise it seems pretty close to what you want. And I can always use Available Contexts when I want to see them all.

Kudos to Omni!
 
 


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