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Where to store results of actions? Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Hi,

one question I still have:

Where do you put your results of actions?

Example:

one action is named "get information on accounts"

After that action is done, I have the info but where to store that information? In the notes field of that action? When I mark that action completed that info is hidden.

I'd like to have something like a chronical diary for a project where I can see everything, like when I finished what action and what were the results of that etc.

This would help me a lot. I know in GTD you have to have a file for each project but I can't find anything like that in OF.

Is that possible in OF? If not, what do you use if you do?

Thank you
 
I imagine a lot of people store such information in a separate OmniOutliner file or text file, maybe linked to the related project. But I tend to do exactly as you describe: I log stuff, usually with a timestamp, in the notes field of my actions. If the piece of information is crucial for the next action, I put it in the notes field of the next action, otherwise it usually goes with the action just completed.

This has become an integral part of my work flow, and I frequently refer back to my old notes to refresh my memory on a particular outcome, what someone said, what I did or how I handled something, etc. I've been very happy with the way OmniFocus handles it, particularly because notes can be styled (great for making bold headings or embedding snippets of source code in a fixed-width font).

The fact that an action gets hidden after being completed isn't a problem for me since I keep the View Bar displayed most of the time and switching from Remaining actions to All actions is but a click of the mouse away.
 
OF is not a complete GTD system as it does not really address the reference component of GTD. This makes sense as a suitable reference system is going to be different for different people - even if their needs are identical. In fact, even for one person, there may be no single ideal reference system as the ideal system may vary depending on the project. For example, a reference system for a wood working project would probably be different from the reference system for an IT project.
 
This makes me think that it would be nice if OF had a third mode (in addition to context mode and planning mode), a "Notes" mode or a "Data" mode. It would be similar to context or planning mode, but it would display the notes attached to actions or projects in the main pane rather than the actions.
 
But wouldn't you still need to see the action that each note was associated with? If so, isn't that what we already have in both Planning and Context mode (i.e. a list of actions and their associated notes)?
 
@brest: you could use the notes field of the project itself to keep a running reference list of information related to the project.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jfisher View Post
@brest: you could use the notes field of the project itself to keep a running reference list of information related to the project.

Hi jfisher,

I could use this (and thanks b/c I didn't know that yet), but I'd rather like to have a mode, where I can see the actions to a project in chronical order when I completed them incl the notes for each of those actions. Because I don't like to switch to the project, when I'm in context mode, I just want to edit the action's notes field.

I don't know for sure If I can build such a perspective.

And in general I think, that a tool should provide some kind of reference component, when it wants to provide GTD style.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Toadling View Post
But wouldn't you still need to see the action that each note was associated with? If so, isn't that what we already have in both Planning and Context mode (i.e. a list of actions and their associated notes)?
That would depend on how good your note was, no? In any case, I was imagining that the action would be displayed subordinate to the note in the same way that the note is shown currently in context mode.

But this is really just a different way of displaying the data that seems to come at essentially no cost (to the user) and has some advantages. For example, in "Notes" mode, the notes might always be visible, whether or not an action was available/completed/etc. It also allows for other ways to sort/group notes that might not be available/would be independent of the views chosen in context or planning mode.

Also, if you could add categories to notes (the analog of a context for an action), that would give you other ways to organize your data. For example, you could have a "Contact" category for notes that contain contact info for colleages, a "Document" category for notes that contain files, etc. Then you could group or show/hide notes in Notes mode in a similar way that you use contexts in context mode.
 
I store results one of two places.

If the results are simple results that are really only necessary for the next action(s), then I attach them to one of the note fields, whichever seems more appropriate (either in the project notes, the current action notes, or the next action notes).

If they are results that need to be recorded or archived for future reference (ie. after the project is completed), then I'll store them in my general reference material... either the paper files or in the proper folder on the computer.

One problem with this is that OF notes seem to close automatically... since some people are using these for detailed action info, it would be nice if they were more permanent, and or had more detailed controls, like menu options to "open all notes" and "close all notes" for selected projects or folders.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by abh19 View Post
One problem with this is that OF notes seem to close automatically... since some people are using these for detailed action info, it would be nice if they were more permanent, and or had more detailed controls, like menu options to "open all notes" and "close all notes" for selected projects or folders.
Your notes close automatically? Perhaps you have the View->Collapse Row Text When Not Editing menu option turned on? With that option off, my notes stay open until I close them, allowing me to view complete, multiple notes at the same time.

Also, you can open/close the note field for selected projects/actions with Edit->Edit Note menu option, or hit Command-'.

Last edited by Toadling; 2008-03-04 at 02:20 PM..
 
 


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