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Project Arrange By Tasks / Priority - Feature Idea Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Hi there - I'm just throwing this out there, don't know how useful this would be for others. I would find it really useful if I could set the arrangement of my projects (obviously in project view) to be projects with most tasks on top, and projects with fewest, or no tasks at the bottom of the list. Perhaps this could also tie in with Priority of tasks within. I know that's not exactly the way that this should be used, but it is something that would help clarify in the projects view which project is getting behind etc etc.

Thanks!

Boone
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by boonespooner View Post
Hi there - I'm just throwing this out there, don't know how useful this would be for others. I would find it really useful if I could set the arrangement of my projects (obviously in project view) to be projects with most tasks on top, and projects with fewest, or no tasks at the bottom of the list. Perhaps this could also tie in with Priority of tasks within. I know that's not exactly the way that this should be used, but it is something that would help clarify in the projects view which project is getting behind etc etc.
That would make sense if you always entered every step of your project in the project list. Most of us don't do that for all of our projects, because we do planning as necessary. One of my current projects involves planning a one-day meeting, and it has something like 15 actions on it. Another involves writing a 400-page book, and it currently has only three actions on it. I'll decide on the others as they occur to me, or when those three are done. But the book is the more important project, and I'll be behind on it if I don't get those three actions done soon.

In other words, the number of actions in OmniFocus is not necessarily equal to the number of remaining actions. One principle of GTD is that you shouldn't overplan. With some projects, knowing the one action that you have to do next is sufficient planning.
 
Focusing in on what boonespooner said on "priority", the biggest feature I'm lacking right now is an ability to prioritize my projects and tasks. I've been a long time user of Life Balance, then switched to MyLifeOrganized (under Parallels because it's Windows only).

I'm dying to have a Mac app again, but I need to have the app help me stay prioritized. I want a method to rank projects vs. each other, so that things that are more important in my life show up on the top of a list, while things less important move toward the bottom.

I haven't found a way to do this yet in OmniFocus. Am I missing something? I've never used kGTD nor OmniOutliner, so I could me missing something here.

I've got my entire life in my file, containing hundreds of projects and tasks. Everything from reminding me about dentist appointments to goals in my life. Filtering views isn't an effective option, because it takes too long to figure out what to click, how to filter. And I'm still left with tens or hundreds of tasks. Some on hold, some active.

Any suggestions on how to handle this? Or is this a feature lacking in OmniFocus?

That aside, I'm loving some of the interface features so far.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by petro View Post
I've got my entire life in my file, containing hundreds of projects and tasks. Everything from reminding me about dentist appointments to goals in my life. Filtering views isn't an effective option, because it takes too long to figure out what to click, how to filter. And I'm still left with tens or hundreds of tasks. Some on hold, some active.

Any suggestions on how to handle this? Or is this a feature lacking in OmniFocus?
I've just been rereading David Allen's Getting Things Done, and I'd say that it is a feature lacking in OmniFocus because part of the GTD approach is that "priority" is a criterion that needs to be determined on the fly. If you have (1) a list of projects, (2) a list of the next actions that are required to move each project along, sorted by context, and (3) some sense of how much time and effort are required for each next task, then you should be able to decide priority in the moment. Assigning an arbitrary priority, on whatever scale, based on how you see things at one moment might not suit you well when you actually are in a position to act.

In operational terms, some of us who have been using OmniFocus for a while have been handling our in-the-moment decisions about priority by focusing on projects or folders. Right now I have about 140 available actions in my list, distributed among some 40 projects and a few single action buckets. In my reviews, I use flags to indicate projects that need attention soon.

Sometimes I'll filter by flagged items if I decide that's the best way to determine my priorities at the moment.

Other times, I'll focus on a project, a group of projects, or a folder, when I decide that aspect of my life needs my undivided attention right now.

Still other times, I'll sort actions by due date if I need to get things out of the way before they blow up on me.

And then, once I consistently enter a realistic time estimate for my tasks, I'll be able to look for actions that I can do in the 15 minutes before a meeting, or conversely, on which I can make significant progress when I have a free afternoon. (Keeping in mind the old adage that the first 90% of a task takes 90% of the time, and then the last 10% takes the other 90% of the time....)

In sum, OmniFocus doesn't support assigning priorities, but it gives you a number of tools for helping you determine what your priorities should be. That's in the spirit of GTD.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by brianogilvie View Post
<snip>In sum, OmniFocus doesn't support assigning priorities, but it gives you a number of tools for helping you determine what your priorities should be. That's in the spirit of GTD.
I just posted almost the exact same response to another thread... so this may be a repeat.

This is exactly where I don't think the theory of GTD suits me well, and I use some concepts from other people's time/life management suggestions. I agree I should spend less time using the tool, hence why I want to be able to pre-set priorities.

I want to setup the goals in my life that are important to me. I want an application like OF to help me achieve the goals in my life. Some things are more important to me. For a simple example, going to the doctor is always more important to me than doing the laundry.

I hope OF won't just be a strict implementation of GTD to the point of not having enough flexibility to meet various people's needs. I think priority is a very valuable feature. It allows me to setup what projects are more important, thus they float to the top of the list. Otherwise I spend my time looking through a huge list of projects, and getting overwhelmed all the time trying to decide what to do. I want to be able to setup my goals up front, otherwise I will always choose the easy task, but not the task most important to obtaining the goals in my life.
 
I posted this a while ago, but I'll put it here again. I recommend using the filtering and focusing techniques as well, but the kludge that I've been sometimes using to get priorities is to use the duration field. During my weekly review, I'll flag the projects and actions that I know I want to work on this week. Then during the daily review, I'll enter durations to sort the days tasks to the top in a rough order or priority. I've been using a convention of 15 or less = today, 16-60 = tomorrow, blank = after that.
 
Allen writes about Priorities...he also mentions they're not set in stone...but also shifting, based on due dates, context, energy and focus.

Priorities? Take a look at your (context) list. You know RIGHT AWAY if something is important. REALLY important.

Do you have a 'too long of a list' in a given context?
Try limiting it to the "Next Available" action, rather than every action.
 
 


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