Originally Posted by petro
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.