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Feature request: "On hold" status of individual items Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Obviously there are a few ways to skin the cat. I still hold to the feeling that there should be some way to quickly flag items as "Waiting" (on "On Hold").

I want many of my Waiting items to appear as part of the project action list, not separate -- which OF allows, but with no . In my case, these actions are often due today (as in I need someone to call back today if I'm to meet a deadline), so I don't want to tuck them away for later review.
But I do want to be constantly reminded, as I scan the project's actions, that if these contacts don't get back to me soon, I'll need to hassle them before my deadline.

Ideally, "Waiting" items would appear in italics, so they are visually different from an action item that needs my input.

Perhaps a rule-based system for font characteristics would cover this off? As in <If context=Waiting, then text=red & italic> I think TaskPaper is going in this direction. It may add another level of complexity that Omni and many users don't want to be bothered with, but it would be a terrific customisation tool.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Case View Post
You can do this in OmniFocus right now by grouping some of your actions in a parallel group: groups can be set to sequential or parallel independently of their parent project or group.
That's not exactly true. These are action groups, not true subprojects. If I have a project called "My project" and an action group "Call Joe RE foo" then an action "Call Joe at 555-1234". I called Joe, he wasn't home so I left a message on his voicemail. Now, I'm "Waiting for Joe to call me back RE foo". This the second, and next, action in the "Call Joe RE foo" action group in the project "My project." So, I go to context mode and look under my "Waiting for" context and see "Waiting for Joe to call me back RE foo" associated with "My project". This is not correct from my point of view. I think the project should be "Call Joe RE foo".
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jonwalthour View Post
That's not exactly true. These are action groups, not true subprojects.
Oh, absolutely: I was simply talking about how you can group actions if you want to run some actions in a project in parallel while leaving other actions sequential.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Case View Post
Oh, absolutely: I was simply talking about how you can group actions if you want to run some actions in a project in parallel while leaving other actions sequential.
I must be invisible...
 
One thing that I have started to use for on-hold individual items for a massive, project that I am in charge of (focused folder), is to give that item "no context". That way the items don't show up in context mode so I don't act on them.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by colicoid View Post
I must be invisible...
Sorry if you felt that way! I didn't comment on your earlier comment that parallel action groups aren't real subprojects because I agree completely that they're not.

We actually started out with real subprojects (having all the state and weight of projects) rather than groups of actions, but it ended up feeling fairly heavy and cluttered, as well as raising lots of UI questions about how things should be organized in planning mode. (For example, if you're grouping projects by due date, do you pull due subprojects out of their main project to present them? Do they show up again under their main project, so they now show up in two places? Do they appear in the sidebar?)

It also made it feel like yet more stuff you had to manage about your project structure, when we're trying to put the focus on doing actions rather than spending much time organizing them. (The less time a project or action exists in your plan, the better!)

I think I'd rather give a little more state (e.g. "dropped") to actions generally than to try to turn groups into mini-projects (which clutters up the project space, and still doesn't give you the ability to drop individual actions or place them on hold).

Last edited by Ken Case; 2008-06-04 at 12:40 AM..
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by colicoid View Post
One thing that I have started to use for on-hold individual items for a massive, project that I am in charge of (focused folder), is to give that item "no context". That way the items don't show up in context mode so I don't act on them.
Oh, I should perhaps point out that that's the intended use for on-hold contexts: assigning an action to a context that's on hold effectively puts that action on hold. (I didn't mention this earlier because I tend not to take that approach myself: I prefer for actions to wake up again after a while to remind me to do something, so I usually defer them using a start date instead. But I know that others make heavy use of on-hold contexts like "Waiting".)
 
I actually just put things on hold. The whole project.

Since I review my On Hold projects every week (Weekly Review) I don't worry about missing things.

For others that repeat, I just change the start/due date like my haircut that is set for every 5 weeks but sometimes after 5 weeks, not enough has grown.

BZ
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Case View Post
I think I'd rather give a little more state (e.g. "dropped") to actions generally than to try to turn groups into mini-projects (which clutters up the project space, and still doesn't give you the ability to drop individual actions or place them on hold).
Thats fine and could actually turn out to be a pretty nice solution. One shortcoming that remains, that I could think of on top of my head is that actions in context mode lack their context from planning mode. E.g.

Fix bugs (Project)
* Appears in Firefox only (group)
* Bug 1
* Appears in Safari only (group)
* Bug 2

When I look at bug 1 and 2 in context mode I cannot know if its a FF or Safari bug. (Discussed in another thread recently in the forums). You will have to come up with some clever ui solution for that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Case View Post
We actually started out with real subprojects (having all the state and weight of projects) rather than groups of actions, but it ended up feeling fairly heavy and cluttered, as well as raising lots of UI questions about how things should be organized in planning mode. (For example, if you're grouping projects by due date, do you pull due subprojects out of their main project to present them? Do they show up again under their main project, so they now show up in two places? Do they appear in the sidebar?)
I agree that this is tricky stuff. If you can work it out you will have a truly superior product. In this particular case I would say that sub projects should be treated as if they were separate projects but with reference to their hierarchical context, i.e. they should show up once and it should be possible to see all parent project names. Similar to how you display stuff "group by folder" now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Case View Post
Oh, I should perhaps point out that that's the intended use for on-hold contexts: assigning an action to a context that's on hold effectively puts that action on hold
I haven't played much with on-hold contexts and will go try this. I am a little bit worried about myself not remembering to occasionally check my on-hold contexts though...

Quote:
Originally Posted by BwanaZulia View Post
I actually just put things on hold. The whole project.
Yea I do this too but it does not work well with projects that contain 200+ tasks organized into several levels of action groups. If we decide that a certain feature might not make it the final product I might want to put that group on-hold for some unknown time. I will have to turn it into a project and put the project to on-hold. After a while I have so many projects that I need to organize them in folders. This is not so good because a I can only drop folders and this will eventually leave me with hundreds of dropped folders that actually represents completed sub/projects.
 
I played a little with assigning actions to a global on-hold context.
The action becomes grayed out in planning mode so thats cool. And when the filter is set to available the task is not shown which is also good.
Only one problem with this; if the action I want to put on hold already has a context assigned to it it will have to be swapped out for the on-hold context instead.

Example. I have assigned the creation of an image to one of my colleagues (each of my colleagues has his own context) and now for some reason we want to put that task on-hold I risk forgetting who I originally assigned it to. To keep the original context I could move it into the notes section, but that's pretty low-tech.

I think allowing individual actions to be put on-hold is still the way forward here...
 
 


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