A lot of the notes people consider non-actionable can become actionable with a bit of thought and the right wording. Ask yourself: why am I taking note of these things to begin with?
In my case, it's almost always because I want to do
something about them, although it's not always immediately obvious or necessarily a physical activity. But if I don't want to do
something about the note, why am I bothering to write it down?
Remember that anything
starting with a verb is actionable, including verbs like "Think about...", "Examine...", "Check out...", "Consider...", etc.
For example, maybe you want to paint your house. You might have some project notes like these:
- Possible colors: red, maroon, yellow
- Painting supplies: Bill's Brush Emporium, Dennis' Painting Megastore, Pigment Palace
- Examples: 1234 Main Street, 5678 Side Street, Charlie's house
- Stucco repair: http://www.google.com/search?q=stucco+repair
By beginning each of these with a verb (and possibly organizing them in a parallel action group), you can turn this amorphous blob of information into actions.
- Decide on paint color for house
- Discuss color options (red, maroon, yellow) with spouse
- Check out red paint samples at hardware store
- Examine maroon paint on Dawn's house
- Try out yellow paint samples from Pigment Palace
- Arrange painting supplies
- Visit Bill's Brush Emporium
- Explore Dennis' Painting Megastore
- Browse Pigment Palace web site
- Look for inspiring example houses
- Drive by 1234 Main Street
- Survey houses around 5678 Side Street
- Talk to Charlie about his beautiful house
- Investigate stucco repair
- Think about hiring a contractor to do all this work
This approach helps me get to the heart of why I'm capturing these notes to begin with. If I'm not going to actually use
the information, then it can probably be stored outside of OmniFocus or not at all!
Right now, everything
in OmniFocus is built around and specifically designed for managing actions
. Notes, on the other hand, are a different kind of animal. How would they be treated in this action-oriented system?
- Do they have associated dates (start, due, completion, review) and how are they treated in perspectives filtered by date?
- Do they get contexts and how are they treated in context mode?
- Do they get archived, and if so, how do we know when to archive them if they can't be marked as complete?
- How do the note items impact execution flow of a project? Do they block availability of the next action in sequential groupings?
- How do they interact with the Status Filter?
Handling these issues seems difficult to me. I can't help but think Omni would be shoe-horning a new data type into a system that wasn't designed to handle it, all the while diluting the purity of the data model and increasing complexity. It just makes me uncomfortable. :-)
But as BevvyB said earlier, I can "agree to disagree." If you still feel strongly about this feature, you should contact the Omni Group directly from within OmniFocus (Help -> Send Feedback). They might have some good ideas on this topic and be able to make things work out in a way that'll satisfy everybody.