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Date Parsing: Natural Language, Relative Date Options Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Quote:
Originally Posted by jdh View Post
OF is also clever enough to adjust the other date accordingly in the new task.
I love this feature!
 
An example of a project with non repeating relative dates is:

-Concrete the patio (sequential actions)
--purchase concrete
--mix & pour concrete (allow 24 hours to dry)
--replace patio furniture (start date 1d after available)

This allows flexibility in planning out projects, without forcing a user to put hard dates on actions.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jdh View Post
While entering "S+3d" might be a handy shortcut, I can generally do that in my head so there's no that much point.
S+3d can be easily done in the head, unless we are closer to the end of a month. But longer dates can be problematic, especially with our lovely month system. S+30d is difficult to figure out in your head (unless you are a savant).

Computers love this kind of mental work. My philosophy is... why waste glucose on things like this when there are so many other problems that my mind can handle that computers cannot.
 
source

Quote:
Nowadays, I am forgetting things, events, and names of persons. I wondered whether this has impacted my knowledge, imagination and curiosity levels.

The material from Disruptive Thoughts Website was a consolation for me.

We can now know more by knowing less. You are wasting too much time remembering. Our learning has been limited (forever) by what we can remember.

Traditionally brain space has been consumed by remembering; an evolved necessity borne from no other option. If you wanted to know you learned to remember.

However, technology, especially the internet, has destroyed the need to remember. We can, for the first time in history, truly know more by knowing less.

Spend time learning how to use and how to understand the concept. That’s where the valuable learning occurs. There’s a big difference between learning to remember, learning to use, and learning to understand.

Here’s a simple illustration: The Pythagorean Theorem, a2 + b2 = c2. Everyone, including math dropouts, knows it. However, I bet many people don’t know how to solve for c and even less understand the concept well enough to know how to apply it to a problem.

It’s the aggregation of concepts where one can really extend their learning. An imagination filled with an understanding of concepts creates value in today’s world.

Learn to effectively use the tools that allow you to forget.
Free your mind to understand concepts.
Leverage concepts against each other.
Create value.

One of Einstein’s colleagues asked him for his telephone number one day. Einstein reached for a telephone directory and looked it up. “You don’t remember your own number?” the man asked, startled.” No,” Einstein answered. “Why should I memorize something I can so easily get from a book?”
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpiralOcean View Post
An example of a project with non repeating relative dates is...
Your example seems to suggest that you're talking about putting relative dates on distinct sequential actions rather than just between start date and due date on a single action. If so, that's definitely an intriguing idea and would be a great feature.

However, it also occurs that this starts to approach the functionality of full PM applications like OmniPlan, and probably isn't a simple thing to add to OmniFocus. While relative dates might work fine while things are lined up, what happens when you start moving tasks around, even within the same project, much less between projects. Dependencies and relative dates then have to be recalculated in a number of different ways. None of this is incredibly difficult, but it would likely require some more significant development effort than simply calculating relative dates within a single action. It might even require a complete rewrite of the way that OmniFocus currently handles inter-task dependencies.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SpiralOcean View Post
S+3d can be easily done in the head, unless we are closer to the end of a month. But longer dates can be problematic, especially with our lovely month system. S+30d is difficult to figure out in your head (unless you are a savant).
Fair enough, but if we're only talking about static calculations there are still other ways to handle it.... You can suffix most of the date shortcuts with an operator, so it's not too difficult to just copy-and-paste between fields and add a suffix like +30d. This doesn't seem to work with ALL date formats, but it works with enough to be practical, and I use it on a very regular basis.

For instance, I can enter "next tue + 30d" or "mar 13 + 5d" or even just "+15d" to calculate from today's date. For some reason numeric dates don't seem to work - "03/13/10 + 30d" simply results in 03/13/10 - but that seems to me like more of a bug.

Now, all of that having been said, I'm not against adding "S" and "D" variables to these calculations, but my real point is that if OG is going to do this at all, I'd really prefer to see it done such that a relative date entry remains a calculated value rather than just storing the static result. In other words, if you enter S+30d in the due date field, it should update automatically the next time you change the start date so that the interval remains at 30 days between the two dates. That would be far more useful, IMHO, than simply an extra date calculator variable.
 
Excellent points! I hadn't taken the thought out to due date +30d of the start date, and the start date is relative based on when the action becomes available.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jdh View Post
However, it also occurs that this starts to approach the functionality of full PM applications like OmniPlan, and probably isn't a simple thing to add to OmniFocus.
There's always the dream that someday the two will interface with the two. I've purchased OmniPlan, and while there is a great deal of functionality in it, trying to get data into it is cumbersome. Only my opinion.

What I love about OmniFocus is the small things:
• searching for project/context when I start typing
• ability to add a new project with the command+enter key
• ability to add a project nested into a folder by typing minimal keys
(example: Home <folder>: Maintenance <folder> I can create a new project by typing: h:m:My New project <command+enter>)
• ability to tab around an action
• all the terrific date shortcuts like +3d

All of these simple things took work by the developers to implement. There are too many apps out in the world that do not think of these things, or don't put the effort into them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jdh View Post
While relative dates might work fine while things are lined up, what happens when you start moving tasks around, even within the same project, much less between projects. Dependencies and relative dates then have to be recalculated in a number of different ways. None of this is incredibly difficult, but it would likely require some more significant development effort than simply calculating relative dates within a single action. It might even require a complete rewrite of the way that OmniFocus currently handles inter-task dependencies.
True. Something that may seem simple to the user may be a lot of work for the developers. However, if a date is relative to when the action becomes available, then that relative date is self contained and not necessarily dependent.

All this to say, I'm not sure how much I would use these features. And that is a question that the folks at OmniGroup have to constantly wrestle with. Will this addition be worth the effort we are putting into it? How much use will it get? Where does it's priority lie with all the other possible additions?

And as users, what we think would be a great way of processing, may not be as great as we think.
 
Hello,

Interesting discussion about dates... and great options that you guys at Omni have implemented for establishing dates and times with all these shortcuts...

But... I miss something.

I work a lot with OmniFocus and use all the time the quick entry window. I use keyboard shortcuts to navigate from one field to the other, but when I get to the "Due" field, I always need to take my mouse to click on the small calendar icon and choose the date in the mini-calendar.

Being able to write a "." to say "today" or +2d to say "after tomorrow" is great, but I realize that many times, when I need to decide a date, I'm more visual and need to look at the calendar to choose the good date. For example: if I want to do something on the friday in two weeks, I don't want to count the days in my head to be able to write "+2s3d" or I don't know what strange code... I want better to see the calendar and pick the day!

One thing that would be GREAT: in the quick entry window, when getting to the "due" field, being able to make the calendar appear with a keyboard shorcut, navigate with keyboard arrows to choose the date, tab to put a time and enter to validate.

Or, with an image:

Maybe it's possible already, but I didn't find it...

Would it be possible do you think?

In an ideal solution (for the future), if I could even better get at that stage (when coming to "due" field) an overview of my iCal content to choose the right date, it would be just a dream... but maybe more complicated to implement...
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ksrhee View Post
I was asking is if I put 3/2/10 as the due date, I could enter D - 2d for 2/28/10 as start date, or if I put 3/1/10 as the start date, I could enter S + 2d for 3/3/10 for due date. This is not currently available. I would think the first scenarios is more common than second but both will be useful.

Just got a reply from OG that this is in the feature request, but not yet implemented.
Hi, Omni folk

Is this feature request still active?
I'd find "date formulae" helpful too.

Best wishes,
Steve
 
 


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