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Why OmniFocus needs priorities! Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Quote:
Originally Posted by alxwz View Post
My point was that, given that OF syncs with iCal, I want to be able to use the priority field in both iCal and OF. It's not like iCal tasks have dozens of different fields. But this one is a glaring omission.
In my view, OF does "do priorities", just differently and better. Just like Photoshop doesn't sync its layers with MacPaint, Daylite doesn't sync its relationship info with AddressBook, Acrobat Professional doesn't sync its form layouts with Preview, etc.; I think that it's worth trying to do it the OF way instead of trying to get OF shoehorned into iCal. Said another way, I think that OmniGroup is well aware of this request.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by alxwz View Post
First, it didn't work as intended, at least with the version I had installed back then. IIRC, it basically did nothing.
That's odd, I've been using parallel and sequential projects and action groups since the day I first downloaded a pre-1.0 sneaky peek that included support for them, and I don't recall any such problem. Perhaps I just didn't notice it. It certainly works now.
Quote:
Second, the thinking behind it is flawed. In most cases, I can do multiple parts of a project in parallel, but not all of them. The feature needs more flexibility.
Can you give an example of such a project that you cannot express with a combination of parallel and sequential action groups, and how you think it should be expressed more flexibly?
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by whpalmer4 View Post
Can you give an example of such a project that you cannot express with a combination of parallel and sequential action groups, and how you think it should be expressed more flexibly?
I can.

I'll use a very domestic example -- a sewing project. I'll number steps.

1. Prepare fabric
1. Prepare sewing machine
1. Prepare pattern
2. Pin pattern to fabric, cut out
3. sew darts on pants front
3 sew darts on pants back
4 sew fronts to backs at inseam
...

You can see that some groups of steps are parallel, but must be completed before the next group of steps.

There are many ways around this, though. You can use sequential action groups with parallel actions within them. You can number your actions as I did above. You can use a very old tool (your brain) and technique (memory) to alert you that certain groups of actions must be completed before moving to the next step.

What do I do? I create the list of tasks in Outliner, and put a project reminder on OmniFu.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LizPf View Post
You can see that some groups of steps are parallel, but must be completed before the next group of steps.

There are many ways around this, though. You can use sequential action groups with parallel actions within them. You can number your actions as I did above. You can use a very old tool (your brain) and technique (memory) to alert you that certain groups of actions must be completed before moving to the next step.
Huh... I thought that was a major part of what action groups are for. To me, they don't seem like a kludge here, but perhaps I'm missing a more elegant solution. I suppose a flowchart might express it a bit more cleanly (without requiring the parallel items to be explicitly grouped and named). On the other hand, I can't think of a better way to implement combined parallel and sequential actions in a list or outline format. Any suggestions for the Omni gurus?
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LizPf View Post
I can...

There are many ways around this, though. You can use sequential action groups with parallel actions within them...
I believe this is the point that whpalmer4 was making-yours is a project that can be expressed with a combination of parallel and sequential action groups. I also agree with Hope that this is not a work-around, but what action groups are intended to address.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Jones View Post
I also agree with Hope that this is not a work-around, but what action groups are intended to address.
I'm with Hope, Greg, and Bill. Actions groups make the parallel/sequential feature amazingly powerful. It's the best solution to the problem that I can think of.

But I must admit, I have had projects where it was just too much trouble to organize into multiple, nested action groups. In those few case, I simply do a close approximation in OmniFocus and then use common sense when executing.

I think that's the key here: you can express all kinds of complexity with nested, parallel/sequential action groups, but you can reach a point of diminishing returns where it might just be quicker to use common sense and do the tasks. I do it both ways, depending on the circumstances. And one of the great things about OmniFocus is that it gives you that option.

-Dennis
 
I'm with Dennis on not over-organizing the action group hierarchy. I tend to organize as I go. If OF is showing me too many tasks from a project, or showing me tasks that I can't do because of missing prerequisites, then I'll do a bit of quick reorganizing.
__________________
Cheers,

Curt
 
As a business decision, priorities seem to be a no-brainer. Obviously, there is sufficient demand for this feature. Why not sell your users what they want??

If some users do not want priorities, they don't have to use them! The gear icon (see attached screenshot) allows you to show or hide any column you want.
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Here's a vote against it. I dropped priorities with Franklin Covey (which went away after I saw a spreadsheet with 100 #1 priorities on it). The whole point of GTD is that priorities change.

Which is another issue - priorities change, and I miss new tasks popping up on my available list because I miss/forget/neglect to scan them every day. I'm tempted to request a feature to hack the system with a 'reminder date', but again, that's not GTD - I should be scanning my lists every day. Procedure, not feature :-).

Last edited by lhotka; 2012-02-22 at 03:54 PM..
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lhotka View Post
Here's a vote against it. I dropped priorities with Franklin Covey (which went away after I saw a spreadsheet with 100 #1 priorities on it). The whole point of GTD is that priorities change.

Which is another issue - priorities change, and I miss new tasks popping up on my available list because I miss/forget/neglect to scan them every day. I'm tempted to request a feature to hack the system with a 'reminder date', but again, that's not GTD - I should be scanning my lists every day. Procedure, not feature :-).
So, you don't want to use a feature, therefore you don't think anyone else should have it either?

(Personally I'd like an unlimited number of optional columns with different user-configurable labels and data types a la OmniOutliner. In pretty much all my "list" apps, come to think of it.)
 
 


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