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Action Groups Don't Get Marked as Done Automatically Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
If you mark an action group as 'done', then all children of that action group get marked as 'done'.

But if you mark all children of an action group as 'done', then that action group does not get marked as 'done'. (You have to mark it manually.)

I don't like that behavior. I think an action group that only contains 'done' items should get marked as 'done' automatically. Am I wrong?
 
For the way I work with OF, this behavior would cause some problems.

I don't want the parent item to be automatically marked as done because frequently, there are other child actions I need to add to the action group before it is done.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpiralOcean View Post
I don't want the parent item to be automatically marked as done because frequently, there are other child actions I need to add to the action group before it is done.
Then the state of the action group should switch back to 'not done', of course.
 
I would agree with SpiralOcean, having the parent checked off automatically might be OK if you've input every possible task for that parent before hand, but that's not the way most people work. It would actually be better if once you completed the items in the action group, the action group item itself would show up as an incomplete task in the contexts, so you could then either check it off as done or add additional tasks to move it along.

This behavior has been discussed to some extent in other threads, and I believe the OF folks are aware of the need to change this.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GregO View Post
I would agree with SpiralOcean, having the parent checked off automatically might be OK if you've input every possible task for that parent before hand, but that's not the way most people work.
Have you asked more than the half of all OmniFocus users how they use action groups? No? Then please don't tell me how most people work, because you just don't know it (any more than I do). The fact that you work a certain way doesn't mean that most people are working the same way. (Thankfully. ;))

Besides: If most of the OS X users would argue that '5 + 5' should return '11' in OS X's calculator (because it better fits the way they work), should Apple then change the way OS X's calculator works?

Let me give you an example: Uma Thurman as The Bride in Kill Bill creates the following (sequential) project:
(1) kill Bill's inferiors
- (1.1) kill Vernita Green
- (1.2) kill O-Ren Ishii
- (1.3) kill Elle Driver
- (1.4) kill Budd

(2) kill Bill
(1) is an action group that contains four child actions, (1.1) - (1.4). As soon as all child actions of (1) have been executed, (1) itself has been executed. (And The Bride can go on and execute (2).) (If you don't agree on this, google for '"category mistake"'.)

But what, you now ask, if there was another inferior of Bill (let's call him 'Ben') that The Bride didn't know of? Well, until she recognizes that Ben is another inferior of Bill, she still thinks that she killed all of Bill's inferiors, and she would therefore also check (1) as 'done' manually (if she had to, because her OmniFocus wouldn't check it off automatically).

Last edited by minato2; 2008-11-23 at 04:40 AM..
 
But seeing it as a prompt/reminder to make sure that she's killed all Bill's inferiors would be a nice way for her to make sure she's prepared to kill Bill. It might make her think of Ben. (yes, I know, it might not).

I think the point in OF is that it makes AGs work more like mini-projects than they do now. And from what I've read on these forums (no, I don't know but it's an opinion arrived at from months of information gathering here) most people say they use AGs as mini-projects. So, it's logical that they function the way projects do, to the extent possible. If for nothing else to make it less confusing, more uniform, than it is now. IMHO.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by minato2 View Post
But what, you now ask, if there was another inferior of Bill (let's call him 'Ben') that The Bride didn't know of? Well, until she recognizes that Ben is another inferior of Bill, she still thinks that she killed all of Bill's inferiors, and she would therefore also check (1) as 'done' manually (if she had to, because her OmniFocus wouldn't check it off automatically).
When does she recognize there is another inferior of Bill?

When she is looking at contexts she would see this:
kill Vernita Green
grocery shopping
kill O-Ren Ishii
pick up ammunition
kill Elle Driver
kill Budd

She completes all those actions.

When she is doing her weekly review she sees this action group.
kill Bill's inferiors
She thinks... can I complete this action? Is there anything else I need to do to mark this complete?

This gives her pause. She thinks... have I killed Bill's inferiors? Then she remembers, wait no, there is another inferior. Ben. She adds Ben to her action group.

The root of this is the nature of planning in project view and completing in context view.

When a user is in context view, the actions are separated from the project. When I am in context view, I'm not thinking about the project I am in. I am thinking about the one action I need to complete.

The suggestion for changing the system that has been talked about is this.

In the context view, Uma sees this.
completed -kill Vernita Green
completed -grocery shopping
completed -kill O-Ren Ishii
completed -pick up ammunition
completed -kill Elle Driver
kill Budd

She completes that last action and the action group would show up in the context view:
kill Bills inferiors

At this point she can think... is there anything else I need to do to complete this action?

wait, there is, I need to kill ben.

She switches over to project view and adds another child action.
kill Bills inferiors
-kill Ben

she switches back over to context view and sees this
kill Ben

she completes that action and sees this
kill Bills inferiors

she thinks, is there anything else i need to do to complete this?

No?

then she completes
kill bills inferiors
 
SpiralOcean, malisa: You're suggesting that she simply forgot to add Ben to the action group when she created the project? But if she didn't think of Ben in the first place, why should she think of him now?

And even if it now in some magical way occured to her that she forgot Ben, how can she be sure that he's the only one she forgot? How many times does she has to ask herself

Quote:
Originally Posted by SpiralOcean View Post
is there anything else i need to do to complete this?
until she can be sure that she didn't forget something? Please let me know.
 
It's a good point. In theory, it's possible that Uma won't remember until she tries to kill bill.

The main principle is, it's very difficult to plan out everything that could possibly happen when a project is created. Often, projects will change after it has been started. All the tasks that you thought you needed to do have changed, and all that work you did carefully planning out the project went to waste. (Except for the brainstorming that may have uncovered some tasks I wouldn't have thought of without the brainstorming.)

It's been my experience that I'll figure out how to do the project when I am completing tasks. That's when I remember the things I missed in the project stage.

It's also been my experience that it is inefficient to try and plan a project out to the very last detail from the beginning. Usually, I'll enter a project, along with the tasks that I think I need to do. As I start working on a project, then more children are added.

In the kill bill example:
(1) kill Bill's inferiors
- (1.1) kill Vernita Green
- (1.2) kill O-Ren Ishii
- (1.3) kill Elle Driver
- (1.4) kill Budd

(2) kill Bill

Okay... so I switch to contexts and begin working.

kill Vernita is top on the list.

I see that as my action and then I think... wait, I don't have the right tool for this action. I can't physically complete that action. So I go to the project view and add the children.

(1) kill Bill's inferiors
- (1.1) kill Vernita Green
--(1.1.1) find out where Vernita Green Lives
--(1.1.2) pick up knife from army surplus store
- (1.2) kill O-Ren Ishii
- (1.3) kill Elle Driver
- (1.4) kill Budd

(2) kill Bill

Now when I go back to my contexts I see
find out where vernita green lives
pick up knife from army surplus store

when I complete those two actions, I would like to see
kill vernita green
in the contexts.

But then I remember, I don't know when she'll be at home.
So I go back to projects and add

(1) kill Bill's inferiors
- (1.1) kill Vernita Green
--(1.1.3) stake out Vernita Green's house to find when to assisinate
- (1.2) kill O-Ren Ishii
- (1.3) kill Elle Driver
- (1.4) kill Budd

now I go back to contexts
stake out Vernita Green's house to find when to assassinate

I do my stake out. Find the best time to assasinate her and complete the task.

Now in my contexts I see
kill Vernita Green

I can't think of anything else I need to do other than the dirty deed itself.

So I do it, and complete it.

--------
There is no way to guarantee that I will remember to write everything down. All I know is, as I am working on a project, I figure out how to work the project.

Often a project may start with just one action item. It will then expand into all the other actions I didn't know I needed to do to complete the project.

One of the principles I follow from GTD is... make sure every project has at least one actionable item to move it forward. The principle isn't, make sure that every project is completely planned before you start working on it. If I did that, I'd procrastinate because my project wasn't completely planned and so I can't start on it.

Often just having the next step is enough to generate new steps.
 
The other concept I'm working with is actionable items.

Often actions that I think are actionable are not really actionable. I don't know I can't do it until I try to do it.

When I try to take action on
kill Vernita Green

I realize I can't take action on that. I don't have the right tools, I don't know where she lives, I don't know when she'll be home.

So I create children actions that move me closer to completing the parent action.
 
 


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