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Someday/Maybe Projects vs. "On Hold" Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Hey all,

First time poster, long time lurker here.

I've been trying to tweak my OF usage for a long time. I really like having OF handy all the time and I use it a lot to capture stuff I think about doing when on the go. That mostly involves thing to read, things to learn, etc. I'm a medical student, so that kind of actionable stuff (the intellectual sort) is mostly what I have to do.

I know the traditional GTD methodology recommends a Someday/Maybe folder for projects that are far off or indefinite. With a physical filing system, I understand the need for such a folder, so that those projects which are not currently active stay out of view. But with OF, we have the luxury of having an "On Hold' feature that puts projects that we're not working on at the moment out of view.

So my question is, is there even a need for a Someday/Maybe folder in OF? Can't we just use On Hold for everything that we're not doing at the moment?

And as a corollary to that, doesn't that make OF an acceptable place to keep lists of things we'd like to do (such as movie lists, reading lists, shopping lists, etc) so long as they stay out of view and we review them periodically? I ask this because I've seen it said that OF should not be the place where you dump your book lists or learning lists. People tend to use other programs for that, like Omnioutliner or Devonthink. But I'm trying to reduce the number of programs I use. I want to have a go-to place to dump actionable stuff, and OF could serve that role entirely.

Sorry for the long post and multiple questions. Thanks in advance.
 
The "On Hold" status essentially turns a project into a Someday/Maybe project.

I usually just set projects to "On Hold" and don't move it to a Someday/Maybe folder. I like to keep it in the original folder. It takes less work for me.

For some folks, putting projects on hold and moving it to a Someday/Maybe folder is visually more appealing. So it's more of a personal choice.

When I set a project to Someday/Maybe, I usually just use the left sidebar and drag the On Hold project down the list within the same folder so that the active projects will be above the Someday/Maybe projects.






I also don't want to see my reading list in the active context perspectives and set the reading list to On Hold. Then I set an appropriate review duration for lists like this. You can set it to review every 1 week or every 1 month or whatever your heart desires. Then you'll be able to review it during the review process.

I keep my grocery list in OmniOutliner but that's just personal preference.
 
I have an "Deferred" folder nested in my active projects folder. I put projects that I plan on doing in the near future here, but put on hold for some reason or other. I have a perspective that only focuses on the active projects so I do not see any projects in the sidebar that are on hold that may distract me when I'm trying to get things done. These get a regular review schedule (usually 1 week) so I make sure I move them to the active list when appropriate.

I also have a "Someday/Maybe" Single Action list that is always on hold for those actions/projects that I think I may want to do sometime in the distant future. I usually do not plan the project actions out for these until I decide to do them so i don't need anything more than a single action list for someday/maybes. This has a longer review period (1 month) since I haven't decided if I am going to do any of them or not yet.
 
Thanks for the thoughtful replies guys! I'm going to scrap the someday/maybe and just use On Hold and just make sure to review thoroughly each week and month
 
Hi!

I tend to use "on hold" for projects as a whole (rather than long lists of books / music / movies / etc. which are not, in my mind, "projects"), and usually because I should eventually "awake" it, or because there is a reason why it is on hold (after those other projects are done, or when someone will visit, etc.).

In my someday / maybe SAL, I have always at least a few individual entries that are not on hold (or flagged, etc.). If for some reason now would be a good time to read I will go and choose a few things from the list, or leave a movie there while it's still in the theater, etc.

Personally I find it very liberating to keep those someday/maybe lists. I was doing that before knowing about gtd or OF, just to keep the noise down as best as I could in my mind.

Julien
 
I use folders to group my projects into my areas of focus and I do create a Someday/Maybe folder within that folder for the on-hold projects for that AOF. I just find it cleaner.

A lot of my projects get defined and may actually span months or even years and in a few rare cases decades before completion so I don't want to lose the planning I already did and I don't want to move them in and out of a totally separate giant someday/maybe folder so I create smaller ones. I also have a large population of projects, I typically have between 150-200 active current projects at any given time and a further 500-600 or so on-hold.

I tried using on-hold projects for books, movies etc. but the list of books I want to read is already at 400+ and it got unwieldy in OF. It's now all in Amazon on either my paper book or kindle wishlists ;-) Ditto for movies to see except they are now on Netflix.
 
Indeed, I also have those projects in their own folder, usually not part of the perspectives I use daily / weekly (always "out of focus"). It is a very important point that I forgot to mention.

Julien
 
I like to distinguish between "On Hold" and "Someday/Maybe" in this way:

One key point that has really helped me with my GTD lists is simply to put more projects on hold. I only set projects I conceivably see myself working on the in the next week or so to "Active".

Any project where I have made at least some form of commitment to myself to complete, and that I know I will be working on soon (but not in the next week or so), is placed On Hold.

For other tasks and projects that Im just not sure about yet, I put them in a "Someday" Single Action List with its status set to On Hold. (I use a single action list because many of these ideas are single actions and have not been fully formed into projects yet).

This keeps clutter down when reviewing because otherwise I'd have far too many "On Hold" projects and actions cluttering up my view when Im trying to decide what Im going to mark as Active this week.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cameron View Post
I like to distinguish between "On Hold" and "Someday/Maybe" in this way:

One key point that has really helped me with my GTD lists is simply to put more projects on hold. I only set projects I conceivably see myself working on the in the next week or so to "Active".

Any project where I have made at least some form of commitment to myself to complete, and that I know I will be working on soon (but not in the next week or so), is placed On Hold.

For other tasks and projects that Im just not sure about yet, I put them in a "Someday" Single Action List with its status set to On Hold. (I use a single action list because many of these ideas are single actions and have not been fully formed into projects yet).

This keeps clutter down when reviewing because otherwise I'd have far too many "On Hold" projects and actions cluttering up my view when Im trying to decide what Im going to mark as Active this week.
Great response. I've begun using OF like this since my original post. The utility of OF is to only show you those things that you can/should be working on at the moment (within a week, or until your next review, whichever comes first). Like you, I put near-term projects in OF but set them on hold so I don't see any of their actions. That helps me not become overwhelmed.

I like your distinction between the someday/maybe and on hold. Someday/maybe are things you want to do but are not fully defined projects that are in the queue in the near/medium term.

Thanks for the clarification. This really helps.
 
Here's a way I'm using Someday/Maybe that wasn't immediately apparent until I'd been using OF for a while. It may be incredibly obvious to everyone else, but I thought it was kind of cool.

I have a Someday/Maybe single action list, as a couple people have stated. However, I don't want to lose the thinking that's gone into any project planning or next actions (especially if there are multiple parallel next actions) on projects that I decide should be put off for now.

The discovery for me was that you can drag entire projects between the sidebar and an action list. Example:

Let's say I create a project and plan it out, involving several different (parallel) next actions, and nested sequential actions underneath and such. Now I decide I'm not going to be able to accomplish that now, so it should be Someday/Maybe. You could put it on hold, yes, and that works just fine.

But another option is to just grab the entire project from the sidebar (like you're rearranging the order) and drop it right on top of the Someday/Maybe list. You'll wind up with a nested action group in the Someday/Maybe list, with the project's name as the top-level action and any other actions nested underneath.

Then, when you're reviewing your Someday/Maybe list and you decide it's time to work on a project, you can just select that nested action group and drag it out from the list into the sidebar, and it reappears exactly as it was created in the first place.

I'm not sure if you lose any meta-info from the project, but I haven't noticed any missing.

Again, this may be something "everyone knows", but it was new to me so I thought I'd share.
 
 


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