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Feature Request: task prioritization! Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Berate and browbeat all "you" (the generic, editorial "you") want. I work with priorities, knowing that urgency does not always equal importance. I'm looking elsewhere now, as I think I wandered into a chapel instead of a feature request thread.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jpathomas View Post
What could it possibly mater to anyone if I chose to implement a priority system, or for that mater if I ask for one. I payed my $80 like everyone else.
and

Quote:
Originally Posted by laura View Post
I'm looking elsewhere now, as I think I wandered into a chapel instead of a feature request thread.
I really hope you don't end up with a negative view of OmniFocus based solely on the opinions of this user community. Ultimately, for you, it doesn't really matter what we (other users) think; we don't necessarily represent the viewpoint of the Omni Group. If an explicit priorities-based system works for you, then you should use it. And if you can convince the Omni Group to add support for it in OmniFocus, then more power to you.

However, keep in mind that asking for a priorities feature in an open forum for an application that is inspired by a methodology that actively eschews explicit priorities is sure to draw criticism and debate.

This forum is all about open discussion. If one is brave enough to submit a proposal, they should also be brave enough to accept an honest response from the community. If that's not what's desired, the best course of action is to simply not post in the first place, and instead send the feature request directly to the Omni Group (via Help -> Send Feedback).

Personally, I tend to agree with the GTD approach: explicit priorities are at best unnecessary and at worst a waste of time. There's no dogma here, no religion, no crusade - just my personal opinion.

I argue against priorities in OmniFocus simply because nothing is free. Every new feature adds complexity, increases the risk of bugs, and consumes valuable engineering resources. In my mind, explicit priorities just aren't worth it.

However, I think a generic, multi-purpose metadata column that could be used for priorities (among other things) would be an acceptable compromise. I hope that maybe others feel the same way.

-Dennis

Last edited by Toadling; 2008-06-17 at 09:18 AM..
 
I think that's completly fair Dennis. I know that every conversation has its ups and downs and we all feel passionitly about something. I've known lots folks for whom F/C was the One True Way, and I'm meeting a few who feel the same about GTD. We can all agree, or disagree about the merrits of any particular approach, but we should keep our disagreements to the issue at hand, not resort to personaly jibes.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Toadling View Post
However, keep in mind that asking for a priorities feature in an open forum for an application that is inspired by a methodology that actively eschews explicit priorities is sure to draw criticism and debate.
I think this is why this thread refuses to die. People who are not using a strict (or even halfway) GTD methodology don't understand why priorities are considered a Bad Thing by GTDers. They don't understand that a priority assigned during processing (rather than at the moment of action) is at best arbitrary and at worst a tool of procrastination rather than productivity. It's a hard concept to work out since we have been taught for years that prioritizing tasks is a fundamentally good habit, and those of us who have accepted this methodology had a hard time adjusting to it as well.

I'm glad I did though, because eliminating the priority field is one of the most productive things I've ever done. It's right up there with adding context to my todo list. If more people tried it, I think they'd understand why. I've already explained (at length) why priorities are harmful to productivity in a GTD methodology, somewhere in this very thread way back when so I won't beat that horse any further.

Quote:
However, I think a generic, multi-purpose metadata column that could be used for priorities (among other things) would be an acceptable compromise. I hope that maybe others feel the same way.
It sounds like Ken Case already answered the feature request question. He said exactly what Omni's plan is and even said which version they expect this feature to be in, so complaining that this is a "chapel instead of a feature release thread" is kind of silly. The fact that other people, users whose opinions count just as much as yours, disagree with your request and have decided to say so should hardly cause so much distress. This is especially true considering that the real question, "Will there be priorities in OF?", has already been answered. If you want priorities, you'll have to set up the meta-data field to enable priorities in version 1.2--done. I suspect that some enterprising soul will even make an Applescript to do it for you if you really want (or perhaps there will be a "priority" preset for the meta-data field).

If you want more than that, realize that at least as many users as you don't. So this is the compromise that Omni has come up with. When you think about it, a configurable meta-data field actually sounds better because now we can use it for all kinds of things beyond just priority. So what's with all the fuss?

Finally though, Omni does listen to feature requests from users, and they do sometimes add features that clearly exist outside of the strict GTD domain. Case in point: we can see actions without a context in the context view. I and a few other users argued passionately against the inclusion of this feature. We even ended up in a debate over what the definition of "next action" was, or should be, simply because of the introduction of this feature in one of the new alpha builds. The context-less context list was ultimately added due to overwhelming demand from other users and the implementation at the time was fraught with problems for strict GTDers (IMHO).

But we're all in luck, because Omni ultimately addressed mine and other's concerns as well. They added an option to decide how items would get cleaned up from the inbox (the old behavior was one of my primary complaints) and I'm pretty sure I can set up perspectives to never ever see context-less actions in my context view (which was my other primary complaint). It took some time, but Omni found a way to make everybody pretty happy in this instance.

It may take some time to find the same happy medium with priorities. Priorities are a bigger issue frankly; GTD basically breaks when you add in priorities so it's going to be hard to implement a solution that makes the priority users happy while still not interfering with those of us who have let go of pre-assigned priorities and are comfortable factoring priority into our real-time decision making process. If any priority feature is implemented, it has to get out of the way of the people who don't want to use it--preferably by disappearing completely when configured properly.

This won't happen overnight as there will obviously be many different ways to achieve such a goal and Omni will likely try to explore them (since they're good at what they do and don't rush these things). But I'm sure it will happen. They solved a set of problems that I thought were deal breakers almost a year ago when I deleted OF from my hard drive and vowed never to return. I'm sure they'll figure this out somehow.

Now, can we please stop posting to this thread?

Last edited by MEP; 2008-06-17 at 03:45 PM..
 
The reason this thread refuses to die is because Omni Group advertises their product as follows:

Quote:
Flexible Task Management

OmniFocus works great as a Getting Things DoneŽ trusted system but can also be used to fit other task management styles
http://www.omnigroup.com/applications/omnifocus/

IMO, once Meta data tags are implemented (thanks Ken for mentioning this!), it will be fair to say this claim can be substantiated. On the other hand, if this functionality is not introduced in some reasonable number of release cycles, the highlighted clause(s) really would be stretching the truth and they should consider changing it.


- Art

Last edited by otter; 2008-06-17 at 05:13 PM..
 
OF can be used for time management styles other than GTD. Omni never claimed that it could be used for all other time management styles, just "other", which would imply some other. The lack of support for one particular time management style does not invalidate their marketing claim so long as OF continues to support at least one style other than strict GTD, which I'd say it does.

That it doesn't support your way of doing things doesn't mean that it doesn't support more than one way or that it only supports GTD.
 
Every time this thread starts back up, I'm just going to post another link to Ken's post.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MEP View Post
OF can be used for time management styles other than GTD. Omni never claimed that it could be used for all other time management styles, just "other", which would imply some other. The lack of support for one particular time management style does not invalidate their marketing claim so long as OF continues to support at least one style other than strict GTD, which I'd say it does.

That it doesn't support your way of doing things doesn't mean that it doesn't support more than one way or that it only supports GTD.
1) Well, first I disagree with your reading of the passage. A reasonable person, I think, can rightly conclude that the connotation of the passage is much stronger than your are suggesting. As written, the passage is ambiguous, certainly. But interpreting the passage literally to mean 'Some' in the sense of "Somewhere in the universe there exists an example of an alternative management style to which OF fits" is flatly absurd. The connotation is clearly is that OmniFocus is a flexible product and can used to work with a broad range of styles.

2) Prioritizing certainly isn't a single management style, it's a method that is common to many management styles. Failing to support a method that is common to many or most management styles would not constitute a case of failing to support a single management sytle, as you suggest, but instead constitute a case of failing to support many or most management styles, and therefore arguably invalidate the posted claim.

3) It is my observation is that without exception everyone at OmniGroup consistently demonstrates behaviour of the highest integrity and community mindedness. They are absolutely dedicated to creating great software.

At this point in the evolution of this product, there is decidedly a level of unresolved tension regarding the definition of the software. Time will tell how it goes. Maybe with versions 2, 3, ... OF will evolve in a direction that is more strictly GTD, maybe the pressures of the greater market will push it in a more general direction. Regardless of how they go, my observation is that Omni Group will want to describe their product fairly and accurately --rather than dance around attempting to employ logical technicalities to maintain false descriptions of their products. Instead, they will say what their product does well, and keep building from there.

Last edited by otter; 2008-06-18 at 04:49 PM..
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by otter View Post
1) Well, first I disagree with your reading of the passage. A reasonable person, I think, can rightly conclude that the connotation of the passage is much stronger than your are suggesting. As written, the passage is ambiguous, certainly. But interpreting the passage literally to mean 'Some' in the sense of "Somewhere in the universe there exists an example of an alternative management style to which OF fits" is flatly absurd. The connotation is clearly is that OmniFocus is a flexible product and can used to work with a broad range of styles.
I don't know, I think I'm pretty reasonable and I tend to agree with MEP's interpretation: OF works well with GTD in addition to some other styles. The wide variety of styles practiced by users of this forum demonstrates this nicely. So I would say the passage is accurate, and the fact there's currently little support for strict priorities doesn't invalidate it.

Anyway, this is all largely irrelevant if support for metadata columns is soon added.

-Dennis
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Toadling View Post
The wide variety of styles practiced by users of this forum demonstrates this nicely.
Which non-GTD styles are those, precisely?
 
 


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