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How to Manage Stages of "On Hold" Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
I'm wrestling with whether it's better to segregate "On Hold" projects into a separate "On Hold" folder or leave them mixed throughout my other folders.

Some background: I have a large number of projects, far more than I can reasonably work on in any given week. Rather than just splitting them between Active projects and Someday/Maybe projects, I prefer to keep many of them in an in-between status of being "On Hold." This is a step up from Someday/Maybe, because these are projects that I know that I really do want to get done when I have the time. But they are not actually "Active," because I also know that I don't have time to get to them in the next week (i.e., before my next review).

Anyway, the question is whether to leave the "On Hold" projects in their Area of Responsibility folders (e.g., Home, Work, Family, etc.) and just put them On Hold, or whether its better to move them into a dedicated On Hold folder. In particular, does one solution or the other create a smoother workflow with Omnifocus?

Thanks.
 
You've got a lot of on hold projects, but how often do you change a project between on hold and active? I think that is perhaps the most crucial variable in deciding whether or not you can shuffle the on hold projects off into cold storage, with the ease of determining where they go when active being a close second. Unless changing between active and on hold is very infrequent, I think it makes more sense to leave the projects in place and simply adjust your views to hide the inactive projects. Similarly, if it is difficult to quickly return an on hold project to its proper place when it becomes active, that also argues for leaving them in place. You don't want to spend any more time than absolutely necessary fiddling around with OmniFocus spend the time knocking off some tasks!

If you really want to segregate on hold projects, perhaps having an on hold folder in each major folder would ease the job of putting a newly active project back in the right spot. Alternatively, just move all of the on hold projects to the end of the group of projects in a given folder, which you can do easily by selecting the projects in the sidebar and using Edit->Sort->By Status (active projects will move to the top of the selection, on hold to the bottom). Stuff you are certain you won't work on in the foreseeable future you could shuffle off to the Someday/Maybe store.
 
I'd lean towards leaving them in their area of focus and just putting them on hold there.

If you can look at your areas of focus and see twice as many projects in one of your areas than in the others, that's still a useful piece of information. That info that gets destroyed if the projects all move to an On Hold folder.

(Moving them there and then back again also eats up time you could spend on something else.)
 
Thanks for the good advice. I had forgotten that I could easily hide On Hold items with the quick filter "eyeball" icon with a single touch. That makes it easy to leave them in place and simply turn them on or off depending upon my preference.

I knew about this feature, but somehow things don't always sink in until you actually need to use them.

Thanks!
 
@brian, stargazer Do you still use a separate On Hold/someday-maybe folder for some projects at all?

I was keeping all on hold projects in a someday-maybe folder until recently.

I've decided to keep some projects which I'm not planning to work on in very close future in a separate someday-maybe folder.
But projects which I do want to work on but don't have the capacity to do it now - to just on hold and mixed with other active projects. Those on hold projects are more like paused projects than someday-maybe.

Are you doing the same?

Last edited by StevenMay; 2012-01-12 at 06:53 AM..
 
Steven - I don't have a Someday/Maybe folder. My folders roughly describe areas of responsibility. Projects get filed into them, then put into the On Hold state right where they are if I'm not planning on working on them soon. Hope that helps!
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian View Post
Steven - I don't have a Someday/Maybe folder. My folders roughly describe areas of responsibility. Projects get filed into them, then put into the On Hold state right where they are if I'm not planning on working on them soon. Hope that helps!
Yes, it's helpful, thanks for sharing
 
I'm not religious about it, but yes, I generally put potential projects that I'm definitely not going to get to for a while in a separate someday/maybe list, but keep projects that I plan to do when I have some time where they are in my active folders and just put them on hold. Sometimes I want to see projects I can work on if free time opens up; sometimes I want to see more pie in the sky stuff.
 
Personally I use a "someday / maybe" folder for music I want to listen / movies I want to see / books I want to read.

But what I discovered recently is that it helps me put projects away. I tend to overthink it otherwise ("maybe I will want to do that one day", "what if...", etc.) and could spend hours (not at once!) deciding if I kept a project or not. Now, I just send it there if I reach that stage and then after X months or years I can delete it without agonizing over the decision. It's a bit similar to moving to a new house, and after years you realize that you have a box that you haven't unpacked, so definitely you don't need it too much.

Except for those cases I normally keep the "on hold" projects in their usual area. I also have a few (2-3 maybe?) projects and contexts that I switch often between on hold and active, for example if it's related to a specific activity and it's a checklist that I don't really review except when I'm ready to do said activity.

Julien
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stargazer View Post
I'm not religious about it, but yes, I generally put potential projects that I'm definitely not going to get to for a while in a separate someday/maybe list, but keep projects that I plan to do when I have some time where they are in my active folders and just put them on hold. Sometimes I want to see projects I can work on if free time opens up; sometimes I want to see more pie in the sky stuff.
Thanks, yeah I tend to do it exactly this way too. Some of my someday projects are just too crazy to keep among active projects so I keep them in a separate someday-maybe folder. I scan my projects list quite often so it's useful to keep crazy stuff out of sight.
 
 


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