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There are some pieces of metadata missing in kGTD I would like to see in OmniFocus: estimated task length, importance (different than priority as in it must get done by this date), linking to external elements (address book entries, calendar, files/folders, etc.), and ability to make links and relationships across projects (I often will have a task/project that crosses clients and/or projects).

These meta data elements would provide for pivots to aggregate and sort based on these elements. I would love to see a list of 5 minute tasks ranked by importance and context/action to fill the 30 minute gap after finishing a longer task and needing to head out for a meeting or other time dependent task. Really helpful with a meeting/call gets bumped by 10 to 30 minutes.
 
Those seem like nice things, but they shouldn't get in the way.

A good GTD system allows for easy implementation and addition. If I had to enter (or avoid) a lot of meta data when adding "Call mom re babysitting" it would hinder my ability to GTD.

BZ
 
I agree with few required fields for data entry. My use of kGTD often has be dumping in an action and moving on, which I go back and add a more info later. I want to get things out of my head and move on.

Simplicity, well designed interface (I have great confidence w/ Omni Group), and adding features and functionality (through preferences) later and not earlier is essential. Most will not need the additional information, but those who do know the messes we build for ourselves. I could re-enter this info in another application, but keeping it together would be more efficient. (I keep wondering if there were a means to connect OmniFocus with OmniPlan it could allow for time elements to be added, adding dependancies, and some time visualizations (I have not reloaded OmniPlan since my HD blew up last month)).

Essential visualizations, pivot to other related information/tasks, and being able to use already entered info (pointing to from Address Book like VooDoo Pad) should greatly enhance the ability to manage from a little higher level.

Two big problems of mine with kGTD are lack of a time view and dependencies. I really want to know what I am impacting by pushing out a task a day/week/month. I also am missing dependencies and will start a task I can not complete because another task has not been completed (scheduling client meetings on a conference trip or in the same town working with another client) I can't book my flight until the meetings are set (or agreed to).
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BwanaZulia
Those seem like nice things, but they shouldn't get in the way.

A good GTD system allows for easy implementation and addition. If I had to enter (or avoid) a lot of meta data when adding "Call mom re babysitting" it would hinder my ability to GTD.

BZ
A good GTD system does allow for easy implementation & addition, so those fields shouldn't be required. But one of the filters in a good GTD system is how much time is available to me. There are two contexts, what tools do I have near me and how much time.

With a paper based system, you cannot filter by how much time you have and only see those tasks for the amount of time you have. You have to manually filter in your head as you are scanning tasks.

And yet the entire point of a GTD system is you shouldn't have to think. You should just see a list of tasks and crank on them.

It's odd at how no elecronic system has been developed yet to filter by the amount of time you have available.

Wouldn't it be increadible if you had the option of saying, I have 15 min before I have to be somewhere, what tasks can I accomplish in that 15 min.
 
In Productive Talk #3 from Merlin Mann and Devid Allen, DA says:

"It would certainly be nice, as you know, if you could relationally database all this stuff so that when you park something out there you could see it by: by who it's about, by what it's about, by where it happens, by how long it takes, by how much energy you have, well it's like -- well, god bless you--that's great. But the truth is you're gonna have to pick, until the technology gets, you know, ten times better than it even is now, to be able to coordinate all that very easily."

I added a by who column and sort to kGTD which is very useful in dealing with a partly volunteer organization. For me, time needed would be much less useful. But it's so easy, OF should be configurable to support it. If sorting by color was useful to someone else, OF ought to be flexible enough to support it.

I hope OF doesn't end up being a me-too, 'canonical' GTD listmanager which is simply the least common denominator of someone's reading of GTD. It could be THE flexible (extensible) implementation that anyone can configure to their needs, so that it actually supports managing my FOCUS, rather than just a subset of my tasks.
 
Keep in mind that all of this data has to flow to other tools (iCal, Mail, iPhone, Treo, .Mac) so making sure that the data works in those other applications is important.

Also, David Allen was being a bit sarcastic about the comment. Sure it would be nice to have it all databased, but another tenant of the GTD system is not to let the system get in the way of real work or getting things done. If with every task, I had to try and decide at what energy level it would require and how much time it might take, it would slow me down from actually getting things done. Besides, I can make those decisions when in the process of doing in the context. I look at my "@Calls" list quickly figure out which ones I want to do based on my energy and time. I am not sure a program is going to know more than what I can grok in a few seconds.

BZ
 
One of biggest problems is the system (kGTD) already gets in the way in areas it does not need to. I note my action requires chatting, phoning, or e-mailing a person and I don't have a link to their contact info, I have to go dig it out. I like the way VooDoo Pad has this baked in.

It is about simplicity and baking in things that are smart and make making that next action easy and efficient. I don't need a next step to be "look up contact information", which is the step I have to take now.

I am not accepting past hurdles that have been removed to be stumbling blocks for solutions that improve simplicity and efficiency today.

- not trying to be snarky, and apologizes if it is coming off that way.
 
 


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