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Hiding projects until review date Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes

Sometimes I need to put a project "on hold" because something about it can't be done just yet. I don't want it to show in my "Active" projects list, but I do want it to come back to my attention at some point in the future.

To take a trivial example, let's say I have a project called "Buy OmniFocus". It's an active project in the (GTD) sense that it's something I've committed to on some level, but I'm "waiting on" it to be completed, priced, released, etc.

In my long (long, long) list of projects, I don't want to see "Buy OmniFocus" every time I'm looking at that list. It just reminds me that I can't do anything about it right now, and disturbs my attempts at "mind like water".

What would be extremely useful would be a way of marking a project as being "on hold", with a date at which it would again reappear as an "active" project.

This doesn't seem to require much more than what we already have in OmniFocus:

* We can mark a project as "On Hold"

* We can give a project a "Next Review" date

* We can give a project a "Start" date

All we need then is functionality to automatically hide and unhide a project based on these criteria if it's marked with a "hide until next review date" or "hide until project start date" checkbox.

I know that I'm to plan in projects and act in contexts. This is an attempt to make planning easier, by hiding projects I know I can't do anything with, without having to manually put a project "on hold" and then review it manually. This is especially true if I review my "oh hold" projects weekly, and some of them don't need to be reviewed more than, say, quarterly.

Couldn't this be done with a Perspective? (saved view)

Projects: On Hold
Grouped: Next Review
Sorted: Next Review

To really get fancy add that to your weekly review.

I've submitted a feature request that projects whose start dates are in the future don't appear when viewing Active Projects. We would probably need another project selection in the View bar, something like Current Active Projects (active projects whose start dates have arrived) and All Active Projects (current active projects plus active projects with future start dates).

BwanaZuila, curt.clifton, thanks.

BwanaZuila, a perspectives view wouldn't work for me as it means I have to go back and forth between a view that shows all my active projects, and one that shows my active-yet-'on-hold' projects. It also means I have to manually remember to check the active-yet-'on-hold' projects regulary, which is what I'm trying to improve.

After all, the system knows a bunch of information about my projects, it could act on that information to show me what I need automatically: when a project hits a certain "review by" or "start" date, it shows up in my list of projects, which would naturally get seen upon my next weekly review.

curt.clifton, thanks for making the feature request. I agree we'd need a way to see those active-yet-'on-hold' projects, for planning purposes (and, though I didn't explicity state it, the ability to add to those projects as if they were fully active is a requirement!).

It would still be great not to have to manually check in on them and "move" them in some way into my "active" projects.

At the moment I'd handle that in one of 2 ways:

1. Put it in my tickler file (i.e. an all-day event in iCal set for sometime in the future when you think OF might be released).
2. Put it on my Someday/Maybe list outside OF - you can't move on it right now so it's a Someday/Maybe by default. I'd then see that in my weekly review, so the week that OF is released you then make it a project.

It would be nice if OF handled Someday/Maybe a bit more elegantly than it does now, something like an option to hide "on hold" projects. I was thinking of using "on hold" projects for Someday/Maybe but have shied away from it for the reasons you raise.
Originally Posted by al_f
It would be nice if OF handled Someday/Maybe a bit more elegantly than it does now, something like an option to hide "on hold" projects.
You can hide "on hold" projects. Just select Active Projects in the view bar.

OK, thanks! Had forgotten about that.... Will probably go over to using that, perhaps plus a projects folder called "Someday/Maybe" now.
Also flipping between views is really just a key command and takes under a second.

According to David Allen this is a future project to be put into Someday/Maybe.

Key to GTD is your review process.
You review your Someday/Maybe projects on a periodic basis, for instance weekly.

In OmniFocus you could create your project and define it "On Hold".
Now it is in your trusted system and out of your way.
Then you create a repeating action:
review my "On Holds" and set a date/time/context for your review process.
Now the reminder to review is also in your trusted system and out of your way
- until it is time to act on it.

The beauty of OmniFocus is the ability to define your project as a subproject
or inside the folder it is belonging to and to hide it until - upon review -
you mark it active and then have it in the right place without any further ado
like moving around inside hierarchies or copying from external files.

Keep things simple and effective.
I know what the GTD dogma is, but I'm with Jasong. I have a project with a future start date.... I don't want that project mucking things up until it's started. I don't want to see it "on hold" for later review because it doesn't need a review, it just needs to be out of sight out of mind until it's start date. The flexibility of technology here should imporve on the power of GTD, not be limited by it. I'm 100% behind Jasong on Curt. I know that there are "proper" GTD workarounds, but this would be WAY simpler, way better, and wouldn't significantly break the GTD system.

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