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New projects default "to be reviewed"? Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Dear all,

I'm very new to this (bought ipad and iphone versions yesterday! and don't have a mac so those two versions are all I'll be using for quite some time, I'm afraid), so this might be a simple question.
I have however tried to search the forums and manuals and did not find the answer.

Simple question: when creating a new project, does it automatically get a "review every xxx" value?

I thought that when I entered the review mode on the iPad, I would see all my newly created projects, since they are never reviewed. But I saw no project at all there.
When I mark a project (from project view) for review I can afterwards see it in review mode.

I thought that I in review mode would see like a list of all projects and their lates review dates and when they are to be reviewed next time...

Well, I'm babbling too much, as usual.
The question was really as simple as "Are new projects automatically marked to be reviewed sometime in the future or do I have to mark them for review myself the first time?"

Thanks :)
Liffer
 
Yes, newly created projects have a review interval set. This value is a bit tricky to change with the iPad* the Mac has some UI for it, but the iPad does not at the moment.

To change the default review interval for subsequently created projects, see this post: http://forums.omnigroup.com/showpost...34&postcount=2

The way review works on the iPad is it only shows you the projects which are due to be reviewed, not all projects. Each project has a next review date, and a review interval. If the next review date is in the future, the project won't be shown in the review list unless you've reviewed the project manually from the project's popup menu. If you start reviewing your projects, and don't get to finish the job all at once, OmniFocus keeps track of your progress so you can resume later.

If you look at your new projects in the review mode (admittedly inconvenient at the moment!) they should all say last reviewed today, review every 2 days (or whatever the default value is), and should appear for review 2 days hence.

There are two basic approaches you can take with reviewing:
  • All at once every project reviewed at the same time and interval (weekly reviews)
  • Spread out different projects reviewed on different days, possibly with different intervals

If you don't have too many projects, the all at once approach isn't too bad and does offer you the advantage of having looked at everything together for the big picture. However, once you get enough projects, finding a block of time and concentration large enough to do a good job on all of them can become difficult. Once you can't do that, you should switch to the spread out approach.

The spread out approach is more flexible and offers some definite advantages, but it can be a bit more work to start up and maintain. It's definitely more work to explain! The underlying ideas are that some projects need attention more often than others, and that a steady, lighter workload of reviews on a daily basis is better than an indigestible lump less frequently.

The idea is each day you will only review 1/n of your projects. If you've got 70 projects, reviewing 10 of them each day is going to be more practical than trying to review all 70 once a week. To do this, starting with all of your projects having the same review interval, you would count up your projects and divide by the number of days over which you will spread the reviews. This number must not be larger than the review interval! Now, you take the first 1/n (where n is that number of days) of projects and review them. The next day, you do the same with the second chunk, and so on.

Once you have all of the projects spread out in this fashion, each day you simply go to the Review view and review the projects shown, tapping the Mark Reviewed button after each one. It is important to do the reviewing every day with this scheme, or projects will start bunching up.

If you want to do a overall review of all of your projects, you can do so by just stepping down the project list in the Project view, looking at each project as you go. If you mark everything reviewed on the same day, you'll have to regenerate the system, and you don't want that.

Now, the real power here is that you can adjust the review intervals for individual projects that need more or less attention. Got a project that is in crisis mode? Set its review interval to 1 day, and you'll be checking up on it every day. Something on the back burner? Maybe every 2 weeks is more appropriate for its review interval. You can use the review as a driving function for making sure projects all make progress (even without associated due dates) if you try to accomplish one task from each project you review (not necessarily during the review itself, but before the next review pick out a task from the project and flag it, for example).

A clever trick courtesy of Curt Clifton: if you only choose review intervals that are prime numbers (2, 3, 5, 7, 11, 13, 17, 19, etc.) you'll get the least piling up of projects to be reviewed on the same day. For example, a pair of projects with review intervals of 2 and 5 days will only both be simultaneously due for review every lcm(2,5) = 10 days, whereas 2 and 4 days or 2 and 6 days will be simultaneously due for review every 4 or 6 days (assuming start on the same day in all cases).
 
Wow, that was a quick and thorough answer! Thank you :)

I think that I for the time being can do a weekly review on all of my projects but will absolutely think about spreading them out if (or when?!) they become too many to handle all at once.

I just tried the change settings-link that you provided and used the value 1d hoping that it would give me a default of every 1 day and it seems to work :)
Also I found out that if I enter review mode and there is no project to be reviewed, the info in the bottom left corner tells me the status of the default review interval! For me it now says "Last Reviewed Today
Review Every 1 day
0 unreviewed projects"
Before I changed it it stated "Review Every 1 Week".

Perfect that the value can be seen in the ipad version, even though the way of changing it is not very intuitive.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Liffer View Post
Wow, that was a quick and thorough answer! Thank you :)

I think that I for the time being can do a weekly review on all of my projects but will absolutely think about spreading them out if (or when?!) they become too many to handle all at once.

I just tried the change settings-link that you provided and used the value 1d hoping that it would give me a default of every 1 day and it seems to work :)
Also I found out that if I enter review mode and there is no project to be reviewed, the info in the bottom left corner tells me the status of the default review interval! For me it now says "Last Reviewed Today
Review Every 1 day
0 unreviewed projects"
Before I changed it it stated "Review Every 1 Week".

Perfect that the value can be seen in the ipad version, even though the way of changing it is not very intuitive.
Hi,

I tried the script option below in order to change all projects to be reviewed by 1 day. But it didn't work in my case. Any idea?

omnifocus:///change-setting?ProjectInfoReviewRepetitionString=@1d

Regards.
 
That setting only applies to projects created after you use it. It does not change existing projects, only the value used when a new project is created.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by whpalmer4 View Post
That setting only applies to projects created after you use it. It does not change existing projects, only the value used when a new project is created.
Thanks. Looks like I have to manually set each project to Review mode and then start all over my weekly review so that i can review all projects on the same day.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Liffer View Post
I think that I for the time being can do a weekly review on all of my projects but will absolutely think about spreading them out if (or when?!) they become too many to handle all at once.
I would argue against the spread out approach but instead offer this suggestion on handling a once a week review with hundreds of projects. I currently have about 850 projects of which abut 500 are on hold and the remainder are either pending, stalled or active. I do a once a week review but I do it by status of project.

So I first set the project selection to be stalled projects. In my case any project without a next action needs more intensive thought so I like to do those first. I really define the project actions before considering the review done.

Second I look at pending projects. Again, for me, I like some sort of heads up that a project or batch of projects is going to suddenly become important before I get to the day that they do, so seeing what's coming up and their start times is important. This review goes really quickly as all I am really doing is reading the project name and looking at the start date so I am mentally prepared.

Next I look at active projects. These are the ones I've been working on since last week or wanted to work on but weather or other events conspired to prevent me from doing anything. As I review each one I make sure the actions are still accurate. If one of these needs to be put on hold I do that but do not mark it reviewed at this time.

Last to review are the on-hold projects. I put all my projects in folders by area of focus so if I am really short of time I can avoid doing any major review of on-hold projects that are in my hobby folders. What I do is bring up the projects on hold, look at that folder only, select all of them and wholesale mark them reviewed even if I haven't really read in detail each one.

Similarly I know that certain areas of focus I need to review on-hold projects carefully because I may need to get one going sooner so for most work related areas I do read each on-hold project to be sure it's not going to blow up on me. If I think it needs to be active I mark it active but NOT reviewed and move on.

Lastly I go back and do a review of all remaining projects. That allows me to shift my focus to the newly activated ones and be sure they are clean and ready to be worked on. I can also review the previously active but now on hold projects and again make sure that is the right place for them.

A full review like this will take me about 45 minutes for about 850-900 projects.
 
 


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