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Disappearing folders! [Items filtered from view; "All Items" Perspective showed them] Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Oh no! While I was creating several new Single Items Lists to hold my "single action items", all of a sudden two of my project folders and their contents disappeared! Poof! Gone!

I quit and re-launched OF. I restarted my Mac. I re-built the database. I reverted to a database backup from earlier today when I know all of those project folders existed. Nothing worked! They're gone!

What happened? How do I get my data back?
 
First thing to do is go to Perspectives -> All Items. This way you can make sure nothing is simply being hidden by view bar or search settings.

If it makes you feel any better, I've been using OmniFocus for almost two years now and it's never lost any of my data.

-Dennis
 
Bring up the view bar. Go to Project mode. Set the view bar settings to All Projects, Ungrouped, Name, Any Status, Any Duration, Any Flag State. Are you sure they aren't there?
 
Thanks for your reply Toadling.

Okay, that "got my data back", but I'm still confused how it disappeared in the first place. I didn't select any items from the Perspectives menu. I'm wondering if I somehow activated a keyboard equivalent? It's very confusing.

I know that Omni has a good reputation, so I was expecting that the data didn't actually get deleted. It just surprised and frustrated me that it disappeared from view and I couldn't figure out how it happened, where the data went to, and what I could do to get it back.

Maybe OF needs a "Training Wheels" mode where all of the powerful options that can really mess you up are disabled until the user can figure out how it all works. I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed by it all, just like I am by GTD.

I think that it's time to go and read the entire user manual from beginning to end and see if it clarifies things for me.

Maybe Omni should think about offering an OmniFocus Lite version that offers a very stripped down model for tracking projects and tasks.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sgraff View Post
I think that it's time to go and read the entire user manual from beginning to end and see if it clarifies things for me.
That's a very good idea. But even easier, take a look at the screencasts at the bottom of the main OmniFocus page:

http://www.omnigroup.com/applications/omnifocus/

-Dennis
 
Creating a whole new version of the app would be a *lot* of work, but we have definitely noticed this happening as folks learn the app, and it's something we think about a lot. Ideally, we can find ways to make the app easier to learn without removing features that folks may value once they've gotten their feet under them.

Off the top of my head, I can think of a couple changes that we could make which might have helped. sgraff, your thoughts are particularly valuable here, since you're a prime example of the kind of person we'd like to help. Suggestions from anyone are welcome, of course.

Random, barely-formed ideas:
1) We could start the app off in "All Projects"/"All Actions" mode.
Advantage: nothing would disappear, preventing unwelcome surprises. With any luck, folks would naturally be lead to the "how do I hide the done stuff" question and learn how the filters work at that point.

Disadvantage: Nothing would disappear, including completed actions/projects. I fear for the folks that didn't learn how the filters worked, and doubt they would use the app for very long. :-)

2) We could add an "Undo" button to the toolbar - it's a feature that's always there, but I think the experience of having stuff disappear from view is sufficiently disorienting that folks forget about it.
Advantage: A visible reminder of the feature might help folks.
Disadvantage: Feels clunky - my gut tells me there has to be a more elegant solution.

In any case, good food for thought here - if folks have any suggestions, we are really open to suggestions.
 
Added more information to the thread title, in case other folks read the title but not the contents. :-)
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian View Post
1) We could start the app off in "All Projects"/"All Actions" mode.
Slight variation on the same idea: Leave the default view as is but add a prominent "Show All Items" button to the default toolbar. Would making that feature more discoverable ease fears of lost data? I'm not sure, but it's a thought.

-Dennis
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Toadling View Post
That's a very good idea. But even easier, take a look at the screencasts at the bottom of the main OmniFocus page:

http://www.omnigroup.com/applications/omnifocus/

-Dennis
Thanks for pointing those out - I had not seen them before. I went through the Quick Start video, and also the several blog posts about getting started. Hopefully the screencasts will further illuminate the workings of OF.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian View Post
Creating a whole new version of the app would be a *lot* of work, but we have definitely noticed this happening as folks learn the app, and it's something we think about a lot. Ideally, we can find ways to make the app easier to learn without removing features that folks may value once they've gotten their feet under them...
Thank you Brian for responding and listening to my struggles to learn OF. I hope to spend some time this weekend to sit down and read the docs.

I really appreciate Omni offering these great forums, as well as your general attitude of listening to customers, as well as admitting where OF may have faults. It's a refreshing change of pace from most companies who tend to keep customers at an arms-length distance.
 
 


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