The Omni Group
These forums are now read-only. Please visit our new forums to participate in discussion. A new account will be required to post in the new forums. For more info on the switch, see this post. Thank you!

Go Back   The Omni Group Forums > OmniFocus > OmniFocus 1 for Mac
FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

 
Difference between Groups, Projects and Folders Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
All three seem to group several actions. Now what is the difference? Groups and projects can beset to execute their actions in parallel or sequentially. When should you use which?
 
This is going to be very subjective.

Basically: Folders are for related (or similar) but destinct projects (example "Work", "Home", "Repairs", "Products")

Projects are the "Core" collection object, it is the goal for which you wish to track actions.

And action group is useful if you have several actions that either have more detail then you always want to see, or seem to belong bundled together (maybe you would do them in rapid succession).

Anyway, there is no right "Answer" to your questions. You could easily use OF without using Folders or action groups, both are enhancements to the primary tool which is projects.

-P
 
To what ptone wrote, I would add:

A project is something that takes more than one physical step (=action) but that has a definite "done" state. Example: review a book. (When I've sent the review to the magazine or journal that's publishing it, it's done.)

A folder is an area of responsibility that will never be done unless your life changes. For me, "Book Reviews" is an area of responsibility. I'll finish individual book reviews, but I'll never finish reviewing books until I retire (or I decide that the return doesn't compensate the investment, but I hope I never get there!).

An action group is like a lemma in a mathematical proof: it's a way of organizing related actions whose completion will move you toward finishing a commitment (project) but that won't get you there on their own. In my book review case, I might have an action group for "draft and revise review" with the various stages of writing and revising in it.

I hope that helps!
 
I find myself using action groups mostly when I need to invert the parallel/sequential setting of the broader project.

- in a parallel project, there may be a chunk that needs to be sequential (e.g. gathering all the necessary materials for a meeting, and one of them requires looking up a phone number, calling a request in, waiting for the response, and receiving the item.)

- in a sequential project, there may be a chunk that needs to be parallel (e.g. in building a website, we need approvals of the design from three different people before continuing, and there is no way of knowing in advance in what order those approvals will be received)

I find that it's this switching gears of the sequence logic that call for action groups for me, more often than just conceptual chunking of my planning.
 
So action groups would be to group subtasks of a larger project that are themselves more than one physical action.

Now, there's a nice view that shows me stalled projects. And that is helpful, because I may not know all steps of a project in advance. But there's no equivalent filter/view for action groups that would show me stalled actions or is there?
 
Quote:
A folder is an area of responsibility that will never be done unless your life changes. For me, "Book Reviews" is an area of responsibility. I'll finish individual book reviews, but I'll never finish reviewing books until I retire (or I decide that the return doesn't compensate the investment, but I hope I never get there!).
But those buckets are almost equivalent to folders in your definition, aren't they? They also can't reach a state of completion.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by netvisionary View Post
But those buckets are almost equivalent to folders in your definition, aren't they? They also can't reach a state of completion.
What they contain is different. A folder is an "uncompletable" container for projects, and a bucket is an "uncompletable" container for actions.

(I have a bucket for each folder, and I often wish that I could just throw those actions in the buckets directly into the folders - that would simplify my tree tremendously. But right now folders can't contain actions directly.)
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by netvisionary View Post
So action groups would be to group subtasks of a larger project that are themselves more than one physical action.

Now, there's a nice view that shows me stalled projects. And that is helpful, because I may not know all steps of a project in advance. But there's no equivalent filter/view for action groups that would show me stalled actions or is there?
Right. That view doesn't exist. I have a script that will detect and label projects and action groups that lack next actions. I hope the functionality is built in someday, but for now I use my script on a daily basis.
__________________
Cheers,

Curt
 
So, I've found that the only way for me to successfully use OmniFocus is to treat projects like folders and put my real projects as groups.

I don't have an exact count, but I probably have somewhere around projects in OmniFocus right now. When I tried to do it the "right" way, I found dealing with that many items in the interface provided by the sidebar to be completely frustrating. Now, I have 3 folders and 12 projects in the sidebar and everything is much more manageable. The 12 projects are all things that can never be complete, like "maintain car" or "finances".

The primary downside I've found with this approach is that I can't apply project-level statuses to action groups. For example, there is no way to put an action group "on hold" or simply drop it. Though this is annoying, I'm still using OmniFocus because of is support for start and due dates and repeating events, all things that are really useful to me as compared to OmniOutliner, which I was using before.
 
I am also struggling.

I really like the flippy triangle drilldown capability that folders provide, even for projects. But the process of creating a folder for each subproject is awkward (unless I've missed a quick way to do it, similar to indenting tasks inside a project in the outline view).

And I guess I don't understand why the software needs to make a distinction between Projects and Folders at all. It seems like they have all the same functionality requirements.
 
 


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Difference between Parallel projects and Single Action Lists Leila OmniFocus 1 for Mac 6 2009-07-28 03:44 AM
Tags, Aliases, Folders, Context, Project, Groups, etc.. dancingbrook OmniFocus 1 for Mac 1 2009-07-20 01:00 PM
Groups vs. Folders Taylorgus OmniFocus 1 for Mac 4 2008-08-15 10:46 AM
Proposal for change - projects/SAL/groups/folders etc. colicoid OmniFocus 1 for Mac 3 2008-04-14 07:02 PM
Are Perspectives supposed to remember if groups folders are expanded? joelande OmniFocus 1 for Mac 2 2007-12-19 06:49 PM


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 10:58 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.