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Quote:
Originally Posted by LizPf View Post
But, what if we re-define Project to: a group of items that have a reason to be classified together. Goal isn't necessarily part of the definition. Examples: House Cleaning (a group of repeating single actions), Daughter (single tasks I need to do for/with my daughter), Subaru (a standing project, sometimes empty, with actions I need to take regarding my car).
I'd call those "areas of responsibility" with associated projects, i.e. put them at the 20,000ft level rather than at the 10,000ft "projects" level. For example, your car example "Call dealer for appointment to fix seat adjuster" is probably really a next action in the project "Repair seat adjuster on car". Similarly, I'd say that "figure out what format the President wants the numbers in this year" is also a project in the GTD sense.
 
What I would really like is a per-singleton-bucket configuration that will let me control the behavior of which tasks are considered "next".

1) The current behavior is that NO tasks in a singleton bucket are considered "next actions".

2) Some have requested the ALL tasks in the singleton bucket be considered "next actions".

3) But, frankly, I can see the use for making the singleton bucket behavior more like a normal project, i.e. only the first single task should be considered the "next action". (This is handy when the singleton task list grows very very large and begins to overwhelm your context view.)

I realize regular projects behave like #3, but I can't tell the inbox to shuffle projectless tasks into a regular project.

And I may from time to time wish to change the behavior of my singleton bucket.

So this seems like a good candidate for a drop-down menu in the project inspector, perhaps even applicable to all projects (although this would definitely break the GTD system for normal projects).

E.g. "Next action: (all|none|first)"
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pjc View Post
3) But, frankly, I can see the use for making the singleton bucket behavior more like a normal project, i.e. only the first single task should be considered the "next action". (This is handy when the singleton task list grows very very large and begins to overwhelm your context view.)
I think the vision of singleton actions is as single-step tasks that are independent of each other. If that's the case, why would you consider only one of them as a next action i.e. something you can move on now?

Quote:
Originally Posted by pjc View Post
I realize regular projects behave like #3, but I can't tell the inbox to shuffle projectless tasks into a regular project.
That'd be because they aren't part of a project until you assign them one, wouldn't it?
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by al_f View Post
I'd call those "areas of responsibility" with associated projects, i.e. put them at the 20,000ft level rather than at the 10,000ft "projects" level. For example, your car example "Call dealer for appointment to fix seat adjuster" is probably really a next action in the project "Repair seat adjuster on car".
Depends on how much time you want to spend structuring your life.

To me, the car repair is a 2 action thing: call to schedule, then go @ the right time. One OF action, one Calendar event. [You may have more complications in getting your car to the shop; I don't. If it was more complex for me, I could see making a Project.]

I guess I could spend the time setting up a Project, but I really don't need one, because only one action will show in OF.

I also see the "altitude" levels differently. I see them as Someday/Maybe levels, where each 10,000 feet equates roughly to years in the future. So 10k feet would be things I might want to do next year (camping in Acadia Park), 20k would be things I'd like to do in 2-5 years etc. Car Maintenance is too immediate for this.

--Liz
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LizPf View Post
I also see the "altitude" levels differently. I see them as Someday/Maybe levels, where each 10,000 feet equates roughly to years in the future. So 10k feet would be things I might want to do next year (camping in Acadia Park), 20k would be things I'd like to do in 2-5 years etc. Car Maintenance is too immediate for this.
Fair enough if it works for you, but neither that nor your definition of projects fits with GTD so it shouldn't be the way OF implements those features.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pjc View Post
What I would really like is a per-singleton-bucket configuration that will let me control the behavior of which tasks are considered "next".

So this seems like a good candidate for a drop-down menu in the project inspector, perhaps even applicable to all projects (although this would definitely break the GTD system for normal projects).

E.g. "Next action: (all|none|first)"
I'd just like to say that this sounds like a fantastic idea. I'd really love this to be included in OmniFocus! :)
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LizPf View Post
Depends on how much time you want to spend structuring your life.

To me, the car repair is a 2 action thing: call to schedule, then go @ the right time. One OF action, one Calendar event. [You may have more complications in getting your car to the shop; I don't. If it was more complex for me, I could see making a Project.]
--Liz
See, while I would agree that getting your car repaired involves more than one action, I still wouldn't make it a project, because most of the actions end up on my calendar.

I'd have the first task "call to make an appointment" in my task list, and once I had an appointment, it wouldn't end up in back in my task list, it would end up on my calendar as an appointment. And I never give my car to someone without knowing when they're planning on giving it back, so dropping my car off gives me another calendar appointment - this may change, but it's still hard landscape and doesn't go on my task list. A task may evolve from this if the broken bit is hard to fix, but until the task is ncessary it doens't go into my lists.

I keep my GTD system as unstructured as absolutely possible because I can drown myself in obsessive details and never even notice.

Unfortunately this is why OF is completely unusable for me at the moment - requiring tasks to have ficticious details to process them is what I cannot tolerate in my system - it's exactly the behavior I'm desparately trying to avoid.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by al_f View Post
I think the vision of singleton actions is as single-step tasks that are independent of each other. If that's the case, why would you consider only one of them as a next action i.e. something you can move on now?
Because OF has a distinction between "Next" actions and "Available" actions. I want them all to be available, because, as you rightly observe, I can move on any of them now.

However, one of the benefits of "Next" actions over "Available" actions is in clearing the clutter. You could be doing any of your available actions, but "next" actions are simply the available actions you've designated as the next one to tackle.

Because I have so many available actions, I tend to have my active to-do list show only next actions (a much more manageable list I can spontaneously prioritize). Because singleton "projects" have no next actions, they don't show up in my to-do list.

Quote:
That'd be because they aren't part of a project until you assign them one, wouldn't it?
I agree that this would be a little bit of a misuse of a project, but then again, so is making a singleton "project" bucket. I offered this as a simple implementation alternative to customizable next-action behavior within singleton buckets: simply remove the restriction of sending project-less tasks only into singleton buckets. It would effectively be assigning a default project.

I still prefer the flexibility to select all/first/none available actions to be "next" in a singleton bucket.
 
Quote:
I still prefer the flexibility to select all/first/none available actions to be "next" in a singleton bucket.
You could actually make this a choice for all projects. I have projects where the top 3 tasks are completely independent of each other and none more important.

But if you did that there's no advantage to the singleton bucket other than the different icon.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pjc View Post
2) Some have requested the ALL tasks in the singleton bucket be considered "next actions".
Which surely is the most logical in GTD terms?

Single actions are by default all next actions aren't they? At least in my head they are! If a task only has one specific step it's got to be a next action as it's an ONLY action!

At present I'm finding it too easy to miss important single actions because my usual 'doing' view would be Contexts->Next Actions. I don't want to be looking at 'Available' as that list could be huge.
 
 


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