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"Lost" might not be the most correct word in this case, as of course your weekly reviews (at least) should pick up anything that's stalled -- that's rather the point of them.

Still, while I respect your desire for such a granular methodology, I see it as a case of spending more time managing my system than actually using it. With apps like OmniFocus there's a serious temptation to spend so much time tweaking the system that you never actually get anything done. Speaking for myself (only), such a granular arrangement would send me spiraling down that particular rabbit hole with little hope of ever returning :)

I look at contexts as resources that can be readily available, as opposed to resources that are available. So, for example, if I need to talk to Mary about something in my office, and I know that Mary works down the hall, then it makes sense to me to flag that item as "Office" and then just either call Mary in or go find her and bring her back to my office once I reach that task. Conversely, if Mary happens to be unavailable at that particular moment, then I just drift by that task to the next one. IMHO there's no harm in having it on the list, and it keeps it top of mind in terms of things I have to do in my office.

Conversely, as I noted above, if Mary is in my office on a regular basis, then the task could go in the "Mary" context instead as a list of things to be brought up when I'm speaking with Mary.

The other method of using an "Office" AND "Mary" context strikes me as inefficient since I'm then waiting for that exact moment when Mary happens to be in my office before the task appears.

Again, different approaches for different folks, of course.
 
This (i.e. specifically a meta tagging field to assume similar functionality ...) remains a promise that has not been delivered. Day by day its priority recedes further and further, out to the mythical prairie lands of unicorns, where it grazes side by side with Mac OS Copeland and other kindred vw beasts.

Last edited by otter; 2010-05-12 at 09:10 PM..
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by otter View Post
This (i.e. specifically a meta tagging field to assume similar functionality ...) remains a promise that has not been delivered. Day by day its priority recedes further and further, out to the mythical prairie lands of unicorns, where it grazes side by side with Mac OS Copeland and other kindred vw beasts.
And why do you say that? Omni has made no secret of its long-standing plans to incorporate the metadata column in 2.0, and I have seen no evidence of any backing away from that promise. If you have such evidence, or can point to other cases of them promising to deliver a major function and then choosing not to do so, let's see it!

And people wonder why Omni tries so hard to avoid making promises about future feature lists and ship dates...
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jdh View Post
Still, while I respect your desire for such a granular methodology, I see it as a case of spending more time managing my system than actually using it.
I'm trying for exactly the opposite. I'm trying to tag tasks with their requirements in a way that's natural for me, and indicate my current contexts in a way that's natural for me.

If I have to reduce the list of requirements for every task down to exactly one, and I have to indicate that I'm currently in a composite context by constantly building new perspectives, that slows me down and forces me to perform multiple steps that I have to stop and think about every single time, and that aren't natural for me.

I want to tag a task with what I actually need (which is natural for me, including multiple requirements when they're actual multiple requirements), and indicate my current contexts by simply describing things such as "where I am" (which is natural for me), with the software being able to follow rules to figure out how the specified contexts map on to the stated needs. That process has to happen anyway. Today, I have to do it by myself, which makes me spend more time on it.

YMMV, obviously! But I'm really trying to spend less time managing tasks, not more.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jdh View Post

Still, while I respect your desire for such a granular methodology, I see it as a case of spending more time managing my system than actually using it. With apps like OmniFocus there's a serious temptation to spend so much time tweaking the system that you never actually get anything done. Speaking for myself (only), such a granular arrangement would send me spiraling down that particular rabbit hole with little hope of ever returning :)
AMEN!

This I absolutely agree with. There does come a point at which the system becomes an end it itself for many and will if you let it.

I'd very much like to have a context and tags. Would be huge.

J.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by whpalmer4 View Post
And why do you say that? Omni has made no secret of its long-standing plans ....

.
True, it's no secret, they've made this promise for over three years, which is .... ridiculous.


Ah, here are the original posts (#155). Note the slippage in the promised releases.

http://forums.omnigroup.com/showthre...8155#post38155

Last edited by otter; 2010-05-13 at 02:30 PM..
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by otter View Post
Ah, here are the original posts (#155). Note the slippage in the promised releases.
Now you're jumping to conclusions. I see no promises in that post, just wishful thinking.

Anyone who is in any way familiar with software development knows that plans often go awry, especially when you're juggling multiple software products across multiple platforms and multiple OSes. Those factors leave a lot of room for the unexpected! ;-)

I don't think metadata columns have even been promised for v2.0. Perhaps they're planned for that release, but that's not the same thing as a promise.

-Dennis
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Toadling View Post
Now you're jumping to conclusions. I see no promises in that post, just wishful thinking.

Anyone who is in any way familiar with software development knows that plans often go awry, especially when you're juggling multiple software products across multiple platforms and multiple OSes. Those factors leave a lot of room for the unexpected! ;-)

I don't think metadata columns have even been promised for v2.0. Perhaps they're planned for that release, but that's not the same thing as a promise.

-Dennis
I'd suggest that we back-off on the the oneupmanship stuff and who is the expert on software development. It does get a little tedious and it seems more than a little condescending. I, for one, have managed software development groups and I find the questions asked to be reasonable and your response to be quite dismissive of a good question. In point of fact, the only people qualified to answer these development questions are the Omni developers.

Here's what I've been able to distill from this discussion and the linked threads so far:

1. There are a number of ways OF is used and with similar, but not identical, systems to pure GTD. Looks like Omni is trying to appeal to more than just GTD (or certainly more than just the high priests of GTD methodology) users and these could use some app notes to try and clarify how to do that. Maybe a sticky would be a good way to do this or a blog entry.

2. Tags or a general purpose metadata column will be added at some point. Conjecture by Omni was that this was *maybe* 1.7 and now is 2.0. Looks like it has been a moving target for a variety of reasons, although unexplained. I'm seeing that the functionality was *promised* and committed but the date is fungible. Be nice to have some more specifics on this so we can understand what that means and more resolution on when we can expect that.

3. "metadata" as a feature seems to be undefined. Be nice if this were more defined and if this were spotlight searchable (ala like the Tags app by gravity apps is.). Be nice to have more discussion on this and to provide feedback and feed forward info to Omni as they develop.

J.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnJ80 View Post
I'd suggest that we back-off on the the oneupmanship stuff and who is the expert on software development. It does get a little tedious and it seems more than a little condescending.
I agree, although I'll point out that I never claimed to be an expert on software development. If you read my observation as condescending (despite the smiley face), I'm sorry. Perhaps it was a little brusque. Or maybe something was lost in translation. Either way, no harm was intended.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnJ80 View Post
I, for one, have managed software development groups and I find the questions asked to be reasonable and your response to be quite dismissive of a good question.
But the OP didn't ask a question, it was an accusation! In my mind, that accusation (of broken promises) was unfair.

It seems to me that Omni has been very careful not to promise anything. All they communicated was their plan, which, of course, is subject to change.

I'm no expert, and I'm not talking down to anyone, but I have enough experience to know that software development suffers from second-order ignorance. It's extremely difficult to make accurate plans and stick to them when you don't even know what to plan for. The solution: keep your plans flexible and adapt as unforeseen obstacles present themselves. It seems to me, as an outside observer, that that's exactly what Omni has done.

Again, I'm not claiming to have any special insight into these matters nor to be any more knowledgable than otter or JohnJ80. In fact, as a development manager himself, I'm sure JohnJ80 has dealt with similar issues in his own work.

All I'm saying is that we should assume that Omni is managing these issues to the best of their ability, that they're making decisions based on a variety of factors (some of which might not be apparent to end users), and that Omni has got the best interest of their customers in mind.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnJ80 View Post
In point of fact, the only people qualified to answer these development questions are the Omni developers.
Exactly, which is why I suggest we back-off on the accusations of broken promises and give Omni some credit for managing this thing.


Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnJ80 View Post
Here's what I've been able to distill from this discussion and the linked threads so far:

1. There are a number of ways OF is used and with similar, but not identical, systems to pure GTD. Looks like Omni is trying to appeal to more than just GTD (or certainly more than just the high priests of GTD methodology) users and these could use some app notes to try and clarify how to do that. Maybe a sticky would be a good way to do this or a blog entry.

2. Tags or a general purpose metadata column will be added at some point. Conjecture by Omni was that this was *maybe* 1.7 and now is 2.0. Looks like it has been a moving target for a variety of reasons, although unexplained. I'm seeing that the functionality was *promised* and committed but the date is fungible. Be nice to have some more specifics on this so we can understand what that means and more resolution on when we can expect that.

3. "metadata" as a feature seems to be undefined. Be nice if this were more defined and if this were spotlight searchable (ala like the Tags app by gravity apps is.). Be nice to have more discussion on this and to provide feedback and feed forward info to Omni as they develop.
I think these are some constructive observations. My only point of contention is that I'm not convinced the metadata column has actually been promised. I haven't seen that language used by any of the Omni folks.

Maybe it just comes down to semantics, but I think we need to have some empathy for Omni's position. On one hand, they really want to let customers know where the app is headed and keep them informed about upcoming features. But on the other hand, Omni has got be careful in managing expectations. As we've seen, it's easy to mistake plans for promises.

So what is Omni to do?

(A) Don't reveal their plans in the first place?
(B) Reveal their plans and manage the backlash when things go awry?

Seems either way is troublesome.

-Dennis

Last edited by Toadling; 2010-05-14 at 09:22 AM..
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Toadling View Post
Now you're jumping to conclusions. I see no promises in that post, just wishful thinking.
-Dennis
Agreed -- it is entirely wishful thinking to expect this feature will be added in any reasonable time frame.
 
 


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