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should projects (and task groups) be parallel by default? Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
It seems to me that OF would be more 'trustworthy' as a GTD system if projects (and task groups) were set to parallel by default.

If you work with the 'available' filter on, then sequential projects effectively hide tasks that aren't the first task in the project. When doing my weekly review, again and again, i find tasks that have been hidden from me for the past week because I've forgotten to set a project to parallel (often because I've created the project from the project column, or by dragging a task group from the inbox into the project sidebar, then gotten sidetracked).

What do you reckon?
I find I'm constantly changing new projects to parallel. I can't recall ever changing one back to sequential.
I have 43 top-level projects, 29 sequential and 14 parallel.

I agree that trustworthiness is an important aspect of a GTD system. It's what lets me not worry about whether I'm missing something important. To me that means spending a bit of time during daily inbox processing to set up any new projects correctly. I would also need to do that if projects were parallel by default.

On the other hand, the part of GTD that lets me move fluidly when in "doing" mode is that the set of actions is limited. I wonder if the sequential default encourages the development of this "focusing" habit. Thoughts?


Last edited by curt.clifton; 2007-07-08 at 09:45 AM.. Reason: missing adverb
Originally Posted by Ward
I find I'm constantly changing new projects to parallel. I can't recall ever changing one back to sequential.
But since sequential is the default, that just says that you're good at determining when a project should be parallel. If the default were parallel, you might find yourself changing projects to sequential without changing them back.

It seems like the default should be based on trustworthiness (as Mark suggested), ability to focus (as I suggested), and convenience (as dictated by percentage of each sort of project).

What is your mix of parallel and sequential projects?

Originally Posted by curt.clifton
What is your mix of parallel and sequential projects?
I currently have 31 projects, with 30 parallel and 1 sequential.

That high percentage of parallel is because nearly all of my client work is individual tasks that could be performed in any sequence. The actual sequence depends on the importance to the client. So I put due dates on the ASAP tasks and sort my Context view by due date.

Although I'm sure I'll find more effective ways of GTD, OmniFocus is already a huge win over my previous to-do lists in OmniOutliner Pro.
53 projects, with only 8 sequential for me.

Another argument for having parallel as default is that sequential mode represents something extra and special. In other systems, like kGtd, projects were always parallel (in the sense that everything was available in context view). Sequential mode is a new 'extra' feature, the OF newcomers may not be expecting initially.
Seems like a user preference thing to me: "Make projects [popup:sequential, parallel] by default."
I second the preference option.
Sounds like a smart pref request.

The more sequential projects one has, the more OmniPlan looks like the appropriate tool...
Originally Posted by curt.clifton
What is your mix of parallel and sequential projects?
29 parallel to 11 sequential

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