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What this thing needs... Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Lost in space?

Deep in the weeds?

What Omnifocus needs is re-focusing.

It fails to support the ability to manage one's level of attention, because one of its most powerful capabilities, Perspectives, is shrunk down to a puny little pop-up window, which has about has much use as a used fast-food paper wrapper, and because you can't manage more than a handful of perspectives, nor can you use the software itself to manage the sequence and the timing of how you use perspectives.

URGENT RECOMMENDATION:
You need a full-blown perspectives management capability. You need the ability to have 200 perspectives! You need to be able to cluster perspectives into groupings and to be able to name those groupings. You need to have another layer in the data model that creates workflow actions. You need to tie workflow actions to perspectives and to perspective groups. You need to be able to open multiple perspectives simultaneously into set configurations on-screen, so that multiple perspective windows are spatially distributed the same way across an iMac screen every time you open the grouping. You need to be able to integrate SCHEDULED WORKFLOW with perspectives and perspective groupings.

You also need to have a higher level of reminder prompts (ie., higher than the actions currently provided), to review particular perspectives or sets of them and to remind you of what actions you need to take to process them.

Let's make Omnifocus more than just a garbage can model of GTD. (With apologies to James March, Michael D. Cohen, and Johan P. Olsen. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Garbage_Can_Model)
 
200 perspectives?! Perspectives management?!

Uhhh...

I seriously think if you're "managing" 200 perspectives, you're doing it wrong. The goal of OmniFocus is not to manage perspectives, it's to manage work. To ensure you have a clear view of what you can and should be working on. You're going to have a _really_ tough time convincing me how managing 200 perspectives is going to enable this.

I have 5 perspectives in my toolbar. Before the latest 1.6 update I had 6 perspectives, but the new "Due+Flagged" perspective merged 2 for me. I can see a few more that might be useful... but 200?! I don't get it.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by CatOne View Post
200 perspectives?! Perspectives management?!

Uhhh...

I seriously think if you're "managing" 200 perspectives, you're doing it wrong. The goal of OmniFocus is not to manage perspectives, it's to manage work. To ensure you have a clear view of what you can and should be working on. You're going to have a _really_ tough time convincing me how managing 200 perspectives is going to enable this.

I have 5 perspectives in my toolbar. Before the latest 1.6 update I had 6 perspectives, but the new "Due+Flagged" perspective merged 2 for me. I can see a few more that might be useful... but 200?! I don't get it.
CatOne, You mention the number of perspectives you use, though you don't mention the number of actions, nor that of contexts, projects and folders. How can a comparison of how two people use Perspectives in OF be helpful without knowing those additional variables?

You imagine that managing perspectives is somehow different from managing work. Perhaps you're thinking of routine work. If that’s the case, I would agree, since small, easily defined, well-bounded and repeating tasks translate readily in ones thinking to unambiguous physical action, in habitual contexts, and don’t take as much planning.

Knowledge work is different. Tasks need to be defined and refined and understood. Sometimes you don’t even start with a task but merely an outcome you want, from which you need to iteratively define the tasks and their ancillary supporting materials (ie., physical files). The tasks also need to be sequenced and sometimes even have their contexts defined. Did you know contexts are not necessarily fixed? They can emerge as a consequence of defining your work.

Much as you cannot imagine needing more than 6 perspectives, I find it inconceivable that someone could get anything other than routine work done with as few as 6.

Moreover, even if the work is more routine in nature, if you can live with 6 perspectives, it sounds as though you are keeping an awful lot of your method for using OF in your head. If true, it sounds to me as though you're defeating the whole basic premise of GTD, which is to get it out of your head. Under those conditions, I don't know how you could be "ready for anything" as David’ book title reads.

For example, could you scale up your level of planned activity 100% overnight and still continue to define it, review it and develop it?

Lastly, you say, "you're doing it wrong". This would be insulting had it come from someone who had thoughtfully considered their response to my initial post. Apparently no one has told you. There is no orthodox way to use OF. There's scarcely any conventional documentation of how to "do it right"; the Internet is full of differing ways of implementing GTD; David Allen himself shies away from endorsing orthodoxy when it comes to implementing the principles; and, clearly, as is apparent from even a cursory view of the OF forum posts, no two people use OF quite the same way.

I have a hundred perspectives I have already identified. The additional hundred is for standby use. I would suppose that, were someone to manage a hundred perspectives, it would become confusing. I would manage them in groups scheduling their use.

Think about that and do reply. Please: before you use the phrase, “doing it wrong”, kindly define what, in your view, “doing it right” consists of.

Last edited by Flexattend; 2009-02-17 at 06:39 PM..
 
Where did I say I could not imagine needing more than 6 perspectives? I didn't. I said I was using 6 perspectives. I can readily admit that people could have a need for more than 6 perspectives. I am not keeping it "in my head," but rather have a "to do/flagged" perspective from which I do most of my work, and other perspectives I review on a daily or weekly basis to ensure I'm tracking what I need to (see other posts in the "applying OmniFocus" for good examples of other peoples' daily/weekly/monthly review procedures).

But there is a HUGE difference between "more than 6" perspectives, and 200 perspectives. There has also been discussion here about the whole implementation of perspectives, and whether smart groups might be a more flexible and better way to go about it. I don't have reference to Ken's reply and what his final word is (or whether there was one), but I know it was discussed.

I am a knowledge worker. I am well aware that things are flexible and that they change over time (sometimes, quite markedly). And I'm not trying to keep everything "in my head." But, really, I guess I'm a simpleton because I cannot fathom how defining 200 perspectives would actually make it easier to find the tasks I would actually need to do. It really seems to me that you're spending a lot more time managing the tool itself, than managing the work that the tool is defined to help you manage. Simply the time required to _create_ 200 perspectives would be a huge undertaking. And if there were to be an easier way to manage the 200 perspectives, how could you use and view a realistically large percentage of them in any given day?

I really can't see much that's concrete about your original "urgent recommendation" other than it's scattered, frankly.
 
I too am a knowledge worker.

I have 7 contexts. One of those is Errands and contains 11 subcontexts. Another of those contains 3 subcontexts. So, in total my contexts and subcontexts add up to 21.

I currently have 9 single action lists, 16 active projects, 4 projects whose start date hasn't come yet and 6 projects that are on hold.

I have hundreds of actions (not in the mood to count those).

And I have 7 Perspectives:

Today (due today) - in context view
Available - in context view
Remaining - in context view
Projects - all projects
Inbox
Waiting - my items that are in my waiting for context only
Review - project view grouped by next review

That is plenty of perspectives for me. I start the day working in the Today perspective and choose the particular context I'm in at the moment. After I've finished the things that are absolutely due today, I move to available and work in whatever context I want to or find myself in at the time.

Simple. That's the key to GTD. Make it work for you. Not the other way around.

And by the way, if you have a recommendation for Omni Group, email it to them. That's the way to get it on their radar - not the forums.
 
Sum the number of projects and folders and add one for the inbox, then multiply by 140616 and that's about as many possible unique perspectives available.

I have 21 in my perspectives window plus the 5 default, but in practice use only a few and no more than can fit on the toolbar for easy access. I anticipate using many more when tags arrive. I could see a more feature rich perspective browser being helpful (thinking iTunes browser, for example). Even so, I do not foresee using more than two or three perspectives in any single day.

Last edited by pjb; 2009-02-18 at 06:23 PM..
 
200 perspectives? I wonder about the perspective of a person who wants this. Isn't simplicity one of the goals of GTD?
 
Might Flexattend be using Perspectives when other ways of focusing on work might do?

I can see 200 Perspectives, if one defines a P. for each Project, another for each Context, one more for each common Context grouped by Date, etc....

A lot of these Ps can be replaced by one P and the correct use of the View bar and the ability to Focus on a group of stuff (Context or Project)

So I don't need a separate P for my Due Soon items in my Remodel Folder. I use my generic Project Perspective, focus on my Remodel folder, and choose Due Soon from the View Bar. One double click in the left list and one pop-up choice ... not to much work to do when I need to see this combination. [And I would spend more time creating the perspective than the total of the time it takes me to set up this window -- every time I need it.]
 
Flexattend, could you give some examples of what your perspectives are doing? I'm also unable to imagine what would be in 100 perspectives, so I assume that you're using them in an unusual way. Do you, for example, have one or more perspectives for each project, or each context, or each project/context combination, or...?

Gardener
 
 


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