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How to deal with delegated or "waiting for" actions Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
I'm new to GTD and omnifocus on the mac and iPhone. What are some solutions to indicate that I'm waiting for an action? I see how I can do this with a particular project, but not a specific action. Right now I'm considering moving the action to a specific context.
 
Creating one (or several) contexts that are in the On Hold state and assigning actions to that context is a popular approach.

Here's what I prefer, though: I have contexts for the various folks I work with, so I don't have actions like "email Steve about secret lair". I know who it's for from the context, so I just have an "email about secret lair" action.

Once it's done/delegated, I bump the start date and add "check on " to the action name. The future start date keeps it off my active list until that date rolls back around, at which point it pops back on automatically.

This works for me, without requiring a separate context to hold those actions I'm waiting on. They just stay in the context for the person the task was handed off to.

Last edited by Brian; 2010-05-04 at 02:48 PM.. Reason: clarify my method a bit
 
I have a [single] "Waiting For" context setup in my context lists.

So, let's say that I have an action with a "Phone" context. I make that phone call on the prescribed date, but now need to wait for something back from the person I called in order to move the project forward. I briefly write down a summary of the call in the note section under that "Phone" action, and then change the context to "Waiting For" with a due date of, say, three days out.

Now, three days later when I'm in context view I can readily see that a red badge next to my "Waiting For" context indicates that I have one item due. I click on the "Waiting For" context, and there it is, a recap of that phone call of three days ago. Since I haven't yet received whatever it was I was waiting for,

I now have three choices: a) Call that person to follow-up; b) Bump the due date forward another two or three days; or c) Ignore it and let the action sit there in red until I do something with it.

Last edited by Brian; 2010-05-04 at 02:45 PM.. Reason: make clearer that keone has a single waiting context
 
This is helpful. Thank you. I have a waiting for context now. This is helpful to flag things for later. Setting it as a context makes it easy on the fly.

For some reason, I have a project labeled "waiting for." Is there any sense in this? If its tagged with the context, then I can leave it with the appropriate project.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bisimpson View Post
For some reason, I have a project labeled "waiting for." Is there any sense in this? If its tagged with the context, then I can leave it with the appropriate project.
No, there is no sense in it. By creating a separate project of all of your "Waiting For" actions, I think you were trying to accumulate them together in one area in order to stay on top of them. However, now that you have a "Waiting For" context, let OF accumulate them for you in the context view. That way you can keep all "Waiting For" actions in their respective projects. Just make sure that when in context view, you have the "Project" column visible in the right panel. That is "Project" should be checked in the Columns preferences (VIEW>COLUMNS>PROJECT). That way, you'll readily see the projects that your "Waiting For" actions are linked to.
 
I'm reading over the GTD and Omnifocus document, and in the "Delegate It" discussion on page 11, it mentions putting the action into the "On Hold" context or "Waiting" context, or even creating a context for the specific person you're waiting for.

What's the difference between these approaches?

Steve
 
It's a matter of preference really. I prefer having a "Waiting for ..." context. In the notes field, I'll add a bit about the conversation and a date and time stamp (Shift-Command-\).

I then have a daily review task to look through the Waiting for ... context.
 
As Kourosh mentioned, the advantage of the "Waiting For..." approach is that you have one list which contains all your delegated tasks.

What works best for me is to leave the actions assigned to the context of the person I'm waiting on, and then use the start date field to hide those actions until some point down the line when I want to check back with them. Whenever I'm in a conversation with them, I can just bring up their context and run through whatever items I have open.

A side benefit is not needing to move stuff from one context to another and then back again during your reviews. (At the cost of having that list that Kourosh's method gives him, of course.)

Last edited by Brian; 2009-11-10 at 07:59 AM.. Reason: add third paragraph - make info vs. effort tradeoff clearer
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian View Post
As Kourosh mentioned, the advantage of the "Waiting For..." approach is that you have one list which contains all your delegated tasks.

What works best for me is to leave the actions assigned to the context of the person I'm waiting on, and then use the start date field to hide those actions until some point down the line when I want to check back with them. Whenever I'm in a conversation with them, I can just bring up their context and run through whatever items I have open.

A side benefit is not needing to move stuff from one context to another and then back again during your reviews. (At the cost of having that list that Kourosh's method gives him, of course.)
I think this is a great example of the need for either multiple contexts (or tags) or being able to set the status of actions, not just projects. If there was an "on hold" or "waiting" status for individual actions, we could keep our context intact but have a clear indication that we are waiting for something on that particular action. Then you could make a perspective of all "on hold" actions" organized by context to see what's waiting from whom.

Eric
 
Ken has stated that 2.0 will support putting individual actions on hold.
 
 


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