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feature request: parallel, child-sequential actions Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes

The two modes: parallel actions, sequential actions are unfortunately insufficient for the way I use OF. I sometimes have several mini-projects in one project (a presentation involves writing the abstract, writing the cv, making slides, book trip; all of these have sub-actions). I model them through the "add child" feature.

Now all the mini-projects are concurrent projects, but the child projects are sequential. I can first write my CV, the abstract, and finally book the trip or in any other order.

It would be nice to have a feature that says all actions are parallel, but child actions are sequential (thus the title parallel, child-sequential actions).

Of course I work around this by defining multiple projects, placing them into a folder, and shut up. But you actually want to advance the product and not force the customers to do it your way, right? Also this way minimizes clutter in the project list.

OmniFocus supports what you're after, if I'm reading you correctly. You can have a sequential action group within a parallel project. Click on the double-arrow symbol on the right-hand side of the row in the outline to toggle between the two modes.

Or did I misunderstand your request?
I'm confused. Can't this already be done with action groups?

I just got this clarification from support:

the main difference between parallel and sequential projects or action groups is that in a sequential project, any action besides the "next action" are rendered unavailable (in grey text), while parallel actions are officially available (in black text)

so it works as advertised (ie. through coloring) but I have to agree with kasi, my workaround is to use folders to group mini-projects. action groups aren't very useful for me at the moment and I'm okay with this for now.

Last edited by chinarut; 2008-07-01 at 06:53 PM.. Reason: wrong quote from support!
Sounds like you're wanting to look at all your Available actions rather than just your single Next action? (There is only one Next action, but in parallel groups there can be many Available actions.)

If you like, you can change the style of Available actions so they look exactly the same as Next actions.
I'm going to really have to defer answering your question to kasi - I have very similar behavior and attaching the snapshot I gave support.

I solved seeing "call grandma" and "pickup stamps" in parallel in the context view by making them separate projects.

I think I have a fundamental misunderstanding of what you mean by "parallel actions" when what I want is parallel projects and parallel sub-projects.

a reminder i'm okay with using folders at the structure for parallelism for now. this workaround is not as cumbersome as the traceability of day-specific next actions to projects thread.
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Originally Posted by chinarut View Post
I solved seeing "call grandma" and "pickup stamps" in parallel in the context view by making them separate projects.
In your screenshot, though, with one project, you DO see those two actions as parallel: they are both available (one is the next action in that project, colored purple; the other is an available action, colored black). They will show up in parallel in context mode if you filter Available actions.

If that is not what you want, can you explain more fully why not?
Mea culpa.

The feature already exists and I'm sorry to have stirred up that much fuzz.

No need to apologize! Sometimes, people do want something that is different from what the program can do; other times, the feature they want is available but not obvious. My question was meant as a genuine request, not to be snarky.

OmniFocus's features are still in advance of its documentations, and since it's a pretty powerful program, it can be hard to know what can be done. That's one reason I come back to the forums regularly even though I've been using the app for over a year.
hey brian - thanks for giving some insight into the way the feature was meant to be used. I did not realize there is a distinction between "next actions" and "available actions" - the product is quite advanced indeed.

I'm going to have to play with it for now but for the time being, I've uncollapsed my action groups into 2 separate projects so I can see both as "next actions" - my desired short-term result.

I will inquire as to how to best use the "available actions" feature as I play with OF a bit more this coming week...

it the meantime, time to enjoy the wkd with a new level of freedom around my week and celebrate! ;-)

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