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  • How to keep someday-maybe projects in Omnifocus?

    There're two ways to treat someday-maybe projects in OmniFocus: (a) Keep the project in line with active projects but with OnHold status and (b) Use Someday-Maybe folder. What is the right way to keep them?

  • #2
    Originally posted by Fritz58 View Post
    There're two ways to treat someday-maybe projects in OmniFocus: (a) Keep the project in line with active projects but with OnHold status and (b) Use Someday-Maybe folder. What is the right way to keep them?
    There is no right or wrong - just what works for you.

    I've been playing with this for a while, so I've tried both. Best for me is having a separate folder for Someday Maybe, and all of the projects in that folder have OnHold status too.

    Each project name (active or SM) starts with the Area of Focus, so it's easy to check that my projects are fairly well balanced too.

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    • #3
      Both or what works

      Originally posted by Fritz58 View Post
      What is the right way to keep them?
      The way that works for you.

      Like Victoria I do a combination of both. I have folders for each AOF. Within that folder there is a folder for that AOF Someday and I put the someday/maybe projects into that folder and set them to on hold.

      Now I'm not perfect, often if I know I may pick up an on-hold project within the current season I leave it at the top level of the AOF folder but set to on-hold if I can't work on it right now.

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      • #4
        Someday/Maybe in Omnifocus

        I agree. There is no right way or wrong way to keep Someday/Maybe's in Omnifocus. There is only what works best for you.

        I use a folder called "Someday/Maybe." And then each Someday/Maybe item is in that folder On Hold. I have made one slight modification, however. Instead of leaving them as Projects On Hold, I change them to Single Action Items On Hold. The reason is that as Single Action Items they do not appear in the Contexts View. Because they are Someday/Maybe, I do not need to see them there. By contrast, if you leave them as Projects On Hold, they will show up in the Contexts view under "No Context."

        This is a minute detail, but I found that if I'm already making some modifications to distinguish Someday/Maybe's, then I might as well set them up in the best way possible to eliminate unnecessary noise in my system.

        I also do toggle the "No Context" section closed under Contexts view so that I don't see any of those Projects, etc. when I'm focused on Next Actions, in which case you might think my little adjustment a moot point. But every so often I go in there to make sure I didn't miss an action because I didn't assign a context to it. In that case, it's nice not to have to sift through a bunch of Someday/Maybe's.

        FYI: Another option is to create a Single Action Item On Hold called "Someday/Maybe" and then have each of your Someday/Maybe's be actions underneath it. I believe I saw this suggestion in the Omnifocus User's Manual, but I don't particularly like it.

        There you have it.

        And remember, it doesn't matter how you do it as long as the system doesn't get in the way of the value of having and using a Someday/Maybe list. It's a fantastic list and can be a great storehouse for some very fun and creative things.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Zoltan View Post
          Instead of leaving them as Projects On Hold, I change them to Single Action Items On Hold. The reason is that as Single Action Items they do not appear in the Contexts View. Because they are Someday/Maybe, I do not need to see them there. By contrast, if you leave them as Projects On Hold, they will show up in the Contexts view under "No Context."
          Can you explain this? I just went in and checked mine, and I don't see any on-hold projects in the no contexts section at all when I'm looking at my contexts. It's a good thing too, I currently have about 600 on-hold projects in Omnifocus, if they were in the no contexts view I know I'd get frustrated.

          I also don't see how you set a project to be a single action. Could you explain how you do this?

          How to you keep the next actions you have defined for a project if you set it as a single action item when you put it on hold?

          Since I often work on and store actions for days, weeks or months at a time I'd hate to have to reinvent the heel every time I decided to pull a project back into the active space.


          Curious on how you are doing this since it seems different form what I am seeing on my OF system.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Oogiem View Post
            Can you explain this? I just went in and checked mine, and I don't see any on-hold projects in the no contexts section at all when I'm looking at my contexts. It's a good thing too, I currently have about 600 on-hold projects in Omnifocus, if they were in the no contexts view I know I'd get frustrated.

            I also don't see how you set a project to be a single action. Could you explain how you do this?

            How to you keep the next actions you have defined for a project if you set it as a single action item when you put it on hold?

            Since I often work on and store actions for days, weeks or months at a time I'd hate to have to reinvent the heel every time I decided to pull a project back into the active space.


            Curious on how you are doing this since it seems different form what I am seeing on my OF system.
            -If you've customized your "View" settings (eyeglasses in top right corner), and are sorting your info differently, then that may be a possible explanation why your Someday Maybe projects aren't showing up in "Contexts" View under "No Context." Another explanation might be that you're referring to something different as "no contexts" view. I'm not sure what else it might be. Because all of my Projects and Projects On Hold show up in the "Contexts" view under "No Context." Which is why I chose to use the Single Action Item On Hold method.

            -You can set a Project to Single Action Item by selecting it in "Projects" view, opening the Inspector (blue i button top right) and changing the Type to Single Actions (Blue box next parallel and sequential action arrows).

            -The actions associated with a project will remain just as they are even after you've changed a project to a Single Action On Hold. But I usually eliminate the actions on Someday Maybe's by moving them into the Notes field of that item because I don't want to see actions associated with Someday Maybe's in Contexts view. Again, you can filter these out or create a Perspective. I personally don't because it's one less thing to create. I'll add actions to Someday Maybe's when I activate them. Until then, I have no use for next actions on a Someday Maybe.

            -I also make a distinction in my system between Someday Maybe's: things I may or may not do someday maybe (no commitment), and
            Projects On Hold: projects that I'm postponing action on for a certain period of time, but that I'm still committed to completing within the next year or so (commitment). Projects On Hold I just leave with my other projects and just add the On Hold status (pause button).

            Just to re-emphasize though, I'm not suggesting that anyone necessarily do it this way. If this makes sense to you and you like it, use it. If what you're already doing works well for you, then fantastic. Keep doing that. We're all different. The important thing is that the distinctions you create work for you and how you think without being cumbersome.

            Out of all the Someday Maybe methods for Omnifocus that I'm aware of, this is what works best for me.

            Does that help?

            Comment


            • #7
              I've got too many someday/maybe's to want them to ever appear in the sidebar or in the (grumble) auto-completing drop-down menu, so I keep them inside single-action lists with a someday/maybe context that is on hold. Works.

              Comment


              • #8
                Even more confused now

                OK Now I'm even more confused.

                I do have some perspectives set, active projects, all projects and remaining projects. I also have next actions, remaining actions and available actions perspectives but if I ignore those and go to the projects and contexts filters on the upper left of the toolbar and select contexts, I still don't see anything related to on-hold projects in the No Contexts selector below in the sidebar. This is helpful because I sometimes use that as a way to catch something I forgot to put a context on.

                I guess that maybe half my on-hold have some or a lot of the project planning done and are just waiting for bandwidth to do them. So I never want to lose or re-do the actions I previously decided on. For me, just because a project might not get worked on for a year or 2 or even 10 doesn't mean the planning that has already been done is invalid. In fact often it's very helpful and so I am keeping more of that sort of stuff now than ever before. A few don't have any next actions, those tend to be the more blue-sky ones but those are in the minority.

                And I have no idea what the "auto-completing drop-down menu" is or how to access it at all so I must be missing something significant there as well.

                I've currently got nearly 600 on-hold someday/maybe projects and there is no way I could deal with that with the behavior you are describing.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Oogiem View Post
                  OK Now I'm even more confused.
                  I can't replicate the difference between single-action and projects on mine either, so it's not just you! As long as a project of any type is set to on-hold, then I don't see them in the Context view with the filter set to the default 'available' view.

                  Originally posted by Oogiem View Post
                  And I have no idea what the "auto-completing drop-down menu" is or how to access it at all so I must be missing something significant there as well.
                  You know when you're typing in the project field - it'll offer suggestions of existing projects based on the characters you've typed so far. The grey ones are on hold projects and the black are active.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by vbampton View Post
                    You know when you're typing in the project field - it'll offer suggestions of existing projects based on the characters you've typed so far.
                    I guess I never type in a project field that way .

                    I do most of my input via either the mail clip-o-tron or the quick entry and I usually just enter in the name of the project and go on. Then when I process my OF inbox I drag the item into the proper AOF folder and it automatically becomes a project.

                    Then I will add the next action to it as required.

                    Just tried typing into the project box and I see what you mean, I just never did that before

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Oogiem View Post
                      I guess I never type in a project field that way .
                      [...] or the quick entry
                      You'll find it in the quick entry too. Might come in handy one of these days!

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