Situation: Under my “Career” AOF (Area of Focus) I have folders for each one of my customers. Inside those folders contain projects I have going on with them. The hierarchy would look like:
- Career (folder)
- Customer A (folder)
- Project 1 (project)
- Project 2 (project)
- Customer B (folder)
- Customer C (folder)
Challenge: The perspective will not show an empty folder inside another folder. When creating a perspective to capture everything under my Career AOF I noticed that when I have an empty folder under that folder, it will not appear in my Perspective. I have to create a project inside of this to get it to show.
I find this to be a flaw because the perspective is suppose to operate how I want it to operate. It should show everything under that folder unless I specify that there are other parameters that should be included and considered (i.e. due soon, deferred, etc).
Is this a user error or how the system is defined to operate? Thanks for the help.
I don’t think that’s a bug, but intentional. OF is task and project oriented, and folders are only marginally involved for organisation purposes only.
am curious though why you would want to show folders anywhere?
I’m not sure I’ve ever tried (or would want to)
“OF is task and project oriented, and folders are only marginally involved for organisation purposes only.”
That is not completely accurate. I called out AOF above specifically to highlight how the folder is being utilized. AOFs which itself are not a project nor a task that is ever completed, but is a hierarchal way of organizing projects and tasks to a responsibility. David Allen’s podcast GTD covers it in depth here (https://gettingthingsdone.com/2016/08/episode-20-defining-your-areas-of-focus/) if you wanted to learn more about the philosophy. I adopted this AOF philosophy in the last 2 years and have see a difference in my process.
“am curious though why you would want to show folders anywhere?”
See above, but to expand on this a little further, I will build projects out inside of a folder under a perspective. Another example is for my “Home Renovations” folder that falls under my “Home” AOF folder. There is number of projects in here and while I am usually in the perspective of building out folders, projects, and tasks - if I create a folder I will not see it being created until I get out of the perspective and view it from the “Projects” view.
“I’m not sure I’ve ever tried (or would want to)”
That is fine and I would imagine my GTD process is not the same as yours as yours is not the same for the next person. What has been seen is a growing number of feature requests around how folders are being handled by OmniFocus (i.e. putting folders and projects inside on hold, folder statuses, etc) as people are building their strategies much differently than before. Tags is another example - probably something that was not on the front of the mind in OF1 and because things have changed (ex. being able to be online on your phone, computer, and tablet) changes how the product has to work with the user.
I appreciate the differences in approach, everybody has their own.
What I meant is that OmniFocus as a piece of software is not folder oriented.
I’ve not yet found a way to bring details in folders forward, just for projects / action lists in those folders, but that would be possible for any items anywhere.
This is what I would do in this situation also. Create a ‘Single Action List’ project that acts as a bucket for miscellaneous actions relating to that customer. For example, even if you have no current involvement, you could have a repeating task to ‘check the status of the customer’ after some time.
If there is truly no future action for a customer, its empty SAL project could be put on hold to indicate that. You can show these SALs in your ‘areas of focus’ perspective, and therefore their parent folders will be displayed.
So we see that OF does have flexibility, even if it’s impossible to mirror every user’s workflow with the built-in features.
Thanks for the response, however this doesn’t answer the original question, which I reached out directly to OmniFocus to ask. This workflow also is not feasible for what I am trying to accomplish (each one of my customers have 15+ projects going at once) so a SAL is not a viable option.
“So we see that OF does have flexibility, even if it’s impossible to mirror every user’s workflow with the built-in features.”
This doesn’t illustrate flexibility, I asked the question to better understand Omnigroup’s method and reasoning to the workflow. I have been using OF since 2013 and understand the number of workflows that exist (you can see me call that out in the 3rd post).
You talked about empty folders. One SAL for each inactive customer.
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