OF needs Either/Or Actions - most useful to me (maybe you too) in Routines


#1

These actions would be Transitory - only can/will happen on a certain time of day, otherwise they fall away from notifications, i.e. my Day has moved on.

I also do not want to see these kind of items on my Forecast too, as I want to focus on the day’s more important tasks from a planning perspective.

But I still nonetheless want the ping on my Apple Watch, showing me the choices I have flight planned into my day. If I scroll though those choices on my Watch/iphone I want to select one, then have the others automatically be cancelled, no other taps needed.

These Transitory sub routines can also be for other slots work or personal in one’s day. They can build a good foundation of habits.

Examples:
Food/Meal Choices
Exercise Choices
Health Choices
Education Choices
Weather dependent choices
Family actions, kiss the wife …

Thoughts?


#2

So you mean like multiple choice tasks? I can see how that could be useful, although I have never personally felt the need for this or even though about it to be honest.

Those rare times when I need to enter such a task I normally either enter both options in the task title (do this OR that), or enter the options in the notes field if there are more than two. This has the built-in advantage that marking the task as completed (or deleting it) also removes all of the other options.


#3

Thanks Deva for your reply.

I am thinking of a either/or or a multiple choice. And somehow getting some reporting on the back end to which I have yet to see in OF. It’s kind of Personal Assistance functionality.

So for an either/or or Multiple choice project it could be like these for choice actions.

Project : AM Indoor Home-Based Options ( I only have time for one of, before going out for the day, and would mix it up during the week. The point is to do something everyday.)

Yoga (30 Min) Weights & Medicine &/or BBall (30 Min) Indoor Cycle (30 Min) Skip All or Ignore All

Skip All/Ignore All switch to a different project Lunch Exercise Choices (Office Gym sets, outdoor cycle, group walk, hit a bucket of balls etc…) to be shown, Skipping all Lunch Exercises would program to show project After Work/Evening Exercise Choices (swimming, walk etc… and some of Morning options…). The point is to adapt the needed exercise thrust to my day and pester me to get something or as much done there each day fully.

And my Apple watch is trying to get me to do 10k steps, stand for x hours, breathing which is all good too. Some of the activities above would be in Apple Health or could be counted in other tracking apps. I really think OF could help here in minding me to get it done.

I could see someone looking for work doing something like this. Or if you wanted to nibble at other important task choices throughout a day or just see/select choices.

The other request would be to keep them off my forecast showing them only the day/time of of needing to choose and go.

Make sense?

Thanks


#4

Yep, I see how that could make sense to some people. I wonder how much development effort this would be, because I feel like it would need a lot of planning to get this feature to work smoothly.

I am curious to see what other people think about this.


#5

Perhaps you would benefit by an app such as InShort or equivalent.

I personally think that this use-case is an extreme over extension of OmniFocus. I can also recommend a work-around. I have a context called “❓consider”. I set tasks that are in a “perhaps I might or might not do this” type of decision tree firmly in to this context. Then, when the time comes, I decide to do it or not. When I decide not to do it, I have an Applescript that “drops” it. In the future, that script could translate to iOS devices as far as I am understanding.

My lesson is to not try to over structure a workflow in advance. I go with the flow, and allow myself the grace to decide things at the time the decision is required.


JJW


#6

Maybe this being overthought? Why not make a task called “Do morning exercise (options in notes)” and then list options in notes.

Or maybe I’m oversimplifying.

ScottyJ


#7

Exactly what I mentioned. In fact, I had never even thought about a different option :P


#8

lol sorry @Deva, I got caught skimming, I was talking to the original author. Haha.


#9

For this time only, you are forgiven @deturbulence :P


#10

I appreciate the comments, yes maybe explicit either/or and then rolled forward actions (if not done) might be a longer term development project for OF. I still am interested in this Personal Assistance kind of idea.

But I’m hooked on checking stuff off. And I like the metaphor of selecting a better option say over just a good one and train my mind to choose the harder/longer activity over time. And also to do more throughout the day.

But one of other key desires in this thought process would be to see a report day/week/month/year of what’s been accomplished with a project (Think of a matrix of those exercise options for example). I have yet to see how this program does any of that without maybe running some scripts and I’m concerned there.

As I’m getting more used to OF I’m only really working with Inbox/Projects/Forecast. It’s a little more operational on IOS. I’m surprised I can’t turn off Review in the MAC version.

Thoughts? And thanks.


#11

I don’t think OF is very good for habits or other things that you want to do some flexible number of times per week. It’s keeps the items too in your face after you’ve decided to do or complete them. Much as I would like to have everything in one place, I’ve wound up using coach.me for that.


#12

@sprugman - I’d be a bit disheartened if OF did not help me at least with this general use case which your last comment touches on.

No doubt all of you agree you that your Time is Precious. Only so many hours in a day to get stuff done. So why isn’t it ok to mark in OF a state not Overdue, not Completed but just Missed? (later seeing in some report how you again did). Not everything needs to be a Specific Action.

I’ll use the example of “Read 2 Chapters” (of any book) or “Watch 2 Episodes of Online Classes” (of any classes), it could be just Meditate, or Flossing. You might also have specific project for each book or class and that’s fine to manage elsewhere in OF. I’m just trying to force more of that activity into my day through OF and not say in my calendar (although I’ve scheduled them in OF for specific times in my day).

I hope I’m not asking too much of OF (I will ask for this if not). There is so much promise here if only it would be more flexible.

Thanks again for your thoughts.


#13

Two notes here …

  • Rumor has it that OF will (someday) support a DROPPED state on tasks as it does on projects
  • On the Mac, you could use this Applescript to drop tasks …


JJW


#14

I too wish OF supported habits and similar tasks better. My experience is that it doesn’t do a great job with that at the moment.