Reports--Suggestions

New OF user, ex-Things, Good Tasks, MLO, amongst others. Do love that OF seems to be the best task manager out there. It really blends a space in between strong task management and light project management. If you’re living solely ‘on-screen’ this post makes no difference. What you can see on screen is not only good but easily configurable for most any task management style.

But if you are like some of us out here, if past posts are any indication, it would be nice to have far better reporting and the ability to modify them as easily as on-screen is. My biggest example is in the Projects perspective. If I want to print my Projects, they print beautifully but there is no segregation between projects and the due dates don’t horizontally align with the project name; they’re dropped down just a tad.

It seems to me that simply numbering the projects would be so easy and so welcome. Along with a header and footer so that you could customize these reports.

Along with a bunch of other suggestions I’m certain a lot of folks are thinking.

OF is so darned good, in almost every respect, I’m curious why it’s so diametrically the opposite in reports.

Just a newbie here, taking it all in.

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I don’t use the other task managers. Do the other apps also have reporting features? I’m kinda aware of Todoist karma but that’s all I recall.

Good Tasks reporting is almost a duplicate of OF. Things, a little better in reporting, but nothing special. Of the three I mentioned, My Life Organized (MLO) had the best reporting of the task managers I’ve used but even it was nothing to write home about. And maybe that’s my biggest quandary about it all…why doesn’t anyone produce great Tasks-centric reports? If we’re going to the trouble to actually define and work on our tasks, as tasks, and not calendar entries and/or reminders, true task management, why not have some semblance of good reporting? It’s just perplexing to me that we have such good (perhaps not great, but good, nonetheless) screen representation, why not have the same on paper reports?

I guess it depends on what we’re going to do with the data from the reports.

Counting the number of tasks checked off wouldn’t necessarily matter if it’s not pushing me forward.

I can mark off “Take out the trash” as complete. Important? Yes, but not something I’m gonna write home about.

The number of tasks isn’t as important as the impact of the task completed to a goal. I’ve seen people game their Todoist karma with easy stuff like “get paper clips from the supply closet” or “photocopy 10 copies of the quarterly report for the meeting”. Or we create tasks just to check off as complete to pad our “Completed” list.

Some folks work in an office that demands accountability of work completed. Maybe we need to find a way to score each task as “meaningless” with zero points up to five points for earth-moving tasks that improves life or complete a major office project.

OmniFocus does have OmniJS that allows us to create scripts that can pull data out of OmniFocus. Then we can create reports based on that. Yeah, knowledge of JavaScript will be required but if reports is something that is truly desired, this looks like the path to go.

I think I saw someone using Charty to create widgets on their iPhone? Perhaps it was @heyscottyj that dabbles in that wheelhouse.

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Wilsonng, you bring up great points and I agree with them. Your points, as I read them, are how well refined the task is and what are the actionable steps to complete it. Total agreement, if that’s your point. But my point herein was simply a way to provide a paper output, similar to the on-screen visualization. Why? Because I’m a field project manager and literally, would like to have print outs, especially of my Forecast and Projects perspectives. Literally, nothing more than that.

But I will be looking at OmniJS, as that may well prove the best way to tackle this one. As mature a product as OF is, I’d have to believe I must be in the minority seeking this type of output.

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Ah… now I see your needs. Thanks for clarifying!

I"ve pondered every once in a while what my report requirements are. I’d also like to have printouts of my projects and be able to print out what I need instead of staring at my OmniFocus screen all the time. There’s just something about paper that gives me a different perspective on things.

Yeah, I’d love something like that for my reports. On the Mac, you can try File > Export… and save as a simple HTML file.

If you’re savvy with HTML/CSS, you can customize how it looks. Perhaps a search for CSS in these forums will help?

I did see this:

Otherwise, OmniJS would be the way to get data out and format it to your needs.