Shared Tasks, one of the biggest motivating factor for me buying OF3, but still waiting with no date given


#1

I am happy to wait if there was at least a date given, seems like maybe it could be years away due to no date being given here when this feature will finally be available.

Not had any emails or feedback emails asking the current users how they would most love this feature to work.

Are OF just going to take a guess and set it up how they feel customers would want or has research gone into this?

I have paid for OF3 and yet I am using Apple Reminders for work products since this free product that comes with an iPhone as standard comes with a feature OF3 still cannot do, crazy.


#2

It’s a gutsy move to pay good money for a product specifically for a feature that it doesn’t have.


#3

Kind of depends on if you did the Pro or Standard version. Standard is pretty inexpensive for all it still does (says the not Pro user ;-)


#4

Yeah it’s the pro version I have


#5

Yeah I guess maybe next time I will hold out until the feature is there. Used them for years, on my iPad, iPhone, Mac, version 1, 2 & now 3. Kinda just assumed it would be out as soon as OF3 was out.

I am happy to wait but when there is no time given I feel like it could be years.

Using Trello at the moment, the free version so the staff can see more easily all of the projects.


#6

OmniFocus is based on GTD methodology.

GTD methodology - is all about organization of PERSONAL goals, tasks, ideas.

Shared tasks - is all about CONNECTION between people. This means that “what to do” (next actions) and “deadlines” are discussed in different app or service. There are a lot of them on the market.
And after these discussions - everyone should use a personal GTD system to write it down and to achieve goals.

Shared notes - kills the idea of GTD.
If someone can add/delete something from your GTD system - the system became NOT personal.
It looks like if you give your OmniFocus mail address to your colleges, and they fulfill your INBOX, not you.

So I against of idea of shared notes.

I have a helpful link from a master of GTD system, but it’s in the Russian language.


#7

The Omni Roadmap for 2019 included the ability to share tasks. It’s obviously possible that Omni won’t be able to implement it before the end of the year - the September Roadmap update touches on an awful lot of other work that’s occupied the team this year - but there’s no doubt that Omni intend something in this area.

I suspect that it won’t be the 2-way sharing that some people would like (I send the task to a colleague and I get auto notification when its status changes), and some features might be dependent on the other party also having Omnifocus - but that’s me speculating.

As to GTD and sharing - Omnifocus is a task manager. It can support GTD methods if that’s what you prefer, but it doesn’t demand or enforce them. Tags are an example - GTD mandates a single context for each task (as did OF1 and OF2). OF3 does not.

The old OF forums were full of arguments about how “canonical” OF GTD support should be. Eventually, it seems, the view that you use it the way that suits you won out (hence tags).

All that said - OF is absolutely not a team task management app. It is essentially as personal task app - any sharing will be something of an extension. If one truly needs collaborative tools, then other apps and services will work far better


#8

It’s always a surprise to me when a long term user of OF is shocked by Omni’s failure to deliver a useful feature on time. I’m starting to believe that one of the worst things that happened to the iOS productivity ecosystem was the early success of OmniFocus 1, where OF was established as the best top-end choice for the platform. They’ve been coasting on that reputation for years now, it seems like.


#9

I believe that shared tasks were also in the 2018 roadmap as well. We’ll see if it makes it into the 2020 roadmap.

This would be a game-changer for me as well.


#10

I’m sorry you believe that. It’s an exceptionally harsh opinion. Good software takes time and Omni deliver quality updates again and again.

Just because a feature you want doesn’t appear, doesn’t make Omnifocus a bad product. It just means that Omni don’t agree, they’ve decided not to add it yet, or so few people want it that they’re not focusing on it.


#11

I too have been waiting for shared projects (not tasks) for a long time but this thread assumes two extremes. “Personal GTD” where it’s only for you, and “Team Collaboration and Project Management” which is about groups.

Am I the only married person here? I don’t need “teams” or to use OF for work. But my wife and I collaborate all the time on projects around the house and for our kids. We sit together and brainstorm things that have to get done into my OF inbox, then organize it into folders, projects, actions, etc… until we feel like we have a good plan.

Then… she has no visibility since it’s only in my account. I have to literally take screenshots of my OF screens and send to her so he can do anything with it that she’s tagged in. She is an OF user too so she can’t just use my OF sync account to replicated on her machine, she has her own OF sync. I wouldn’t want her to anyway since then she can see my personal projects (like Xmas Gift ideas for her…)

I’m not asking for OF to become OmniPlan. I just want a “Family Edition” where I can at least share certain projects with my wife for a single view of family projects while also keeping individual ones separate.


#12

Super new to the forum, anyone used ClickUp? I’m a Chef/Restaurant owner trying to get my hands around all sorts of projects, tasks, both small and large.

Not as big on team management, but certainly don’t want to limit to just me, then later need to move to a more complex system for teams.

Welcome any feedback, and thanks for all your discussion.


#13

I read this often about OF being a PERSONAL task manager, but in my own opinion the very idea of a ‘personal task manager’ is fundamentally flawed, due to people not being seperately isoldated individuals, we are all connected, projects are often connected to other people and not isolated, and thus, task managers that have now become ‘shared’ due to the infrastructure of the internet is an innovation that will continue.

Tthe GTD methodology was ‘invented’ pre internet era and thus it was not even possible to ‘share’ in the way we can do today.

Even the GTD method includes a ‘waiting’ list which is directly connected to the idea that it’s not just, ourself, alone, independtly, doing our ‘personal tasks’.

When shared tasks arrive to OF, we will still have our own PERSONAL task list, it will just enable us to see the progress of other’s on a shared project instead of just using the ‘waiting list’ and not knowing where they other person is up to on that project without phoning them up or sending then a WhatsApp message etc.


#14

yeah i know it said online shared tasks will be part of OF3 but they were not so I requested a refund from Apple Mac App store.


#15

I always took a “Personal task manager” as being that you’re the only person who can add a task to it, so you’re making a choice to do something. GTD runs on exactly that principle. In the end each person needs to accept an action or task or project and decide how to tackle it.

Having worked In a team which used Outlook tasks to assign actions to each other, quite often I received tasks into my task list which were not my responsibility, or were not tasks which I would have accepted if asked to do them, but because there was no “acceptance” of a task, it just appears. This got really messy when you returned a task “Undone”

Those looking for shared tasks could use a system like Asana, or some sort of Ticket System like Zendesk. But this is not a good way to work for anyone’s sanity. Shared systems are not a panacea or a frictionless way to manage your tasks.

This is not to say that I’m advocating that Omni should not implement the feature, merely that this removes some agency from the receiver and subverts GTD.


#16

yeah that’s an interesting point of view I do understand that. Be interested to find the perfect middle ground of these two challenges, the first being no shared tasks and the 2nd being shared tasks.


#17

but in my own opinion the very idea of a ‘personal task manager’ is fundamentally flawed, due to people not being seperately isoldated individuals,

Would you allow me to disagree with the fundamentally flawed part? I agree with you that most of our actions as human beings are interconnected, but every individual will perform his or her own tasks as part of that system.

In fact, if the input and output of your task (a proces) is verifiably correct, the only need in a system of interconnected tasks would be some form of signaling (ready to accept, amount of progress, ready to pass on). And some coffee and cookies in the cafeteria of course 😀

The question is thus more semantic: are you discussing project management software or task management software?

we are all connected, projects are often connected to other people and not isolated

That said, many projects are not simple linear systems, but contain dependencies and parallel tasks for example.

Incorporating these complexities into a fairly rich task manager like OmniFocus would bear the risk of it easily becoming overwhelming I think.

For me the three steps (awaiting input, progress, output ready) would suffice. Whether I need them to be present in a task manager I’m not sure of though, as long as there is a physical or software signaling system available.


#18

Ten years ago I bought 7 copies for a team that I was leading and it was a mistake. People wanted to transfer a project from one person to another and there was no simple way to do it. Here is my post from 2008 trying to export out of OmniFocus.

After trying several task managers I am back to OmniFocus. There are many aspects of the program that are amazing. However, I am stunned that it you have to hack things together (applescripts, javascript, shortcuts) to do simple things, like export into a readable document.

I get that the original poster is looking for shared tasks-- I’m simply looking to be able to share tasks, i.e. an agenda with a colleague.

I would love to be able to print or email a well formatted PDF list to a colleague. . . or, export to markdown or copy into OmniOutliner.


#19

Yeah nice point here too, yeah for me just the ability to delegate to somebody who is also using OF3, the ability to see the progress on that task, comment or read their comments on it, and a clear distinction between what are their tasks and what are mine would be all that is needed


#20

I have to literally take screenshots of my OF screens and send to her so he can do anything with it that she’s tagged in.

Might you use iOS, this can be done much simpler I think. It does require some insight into the URL schemes of OF and Shortcuts.

You describe a very recognizable use case, and what we’ve done is setup “shared” projects, with identical names. So we both have an Inbox of course, we both have have our own projects, but some folders have identical names in our accounts. In fact, the naming scheme is so general, that most of our projects are identical and still allow for personal tasks within them.

We then used Shortcuts to share tasks similar to the maildrop feature, but with a major difference. The tasks we send each other (either through iMessage/Airdrop/Mail etc.) fully contain the details of that task.

So if I want to share a task, I simply press the share sheet, start the Shortcut and automatically send a URL scheme. Pressing the URL scheme on the other device imports that task completely, including all details and notes. And as the projects/folders in both accounts are similar, it will place the task in the same project/folder. No screenshots required.

For us it’s a hassle free way of sharing tasks. When the task is completed we can send each other a “task done” message with another Shortcut. That contains a URL scheme that references the task. As it has a similar name, it’s easy to click the URL, open the task and mark it as checked.

Furthermore: we review our tasks daily, and only discuss the shared projects. You can easily rename the projects with a symbol to recognize them as shared.

If you like, I can explain in more detail how you can use Shortcuts to share tasks in OF.