Stalled Project

The traditional “Stalled Project” perspective (“Has an active project that has no remaining actions”) does not show single action lists that have no actions. Is there any way to handle this? Thank you.

Unlike parallel and sequential projects, a single action list has no defined outcome. I use single action lists for one-off actions in specific areas of life (e.g. Friends & Family, Work Admin). Sometimes, they’re empty, but since they don’t represent outcomes, I don’t consider them “stalled.”

Conversely, if I have a parallel/sequential project with a defined outcome (e.g. Ready for Trip to Paris) and it doesn’t have any remaining actions, there are three options:

  1. Mark it complete – The outcome has been reached.
  2. Drop it – A decision has been made not to move towards the outcome.
  3. Add at least one more action – One or more actions must be defined to move the project forward. Once there’s at least one remaining action, the project is taken out of a stalled state.

On a side note, I have a repeating (daily )action that prompts me to check for stalled projects.

OmniFocus for Mac - Check for Stalled Projects

For convenience, this action contains a link to my Projects: Stalled perspective.

1 Like

Understand your use case. I don’t see what about a single action list with no remaining actions causes OmniFocus not to regard it as "an active project that has no remaining actions”.

In fact, if OmniFocus did so regard it (as it should), you could, if so desired, filter such lists out of your “stalled” perspective as there is a filter on single action lists in the rule editor.

As a practitioner of GTD, I’ve come to think of a project as a defined outcome that requires two or more actions. So, I don’t think of a “project” of type “single actions” as a project. I instead refer to it as a “single action list.”

From this perspective, I wouldn’t expect single action lists to qualify to be included among “an active project that has no remaining actions.” Though, they’re still called “projects,” so I can understand why you would expect to see them included alongside parallel and sequential projects.

At the end of the day, this is a design decision that Omni made years ago. If you haven’t already, I recommend sharing your feedback with them by choosing Contact Omni from the Help menu (Mac) or Settings > Help (iPhone & iPad).

1 Like

Just to add to what @timstringer wrote.

Except for remaining actions and first actions there‘s no difference between a single action project and the other two project types.

Therefore, single action projects are not intended for a higher outcomes. That‘s what the other (parallel/sequential) project types are for. And it’s also why the remaining action has a specific meaning in their case.

I use single action projects just within each areas of focus folder (with „— „ and for an errands (project) list and lists of e.g. areas to visit, books to read… .

2 Likes