‘Waiting’ perspective

Anyone know a way to set up a perspective for things im waiting on?

I usually tag such things as “waiting.”

At present I have a perspective set up to show me Remaining items that are tagged with “waiting” and don’t belong to a particular folder group I use for templates.

The problem is that it includes items that are blocked by linear sequences of tasks.

For example, say I have a linear project that looks like this:

  • Ask Bob to go buy a pile of curtains
  • Follow up with Bob whether he made it to the store (tagged with “waiting”)

Before the first task is checked off, the second already shows up in that perspective.

See what I mean? It’d be good to exclude remaining items that are held up by a prerequisite linear item.

And if you clever people found a good solution?

You can use “first available”

Or set the Waiting for tag to “On Hold” and perspective to “Remaining”

On a quick read surely by definition if your waiting for something before something else can happen your project should be sequential ?

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I notice this most with things thawed out from templates. I might have:

  • Look up referral’s number
  • Call, schedule a thing

The above would be sequential, and the second item would be tagged as waiting so that it’ll be regarded that way when I get to it because more than likely it’ll take multiple attempts to contact the person.

I guess I could just never program anything in advance with a waiting tag. But that’s too bad. I know I won’t always remember to tag it even though that task will often need to be.

It’s not a huge deal but I didn’t want to give up without asking the collective.

It’s a good question. Like you I often find it useful to map out an entire process in advance, with some sequential portions, and then execute the steps through various individual-action perspectives.

I don’t see a way to do it with the ‘waiting’ tag (having the on-hold status) applied in advance.

You might use a method requiring your manual intervention, eg. in the template or project created in advance, use a separate ‘set to waiting’ tag with an ‘Active’ status. When the action with this tag pops up in your various perspectives it reminds you to manually replace it with the real ‘waiting’ tag. This could be automated with a plug-in which you run regularly to find actions which have the tag and are now available.

Now that’s a clever way to go about it using automation. I haven’t learned how to automate other than the iOS Shortcuts app.

I think the attached plug-in does the trick. Just edit the constants to define the tag names you want to use.

Switch Tags.omnifocusjs (985 Bytes)

This might be a good learning experience, since I’ve not yet done anything at all with omnifocus automation outside of shortcuts.

I’ll play with it when I have time. Thank you!

Perhaps I can have my Mac run it once a day.

Is there a parameter to check whether an item is preceded logically by a sequential item regardless of availability?

No, I filtered only on available tasks. What benefit would there be to checking that the task is in a sequence?

To differentiate between something unavailable due to a defer date versus by a sequential prerequisite. To find things that would be available were it not for those prerequisites.
Maybe something with defer dates can filter out close enough.

Does it matter what specific condition is making the ‘set to waiting’ task unavailable? I would say that an action with only a defer date is the same: you don’t want them polluting your perspectives which show true ‘waiting’ tasks.

This said it would be quite straightforward to add additional filters on the actions to process, Omni Automation exposes all the needed properties.

I think this ought to work well enough!

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In the example you give, just make the project sequential.

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I think having the perspective require either an item be available or have a defer date solved this issue for me.
Because if a task has a waiting tag and has not been deferred, it must either be available anyway or be blocked by a sequential item.

So currently I can see things that I’ve tagged as waiting and then deferred and things that are available now, but not things that are unavailable and do not have a defer date because they’re held up by a prior sequential item.