As part of any given project I may have a substantial number of largely identical parallel tasks with sub-tasks. More specifically it might look something like this:
Study (Folder, large, long-term) Data Collection (Project, One part of Study) Participant 1 (Action Item) Schedule Interview Date (sub-item) Conduct Interview Transcribe Interview Send Transcript to Participant for Review Revise Transcript Participant 2 Schedule Interview Date Conduct Interview Transcribe Interview Send Transcript to Participant for Review Revise Transcript ... Participant N Schedule Interview Date Conduct Interview Transcribe Interview Send Transcript to Participant for Review Revise Transcript
I have the STUDY as a folder. DATA COLLECTION is a project within that folder (among other tasks that comprise the STUDY).
Top-level “Participant X” actions are not dated but some sub-actions (e.g., Schedule interview date, conduct interview) are dated. Some may be flagged because they need attention, and some may have a tag added if they are being delegated to one of my work study students.
The issue is that when viewed in Forecast, Flagged, or Tag views, sub-actions appear abstracted and do not appear to belong to a specific participant. For example:
In this image, I have three top level Participant actions flagged because they need attention. The first available sub-task (Parent tasks are Sequential) is Transcribe Interview. But now I end up with “Transcribe Interview” from three different top level Participants flagged, but I do not know what top level action they belong to.
Things get even sloppier in Forecast. Here’s today’s forecast:
While I have the calendar event with the participant’s name showing up here, if that wasn’t there, I wouldn’t have any idea which top level action these upcoming actions belong to.
The solution, I hear you suggest, would be to give my top-level Participant actions a due date. But the issue with this is that, at least in the case of participant interviews, the variety of sub-actions all take place across a rather long (and highly variable) timeframe, and in some cases don’t require a due-date.
Another option I suppose would be to include the participant/parent action name in sub-actions but that makes it hard to streamline copy/pasting tasks or templating.
I do imagine there’s some other way of structuring my projects and actions that would avoid this, but it’s just not coming to me.
Anyhow, I hope this describes my system and dilemma sufficiently. I look forward to your suggestions! Note that I am using OmniFocus 3 Standard on macOS and iOS.