The forums are being retired in favor of a new help portal with improved knowlege base and direct access to support. - Please visit our new help portal for information and support.

CC & GTD Feature Requests

Have a support question regarding ClearContext for Microsoft Outlook? Find help here. Be sure to include what version of Outlook and Windows you are using.

Moderator: ClearContext Support

CC & GTD Feature Requests

Postby brad » Thu Apr 29, 2010 10:45 am

A customer sent the following email. We wanted to share our answers here so that everyone can get a better sense of what we're working towards.

I have used CC mostly with a GTD approach and found a couple of things I wanted to ask you to consider for future releases.

So they are not support requests, but rather food for thought.

I was using ThinkingRock before, which has a nice overview process diagram for GTD. I will it as context to outline the remainder of this mail:

thinking_rock_gtd_process.png (17.56 KiB) Viewed 5021 times

SETUP: Is fine, but not intuitive. The document referenced on the CC page for GTD talks about topics, but that concept does no longer seem to exist.

Wish #1: Update the GTD setup document to be in line with the latest CC version.

We are making significant changes in v5.1. Once that is released, we will be updating all of our documentation, including the GTD Setup Guide.

If “Thoughts” come through Outlook, this is fine, but what about all the other sources of ideas? With TR, there was an entry “screen” which allowed you to capture a single thought/idea/task for later sorting.

I could not find this step in the CC GTD document. Looking around, I have only found these options to collect thoughts with CC:

1. Use the “Type a new Task” field in the ToDo Bar
2. Use the “New Task” button in the Action View
3. Use the “New” button in Outlook’s Task view

Neither of them is very comfortable to access. #2&#3 open the full blown task window and ask a lot of details, which is countering the aim of the collect step: get an idea out of your head fast and dump it into your trusted system. #1 comes closest, but requires you to navigate there first and insist on putting the deadline on the current date, which is not what I would want in most cases. So,

Wish #2: Add a Button to the CC menu bar to just add a task. These tasks should not have a deadline by default (or perhaps you might want to make that configurable)

v5.1 has a quick task entry field right on the Dashboard that includes the ability to add date and project if desired.

PROCESS: This step generally works very well, but has some bends which make it complicated to execute. This is mostly around filtering and selecting subsets of tasks.

E.g. there is no straight forward way to find the tasks, which I have just collected but not categorized, terminated, delegated, etc. They should be easy to identify, as they have no project assignment (yet).

Wish #3: Allow flexible filtering and sorting of “Tasks and Actions” on the Dashboard (see wishes #9 and #11)

Wish #4: Add field “Project” to the “Tasks and Actions” list on the Dashboard so it is easy to identify what is unassigned/new; or better: allow to add/remove columns

It is great that the “Projects” section of the Dashboard is counting UNASSIGNED tasks and Appointments, but I could not find any way to display them

Wish #5: A double click on the UNASSIGNED line the Dashboard should open a Project Tab “UNASSIGNED” just like any other project

Wish #6: It should also be possible to defer and delegate tasks from the dashboard and the Action View

V5.1 will include an easy way to view and edit tasks without project assignments and/or category assignments. It will also include a view for quickly identifying and bulk updating overdue tasks and tasks without due dates.

Although the dashboard and the Action View give a good overview, you actually have to open individual items to do something with them

Wish #7: If one or more lines are selected in Tasks or Actions in the dashboard or the action view, buttons and/or context menu entries should be available to set priority, categorize, schedule, assign to a project, delegate or defer

I like the general idea of the Action View, but there are a number of things which make it almost unusable:

Wish #8: Have the screen elements in the action view resize with the window. Currently the space used is static.

Wish #9: In the Action View, allow to filter for multiple values of a fields, e.g. projects, categories, … Also allow to negate filters, e.g. tasks with no projects. (same goes for the Dashboard “Tasks and Actions” list)

Wish #10: Add field “Priority” to the Action view; or better: allow to add/remove columns (same goes for the Dashboard “Tasks and Actions” list)

Wish #11: Allow filtering for Priority, or better for a customizable set of fields.

Many of the items you ask for are being addressed in the ActionView, the Dashboard or both. In particular:
  • We are adding the ability to bulk update due dates on tasks
  • We are adding Outlook's priority for a better view of high priority tasks in addition to overdue tasks
  • ActionView filtering is being redesigned to make activities you do every day simpler

GTD advocates a daily and weekly review and planning of the open tasks. For a daily review, the Project View on the Dashboard is suited very well. Some points:

Wish #12: Allow hiding of certain contacts. Typically, I like the “Sort by Last Received” view, but have several of my own alternate email addressed on top of the list

Wish #13: Many of my contacts come with portrait pictures in Outlook. It would be nicer to see those in the contacts list than the Icons. Priority for a contact could still be expressed by a colored frame around the portrait.

Wish #14: When selecting one or more contacts in the contacts list, allow an option to filter the Messages list to those where this person is in the From, To or CC field. Have some indication (e.g. icon) on the messages indicating if it is From, To or CC

Wish #15: Group entries in the contact list by outlook contact. Currently mails from the same person, but from two different addresses show as two entries. (might be optional, or expandable)

Wish #16: When selecting one or more attachments in the attachment view, allow an option to filter the Messages list to those which carry these attachments

Wish #17: When selecting one or more messages in the message view, allow an option to filter the contacts and attachments lists to those which are related to these messages.

Wish #18: Allow color coding of the Tasks and Actions list also by Priority, not just by due date

Wish #19: Allow primary and secondary sort order in the Tasks and Actions list

Wish #20: When using my mouse wheel or clicking below the scroll bar to scroll down any of the lists, the visual feedback is screwed, i.e. the list goes down to the next page, current entries are scrolled downwards and the entries which are actually further down are scrolled in from downwards from above. Intuitively, the entries should scroll upwards. (The same visualization happens when scrolling up, but then it is OK to scroll in the list entries from downwards from above.)

Though most of these requests are not explicitly addressed in v5.1, many of these items are on our features list for future consideration. I don't expect scrolling to be an issue in the redesign.

Also the Dashboard itself could be improved upon:

Wish #21: The Projects list should also show a count tasks which are scheduled later than next week (or not scheduled at all). What I am typically interested in for the review is projects with any tasks against them, but the list only provides “all projects” or “projects with scheduled tasks in the next two weeks”

Wish #22: Allow drag and drop assignment of tasks and appointments to projects

Wish #23: When creating new Outlook contacts via the “create” link in the contacts list of the dashboard, the list of potentially existing contacts should be sorted.

Wish #21: The Projects list should also/alternatively allow a breakdown by priority, not just by due date.

In v5.1 the Dashboard will include total counts of of tasks and appointments by Project and highlight those projects that have overdue tasks. High priority projects can be identified by pinning them in the v5.1 Dashboard.

To conduct the weekly review is actually quite cumbersome, as you need to constantly switch between the calendar and the dashboard to schedule tasks:

Wish #22: Create a new, augmented dashboard view, which shows 1) the “Tasks and Action” List of the respective project (or all, or filtered) and 2) the week view of the calendar. Appointments in belonging to the current project / selection should be highlighted in the calendar view. Drag and drop to schedule/unscheduled tasks would be nice. The other Dashboard elements (messages, contacts and attachments) are not useful for this view.

Wish #23: Allow color coding the Calendar view, not only by Category (as build into Outlook) but also/alternatively by project assignment. So when planning the week(s) ahead you have a quick overview how much time is allocated to each project.

Wish #24: Have a weekly statistic, showing how much time is allocated for each project.

If synchronizing Projects to Categories, assign category color-codes to individual views to accomplish #23. We plan to implement better project level reporting in a future release.

Many Thanks for your consideration!

Thank YOU for the very detailed recommendations. Please send more ideas our way as you have them!
Brad Meador
Posts: 2161
Joined: Wed Jun 16, 2004 5:35 pm

Return to ClearContext Professional Features & Support


  • Related topics
    Last post

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests