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  #1  
Old 11-18-2005, 11:05 PM
xja xja is online now
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Looking for advice on tree clutter

I am looking for suggestions on how to deal with the following issue.

I use a hierarchy of Goals > Projects > Tasks. Sometimes Tasks (those that are simpler and not worthy of being a project) are linked directly to Goals rather than to Projects. I have lots of other non-task info items (mostly web links, files, emails, contacts) linked to Tasks as well as directly to Projects and in some cases to Goals. I have 2 problems.

First, I really like to be able to see my Tasks in the context of the hierarchy. To do that, I go to the Goals parent, shift-left arrow to close all children, right arrow to open up the first level of children (the goals themselves), select all the goal items, right-arrow to expand their children (to show the projects), select all the projects, right-arrow to expand their children (to show the Tasks). This is a cumbersome process enough as it is. But, since some Tasks are at the same level as the Projects, when I do this it expands ALL linked non-task items linked to those Tasks. Also, any non-task items or folders of non-task items linked directly to Projects are expanded.... in other words, tons of non-task items are shown and makes the tree extremely cluttered and very difficult to view and access the Tasks in their hierarchy.

To make matters worse, when I complete a Task, to get it out of the way, I either have to move it out of the hierachy altogether or create a Completed folder under each Project to file the task into (which keeps it in the hierarchy but now creates another item under every Project that clutters up the view and navigation of the tree).

I have tried a few things.... (1) every time I go to another Task, I go to the Goals parent, shift-left arrow to collapse all children, then start navigating down the tree to get to the Task I want (with this I can't see all the Tasks in their hierachy and it takes many steps every time I want to access a Task, but it eliminates the clutter).... (2) I try to not link any Tasks to Goals, but rather insert a dummy Project item in between so all Tasks are at the same level of the tree.... (3) try to avoid linking any non-task items to Projects or Goals.

Most of the time I end up just working with the Search Results of a search that just finds Tasks, but of course the results aren't shown in any hierarchy.

None of these are ideal. This "tree clutter" really slows down workflow. Until some kind of tree filtering functionality is implemented, if anyone has had the patience to read through this lengthy post and to think about it, I would welcome your suggestions on how to deal with this problem.
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  #2  
Old 11-20-2005, 07:37 PM
srdiamond srdiamond is online now
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The more data you have and the more complex the organization, the more important it probably becomes to plan the higher levels of the hierarchy. You have of course done this, to what extent I can't know, but I wonder whether your problems could be mitigated by reorganizing the entire structure. I mean going into a topic outliner like NoteMap or BrainStorm (as opposed to a document outliner) and developing a structure that approximates a faceted hierarchy, then transposing the structure to UR and using UR's ability to move multiple topics, putting the topics in the most rational order. In general a think people expect their software to do more than it reasonably can, to substitute for planning. This might be completely inapplicable to your case---
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  #3  
Old 11-22-2005, 12:33 PM
xja xja is online now
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Those are good points. And in some cases, those other programs are a little easier to brainstorm in, in terms of visualizing relationships.

I think my problem stems from the fact that I like to think and plan very hierarchically, but then it is too complex to work in that mode minute-to-minute, so what I do is schedule all my tasks onto my calendar (in Outlook). Perhaps with Outlook integration in UR it will be easier to get from the scheduled tasks in Outlook back to the the task in the Data Explorer tree, in the context of the project and all other linked items related to the task and project.

In the meantime, I have started putting all active tasks (ie, not completed) related to a project in a Project Tasks folder linked to that project (rather than linking them directly to the project), and then linking each of those Project Tasks folders to high level All Tasks item, so I can access just the active tasks without traversing my hierarchy and without the clutter of other linked items and completed tasks. I don't really like having to manually maintain 2 hierarchies, it would be nice if that could be automated, but it helps for now and it is cool that you can do that with UR.
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  #4  
Old 12-06-2005, 11:50 AM
Zula Zula is online now
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Why not allow for multiple trees?

Other, less sophisticated programs (e.g., TreeDBNotes) allow for multiple trees, with individual folder tabs at the top of the page. You can have a tree for each main subject area, and clutter is greatly reduced. Why not incorporate this in UR?
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  #5  
Old 12-06-2005, 02:20 PM
srdiamond srdiamond is online now
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Re: Why not allow for multiple trees?

Quote:
Originally posted by Zula
Other, less sophisticated programs (e.g., TreeDBNotes) allow for multiple trees, with individual folder tabs at the top of the page. You can have a tree for each main subject area, and clutter is greatly reduced. Why not incorporate this in UR?
I think TreeDBNotes is actually unique in this respect. There are programs that allow opening multiple databases at the same time. These programs may represent each database as a tab. TreeDBNotes, however, allows creating multiple trees in a single database. This is tantamount to hoisting at the root level.
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  #6  
Old 12-08-2005, 11:25 AM
Zula Zula is online now
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Cool Keynote

Keynote, a freeware tree program, also has this feature.
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  #7  
Old 12-10-2005, 12:45 PM
kevina kevina is online now
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Please see http://www.kinook.com/Forum/showthre...&threadid=1391 for a consolidated discussion on future enhancements of UR related to this topic.
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  #8  
Old 03-29-2006, 06:07 AM
danson danson is online now
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Quote:
To make matters worse, when I complete a Task, to get it out of the way, I either have to move it out of the hierachy altogether or create a Completed folder under each Project to file the task into (which keeps it in the hierarchy but now creates another item under every Project that clutters up the view and navigation of the tree).
Hence my request to have completed tasks auto-hidden:

http://www.kinook.com/Forum/showthre...highlight=hide

This is something I would love to see implemented. A button at the top to 'Show Completed Items' could then show the items. Original items can be kept in their original location for easy future referencing but be hidden so as to reduce clutter.

It's much more satisfying to "Clear" the tasks list and hiding completing items means you can finish the day/week/whatever with a blank project tree.

NB:
I would perhaps suggest options to let the user choose in options:

Completed items are:
- Shown
- Hidden
- Struckout
- Faded

Daniel
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