Filter for groups displayed in 'Group By' view as well as for item

Status
Not open for further replies.
S

SJAB

Categories are great... until you want to use them for multiple orthogonal
classifications at once! What I mean is, to take an example...

Suppose you're using a "GTD"-style approach to managaing your Tasks, and
therefore want to categorise each task within two separate "sets" of
Categories - by context (@Home, @Office, etc) and by project (or area of
focus, etc). You may also have some other specific categories beyond those
two dimensions as well.

It's easy to set up whatever Categories desired, and suitable naming schemes
can easily be used to allow for useful filters to be easily applied: e.g. all
context Categories may start with "@" while that character is never used in a
project Category, and so on - thus a filter of "Category includes '@'" will
show only those Tasks that've been assigned to a context.

The problem comes, however, when you then want a view grouped by one of the
"sets" of Categories (i.e. one 'dimension'). To view "all tasks grouped by
context" you set the view to Group By Category, and to filter for '@' being
included in the Categories field... but of course what that actually produces
is is a view with a group for every context AND every project AND any other
category that includes a Task that's got a context assigned.

What you really want is a view that only shows groups for the context
categories, without the extra 10's of groups that (even making the effort to
keep those ones collapsed) just get in the way an cause confusion!

There doesn't seem to be any way of achieving this, except to use/add a
custom field for any dimension you want to categorise by except the first -
but such fields are harder to setup and use (e.g. drag-n-drop behaves
differently to Categories in the UI), do not appear on the default form, are
not accessible on a synced Windows Mobile device, etc.

If anyone knows a straightforward way to achieve this, I'd be very grateful
- but otherwise I'm desperately hoping Microsoft will add an additional
Filter feature to the Group By element of defining Views. All the code/UI
could be re-used from the existing Filter (of items) function, but would
instead filter the set of values of the field being grouped by, to control
the display/non-display of groups.

I see this as being a relatively simple addition to functionality that would
be extremely useful whenever someone wants to categorise tasks, or any other
Outlook objects, according to more than one independent classifications. What
do others think? Have you encountered the same problem and how have you
tackled it?

-Steve

--------------This post is a suggestion for Microsoft, and Microsoft responds to the
suggestions with the most votes. To vote for this suggestion, click the "I
Agree" button in the message pane. If you do not see the button, follow this
link to open the suggestion in the Microsoft Web-based Newsreader and then
click "I Agree" in the message pane.

http://www.microsoft.com/office/community/en-us/default.mspx?mid=ce5232ee-9e63-48f2-8a5c-b1ecbb0f9066&dg=microsoft.public.outlook.general
 
D

dlw

folders?

"SJAB" wrote:

> Categories are great... until you want to use them for multiple orthogonal
> classifications at once! What I mean is, to take an example...
>
> Suppose you're using a "GTD"-style approach to managaing your Tasks, and
> therefore want to categorise each task within two separate "sets" of
> Categories - by context (@Home, @Office, etc) and by project (or area of
> focus, etc). You may also have some other specific categories beyond those
> two dimensions as well.
>
> It's easy to set up whatever Categories desired, and suitable naming schemes
> can easily be used to allow for useful filters to be easily applied: e.g. all
> context Categories may start with "@" while that character is never used in a
> project Category, and so on - thus a filter of "Category includes '@'" will
> show only those Tasks that've been assigned to a context.
>
> The problem comes, however, when you then want a view grouped by one of the
> "sets" of Categories (i.e. one 'dimension'). To view "all tasks grouped by
> context" you set the view to Group By Category, and to filter for '@' being
> included in the Categories field... but of course what that actually produces
> is is a view with a group for every context AND every project AND any other
> category that includes a Task that's got a context assigned.
>
> What you really want is a view that only shows groups for the context
> categories, without the extra 10's of groups that (even making the effort to
> keep those ones collapsed) just get in the way an cause confusion!
>
> There doesn't seem to be any way of achieving this, except to use/add a
> custom field for any dimension you want to categorise by except the first -
> but such fields are harder to setup and use (e.g. drag-n-drop behaves
> differently to Categories in the UI), do not appear on the default form, are
> not accessible on a synced Windows Mobile device, etc.
>
> If anyone knows a straightforward way to achieve this, I'd be very grateful
> - but otherwise I'm desperately hoping Microsoft will add an additional
> Filter feature to the Group By element of defining Views. All the code/UI
> could be re-used from the existing Filter (of items) function, but would
> instead filter the set of values of the field being grouped by, to control
> the display/non-display of groups.
>
> I see this as being a relatively simple addition to functionality that would
> be extremely useful whenever someone wants to categorise tasks, or any other
> Outlook objects, according to more than one independent classifications. What
> do others think? Have you encountered the same problem and how have you
> tackled it?
>
> -Steve
>
>
> --------------> This post is a suggestion for Microsoft, and Microsoft responds to the
> suggestions with the most votes. To vote for this suggestion, click the "I
> Agree" button in the message pane. If you do not see the button, follow this
> link to open the suggestion in the Microsoft Web-based Newsreader and then
> click "I Agree" in the message pane.
>
> http://www.microsoft.com/office/community/en-us/default.mspx?mid=ce5232ee-9e63-48f2-8a5c-b1ecbb0f9066&dg=microsoft.public.outlook.general

 
S

SJAB

"dlw" wrote:

> folders?
>


Thanks for the response.
There are three significant problems with trying to use folders for this:

1. Only the default Tasks folder can be synced to a Windows Mobile device,
so you lose mobile access to most/all of your tasks (would also apply to any
other objects except Messages/Posts).

2. You can't assign more than one classification to the same item that way,
unlike with Categories. You could copy the task, but that's very messy since
you'd have to update/complete each copy independently. (This is also a
drawback of the custom field approach.)

3. To have all the usual views you'd have to re-create them using Search
Folders in order to collate the tasks spread amongst the folders. Aside from
being a bit of a pain, the search folders aren't accessible via OWA (or
WinMo).

It would also, of course, only allow for one extra dimension of
classification on top of Categories. While the need for more than 2
dimensions is probably rare, the ability to restrict/filter the groupings
displayed in a "Group By" view would allow virtually-unrestricted flexibility.

 
Status
Not open for further replies.

Top