r5 - 07 Jul 2005 - 14:03:52 - LisaDusseaultYou are here: OSAF >  Journal Web  > MultiDimensionalEventAttributes20050118
-- JimMilner - 18 Jan 2005

There are many physical calendars and calendaring programs that try to convince me that I can fit my complex and demanding life into little one inch square boxes. It has never worked effectively and likely never will. I need to be able to selectively view the many overlapping and fiercely-competitive dimensions of my life in order to try to balance the many conflicting demands therein.

Most of us have a great number of responsibilities to deal with. Because calendars get so easily cluttered, they are typically useful for only the highest level activities and events. The rest just has to bubble around in the backgrounds of our brains, taking up unnecessary space, causing unnecessary anxiety, and resulting in dropped balls.

Effort has been made to overlay calendars for workgroup settings, but I have yet to find a program that allows me to overlay events from my many and complex overlapping roles and responsibilities. I want selectable data views within the various standard chronological views. I believe this functionality would add the 'killer' attribute to your excellently conceived app.

I want to be able to easily select various overlays for the many competing aspects of my life such as:

  • roles: husband, father, son, relative, employee, volunteer, friend, etc.
  • responsibilities: home, work, clubs, organizations, manager, employee, citizen, etc.

Each of these could have various other attributes:

  • Access Control
    • public/limited/private: all
    • public/limited/private: upstream
    • public/limited/private: peers
    • public/limited/private: downstream
    • public/limited/private: specific workgroup1, 2, 3, ...
    • public/limited/private: specific project1, 2, 3, ...
    • Public/limited/private: humor, recipes, events, newsletter, blog, whatever, etc.
  • Priorities: fixed, auto-escalating, critical, non-critical, life-threatening, optional
  • Dependencies on other events, decisions, or external triggers
  • other

I would also like flexible, user definable/assignable hierarchies and groups, for example:

  • Work, Personal, Relational, Other
  • Project A, A.1, A.2, A.3, B, C, C1.2, ...
  • Reports a, b, c, ...
  • Status A, B, C, ...
  • family, friends, clubs, volunteer
  • milestones, holidays, birthdays: family, birthdays: friends
  • legal, financial
  • travel, vacation
  • etc.

In summary, I would like a set of rich, hierarchical and/or relational, user-definable, user-assignable, access-controlled, selectively importable/exportable attributes for all events, deadlines, and activities.

I have learned that people organize and execute life in a rich variety of ways, all of which have pros and cons, and little of which is negotiable. Providing the flexibility to allow one's calendar to reflect one's own highly-personal and life-critical time management needs and preferences in this way would be golden. It would put the teeth into the shark that could make calendaring into the killer-app that it should have been ten years ago.

It might not be easy. Well, the programming should be relatively straight-forward, but an intuitive user interface might not be. However, if it was easy, anybody could have (and probably would have) already done it. Please consider integrating this into your project plan.

Thank you for your consideration,

Jim Milner

ps. It would be nice to be able to see accumulations of time over a selected period for these categories. In fact, it would be nice to be able to integrate time sheet (and life) reporting into this application to help us be able to track and balance all of our time from a central point. It would be so natural to roll the work portions up into the central servers you planned.

- It would be nice to be able to have distributable templates that would easily integrate into an individuals own attribute structure without disrupting the same. It would be nice for individuals to be able to easily create and export attribute structures so that the anal among us could share selected parts of our structures with others.

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