The Omni Group Forums

The Omni Group Forums (
-   OmniFocus for iPad (
-   -   Can you have too many contexts? (

marker 2011-02-17 07:10 PM

Can you have too many contexts?
Would having ~200 contexts bog anything down? It would help if I can keep track of around that many addresses, and I'd like to make each address its own context as that seems like how it should be.

whpalmer4 2011-02-17 10:51 PM

Should be fine. I've got 151. It does makes your list of contexts take longer to scroll through, obviously...

aliteralmind 2011-02-26 05:39 PM

I find that more than 2,000 contexts make things confusing. It was a struggle, but I finally whittled it down to 1,879.

GeoffAirey 2011-02-27 07:39 AM

[QUOTE=aliteralmind;94178]I find that more than 2,000 contexts make things confusing. It was a struggle, but I finally whittled it down to 1,879.[/QUOTE]

Obviously, each to their own, but why would you possibly need that many contexts? I'm constantly struggling to keep it below 20 distinct contexts of People, places and tool.

aliteralmind 2011-02-27 07:42 AM

I'm joking.

Sorry...dry-as-a-bone humor...

GeoffAirey 2011-02-28 12:27 AM

Sorry, just couldn't contemplate getting anything done with more than my current contexts, you'd be changing contexts 100 times a day and not getting anything done.

You missed off Bazzinga

whpalmer4 2011-02-28 09:52 AM

Why does having a large number of contexts imply that one would be changing them any more often than with a small number? That doesn't make sense to me, whether I interpret "changing contexts" as editing the context assigned to an action, or as changing the view in OmniFocus.

It is really quite simple: if you have a large collection of actions which can be readily divided into a number of smaller collections of actions, and you frequently wish to view a smaller collection of actions rather than the whole, doing the division may be worthwhile. If you cannot look at an action and easily determine a more specific context, then it may not.

Just because OmniFocus allows you to narrow a view doesn't mean you have to do so all of the time. A view grouping available actions by context is a fast way to see what you have to do in different contexts. Suppose you have an Agenda context stuffed full of people; you can glance down the list and spot which people you should visit/contact first to knock off the most actions, whereas making that determination from a list of "Call Fred about XYZ", "Call Samantha about ABC", "Call Fred about DEF", etc. requires you to do the collation rather than the computer. Now, if it isn't easy to determine that Fred is the right person to talk to about DEF and XYZ, I agree that there would be some friction involved in setting the context for those tasks to anything more specific to Calls, but isn't that an issue with which you have to come to grips somehow?

Think of it as pre-sorting your tasks to make them easier to access later. It's certainly quicker to just stuff a document in the file cabinet at the empty end of the drawer, but isn't it easier to find all the related documents later when you need them if you've at least put them in some order? If you have few enough documents, perhaps it doesn't matter. You're trying to strike a balance such that the total effort is minimized; minimizing the filing time may have a negative impact on actually doing the work, and similarly too much effort on the filing end may not produce a corresponding improvement on execution. Fortunately OmniFocus makes it easy to restructure if you go overboard, just drag the block of tasks from the overly-specific context into the more general.

aliteralmind 2011-02-28 10:08 AM

Here are all my contexts.

- Hoome-Downstairs
--- oo-Computer
--- oo-Filing Cabinet
- Hoome-Upstairs
- Home-to-Ouut (need to bring something from home to be repaired, returned, put in the safe-deposit box, etc.)

TTouch (iPod Touch)
- tt-Internet



The BBoys



zOn Hold

zMove to HandDBase: I've eliminated all "would be nice" to-dos from OmniFocus. I only like having hard-due-date, or "every week/3-days-a-week" stuff in OmniFocus. Brainstorming in OF and putting would-be-nice stuff in it has not worked for me. Really clutters things up. Making this change has brought my number of actions from around 1000 to 550.

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 06:56 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.