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kgoodfellow 2012-06-26 06:11 PM

Automatic change of context at some point in future

Is there some way to automatically set the context on an action to change at a future point in time?

I have a 'Waiting for' context which is set to 'On hold' so that the relevant action is not available while I wait for someone else to get back to me. I would like to be able to have the context on that action automatically change to an active context (say 'Follow up') at a set time in the future (say 'tomorrow 2pm'), so that at 2pm the following day the action becomes available without any intervention from me. I basically want to to be able to set a time limit on how long that action remains on hold so that I don't forget about it (without having to regularly review my 'Waiting for' context and manually change the context of actions that I think need following up).

Can anybody help?

whpalmer4 2012-06-26 08:28 PM

You're making it overly complex. The easiest route is to simply put a start date on the action for when you want it to become active to alert you that follow-up is necessary. There's no need to assign it a special waiting context that is on hold, either. If you want more feedback that it isn't getting done, also add a due date. If Bob thinks he'll have a report on the new widget design for you on Tuesday, the action might be something like

Receive widget report from Bob @Agenda:Bob @Start Tuesday 8am @Due Thursday 5pm

The one advantage having a specific waiting context can provide that this approach does not is the ability to quickly see a list of everything you might be waiting on. However, if you actually put your waiting context on hold, actions which you are currently waiting for and actions which you will be waiting for in the future become indistinguishable because you can't use the available filter to sift them.

In any case, there's no built-in support for actions with automatically changing contexts. One could write an Applescript that walked through the database and made such changes and have it run periodically, perhaps as an alert action from iCal.

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