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many/most OF users are at their computers most of the day, making the appropriate context for most of their tasks "Computer" or maybe "Computer :: Email" etc. Since most of the time we are working on a single project at a time, it is often (at least for me) appropriate to look at tasks in Planning mode. This is not how OF is meant to be used. It does not provide a sophisticated view of tasks.

Possible Solutions

The forum is filled with discussions about solutions to this problem.

Many involve elaborate contexts and sub-contexts built around the idea of "work modes". But work modes aren't what GTD contexts are for. Contexts are meant to be associated with a resource (tool, person, place), and this is how they work best.

The solutions that do work usually involve a combination of elaborate contexts, and project-specific perspectives. These sometimes work well BUT, require setting up perspectives, and/or contexts for each individual project. Sometimes multiple perspectives per project. Sometimes Contexts with funny markup in the names. Sometimes AppleScripts.

This is difficult to maintain and results in a fragile system and inflexible workflow.

OmniFocus needs to fix this

Our beloved OmniFocus needs to fix this problem. I don't know exactly what the solution would be. (In fact, I probably didn't describe the problem very completely either). A lot of people want tags. I think tags can be useful but not necessarily a solution to this problem.

Something I just envisioned while writing this: Some sort of hierarchical task browser. You click down through "views" that are relative to the parent view. So:

MyProject -> available actions -> flagged

MyProject -> available actions -> >15 minutes

With the usual sorting still available (and, hopefully, the ability to reverse the sort order, which we still don't have…)


Let me know what you think
  • help me describe the essense of the problem
  • let me know if you have your own workable solution for the current OF
  • brainstorm how a future OF could solve this problem