View Single Post
Originally Posted by ztj View Post
As a Software Engineer I am quite well equipped to do my job wherever I want to do it. And things like shopping or errands don't work well with concrete contexts either because frankly, I often find myself buying online or shopping around. I don't log on to every day and then see if there's something to buy. I log on because I want to buy something.
I am in a similar situation, I'm a contract software developer who is working from home a lot at the moment, and I have gone through a lot of iterations with contexts but I have found myself mostly coming back to the 'default' contexts of 'places' and people.

When I'm at home, sat in front of my computer working I COULD do almost every task in Omnifocus, but I don't WANT to. If I'm in the mood to work I want to see work related tasks only, I don't want to see that I could take out the rubbish, even though there is no reason I couldn't do it. If I need a break, I turn my chair and it's then that I look at the home context. So I have contexts for Home and Computer.

I have an Online context for stuff that requires an internet connection, whether that be my Mac or my iPhone, eg, researching webhost pricing, paying my credit card bill, buying that book from Amazon etc.

I have an Email context that is mostly reminders to reply to emails I have received. Sure I have email tasks as part of my work projects, but occasionally I will block out some time to spend just on sending emails.

I have recently added an Aperture context. I have found that when I do photography related tasks it usually takes a reasonable chunk of time and while I'm in the mood I find myself becoming engrossed in photo processing tasks, not just the task that required me to launch Aperture. I have found it useful to group all the photo processing task together.

These have almost become the name of the application I need to use to get the task done and even though these contexts all require a computer they each require my brain to be wired slightly differently. Changing what you are working on requires a context switch (excuse the pun) in your brain which you don't want to do very often so focusing this way is helpful for me.

Originally Posted by ztj View Post
Besides the difference in applying contexts, I use a single catch-all SAL, projects for any well defined set of tasks that I have (some are really goals but I believe I can complete the goal so it gets a project) and I make heavy use of subtasks, usually in sequence mode, especially with work projects as I tend to outline the entire project as I see it, and make adjustments as time goes by, so I'll often have several levels deep of subtasks. This is the #1 reason I continue to use OmniFocus actually, the ability to be an outliner and task manager at the same time is nice.
I do something similar to this for software projects. I usually set up a folder for the customer then add projects for the systems I'm working on, eg. website, iphone app etc. Then I add tasks for each feature that I have to implement. As I begin work I'll add sub tasks which are the actual next actions that I need to do. They can be as banal as "Write tests", "Commit it", "Deploy", "Tell X that the code is live". These sub tasks are changed/adjusted all the time as I work through them.

[QUOTE=ztj;76522There is one last function that I sort of wish I could more effectively use OF for, especially in the mobile context, which is information gathering. I'd really like to see OF come up with some feature enhancements that would make it practical to do this sort of notekeeping alongside my task tracking, as there is almost always an affinity between information I care about keeping and the tasks I need to complete.[/QUOTE]

I sort of use Omnifocus to do this already but I agree, it's a bit cumbersome, though I don't think OF is the best place for this. If I think of something or see a web page I want to remember etc I often put a clipping in the inbox. Then at review time I decide what to do with it. It could become a someday/maybe project or get filed in some other storage system, or somewhere on disk. I'm using OF as a processing system rather than a storage system. It would be nice to have a single app for this but I don't think OF should be this.

Originally Posted by ztj View Post
For example, the location-based context listings in OF for iPhone is effectively useless.
I think this is a bit of a gimmick. I set up locations for some of my contexts but I rarely use the feature.