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Why OmniFocus v1 didn't support multiple contexts per action Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Quote:
Originally Posted by svsmailus View Post
Isn't this all rather a moot point? Over the years I've followed many of the threads of people asking for tags or multiple contexts. I would suggest at least 50% of your users would like this. So why not give it to them? You can make an option one can turn off if one doesn't like it. What I object to here is the omni believes that it knows better than I do on how I should manage my tasks. This really comes across as arrogance. There are many different productivity philosophies, from GTD, ZenGTD, Covey etc. Each fits into the uniqueness of different people. I fail to understand Omni's approach of telling folks that Omni knows best? Apart from a basic GTD philosophy these other methodolgies don't work with omni. Good luck at trying to implement Covey's matrix. Yes, I've seen people post suggestions, but these work-arounds are cumbersome and demonstrate omni's infelxibility.

Over the years my productivity methodology has changed considerably and sadly, omni has not kept up with the times and still attempts to shoehorn people into its GTD method. This may be useful for folks whose methodology is identical to omni's but allows no leeway for folks who do things differently.

No doubt folks will say, you're free to use something else, but considering the quite considerable expense I've invested it's a shame that omni is so rigid that it won't even listen to half its users who want this option. I had thought that good developers listen to their customers, but that certainly doesn't seem to be happening here.
+1

I was Covey trained before I discovered GTD and both approaches have pro's and con's for my work style. Tags make sense to me, a single context does not.
 
As much as I liked OF I just moved to another program that among other things, supports multiple contexts. It's great to be able to view info the way I want to, not the way someone else has decided is best for me. I won't be moving back.

I have to say that reading this thread was an influencer in the decision. It made it clear this is a product that won't be seeing any exciting improvements as long as this is the development attitude driving it, it helped me to understand why the still non-existent 2.0 didn't look to be an improvement at all. I also found it head shaking that the person starting the thread is so convinced that multiple contexts are wrong that he doesn't appear to even get how many people would actually use them, he's missed the forest for the trees.
 
Quote:
As much as I liked OF I just moved to another program that among other things, supports multiple contexts. It's great to be able to view info the way I want to, not the way someone else has decided is best for me. I won't be moving back.
Would you let us know which program you have moved to please?
 
Sorry for the lack of response from Omni in this thread—we've just been heads-down working on OmniFocus 2 lately, trying to get the basic app polished up and all our Pro features in place. (We just got v2 to the point where it can load arbitrary Perspectives again a few hours ago.)

Our thinking has evolved on this over the years, and we do plan to add support for creating arbitrary lists of tasks which cut across projects and contexts. But this functionality isn't planned for the initial v2.0 release, since we want to ship that release as soon as possible.
 
By the way, the way to implement this workflow in OmniFocus right now is to use #hashtags in notes, creating saved context-mode perspectives which search for those #hashtags. Those perspectives will sync from the Mac to the iPhone app, so you can quickly get to those lists wherever you are.
 
The comments from Ken here are much appreciated. Edit: haha, I notice the "and likely never will support them" has been removed from the threads title.

Quote:
Originally Posted by psilas View Post
Would you let us know which program you have moved to please?
I somewhat hesitate to respond since this is OF's forum after all, but i suppose I opened that can of worms with my last post. The answer is Organizer:Pro by TaskFabric. I'm not suggesting for a second that it's "better", just that it is for me. It's a bit rough around the edges with regard to the aesthetic design (which is also skinnable), but the functionality is outstanding. It has all the things I loved about OF, plus two things I desperately missed, multiple contexts and the ability to open notes about an item in a dedicated window. And the built in mind mapping feature blows my mind :D. It also works with Windows which is huge for me since I have to use Windows for Work.

I suspect there are plenty of areas OF is stronger too, for instance I haven't seen a way yet to create highly customized views as is possible with OF, then again I haven't looked too hard as the default views meet my needs very well.

It took me a good couple of hours working with it to figure it all out, I initially rejected it, so if you do try it I'd suggest you be willing to spend some time on it. Things I initially thought it didn't have were there, but not immediately apparent. I also found that the appearance and layout, even of the navigation bar could be substantially altered in settings, which allowed me to change things I initially assumed were not able to be altered. I'm sure there is much more to discover that I haven't even gotten to yet.

The company has also responded surprisingly quickly to my inquiries, I asked them why they didn't have a user forum and they responded they are creating one, I asked them about the one major thing I noticed was missing, that I could not manually set the order of tasks and they responded that they've received that feature request and will be adding it in the next release due in a few months.

Last edited by David_Haddad; 2014-02-24 at 08:05 PM..
 
Quote:
...we do plan to add support for creating arbitrary lists of tasks which cut across projects and contexts
Thanks for the response Ken. I'm not sure what your above statement promises? Are you looking at implementing either muliple contexts per task or a tag system across the board?
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by svsmailus View Post
Thanks for the response Ken. I'm not sure what your above statement promises? Are you looking at implementing either muliple contexts per task or a tag system across the board?
I'm just saying that we understand and are planning to address the need. Either of those options could solve this need, though I don't think those are the only two options.

But right now, we need to keep our focus on shipping 2.0 so we can ship that promised sync-compatible transition release—which will then free us to start making changes to our underlying data architecture that won't be compatible with v1. There are some basic changes there that we've been wanting to make for years (like being able to drop actions without deleting them or marking them complete).

Last edited by Ken Case; 2014-02-25 at 08:19 AM..
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by David_Haddad View Post
The answer is Organizer:Pro by TaskFabric. I'm not suggesting for a second that it's "better", just that it is for me.
Thanks very much for letting us know what you went with David. I have had a look at this program but intend to stick with OF for the time being. Particularly now multiple contexts are on the table.

All the best.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by psilas View Post
...but intend to stick with OF for the time being. Particularly now multiple contexts are on the table.
I'd be a bit cautious about this. Just because something has been mentioned as a possibility does not mean it will become a reality. Omni does not have a speedy development cycle. The current version of Omnifocus was initially released in 2008. That makes it just over 6 years old. Version two, apart from the iPhone, is not out yet.

Basing your use of omnifocus on the possibility of multiple contexts could cause you considerable investment financially and you may not see multiple context for a number of years.

I use omnifocus less and less as it is too inflexible for my productivity focus. I use Covey matrix. Omnifocus is great if you work the way it wants you to. If not you'll end up endlessly tweaking it and not being effective.
 
 


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