The Omni Group
These forums are now read-only. Please visit our new forums to participate in discussion. A new account will be required to post in the new forums. For more info on the switch, see this post. Thank you!

Go Back   The Omni Group Forums > OmniFocus > Applying OmniFocus
FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

GTD is not for everyone. Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Originally Posted by HappyDude View Post
Okay, i'm back 2 weeks later. I have to say that it didn't work. I changed my contexts and I ended up not really getting work done. Truth is, I need a more firm guide to actually get my things done, such as these context based locations. Looks like i'll be going back to real contexts such as Dorm, Walking, Driving, Phone, etc.
I am now using a mixture of location-based and "mood"-based contexts (focus, detail, rote, bills, daydream). For deciding what to do, I find myself using the Forecast mode on the iPod, along with a Next perspective (bascially, all next actions). I have also discovered the Map based mode on the iPod, and that helps to pull the proper set of actions from the location-based contexts. At any given moment, I select judiciously from Forecast, Next, and Map and flag the topmost actions that will fit the moment. That puts them in to an Active perspective (basically, all currently flagged actions).

One key for me in becoming more productive was to recognize that I have to keep a minimum list of actions in my Active perspective (no more than 4-5). I complete what is there first, then return to my Forecast, Next, Map, and WaitingFor perspectives to select another set of actions to make Active.

So, maybe your contexts are going in the right direction, it is your methodology that needs to be tweaked.

Just a thought.

Originally Posted by CatOne View Post
This is exactly how The Hit List....
Such a sad state of affairs. The Hit List screamed potential (that timer is gorgeous... but the data, as it's presented, is close to meaningless), but lacks in too many areas.

I'm a paid Omnifocus user (Mac & iPhone) and find the UI so unappealing (even with skins), and the workarounds a pain, that I've already jumped ship. To where? Unfortunately I'm still looking.
I agree mostly, but lately I've been moderately successful with time-based contexts, linked to Mine are Research (my actual job), Overtime, Errand/Chores, and Noon. I set up Calendar so that the week is set up with blocks of time according to those contexts. For example, Overtime is mostly after dinner in the evening. I have morning and afternoon Research times during the week, with a hefty Noon period in between. The idea is that the Research context contains projects related to my research, papers, the lab, etc. At Noon, I try to do some exercise, practice the guitar, whatever. Overtime includes scut work and things i “should” be doing but don't really have to do. On weekends I have some Errand/Chore blocks and various at-home projects to be done at that time, plus some Overtime blocks.

When Calendar gives me an alert like “Research”, I can switch the context accordingly and see flagged actions related to my main work; when I get a “Noon” alert, I switch to it, and so on.

I think it helps some. But I agree that contexts are less useful for the kind of stuff I do than they might be for someone with more specific, assigned tasks.

The other thing about my work is that there are not many specific deadlines, nor is there often any way to estimate meaningfully how long something will take. In my world, I just sort of keep plugging away and eventually some projects get done and others morph into new projects or come to a dead end. But that doesn't mean that everything is equally important to everything else. There are definitely priorities, both among and within projects, and this is something that I believe OF could do a better job of handling.

Greg Shenaut

Last edited by gshenaut; 2013-01-11 at 09:08 AM.. Reason: Couldn't see the title, so moved it into body.
Originally Posted by GeorgeV View Post
I agree with you both. This is maddening to me. The concept of a single context is the most flawed construct of GTD. I would rather eliminate the name context and replace it with category and allow the assignment of three categories per task... Since tags are out of the question.
I wouldn't limit it to Three contexts, there are a veritable feast of possible contexts: people, places, tools, energy levels, times.

these could be OR (anyone one of the contexts would allow you to fulfill it) such as, any one of three people could help you complete a task, of a pserons you need to speak to would be in a certain location

or they could be AND (you need all contexts to be true) for example, the only way to pay your staff is to have your bank login token, Internet access, and a second payee (person) to complete the task.

I've long requested metatags which would allow you to set types of data and their values (Place:Home) in Ominfocus, but I doubt many people feel the same and have requested it.
Originally Posted by garyo View Post
Perhaps what you want is something that is mising from the OF implementation and that is rating tasks in a matrix for urgent and important. This was big before GTD took over. It seems to have disappeared from discussion. As I recall using the matrix resulted in 4 categorisations. 1970s and 80's time management books discuss it. OF's single category 'flag' does not allow any discrimination. HTH
I read those self help articles.

You ended up with

* Urgent and Important
* Urgent but not Important
* Not Urgent but Important
* Not Urgent and Not important.

It was obvious that category 1 took all your time, category 4 was largely ignored until it got promoted.

2 and 3 warred with eachother, and I found myself caught up in Sort of urgent, and not very important.

I ended up combining the two into a 1-5 rating scale. 1 meaning drop everything and start NOW.

That was when I was a computer support tech.

Now I'm a tree farmer. Whole different way of looking at things. Urgent isn't really. And importnt isn't really. But there are a lot of things that if you are going to deal with them at all, you deal with them in a particular window of the year.


As to contexts: I have a bunch of them, but some are location based, and some are time/situation based.

E.g. I've got a bunch of time contexts time: thaw time: freezeup These typically are 1-3 week windows that can 'float' back and forth by as much a month.

I have a bunch of location contexts for when I'm in town, mostly farm supply stores and machinery places.

I have a context: Rainy Day: Things that can be done on a day I don't want to work out in the wet.
Originally, 2 was Not Urgent but Important, the idea being that ideally you should spent some of your time in 1 (Urgent and Important), most of your time in 2, and no time in 3 or 4 (Not Important).

The implication is of course that you have to assign some importance to just hanging around...
Originally Posted by sgbotsford View Post
Now I'm a tree farmer. Whole different way of looking at things. Urgent isn't really. And importnt isn't really. But there are a lot of things that if you are going to deal with them at all, you deal with them in a particular window of the year.
When you would get a frost warning, I can imagine that your need to protect certain trees becomes both URGENT and IMPORTANT.

As an aside, I never really got the hang of urgent versus important. They ended up being a distinction only in whether I the task had externally proscribed due dates. Urgent had them. Important did not.

After that, I lost interest in the four UI quadrants as more confusion than help.

Originally Posted by sgbotsford View Post
INow I'm a tree farmer. Whole different way of looking at things. Urgent isn't really. And importnt isn't really. But there are a lot of things that if you are going to deal with them at all, you deal with them in a particular window of the year.


As to contexts: I have a bunch of them, but some are location based, and some are time/situation based.
Exactly, I'm a sheep farmer. Lots of stuff is related to the seasons and can only be worked on in those seasons. I handle it by making projects either active (can be worked on this season) or on-hold and set some to have start dates in the future as required. Many of mine are recurring projects, Vaccination of lambs happens every year. But I can't set the dates for when to vaccinate each batch until I set the dates for the rams to go in and thus know when the lambs are due. Last action in the project of Sheep Breeding (that starts with ram selection, mating plans, rams in and out, backup rams etc) is to set the start dates for the actions in the project Vaccinate New Lambs.

I'm currently running with 40 active contexts and about 300 active projects. I separate my computer type contexts out by application, I have contexts for inside with help or outside with help for things where one set of hands isn't enough to do the job and I also separate out my hobby stuff from home projects.

Later in the year I'll have projects based on each separate field as required. If I'm out in one field I might as well do everything there I can before I leave.

I tried weather based contexts but that didn't work as well for me because with animals some things have to be done by a certain time no matter what the weather. So you try to do them when it's appropriate weather but in the end they have to be done weather be damned.
For someone on a trial using OF, this is an interesting thread.
It also taught me in future to scan the forum of a software package first, before investing money and time, learning it's not for you.

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 04:10 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.