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Contexts or Folders? Ah! The dilema! Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
My concern isn't with the planning process, or "I can do this" lists, though I do see your point there. My work presents itself naturally, even when I seem to have an unnatural amount!. (I definitely appreciate the Forecast View in OmniFocus iPad and long for it on my MacBook Pro.) The problem lies in actually finding information while doing things, for example:

A call comes in from a person who is associated with multiple projects. They want to touch base on multiple fronts, as do I. I would like to find, instantly, via a search in OmniFocus, all items I have captured pertaining to this contact, across all projects and all contexts. I'd also like to add here that I've read Kourosh Dini's book, Creating Flow with OmniFocus, and I've tried to overcome this by using an Agenda context, but that precludes using contexts in every other useful way. It also assumes there's only one useful contact for a task.

I think simply having a contact field, to which we could add more than one contact, and preferably referencing Apple's Address Book, would solve the majority of these real-time usage issues. Perhaps this is being considered?

This is why I was bummed to learn that tags are not in the pipeline. I had planned to solve the problem myself by simply creating tags that answered the "who" question.
 
I weigh in firmly against development of multiple tags as an additional front-end processing tool in OF. As one who finds falls readily in to the trap of playing too much with a tool rather than just doing what is needed with it ... multiple-tags would end up as a clear distraction. Also, looking back ... having multiple tags in Things really did not help me get further ahead in my work. Indeed, even the use of single contexts in OF is less of a help anymore in determining what is forefront for me to do at any given time as opposed to having Due Dates and Sequential vs Parallel alignments of tasks.

That is not to say that some folks absolutely do believe that they absolutely require multiple tags to move forward at all in doing stuff. Based on my experiences, I would have to question their faith (and the application there-of in the GTD "religion / mantra") rather strongly.

OTOH, having tags to help develop reports at the back end of the pipeline could be helpful for me. For example, let's collect all work completed in >Marketing on the @Phone last month. In this regard, I weigh in firmly on the side of development of meta-tags using the OpenMeta framework. Whether OpenMeta tags would be extendable to please those (GTD heathens :-)) who feel they need multiple tags at the front end of their day is another story.

--
JJW
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by danlandrum View Post
....The problem lies in actually finding information while doing things, for example:
I agree with your example on why having tags in OF would be useful.

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JJW
 
I have read several posts on here why GTD / single context is the way to go. I agree, and also I agree that any task should only exist in one project at any given time. But here is a very good reason why we need an additional way to organize things :

I have Root folders by Overall type of task : Work, School, Home etc, then under this the individual projects and single action lists go. Then contexts are organized by what I need to complete the action (computer, being at my office, at a particular client, or needing the internet ) Also very useful. Now here is a good example why I (we) need Tagging : I have a weekly meeting at the office, at which we review projects for various clients etc, assign tasks. Now I don't want to make this a "project" because these tasks exist outside of the meeting in there own projects, folder structure (such as client A... ), but I would love to be able to tag these tasks with "weekly meeting task" so when it came to to review these tasks in the meeting I could just focus on this tag and there they are. Key to this is we should be able to focus on the tag and view then further look at them by context or by project organization or location etc. Another example is I have tasks on a help desk,I really want to organize these in there own project /context, not have a "helpdesk projects".

Hope this clarifies things well enough so that this can be implemented and that it is shown it doesn't break any GTD methodology.
 
My issue, explained in some of my other posts, is that I think the very concept of contexts is outdated because of technology readily available now that was not in 2001 when GTD more or less burst on the scene. With an iphone and a Macbook Air, I can do almost anything work related wherever and whenever I want. My problem is that these two "contexts" make up a huge, and unwieldy portion of my tasks, and filtering them in a meaningful way is difficult. My primary method is start dates, which I use liberally, but that still leaves me with too much to triage on a daily basis. I know I can only mow the lawn at home, but I can call, write, email, research, read, etc, pretty much anywhere, and do most of what I need to do all day every day on something that fits in my pocket, or at least in my bag. I need a way to further limit and refine those contexts, and right now OF makes it somewhat difficult. (BTW - I know about all the filtering and perspective options and have used them extensively; I still don't have one that tells me what I need to do today, that does not either force me to place a start date on everything, or look an a list with hundreds of possible actions.)

Again, I am hoping that OF 2.0 addresses some flexibility issues, and gets closer to the iOS versions, which are in my opinion superior products, but my eye is wandering. OF is still the best, but whether it is good enough is a different matter.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by wdiadamo View Post
Again, I am hoping that OF 2.0 addresses some flexibility issues, and gets closer to the iOS versions, which are in my opinion superior products,
How do you figure that? The iOS versions fall far short of the Mac version when it comes to filtering, searching, etc.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by wdiadamo View Post
... I can do almost anything work related wherever and whenever I want. ...
This is one reason why I have included contexts that are "Energy/Input" related in addition to some that are location based. Some work I just cannot do wherever I want, regardless of the tools at hand ...

@home, @lecture, @office ...

... and some work requires certain tools (regardless of location) ...

*Desk, *Computer, *Phone ...

... and some work just depends on my frame of mind ...

!reading, !planning, !grading ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by wdiadamo View Post
... I still don't have one that tells me what I need to do today, that does not either force me to place a start date on everything, or look an a list with hundreds of possible actions.)
Start dates should not really be about when you WANT to do something. They should be about being limited to do that task only on or after that time. For example, you determine that you cannot mow the grass until the weekend (because your weekly workload takes all available time otherwise) ... OK ... so set that as the start date. You have to mow the grass before the end of the weekend (because otherwise the county will fine you) ... so there is your Due Date. By comparison, just because you WANT to read some new fiction novel tomorrow does not mean the task of reading it gets a start date of tomorrow.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wdiadamo View Post
Again, I am hoping that OF 2.0 addresses some flexibility issues, and gets closer to the iOS versions, which are in my opinion superior products,
That is a mixed bag of wishes IMO. The iX versions have some bells and whistles that are still lacking on the desktop version. However, here is an example ... you might try on the iX device to duplicate an entire project as a template to create a new one. Oh! Cannot do that one. Have to create the entire project again from scratch. Ouch!

Quote:
Originally Posted by wdiadamo View Post
... but my eye is wandering. OF is still the best, but whether it is good enough is a different matter.
My sense is, you could be over-utiliizing the start dates as a way to try to force OF to tell you what to do next from a sea of tasks that you want to do. Instead, perhaps you might try to define your tasks based solely on their external constraints. Then, make intelligent decisions about what you WILL do next from constrained DUE TODAY and NEXT ACTION lists.

--
JJW
 
Similar to JJW's context advice in his post, one of our interface designers did a blog post a while back that may be helpful. Since so many of his work tasks happen in front of his Mac, a tool-based context wasn't helpful.

I know our CEO uses a similar approach to separate his tasks out into the various headspaces he needs to separate them into.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by danlandrum View Post
A call comes in from a person who is associated with multiple projects. They want to touch base on multiple fronts, as do I. I would like to find, instantly, via a search in OmniFocus, all items I have captured pertaining to this contact, across all projects and all contexts.
This is really helpful feedback - can you expand on it a bit? I think a lot of us here use some variant of this approach. What's an example of a task that would be related to a person but not assigned to their context? I tend to have tons of "discuss <project> with <person>" actions, but those all go in that person's context.

As mentioned, we do want to give some additional flexibility in task organization; it just won't be tag-based. This sort of feedback will be really helpful to have once we start that work.

Quote:
Originally Posted by danlandrum View Post
I think simply having a contact field, to which we could add more than one contact, and preferably referencing Apple's Address Book, would solve the majority of these real-time usage issues. Perhaps this is being considered?
I know it's an open feature request - I'm not sure if the "can add more than one" is something we've seen before, so I'll be sure to add that to the dev database so it doesn't get lost - thanks!
 
Grangej, the thread you started is pretty similar to the topic under discussion in this one, so I moved your post here. I know you mentioned reading previous threads, but if this wasn't one of them, it might be helpful.

It would be helpful if you could expand your feedback a bit, as well. Are you currently using Flagging, for example? Your meeting example would be one case where that perspective might help.

I have Context-mode perspectives set up that cover tasks related to the folks that are in the meetings I go to. That and the flagged perspective to catch any random/one off tasks works for me, but if that doesn't work for you for some reason, that'll be good to know about.
 
 


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