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I tried OF, then went back to my database because I couldn't get OF to cope with complexity and high volume. But I have increasing need of sync and mobility, so I'm trying OF again, and am hopeful that experienced users will be able to help me get my mind around its methods.

"Ask boss to adjust budget target for Project X."

- Since my other Project X tasks are in the Office context, and since I could do this from the office via email (although that wouldn't be optimal), it needs to go into my Office context, lest it fail to appear in a list of available Office tasks.

- On the other hand, I will probably see my boss at the next Directors meeting, so it needs to go into the Directors context.

- On the third (?) hand, I may have a serendipitous encounter with my boss before then, so it needs to go into my Boss context.

The number of actions like this is so large that a generic Multiple context would quickly contain an unmanageable number of disparate actions.

In short, I need a one-to-many relationship between action and context. Stated more conventionally, I need to be able to tag an action with multiple contexts, without creating duplicates of that action. Can this be done in OF? If not, have any of you found a workaround?
 
The thing you most need to get this task done in the best way is the presence of your boss, so Agenda : Boss is your context. If you encounter your boss, you pull up that context and execute the items there as appropriate. Flipping it around, your boss isn't making a list of things to talk to you about on the phone, and a different list to talk to you about in a meeting -- they make a list of things they are going to talk to you about the next time they have the chance, right?
 
And if you could email him from the office but it wouldn't be optimal, maybe put a note on that action or make another action with a future start date (or both?) that if you haven't run into him by Xdate, email him.
 
My boss often leaves town for several days without informing me in advance, but is usually available via email. In that event, the Boss items get put on hold, and I might miss the deadline. Although not optimal, the email-from-Office context would prevent me from dropping the ball. Does this make sense?
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by malisa View Post
And if you could email him from the office but it wouldn't be optimal, maybe put a note on that action or make another action with a future start date (or both?) that if you haven't run into him by Xdate, email him.
I'm confused. If I put a note on an Office action, I won't see it in other contexts. If I understand correctly, you are recommending multiple entries for the same action in order to cope with deferral. That's another question I have, but it would take this thread off topic. To the point, you are recommending a note on an Office action stating that another context would be preferable. Since I won't see that note in other contexts, won't I have to create duplicate entries in those contexts?
 
You could try placing a "tag" in the note field that says @boss, or something unique.

Then select your top level folder
in the search field type @boss

All actions with @boss in the note will appear no matter what context.

You can then create a saved perspective with @boss in the search field.

This will give you an extra level of tagging.

Place your other actions into the appropriate contexts of what makes the most sense. Sending an email about something minor, creating an agenda for something that needs to be talked about. Waiting for actions of something you are waiting for your boss to respond to.

If you run into your boss and have some time to go over things, you can bring up the perspective that searches @boss across all contexts and go over the items.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dp1 View Post
My boss often leaves town for several days without informing me in advance, but is usually available via email. In that event, the Boss items get put on hold, and I might miss the deadline. Although not optimal, the email-from-Office context would prevent me from dropping the ball. Does this make sense?
No, they don't get put on hold (that has a very specific meaning to OmniFocus, and is not likely to be what you are doing, so let's not confuse the discussion with sloppy terminology), but you would not encounter him and so might not be checking that context. Put a due date on that task to ask the boss about XYZ, you'll see the deadline approaching when you look at your list of upcoming due items, and know that you better do something, like email or express moose courier, right?
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpiralOcean View Post
You could try placing a "tag" in the note field that says @boss, or something unique. <snip> All actions with @boss in the note will appear no matter what context.
That's an interesting idea. Since I'm just starting, and have no legacy overhead to convert, let's extend it a bit. What if I had no sub-contexts, but populated the note with whatever variables were appropriate? I would have one large context called Work, and could populate the note not only with sub-context tags, but with project tags, and anything else that might be helpful. &Boss, &Project X, &networking, etc. Do you see any downside to this approach?
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dp1 View Post
That's an interesting idea. Since I'm just starting, and have no legacy overhead to convert, let's extend it a bit. What if I had no sub-contexts, but populated the note with whatever variables were appropriate? I would have one large context called Work, and could populate the note not only with sub-context tags, but with project tags, and anything else that might be helpful. &Boss, &Project X, &networking, etc. Do you see any downside to this approach?
The only downside I see is the maintenance of it. Using just for a boss tag would be manageable, but trying to manage 50 different tags could get a bit crazy. One misspelling and you don't see a tag in a perspective and then you don't trust the system to show you what is in it and plunge into a downward spiral.

Applescripts could be developed to give you 1-button tagging, by adding those unique texts into the note, while keeping the rest of the note intact. Heck, an applescript application could be developed to show you the tags that are on the note, allowing you to see all tags on the note, although I don't think it could auto update based on the action you are currently on, a button would need to be pressed to show the tags.

Personally, I don't do this myself with the exception of Curt's Find stalled projects applescript, which places a -Missing Next Action in the text of the title. I have a perspective search for all those missing next actions. I then go through those projects/parents and have an applescript to remove that text from the title after I have added actions or completed the project.

I guess the other possible downside is whether this would be transferable to the iPhone, as that is probably the device you would have on a chance meeting with your boss. There is a search function on the OF iPhone, perspectives are in an experimental mode and only work with contexts, but it should work.

I like the structure of only having 1 context, but would enjoy having a way to further break the actions out of that structure and see them a different way using tags. There are some actions that can be done in multiple places or with different resources. The real question is... how much time spent adding tags and managing those tags does it take? Is it worth the effort of maintenance? And does the benefits outweigh the overhead.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by whpalmer4 View Post
<snip>Put a due date on that task to ask the boss about XYZ, you'll see the deadline approaching when you look at your list of upcoming due items, and know that you better do something, like email or express moose courier, right?
I see your point, I think. Upcoming deadlines can be viewed across contexts. This requires me to put firm deadlines on actions that might not otherwise require them. But I would still miss the action if the action were in the Office context and the chance encounter with my boss occurred before the deadline was looming. Or am I missing something?
 
 


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