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Suggestion: Temporal contexts Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
I'm having trouble coming up with anything useful for contexts in OmniPlan. I work at home. Sometimes I go elsewhere for a meeting or something, but then I come back home. However, I divide my time up on a pretty regular basis. During the week, some hours are for work, some for leisure. Weekends, there are (or could be) times set aside for gardening, household maintenance, and so on.

It occurred to me that what I really need for contexts is time contexts, such as “Tu-Th Evening” or “Saturday Afternoon”. Now *that* would be useful to me. Furthermore, temporal contexts can easily be detected by the program (duh), and so the context could be automatically selected. This could be combined with geographical location detection, of course.
Not much stopping you from doing this today. A trivial applescript run from iCal or cron will switch OmniFocus to the time-based context of your choice.

A command such as this will switch the front window in OmniFocus to the desired perspective (and launch OmniFocus if it is not running):

osascript -e 'tell application "OmniFocus" to tell front document window of front document to set perspective name to "Urgent"'
Add that line to crontab via crontab -e and tack on a specification of when it should be run and you're done.
30 8 * * * osascript -e 'tell application "OmniFocus" to tell front document window of front document to set perspective name to "Office"'
sets the perspective to "Office" at 8:30 AM every morning. There are undoubtedly apps out there which will give you a more user-friendly interface to the crontab.

To run this from iCal, you make an applescript file with the 'tell application ...' text (without the single quotes), put an event in iCal and set the alarm to run the script file.
OK, here is what I've come up with as a way to implement alerts based on these temporal contexts.

I set up a perspective for each one, showing Due & Flagged ungrouped (which is how I want to see them). For example, the one for my “Research” context is called pResearch. In Calendar, in my “Contexts” calendar, I set up repeating events titled “Research” covering my Research time. In the event, I select “Message with Sound” as the alert, and then I add a URL like “omnifocus:///perspective/pResearch” to the event. These are all propagated into the future by Calendar.

When one of these periods begins, a notification appears saying “Research”. If I click on the notification, it opens Calendar with that event expanded. I then click on the url link within the event, and it opens an OmniFocus page with that perspective, allowing a quick reminder of what I need to be doing in that context slot.

If OmniFocus itself did notifications, then it could probably be set up so that clicking on the notification would open OmniFocus directly, which would be better. But this appears to be pretty useful as is, and it resolves my original question.

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