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NEED assign to multiple Contexts Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Quote:
Originally Posted by yucca View Post
While not perfect, a context hierarchy can help with many (most?) of the situations where you really want context tagging.
I agree. This can help a lot and I do it. But, as you say, itís not perfect. If you need to define an aspect of a context more finely, so to speak, as against others, itĎs great, and often this is enough. But where there are genuinely two or more quite different contexts, it doesnít work. Quite a number of examples have been given during the thread.

Last edited by mcoad; 2008-01-18 at 09:49 AM.. Reason: Clarification
 
A lot has been written, so this post is more of a vote for multiple contexts.

Speed
It takes time to decide if its better to place something in a specific context. It is faster to skip this decision and simply assign multiple contexts. Sometimes a task really can be done in more than one place.

Ease of Implementation
Why have a workaround when the database backend easily allows for this tagging-like feature?

UI Problem?
In the lists, separate different contexts using commas (canonical grammar) or the @ symbol (canonical GTD). Show the same task multiple times when viewing all contexts. Checking the task off will check it off in all contexts. The power of the context view is that you can focus on one context while working, so the awkwardness of seeing the same task listed multiple times should come up only when you're reviewing things, and when you're reviewing things, this will help make it easier to see what tasks have multiple contexts (to allow you to review your decision to place those tasks into multiple contexts).

Like Paper
This is easy to do on paper, and it is what I did on paper. If you don't want to use the feature, it remains optional and out of the way.

Optionally Out of Sight
Allowing this gets rid of a nuisance for those who wish to use it, and allows a better way to work out of context mode. If you don't use this, it stays out of the way.
 
I vote for tags or contexts, I can make either work.

I understand the people railing against it--I try to keep my contexts from multiplying too, or the system will collapse under its own weight, so to speak.

But if you can hide or ignore extra contexts or tags, then it really wouldn't affect you.

Here's where I can use tags. We have a context for actions, a _where_--e.g. "@phone" or "@computer." I'd like a second context to be _who_ the action is for, e.g. "Rich" or "Board of Directors" or "Maintenance Dept." Then I can make a view of, say, things I need to get done for Rich.

Possibly, I could have a context for who I perform these tasks with, e.g. "Ted" or "IT dept." But that may be overburdening the system a bit.
 
Yes, Mammoth synthesis is good. the @phone @rick is one of the great features of TaskPaper.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by gamov View Post
Yes, Mammoth synthesis is good. the @phone @rick is one of the great features of TaskPaper.
This is a good example of the point raised a few posts ago. You can do this to an extent with subcontexts, ie. Phone : Rick. But, as Mammoth implies, this doesnít solve the problem if you also need a separate context for Rick where you want to put all the tasks referring to him, among them the phone call. This is a good simple example of why multiple contexts is so useful (essential, many would say). With the same task in both contexts you donít risk missing it whichever of the two contexts presents itself first.
 
Coming from early Kinkless and GTD reading, I have to say that I think single context is best, even though at times it's confusing. For *me* (not to get anyone's goat up) if I don't chose a single context, I have trouble juggling the context lists at all. Never mind trying to print them out for lo-fi carry... I'll have duplicates everywhere.

But, now, Tags, in my mind could be horribly useful. The reason I mention it at all, is merely because you can do so many things with a flexible tagging system. One, which can be extremely useful, is merely to get a list of all tasks related to a client (perhaps there are many projects with said client, over many different contexts etc.). So, typing &ElementalSystems could load all items currently available etc., for that particular client. Might be nice to know which tasks are out there related to this particular client. It's not really a context, it's not really a project. Sure, its' related to one dude, but perhaps you buy stuff from this client as well as serve stuff to this same client? A project mess can surely ensue.

Another wonderful tagging benefit would be to implement other decision factors. For instance, high cost, low cost. You could easily tag something $$$$ -v- $$. Then, added to the choices of errands, you could select a low $$ errand list (perhaps you're poor this month) and get thigns done that are needed still. The list is pretty endless.

So, I see tags as an added filtering ability, leveraging the idea of 'Focus'. To be honest, I'd love to see more serious reporting of completed and archived tasks. For instance, show me all the tasks associated with &ElementalSystems and all dates of tasks completed. Or, show me all tasks related to three contexts, and how many were completed last month as a pie-chart or bar-chart. [Somewhat useless, but perhaps you're spending all your time on the computer tasks, and never getting done your calls?] These types of things can be found out as you start to take data.

Ok, sorry I went off on a bit of a tangent there. My couple farthings worth, is to keep single context, for me it just makes sense that way, and add Tagging and support for filtering by tags, even focusing by tags. Wouldn't be nice to see all items in every context that is associated with "Sue" as previously mentioned? or, if you like "Low Energy"? [which is a GTDism]

Just my thoughts...
-Allen

BTW, there are 4 items that you are to use for choosing next actions in GTD...
  • Context
  • Time available
  • Energy Available
  • Priority

Omnifocus currently only consists of the first two in this list. And I suspect most people (including me) live out of the Project View, which isn't really leveraging the GTD habits... Speaking of Habits, if you're Covey-esque, you use a few more as well as this short list... Tagging would fit the bill there as well.

If the above list were implemented, a Focus session could include something like:

"Show me all available items with high priority that takes 30 minutes or less and are low-energy. [it's friday after all, and almost quitting time...]" Now, *that* would produce a set of data that would help you chose your next action...
 
I think it would be really useful to be able to sort tasks using multiple contexts. For example, I currently sort my tasks depending on what sort of activity it is (Phone, email, meeting, read/review). This works well for me, but sometimes I want to view a task within the context of the person it relates to. If I could assign each task a context by type and person, the application would become much more useful for me.
 
[composed before the question got moved to the old thread - just a comment, not a complaint]

I think you are asking for context tagging. It is a request that many have asked for, but one that may or may not be addressed in a future OF release.

If you must have this capability now, then you may want to look at Things. Someone posted a link in another thread, but the review can be found in this blog post.

What OF does support is hierarchical contexts. Which sort of accomplishes what you want:

Phone
Phone:John
Phone:Mary
Email
Email:John
Email:Mary
OR

John
John:Phone
John:Email
John:Meeting
Mary
Mary:Phone
Mary:Email
Mary:Meeting
You get the idea. This approach may work better for you with a hierarchy that is location based, and then activity based. Then create a context group for each person with whom you regularly need to utilize to complete a task. This might look something like:

Office
Office:Phone
Office:Email
Office:Meeting
Office:Mac
People
People:John
People:Mary
If you only need a few "People" contexts, you could just as easily dispense with the People group, and just have a context for each person.

Last edited by yucca; 2008-02-29 at 10:19 AM..
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by a11en View Post

BTW, there are 4 items that you are to use for choosing next actions in GTD...
  • Context
  • Time available
  • Energy Available
  • Priority

Omnifocus currently only consists of the first two in this list.

"Show me all available items with high priority that takes 30 minutes or less and are low-energy. [it's friday after all, and almost quitting time...]" Now, *that* would produce a set of data that would help you chose your next action...
I split most of my contexts between high-attention versions and low-attention versions and do exactly that. It's made a big difference.
 
There is too much dogma around contexts.

What if I sit on my computer every day and all my projects can be done online? Is there just one context? All resources are physically available for all projects at all times.

I need some way to decide what to do next other than struggling with the due dates structure.
 
 


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