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OmniFocus appears to be designed for those who use and like contexts. That frustrates me, because my workflow revolves around projects. I want to give tasks context, but I don't want to view them that way. I want to view them as part of a project. OF isn't very helpful with this.

I find contexts next to useless in my work as a journalist. I don't phone, email, research, or even write in tidy batches: I do those things as the project demands, or respond as things come in. I'm totally project-centric. I don't want to assign all phone calls to a "Call" context and work from that view. When I'm working on a story, there is a sequence of calls I have to make, and the "planning" view is the only place to set up and work through that sequence.

But then, I find the projects view is crippled.

In a typical project, I will have contacts I need to call, contacts I'm waiting on to call back, contacts that didn't turn out to be useful but I want to keep around, and ideas for people I might contact but won't if someone else delivers the goods.

If I was in contexts view, I might assign them respectively to "Call", "Waiting", "Dropped" and "On Hold". I don't want to see them in contexts, though: I want to see them as part of the overall project picture. If I apply the same contexts in a "planning" view, I get no visual indicator that some items are important, some are not, apart from the name of the context. It's all an undifferentiated lump. If the project is due soon, all its tasks are coloured "due soon", irrespective of the weight I place on them. I can't even sort on context to drop the less-important items to the bottom of the list.

Contexts obviously work brilliantly for many people as a way of dissecting work, but for the project-centric among us, I'd like to see contexts also used to (optionally) style or sort tasks in planning view; or to assign icons or labels, or *something* to give tasks "context" without having to view them in GTD's context boxes.

Then OF becomes a task manager for all of us, not just the GTDers.
 
 


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