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How are you using contexts? Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Here and there in other threads, some of you have revealed how their contexts are organised, but I am curious to see more examples of what people consider the best possible use of contexts in OmniFocus (geared towards their own purposes and circumstances). Why? Because I might not be using contexts as intelligently as some of you are, and I'd like to learn (when to use nested contexts, when to avoid them like the plague, how to solve the problem of tasks that can be done in more than one context, and so on).

(If you think this is an inappropriate question, please ignore it.)
 
At first, I had a bunch of heirarchially-organized contexts under various major headers:

@Home
-> @Chores
-> @Improvement
@Office
-> @Wiki
-> @External KB
-> @Testing
-> @Training
-> @Mail
@Email
-> @Home Email
-> @Office Email
@Phone
-> @Home Phone
-> @Office Phone
@Roaming
-> @Groceries
-> @Shopping
@Waiting For
@Computer
-> @Home Computer
-> @Office Computer

But it wasn't working for me, because I didn't find myself using the subcategories much. I mean, I'm unlikely to say "I feel like doing wiki stuff" right now.

So I moved much of my taxonomy to the Projects side; now all of my Office projects are broken down into folders for topics (Training, Wiki, External KB) and my contexts were simplified as a result.

So now I have:

@Home
@Office
@Computer
-> @Office Computer
-> @Home Computer
-> @Email
@Phone
@Roaming
-> @Groceries
-> @Shopping
@Agenda
-> @(sub-contexts for the significant people in my life)
@Waiting For
-> @Delegated

@Home, @Office and @Phone should be self-explanatory. @Computer is subcategorized, as there are certain tasks I can only do in a given location (installing software, backups) so those need to be called out. I use Gmail as my main home account, so @Email covers both locales.

@Roaming is a catch-all for stuff that can't be done at home or at work; @Groceries is a sub-context so I can print out a quick grocery list for myself or my wife, as is @Shopping.

Each major contact in my life gets a sub-context under @Agenda; one-offs just go directly under @Agenda.

@Waiting For is self-explanatory, with @Delegated as a sub-context that I keep "follow up with person foo on item bar"-type stuff.

The idea behind my current nestings is that I want to be able to work off of the main contexts whenever possible, with subcontexts used sparingly to filter out items that are not applicable. If I'm going to go talk to my supervisor Paul, I can glance at @Agenda > @Paul. If I'm at home, I will look at @Computer for tasks, zooming in to @Home Computer as needed.

Last edited by jelmore; 2007-07-06 at 12:54 PM.. Reason: My hierarchial lists got messed up
 
I used to have a setup like this:

Home
-calls
-email
-computer

Office
-calls
-email
-computer

Because I didn't want to see my home at the office or office at home.

The magical Ken at OF pointed out to me that... folders can be used to focus.


So now I have

calls
email
computer

and in my projects I have
Home
Office

If I want to see all calls, I just go to calls context

If I want to see Home calls...
I select the Home Folder
Then click on the focus icon in the toolbar.
Then go to the calls context

This works wonderfully, as I am usually at one location (Home, Work) and will set the focus at the beginning of the day.
 
Ooo, SpiralOcean, good tip!

(makes note in Inbox to contemplate rearranging contexts and folders -- AGAIN)
 
The only problem with the focusing is that it doesn't exclude single actions in context.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GeekLady
The only problem with the focusing is that it doesn't exclude single actions in context.
You've thought this thru more than me, so I'll bite: Why is that a problem?
 
What SpiralOcean described works so long as you have no singleton Next Actions that are not attached to projects.

This means that if I have a "call Mom and wish her a happy birthday" by itself on my @Phone context, it always will show up on my @Phone context even if I'm focusing on a project or folder of projects.

This seems counter-intuitive -- if I'm focusing on a project, I should only be seeing the actions associated with that project, right? -- but I'm reserving judgment. I think that many singleton Next Actions are concise enough that you can do it within a 5-10 minute timeframe (otherwise it would be a Project in disguise) so it should not necessarily be excluded from all of the things that you could be doing with your discretionary time.

Last edited by jelmore; 2007-07-12 at 02:36 PM.. Reason: fixed silly typo
 
Singleton actions aren't supposed to show up when you're focused on a project, that's a bug. We'll fix it.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Case
Singleton actions aren't supposed to show up when you're focused on a project, that's a bug. We'll fix it.
It's fixed in the r88857 build (which should be posted within the hour).
 
 


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