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I'm new to the whole GTD concept (I have the book currently unread, I'm too busy!). I get "projects" and "contexts" mixed up and in OmniFocus it would really help a beginner if it shows (in Planning view on Inbox) what each column is:- either Projects or Contexts.

Also the intro video shows start and end dates, now running Omnifocus and I find no dates are shown.

I also found the Guide to using Omnifocus was getting in the way, so I just ticked them all as though they're done and this greatly reduced the list in the Inbox, but it deleted them as well, luckily I just found "Add Welcome Template" on the help menu which bought them back. Good thinking guys!

Also I thought I could add things to more than one context, at least I think it's context.

Can anyone who has now got a grip on this explain it?!

Thank you.

Last edited by ianonline; 2007-11-21 at 10:21 AM..
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ianonline View Post
Also the intro video shows start and end dates, now running Omnifocus and I find no dates are shown.
Control-click on the bar with headings will let you show columns you want.

Quote:
Also I thought I could add things to more than one context, at least I think it's context.
Actions can have only one context. That said, contexts can be nested, so if you have an "email" context within a "computer" context within a "work" context, any action inside might be considered to be contained by all three of those.

Don't know if that helps, or just confuses you further.

Reading the book is worth the time, I promise.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ianonline View Post
I'm new to the whole GTD concept (I have the book currently unread, I'm too busy!).
Not too busy, right? After all, you're testing out OmniFocus!

Quote:
I get “projects“ and “contexts“ mixed up and in OmniFocus it would really help a beginner if it shows (in Planning view on Inbox) what each column is:- either Projects or Contexts.
Not sure what part confuses you; however, in the Planning view, there is a heading for each column. You will need to turn on the View bar (View > Show View bar). I don't know why this is off by default or why the headers are tied to the view bar. (Feedback filed on both items.)

Quote:
Also the intro video shows start and end dates, now running Omnifocus and I find no dates are shown.
You need to turn on the dates columns. View > Columns

Quote:
Also I thought I could add things to more than one context, at least I think it's context.
Nope, one context per action item. If you want multiple contexts, there are several threads on the forum debating their usefulness. You should file feedback requesting it.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jasong View Post
Not too busy, right? After all, you're testing out OmniFocus!
I keep telling myself it's a means to an end but, let's be honest, organising stuff is more fun than actually doing it.
 
I think I'm getting the hang of it more now, thanks to your help and through trial and error. I also just found a short cut: command+shift+plus makes text bigger and command+minus makes it smaller.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jasong View Post
Not too busy, right? After all, you're testing out OmniFocus!
Reading the book and understanding it would take maybe 8 hours over three or four days, whereas testing Omnifocus should take no more than a few hours in one day and it's "hands-on". I'll read it sometime. :)

Quote:
Originally Posted by jasong View Post
turn on the View bar (View > Show View bar). I don't know why this is off by default or why the headers are tied to the view bar.
I think it's better off by default but I look forward to videos on this and other features.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jasong View Post
You need to turn on the dates columns. View > Columns
Excellent, done that now. The duration tab might help too. Thank you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jasong View Post
Nope, one context per action item.
I run a few businesses, each has a Project, and 'departments' like accounts or marketing are contexts, but some can be done when I'm in town so they could go under a "in town" context too. I'll look for a thread on this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by craig
Actions can have only one context. That said, contexts can be nested.
Some I do have nested now which is sure useful! Thanks
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ianonline View Post
I run a few businesses, each has a Project
My mistake, the business names are Contexts and David Allen says "Context is more important than project" so I'm guess this must be right, but Projects sounds like it should be the key thing in tasks.
 
Well, not having read GTD is the source of your confusion. Here are a few concepts that may help you.
  • A task is a physical action that you want or need to accomplish.
  • Projects are similar to tasks, but they take more than one physical step to complete.
  • Contexts are usually places, tools, or frames of mind that are necessary to do an action. Common examples are phone, computer, errands.
  • Areas of responsibility are just that, areas where you are responsible for results in your life.
So the business you run could be areas or responsibility, or they could be broken down into areas. OF is not specifically set up to handle areas of focus, though I use folders in planning mode for them.

But you would probably find it very helpful to read the book, or at least a quick synopsis such as can be found here.

Hope that helps.
 
Thanks Lenore, that's how I thought it was originally before somehow getting a mixed signal along the way! I'll see if I can make a start on reading the book tonight, then early tomorrow morning I'll have to start recreating the Projects in Contexts and vice versa, it'll take forever! It will probably start to make more sense then!

I'll look at that link you suggested and here are two others that you or others may like to see:
http://mikeshea.net/An_Introduction_to_Gettin.html
http://ideamatt.blogspot.com/2006/02...ld-be-gtd.html

I think I'll create a folder for each business at the same level as the Library and see how it goes from there. I can see this keeping me awake so might do it now...!

Last edited by ianonline; 2007-11-21 at 02:07 PM..
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ianonline View Post
I think I'll create a folder for each business at the same level as the Library and see how it goes from there. I can see this keeping me awake so might do it now...!
That's how I handle different areas of responsibility. I'm a professor and I have folders for my teaching, my research, my book reviews, my main administrative job, my miscellaneous administrative jobs, and my home. Contexts are the places or tools that are available to me. By using OmniFocus's focus command to focus on a folder, and then selecting the contexts that are available to me, I can pare down a list of several hundred available actions to the two dozen or so that are both relevant and doable at any given place and time.

That's the main advantage of GTD over other task management approaches.
 
Brian, I think I see what you mean. I've done it now (wasn't that painful!) and it's much tidier with far less sections and I found I don't need Project folders for each business, just regular projects. In Contexts mode, I've got "Business" and a sub-context called "Financial" which I can select to show all finance related tasks for all businesses all at once. Fantastic!!

It all makes much more sense now too!

The only thing is, and I've emailed feedback to Omnigroup about this, is that when all tasks are shown in Context mode, it does not show the individual contexts to which each task is for. I think that would help as I would not want to get payments to/from different business accounts mixed up! That's not likely as it shows the Project but still it would help.

I think recurring tasks (that expire), i.e. something that must be done every Monday morning, would be a great idea. I don't know if that's an option, I heard somewhere it is but haven't found it.
 
 


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