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Handling of actions with no contexts Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Two questions about how OF handles actions that don't have contexts. Yes, I'm a newbie.

First, I have a single actions project. Actions with contexts are shown in blue, while actions without contexts are shown in gray. Why the distinction? I feel like OF is pushing me to have contexts for all actions, but sometimes a context is really not meaningful or useful.

Second, I've created a context perspective to show items that are due soon. No contexts are selected so all are shown. Group by context, sort by due, action status is due soon. This perspective is showing me actions that have due dates and are due soon. But it's also showing me the actions from my single actions project that don't have a context set. This seems like a bug to me. If I set a context they don't show in this perspective. If it's not a bug can someone explain why these no-context actions should be considered as "due soon"?

Thanks.
 
OF is pushing you to have contexts for all items. The assumption is that an item without a context hasn't been fully processed. To keep it from slipping through the cracks, OF treats it differently.

You can set a default context for your single action list: click on the list itself and use the inspector to set the context. Then items added to the list will be assigned that default context if they don't already have one set. (If you truly can do the items that don't have a context anywhere, then you could create an "anywhere" context for your default.)
__________________
Cheers,

Curt
 
Thanks, Curt. I guess I'm going to have to accept this philosophy if I'm going to use OF. I noticed that actions with no context also don't show as Available when filtering. I took your advice and set an Anywhere context as default for the project. I'm not sure this explains why no-context actions show as "due soon" though, except perhaps that OF wants you to set a context soon.

It would be nice if this philosophy were noted in the documentation. The fact that there is a preference to allow no-context actions to be cleaned up seems a bit at odds with the way those actions are handled elsewhere.

Jay
 
No Context (and Inbox) items always show regardless of view bar/filter settings, by design.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianC
Sorry for the confusion here - currently, the inbox and No Context groups are exceptions to your view filters; they'll always display their entire contents, so we create groups for them. We've got a request open to change that; I'm attaching your email. Thanks!
 
cajaygle, to me contexts is one of the most powerful features of OF and the entire GTD philosophy on which OF is based. So, why is sometimes a context "not really meaningful or useful" in your case? What actions of yours would fall under that category?
 
Contexts aren't useful for reference items. So if I want to store reference items in OF then I have to artificially set a context.

For actions, there are some where a context just isn't that meaningful to me. For instance, an action to call someone or do something that requires my computer. I'm never that far from either, so to set a context of Phone or Mac isn't that useful to me. I'm never going to view a list of all my Phone actions or all my Mac actions to determine what to do next. Instead I'll use some other criteria, such as project or due date.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cajaygle View Post
Contexts aren't useful for reference items. So if I want to store reference items in OF then I have to artificially set a context.
Why? If it is truly a reference item, and not actionable, it doesn't need to be shown as available, so the lack of a context shouldn't be an issue, so long as you don't put it somewhere where it will block other actions.
Quote:
For actions, there are some where a context just isn't that meaningful to me. For instance, an action to call someone or do something that requires my computer. I'm never that far from either, so to set a context of Phone or Mac isn't that useful to me. I'm never going to view a list of all my Phone actions or all my Mac actions to determine what to do next. Instead I'll use some other criteria, such as project or due date.
You can set a default context for a project or single-action list. Assign something to that project or SAL and it will automatically get that default. Make it one that you wouldn't normally assign to an action where a context would be useful, set it as default on your catch-all projects or SALs that your phone calls and Mac actions tend to fall in and its out of the way.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by whpalmer4 View Post
Why? If it is truly a reference item, and not actionable, it doesn't need to be shown as available, so the lack of a context shouldn't be an issue, so long as you don't put it somewhere where it will block other actions.
I'm ok with it not showing as available. However, if you agree that reference items are ok without contexts, then OF shouldn't show them in gray -- this implies that they aren't complete. Also, they should not match the "due soon" filter.

Quote:
You can set a default context for a project or single-action list.
Yeah, I'm doing that now.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cajaygle View Post
Contexts aren't useful for reference items. So if I want to store reference items in OF then I have to artificially set a context.
There are several threads on the forums about using OF for reference information. Most people seem to find it more workable to keep reference information separate from OF. I tend to use separate folders on my hard drive for reference information. I keep an Active folder on my desktop containing aliases to the folders of my active project reference information. Other people use links from OF to the folders. Still others use different reference management programs.

I'm not suggesting that any of these are the right way to manage reference information—or that keeping it in OF is the wrong way—but you might poke around the forums a bit to see if there are ideas you'd find useful.
__________________
Cheers,

Curt
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by curt.clifton View Post
There are several threads on the forums about using OF for reference information. Most people seem to find it more workable to keep reference information separate from OF.
Thanks for the pointer, I read some of threads and found some useful suggestions. My reference needs aren't that complex and I would prefer to keep everything within OF. In fact, I just recently transferred items from SOHO Notes and uninstalled it.
 
 


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