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Multiple Contexts or people as attributes - Asked a 1000 times - Humour me! Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
+1 (although I don't think it'll do much good....)
Yeah, I agree - they seem set in their direction, but the simplest implementation for many would just be the ability to have multiple contexts. I definitely need that -- it's not clear how else I can easily capture, within projects/contexts, the need to follow up with Joe about something Sam is doing. It's a matrixy org, so I need that to also be easily findable under "Sam" as well. Having to do one thing to find Joe-context items and another to find Sam is awkward. Shoving them both into saved searches is irritating when a perfectly cromulent feature _almost_ solves the problem.

Another example crops up when I have several developers I work with, and a couple different scrums I sit in on. Issues I want to follow up with Bob about on product X legitimately belong to both the @bob context and the @scrum context.

So, again, my vote is for multiple contexts. It's the right solution. Relying on metadata and saved searches still strikes me as a workaround, and the whole point of an app like this is to avoid kludgey workarounds.
I wanted tags for both the ability to have people contexts and to separate tasks according to whether they were work or personal.

So in my project list, I have a work folder and a personal folder, and the various projects for each underneath them.

In my context list, I also have work and personal folders. Under each I have a context for each person, along with the usual GTD contexts like "call" "email" @office, etc. If a person might appear in both work and personal for different things, I have a context for them under each.

I then created three perspectives from which I work all day long.

The work perspective includes the contexts of all the perspectives under work. The personal perspective contains all of my personal contexts. Thus all due or flagged or available items which require me to speak to Alan while I am in work mode appear in that perspective. All due or flagged or available items for which Ted is the context appear in my Personal perspective.

I have a third perspective called Peeps, and it includes the contexts of both work and personal people. So if I happen to be speaking with Ted and want to see what we need to discuss, I click to my Peeps perspective and voila, there he is. That view is grouped by context (person) and it shows all remaining items regardless of flag status.

Shortcuts to all three of these perspectives are on my toolbar.

Perhaps this may help someone.
I just didn't give Bob my number. If I saw him coming along the street I just hid.

Although I am an advocate of GTD, there are often cases where it only works in a perfect world, which you control and everyone else is just a drone!
Originally Posted by focusedphil View Post
+1 (although I don't think it'll do much good....)
+ Sqrt (-1).

I got contexts for (1) various named Places, (2) lots of People, (3) "Think" and (4) "waiting for...". (1) and (2) are suitably hierarchical, of course.
I don't use "Phone" or "PC", as I've nearly always got a phone and my OR(MacBookAir, iPADs, Windows-NB) with me.... that context makes no sense to me - even though those contexts are examples in the tutorial on GTD.
If I need to call/email/kickass/kowtow Bob, that's context "Bob". Full stop.
Even when I'm waiting for something from Bob, that's still "Bob" - but with a start and due date. My context "waiting for..." is only for unimportant things that actually should happen automatically, e.g. getting a shipment from an online store after having completed the original action of buying something. I don't want to edit due dates there...

That having been said, I sometimes do get the urge to put actions in multiple contexts. I then split them up as a subgroup of actions.

One more thing: I try to broaden my Contexts and differentiate more on the Projects. Two reasons:
(a) I use Perspectives. Go to Projects view, select any amount of Folders/Projects you want, Focus, switch to Context, apply a primitive filter and save as a Perspective. Sync with iPad.
Doesn't work the other way round (you can't focus on contexts AND you can't sync projects-perspectives with iPad), so we need to differentiate on the only user-selectable feature, which is Projects.
(b) I use Places. For now that's iPad only - assign GPS-coordinates to Contexts and view your actions on an integrated Google-map. Nice. But gets extremely illegible if you have too many Places, so: broaden that definition, have less Places.
Multiple Contexts + people as contexts has been my long time request since I first used OmniFocus. This question arose at the second or third day I used it and I never understood why that never was implemented. Would make my life much easier.

Here's hope that Apple Reminders puts some fuel into the OF mac development.
Multiple Contexts as an option/preference... yes please!

Wouldn't it be great if it linked to people into your 'contacts', as in... I have time for a bunch of calls, lets see... who do I have to call??? Ah there's my list. All I have to do is press the name, my contact opens and I can call (or text) from within OmniFocus.

Ok, well yeah, I'm told it's good to dream...

Last edited by Natedog; 2011-07-17 at 11:18 PM..
That would be a definite plus:

In real world, a task or anaction is defined by a priority if due in the future, a person responsible / necessary to the task, some extra resources, location, and some more such as a reference to the kind of action performed (phone call, email, etc).

No matter what you do, at one point you will bump into the trouble of assigning a single context to an OF task while you would need several.

You can work around for a while, but that always seems to be like a sort of hack. Besides making things clean, it would keep focus on performing the tasks and not on managing the list in OF (which is why I personally find OF superior when not needing multiple contexts).

In addition, I would need these multiple contexts (or tagging capabilities, call it the way you want) for reporting: OF is a document repository for me, as well as a holding the minutes of meetings, keeping track of business lunches and so on. I now want to be able to review the efficiency of my different actions, the way projects get accomplished... and for that I need a better way of tracking the attributes of tasks / actions as explained in the 1st paragraph than having a single context.

That makes things more complicated, but is it finally to complicated to use # with twitter or gmail tags?


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