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As far as I know this is not yet a feature, but I curious how people feel about the possibility of an auto-context function. The idea would be something along the lines of Smelly Puppy's QuickCal (http://smellypuppy.com/) which I use as a dashboard widget. The idea there is to write your appointments in in plain English, like "Dinner Tuesday 8pm at Chipotle" and it does a pretty decent job of flipping that back to iCal as an event. This is almost identical to Google Calendar's Quick Entry.

So I was thinking, I write a lot of stuff into Omnifocus where some contexts are obvious. "Email Mike about...", "Call Terry...". Since I have Phone and E-mail contexts, wouldn't it make sense to only enter those once without entering a context. Not that it's so hard to input more data, but I will say I whip out my iPhone at inopportune moments when someone presents a task to put it in my inbox, and while those contexts seem so obvious I'd rather file them immediately, it turns into an awkward moment.

Two questions then: 1) Are there scripts that already run down looking for this kind of language? 2) Is this secretly a terrible idea I'm underthinking?

Love to hear.
 
Not necessarily a problem, but one circumstance that it might not handle is well is multiple contexts that are called the same thing. For example, I have a couple "Read" contexts, a couple "Email" contexts, and a couple "Internet" contexts, which I use one or the other depending on how much focus I will need to handle the particular action.

One way that you might implement the idea is to have an entry box that interprets the shorthand for new actions received by email.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by poritsky View Post
Not that it's so hard to input more data, but I will say I whip out my iPhone at inopportune moments when someone presents a task to put it in my inbox, and while those contexts seem so obvious I'd rather file them immediately, it turns into an awkward moment.
Just curious, but how will a script help with automating the assignment of contexts when creating tasks on the iPhone?
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by poritsky View Post

So I was thinking, I write a lot of stuff into Omnifocus where some contexts are obvious. "Email Mike about...", "Call Terry...". Since I have Phone and E-mail contexts, wouldn't it make sense to only enter those once without entering a context. Not that it's so hard to input more data, but I will say I whip out my iPhone

I like the idea, I worry though about "proper" filing. "call mike about..." might be a call context or a mike context, deepening on how you operate.

(I can already hear the clamoring for multiple contexts as I type this.)

I try to keep people contexts since I might call or email or see them in person. I only use @calls when it's a non-specific entity (a business, e.g) or if calling is the only (or best) way of reaching the person.
 
Interesting. I think this would be something best baked into the program. That way, the context could auto-fill in the quick entry window and you could correct it right away. I can imagine using machine learning, a form of AI, to train OF on what context a particular user typically uses for certain action text. The AI could even scan all the actions in your current database to get a jump start on learning your preferences.

From a usability standpoint, it seems like the prediction accuracy would have to be extremely high for this not to be annoying. Having the wrong context added while I'm just trying to throw an action into OF would interrupt my flow. Part of the beauty of OF is how quickly I can throw a new action into it without losing track of what I was working on. I'd hate to lose that. Another risk would be that an action was misfiled and that kept you from completing something important.
__________________
Cheers,

Curt
 
@Greg Jones - I suppose your right, but at least I could run it through a script when I sat down at my desk.

@curt.clifton - There's the rub, this is the kind of thing Omni would need to spend years developing, and at what cost? AI would be necessary to work in a worthwhile manner. The only app I can think of that has AI that sophisticated is DevonThink, and that is an app I have tried a million times but I never quite "get". So perhaps this would make things more confusing. Still, I could see this happening at some point in some "experimental" form. I hope!
 
Well I think it's a marvelous idea. Seems as though it could be quite practical for most anyone so long as it were a customizable feature -- meaning that I could spend a bit of time configuring the feature, so that if I use a certain term (like "call") I could set in advance which context the context-picker would default to. I could put this to work immediately!
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by curt.clifton View Post
From a usability standpoint, it seems like the prediction accuracy would have to be extremely high for this not to be annoying.
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