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View parent tasks in context mode Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes

Has any of you have problems identifying a task in context mode because you don't know from which group of tasks it comes from?

For example, I have 2 articles to write, for each one of them I have research to do so under article A as a task I have "Research", I have the same task under article B (with different due dates). When I go to context view, under context online (for instance), I have 2 tasks "research" with 2 different due dates but I don't know which is which. I know I can identify it by right clicking > view in project mode but it is not really time efficient.

The only solution I found was by naming the tasks differently "research for article A", "research for article B". It is a bit overwhelming if article B is already a sub task. Is there any way to make appear the parent task in context mode? Thanks a lot.

PS: I hope the translation was fine, I have a French version of OF and what I call parent task is called élément tante in french (aunt element).
I generally group by project in context mode, which isn't exactly what you asked about, but may be close.
Originally Posted by savanes View Post
The only solution I found was by naming the tasks differently "research for article A", "research for article B". It is a bit overwhelming if article B is already a sub task. Is there any way to make appear the parent task in context mode? Thanks a lot.
That's the solution I've found. I'm also using the notes field a LOT more than I used to. It's my most frequently used keyboard shortcut...opening and closing notes.
The other technique I use is to double-click the dot next to the action in context mode. That will open a new window, show the action within its project.

I make sure the "Project" column is visible in Context mode
I do this too, but the general issue being flagged here is a huge one for me in many contexts. The reminder calendar is far less useful than it could be, because the parent project isn't listed as a part of the reminder.

I've used Curt's great populate templates applescript to set up 4-5 templates that relate to projects I do regularly. I need to draft, sen, and confirm the receipt of a fee agreement from each client I work with. But without being able to see what project these tasks relate to in a reminder, well.... You get the picture. Maybe someday there will be better options around this. I've e-mailed probably 5 times about it in the last year. I suggest people do the same here, if they think it is important.
Is the issue about seeing an action's parent _project_, which can be seen in at least some views, or its parent _action_ in a set of nested actions, which is harder to see?

If it's the second issue, I solve it by never having nested actions. If I have a project that seems to naturally have subprojects, I either create a folder to hold the subprojects, or I insert "Waiting for project..." actions into the main project, or, if I don't really need to see the structure, I just make the projects and don't worry about the overarching relationship.

I sorely wish I could see parent actions in the context views. At the moment I have to choose between either:

1) having a well-organized project view
2) having a well-organized context view

To optimize project view, I use nested actions. I find nested actions very helpful in my project planning. I constantly find myself entering actions on the fly which then turn out to not be do-able when I start to work on them - and need to break them down further. Nested actions help me keep my folder/project list down to a manageable/viewable size and are a major time-saver for task entry.

Example: I need to get a price on 5 different items as part of a project.

Without nested tasks I would have to enter:
Get price for item 1.
Get price for item 2. etc.

With nested tasks, I just enter:
Get prices:
item 1
item 2, etc.

But to optimize context view, I need to avoid nested actions. Without nested actions, grouping a context list by project gives me a nice agenda to follow when I go to talk to someone:
Project 1
action 1 (relevant to Boss)
Project 2
action 1 (relevant to Boss)

But if I've nested actions and switch to context view, I now lack all the parent task information I relied on in project view. Let's say I wanted to talk to my boss about the price of one of the items in the example above (among many other things to discuss). Context view would read:
Project 1
item 1

I'm sitting there, looking at my context list with only "item 1" to remind me - did I want to talk about the price or something else? Bummer. I know... if I took the time to enter more detail, or remembered not to nest actions that happen in contexts away from my computer, etc. this wouldn't happen...

Sadly, the work-arounds I've come up with are enough of a hassle that I usually wind up not using context mode at all. I use OF for planning, reviews and capture, but not for actually "getting things done" in real time. The nested tasks are too useful in those other steps of the process for me to give up.

When I'm in "doing" mode, at my computer, I wind up just working from the project view. For contexts away from the computer, I wind up scrawling out a paper agenda so I know I haven't overlooked any crucial parent task information and so I can jot down notes while away.

For a while, I tried printing out a context view and then switching back to project mode to look for any nested information I might be missing, which I would then note on my print-out. Bizarrely, it often seems easier/safer to just write a list by hand in the first place.

But I fantasize about having those nested task headings in context view (just like I can now have project headings when grouping by project). In that world, I would have my quick-to-enter, well-organized project plans AND be able to blast off a context-specific agenda when I'm on the go, knowing I could trust it when my admittedly fractured memory for details fails me. Sigh... :-)

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