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iPhone Location Services and Omnifocus 1.1 Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Hi!

I can seem to find the answer, I like the idea of using the location services, however can these tasks be inputed via Omnifocus 1.1 (desktop version) with the option of the location? So it then syncs with the iPhone.

thanks all!

Steve

P.S Im hovering over the buy button on the iPhone depending on the answer. ;-)
 
Locations are assigned to contexts (not tasks) on the iPhone app. Each context (including those contained by or containing other contexts) can be unassigned to a place, assigned to a specific place, or assigned to be considered "everywhere."
 
An addition to Craig's response: locations can currently be assigned only on the phone. So any contexts you create on the desktop, you need to sync to the phone and there you can assign locations.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew View Post
An addition to Craig's response: locations can currently be assigned only on the phone. So any contexts you create on the desktop, you need to sync to the phone and there you can assign locations.
Many thanks guys, I have just bought both and looking forward to using them!

Thanks!

Steve
 
Apologies if this has already been discussed in depth already, but I don't find location based contexts very useful. Location based actions would be a lot more useful to me.

Much of the GTD literature I've read cautions against getting too granular in your contexts, because it leads to an unmanageably long list of contexts.

If context is the only modality upon which you can assign a location, it encourages creating lots of granualar contexts that relate to only one or two actions (e.g., "Fred Meyer").

I have one context for errands called "Out and About Errands". Within that context might be actions all over town. It would be great to get a view of how those different errands relate location-wise to my current location (and even better how all of my currently available actions relate location-wise to my present location).

I don't want to have to create a context for each place I might stop on an errands run (i.e., Fred Meyer, Target, Bagel Deli, Zoka Espresso, U-Village, etc.). But I might like to assign a location to each of those places.

Probably, there shouldn't be any hard and fast rules, but to my mind if a context doesn't regularly support more than one action (whether thats a bunch of actions in one transaction or a repeating action that regularly happens in that particular context), I don't really want to be forced to create a context to represent its location. Shopping at QFC is an action I do as a part of the time I spend in the out and about errands context.

It's certainly defensible as a context in the sense that it is a physical or virtual place where actions can happen. But for many people I suspect it morphs conceptually into an action (shopping).

Conversely, Northgate Mall might be a more sensible context, if you go there regularly to run a bunch of errands.

But it seems like the user should have more flexibility to determine which way they want to view these things and to assign location data to either.

Maybe someone else would want more context granualarity in those tasks. But for me, either I'm at home, at the office doing office related tasks, on the phone, working on the computer (on-line or off-line), or I'm out and about.
 
I would totally agree with kingsinger. The true benefit of location services would be to not have 50 contexts for all of the different places I might buy something; but to have the phone indicate when I approach a place where certain actions might be able to be completed. I can purchase widgets at many different vendors, why not give me a shout out when I get close to one of my preferred locations. Isn't this more in keeping with the "just in time" nature of GTD?

Then a user can indicate how many "locations" they wish to use as options; or for those capitalists in the crowd, merchants might indicate what they are selling that would be appropriate also. I'm not a big fan of advertisements, but if I'm a block away from a Lowe's and I have something on my shopping list for Home Depot, maybe a little "incentive" to check Lowe's out might not be a bad thing. This may break privacy issues, but there might be some reasons to opt-in.

Is there any idea of this type of location awareness being added into upcoming versions of OF?

Kurt
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fontmedia View Post
The true benefit of location services would be to not have 50 contexts for all of the different places I might buy something; but to have the phone indicate when I approach a place where certain actions might be able to be completed.
Isn't that the very definition of a context? :confused:
 
Fontmedia - the kind of location awareness that you're describing has limited benefit, because we can't run in the background. So if we added that feature, you would have to leave OmniFocus running all the time (switching back to it immediately after using any other app, etc). In addition, location requests are quite expensive - if we constantly monitored the location, your phone battery would die quite quickly.

Maybe it's something that will become feasible in the future (I agree that it's obvious how useful it would be), but not for now.
 
I have "contexts" for:
  1. Errands
  2. Shopping
  3. Home
  4. iMac (at home)
  5. Office
  6. People:Fred
  7. People:John

Errands and Shopping have "Always Available". People have their location set to their homes (for friends) or offices (for business contacts). When I'm going out and about, I'll check my errands for things I might be able to do when I'm out and about - that's what the context is for. Shopping is specifically for buying stuff from retail stores. Errands is for things like, "renew driver's licence" (because I need to be present in person to have a photo taken).

I've previously used a shopping list application (HandyShopper) which was capable of remembering what aisle every product was in, but that was too much of a pain in the neck to maintain (especially since supermarkets seem to enjoy rearranging their shelves every six months). With HandyShopper I ended up keeping track of "Grocery Stores" as opposed to "Woolworths" or "Coles". Having multiple shops defined meant that I was frequently telling my shopping list application that Corn Flakes were available from this Woolworths but not that one. Or that engine oil was available from this petrol station, but not my regular mechanic.

Maintaining the mapping of what products/services might be available at some location is painful, whatever way you end up doing it. The only way that it would be more useful than burdensome is if someone else did all the work for you (eg: the retailers send you not just a junk mail brochure but a standard-format list of standard product codes for items that they sell at a particular location). I believe that the task is organisationally complex, it's not just that I was somehow doing it wrong.

I just look at the list of things I'm looking to do or buy, and based on my own geographical knowledge of my neighbourhood I plan the outing to complete as many errands as I can in the time I have available. I own my to-do list, my to-do list does not own me.

Pickled Herring? Hrm... they might be available at the local Woolworths. The task then becomes, "find shop that sells pickled herring" :) I'm certainly not going to write down a list of everything that Woolworths sells in case I might need to buy whoosiwhatsits or framistans in the future.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kingsinger View Post
Apologies if this has already been discussed in depth already, but I don't find location based contexts very useful. Location based actions would be a lot more useful to me.

Much of the GTD literature I've read cautions against getting too granular in your contexts, because it leads to an unmanageably long list of contexts.
I think a piece of the OmniFocus structure you're overlooking here is the ability to "nest" contexts... It is quite simple to take the list of locations you give as an example:

Quote:
Originally Posted by kingsinger View Post
I don't want to have to create a context for each place I might stop on an errands run (i.e., Fred Meyer, Target, Bagel Deli, Zoka Espresso, U-Village, etc.). But I might like to assign a location to each of those places.
...and place them under your "Out and About Errands" context. That way, if a specific task has a specific, physical location, and it would be useful to you to have your iPhone take that location into account, then it would be worthwhile assigning that location it's own "location aware" context. Any non-location specific tasks would just go under the "top-level" context, without a specified location.

In my opinion, the alternative you suggest (assigning locations to individual tasks) would, in the end, create more work, as you would always end up "reinventing" the wheel any time you generated a task that needed that location. If you're going to this place often enough for the location awareness to be of use, you might as well create a specific context so that, even when you're entering tasks on your desktop, you can associate a useful location with the task.

Conversely, if the task is a "one-off", I would suggest that it's really not an appropriate one to use location awareness (cool as it can be to have OF-iPhone tell you how close you are to a particular task).

Just my $0.02...

J
 
 


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