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Roles or Horizons - How to?? Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
I posted this question to the bottom of another thread but thought it might get lost there, so I apologize for the double post.

I have 3 businesses, am a father, a husband, involved in community, etc.

I want to be able to view my tasks, whether single action OR project items, in one view, such as "Business #1".

I may have to have a discussion with my wife, who does accounting / bookkeeping for one Business. For this type of task, I'd like to assign it to roles "Wife" & "Business #1".

In my mind, this is not the same as a context. Contexts are the groupings of things I do: calls, errands, etc. Whereas Roles are my life divisions.

Can I do this in Omnifocus?
You confused me with the other question, it appears.

Views come in two flavors: project, and context. A project mode view shows you projects and the enclosed actions, in the order you would work on them if they are sequential projects. A context mode view shows you lists of actions, arranged in an order that may have nothing to do with projects.

Perspectives are views with settings of your choosing that you've established. A perspective can show you the entire library of projects and tasks, or a very narrow subset. You could have a perspective that shows you all of the actions which are due in the next few days, or all of the actions in projects related to business #1, or all the projects that have the string "monkey brains" in their name.

Contexts aren't really groupings of items you do, necessarily, but rather a constraint, such as a location, or a tool, or a colleague. You might have a context that represents calls -- the tool there is your telephone, and you can't work on the tasks in the calls context without a telephone of some sort. You might have a context that represents your office at business #1, for tasks that can only be done in the office at business #1. One popular practice is to have an Agenda context with subcontexts for people you frequently interact with. You might have Agenda:Business #1:Accountant, and tasks requiring the presence of business #1's accountant would go there. Agenda:wife could hold tasks where your wife's presence is needed. The Agenda contexts can also be used to keep track of items you are waiting on from someone. If you run into the accountant, you can pull up the Agenda context for the accountant and see all of the things you are waiting on, or wanted to do with the accountant.

Some people will immediately say "but I need to put this task in more than one context". You can't do that right now, but in practice this usually turns out to be more of a theoretical issue than a practical one. I just pick the most restrictive context.

Once you've settled on your contexts, you can build up a set of perspectives that will allow you to see just the work relating to business #3, or home improvement projects, or tasks you can do while stuck in the airport waiting for your next flight.
I have two suggestions for your situation. First, you write that you "want want to be able to view my tasks, whether single action OR project items, in one view, such as "Business #1"." You could do that very easily by creating a folder in the sidebar titled "Business #1" and organize all of your projects and single actions related to that business within it. Then, you could just focus on that folder and create views or perspectives of just "Business #1" as you need or desire.

Second, you need to decide which partner you are in your marriage. (Just kidding!!) First you say that you have a role as husband, and then you want to assign this task to the role of "Wife!" Assuming that you are really the "Husband," then "Wife" is not a role (of yours) but a context of the type referred to in GTD as a People/Person Agenda. As whpalmer wrote, a context is a constraint. You need your wife to be present to have the discussion you want, so her presence is a constraint and, therefore, a context. I use a context called "People Agendas" and have several sub-contexts within it labeled with the names of the people I may need to be in contact with to discuss something.

So I suggest that you assign the context "Wife" to this task that is within the folder "Business #1" and have both of your conditions satisfied.
The way that I achieve this is to group projects into folders which reflect the different roles in my life. For example, I have folders for Work and Personal - work projects and single actions go into the work folder, and so on. You can, if you want, have subfolders within this - so for example, my Work folder includes subfolders for different aspects of my work, like staff development and so on.

I then use Contexts strictly for physical things - @Computer, @Email, @Office, @Home, and so on.

But the clever bit comes next: Use the Perspectives tool to create views which show only projects which are within specific folders and match a specific context. In my case, I've created ones which show only tasks which are next actions in the @Computer context from within the Work folder - thus showing me only stuff which I can do at the computer, and which is a work-related task.

Clever use of perspectives lets you focus on Work, Personal or whatever tasks without having to have duplicate contexts - I'd really recommend you spend some time getting to know Perspectives, and working out how they can work best for you.

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