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Instead of only setting one context for an item, how about tagging contexts. That way I could have a task that has the context of:
work, calls, vendorA, projectA

When looking at the task list, I could filter by work, or calls, or vendorA, or (calls & vendorA) or (vendorA & projectA)
Yes, yes, yes
If I understand GTD correctly, one of its central themes is that you need to look at your tasks according to what's actionable, and actionable can be defined by many things. I can totally see how a call from a high priority customer may make all the tasks related to them higher priority.

In that sense, tags allow you to classify tasks according to your own hierarchy.

I think this would be a great feature
Some other filters besides contexts are date due (by today up to whatever time frame, one week, two weeks.)
Originally Posted by SpiralOcean
Instead of only setting one context for an item, how about tagging contexts. That way I could have a task that has the context of:
work, calls, vendorA, projectA

When looking at the task list, I could filter by work, or calls, or vendorA, or (calls & vendorA) or (vendorA & projectA)
I second (or whatever number we’re on) this motion.

In fact, I was going to start a separate thread for a related request, but SpiralOcean’s post is a good launching point instead.

In addition to multiple contexts per task, I’d really like to be able to define which contexts (PLURAL!) I’m in right now. And then I want those settings to stick until I declare otherwise.

I think this is fairly basic GTD. When I scan through my next-actions list, I want to see all and only those tasks that I can do right now. But realistically, I will often be in more than one context at a time. When I’m in my office, I’m in my Computer, Office, and Phone Call contexts all at the same time. On the flip side, I don’t want to see contexts that don’t apply right now. One of my peeves with KGTD is that it doesn’t remember when I collapse a context. And really, I simply don’t want to see my Home context at all when I’m in my Office context.

There are some subtleties to deal with if OmniFocus had both multiple contexts per tasks and multiple contexts active. I’ll save that for another post, perhaps.
What do you think about hierarchical contexts? Ex: Office>Calls>Fred

The Omni Group
Originally Posted by michelle
What do you think about hierarchical contexts? Ex: Office>Calls>Fred
Hm, I’m not sure. I’ll give some first impressions now, and then think about it some more.

So, Office>Calls would be just calls that can be done in the Office context? Does this mean I need a Home>Calls, Car>Calls, and Doctor’s Office>Calls too? Because I might make calls from any of those places. If so, how do I know which context to associate with my task of “Call Fred to negotiate quotes”?

I guess I see my contexts as having both mutually exclusive and independent aspects. Home and Office are mutually exclusive (for me), but either one can be active at the same time as my Calls context. And what’s worse, the Calls context can be active when neither Home nor Office are (e.g., I’m behaving badly and making calls while driving). Argh, what a mess!

And yet… when I create a task like “Call Fred to negotiate quotes”, I know right away that it should be tagged with the Calls context (but neither Home nor Office).

Back to hierarchical. Perhaps this would work IF there is no single root to the hierarchy. Bear with me while I work this out…

At the top level, I can imagine a “Place” context hierarchy that looks like this:

Place:Out:Grocery Store

This is a mutually exclusive set of place contexts. I have to be able to select both leaves and non-leaves. Place:Home is for tasks that must be done at home. Place:Out is for tasks that cannot be done at home or in the office, but I’m not saying anything beyond that. I like this hierarchy.

But at the top level, I think we still need independent contexts: Place, Computer, Calls, People/Agendas, etc.

And then we get back to SpiralOcean’s original idea, right? I can activate one or more top-level contexts and exactly one node within each context hierarchy:

Place:Office + Calls
Place:Office + Calls + Agendas:Fred

Yeah, that might work. :) SpiralOcean? pomares? samaparicio?

Again, I’m open to phone calls or whatever to hash out ideas.

— Tim
Originally Posted by michelle
What do you think about hierarchical contexts? Ex: Office>Calls>Fred

The Omni Group

Let me start with the problem I have with a flat list...
1. I want to keep my work and personal projects seperate. It's a GTD no-no. But when I'm at work, I don't want to see anything that isn't work related. I don't want to see all my home calls with my work calls, or home computer items with work computer items. I want to be at work, and see what I have to do there. Work is a context, a supercontext if you will. In my work context, I have all the same contexts as my home context, calls, computer, agendas, etc.

This creates a bunch of duplicate contexts.


If items could be tagged, then i could have...

2. Agendas
I don't want to have an agenda list that is 20 items long with different peoples names on the items. Because when I talk to someone, I have to scan the items to see if there are any there. With tagging, I could have peoples names and tag with agendas.

3. Projects
If we could have a project tag, then when a huge project is due and I need to focus only on that project, I could filter by

And be assured that I can trust the system to help me meet my deadline, instead of mentally filtering out tasks... thinking, is this part of this project?

That's just a few of how the tagged contexts could be used.

Now back to heirarchy...

1. used in task list
it would be nice in the task list, to see all the tags that i could further filter down into from my current tag.

If I have items tagged

and in my task list I select the calls filter
underneath I could see what other further filtering I could do.

This would allow me to drill down into a fine and focused amount of items. does a great job of this when searching for items.

2. Used in outline
Instead of a heirarchy of contexts, how about the ability to tag... the tags?

I've use memo leaf and a problem is always how do you manage your tags?

When I'm at work... I only want to see tags associated with work. This relates to your heirarchy...

if the user was able to tell omnifocus, that the work tag has these tags under it:

and the calls tag has these tags under it
apple omni

and a computer tag has an apple tag under it

but the overall list was still a flat list. It would also allow people to get as crazy with tags or as simple as they want.

This would help the user when tagging contexts.
I create a task item, and tag it work
I then see all the contexts under work tag it calls
I see all the contexts under calls and tag it apple

If I wanted to drill back up I could tag the same task home

the task would have the tags
work-calls-apple home-errands

then, when i am driving in the car, i can click on the errands context and see the call to make. when i need to see phone calls to make, i can click on the calls context, see all the home & work calls, click on the work context and see all the work calls.

The heirarchy would be helpful for allowing users to see how their tags are related, but if it's too heirarcical, then it becomes tied to the heirarchy. The heirarchy should be there, but able to be broken at any time and rearanged.

One other thing... please allow contexts to be assigned by keyboard. Some easy keyboard interface to assign contexts. Even allowing quicksilver or launchbar to assign contexts would be helpful. Not tying down contexts to specific kestrokes, but allowing to be search upon like QS or LB allows and then assigned.

And it would be nice to allow my task list context to be assigned by the keyboard as well.

command+spacebar brings up the task list
c brings up calls
and I'm looking at calls.

I'll put this in another post... ;-)
Ok . . . I didn't give a great example. I should have put calls at the top of the hierarchy (Calls>Office>Fred). But it shouldn't matter because contexts will be completely customizable to fit your workflow. I just wanted to throw the idea of hierarchies out there. We are considering doing tags as well, but I'm not sure it will make it into 1.0.

The Omni Group

If you are referring to how Aperture has it set up with the hierarchal lists, I am all for it- this is one key element that I have been looking for for quite awhile now. I can not convey how important it is to allow for multiple contexts, and I do not think most people will understand it until they see it.

OmniFocus is shaping up to be what I have been looking for from OmniOutliner (from all of the little pieces I can gather, anyway)- see post #12, and #22-


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