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Feature Request: Time Contexts Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Hi OmniFocus Team,

first let me say that you are doing great with OmniFocus, its really changing the way I work and how I apply GTD in practice to the better.

The following feature would improve OmniFocus for me even more:

There are lots of things I can do only during certain times in the day/week:

* Phone calls during business hours

* Errands that have to be done at certain times in the week (like visiting the doctor, town hall and such -- often with weird opening hours)

Often things like this get deferred quite a long time because I'm always thinking about them at the wrong times.

This could be added as a feature of contexts best in my opinion. So such that certain contexts are available at certain times and hide at other times.

Additionally it would also be great to have this for singular actions/projects where creating a context extra for a special action wouldn't be worth it (on the other hand if contexts are filtered in the sidebar those special one-time contexts wouldn't show)

And if this would also work on the iPhone (especially in combination with "Nearby") this would be great.

Kind regards,
Peer Stritzinger
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Peerst View Post
There are lots of things I can do only during certain times in the day/week:

* Phone calls during business hours

* Errands that have to be done at certain times in the week (like visiting the doctor, town hall and such -- often with weird opening hours)

Additionally it would also be great to have this for singular actions/projects where creating a context extra for a special action wouldn't be worth it
You can accomplish a lot of this with the current offering, though perhaps not automatically.

For example, the calls:

Instead of having just a Calls context, make

Calls
Calls: Any time
Calls: Business Hours
Calls: Evening
Calls: Weekend

(obviously, customize to your needs)

File your actions accordingly. If you want to just see business hours calls, look only at the Calls: Business Hours context. If you want to see everything, widen your view to the Calls context, which will get them all. I know this doesn't provide an automatic "hey, you can make this call now" function, but if you want that on your desktop, make sure you have Growl installed (http://growl.info) and put a start date/time on the actions and you'll get a reminder.

As for a special context "not being worth it" -- why not? Contexts are inexpensive and can be deleted without regret once their usefulness is past. You aren't carving your context list on a stone tablet; use the flexibility OmniFocus gives you!
 
I swear we have an existing feature request open on time-sensitive contexts, but I can't actually find it in the database and both OmniFocus product managers are out of the office today. In any case, if folks send in this request via email, we'll make sure the request gets recorded properly. Thanks, all!
 
I'm not sure if I made my request clear: time sensitive contexts will be exactly what you are suggesting as workaround but automatic.

Quote:
Originally Posted by whpalmer4 View Post
You can accomplish a lot of this with the current offering, though perhaps not automatically.
But the feature request is exactly the automatic activation of time sensitive contexts.

Quote:
For example, the calls:

Instead of having just a Calls context, make

Calls
Calls: Any time
Calls: Business Hours
Calls: Evening
Calls: Weekend

(obviously, customize to your needs)
Thats what I'm doing now but it is not working for me, because many contexts have weird times and I forget to look at the right contexts at the right times. Actual real life example (times in 24h format):

Mo 8-12 + 16-19
Tu 8-12 + 16-19
We 8-12
Th 8-11:30 + 14-16:30
Fr 8-14:30

Quote:
I know this doesn't provide an automatic "hey, you can make this call now" function, but if you want that on your desktop, make sure you have Growl installed (http://growl.info) and put a start date/time on the actions and you'll get a reminder.
A start date wouldn't help because then I would have to decide when exactly I will want to do certain things. Thats quite un-GTD like, because its like writing in your calendar things to do that needn't be done at that time.

Quote:
As for a special context "not being worth it" -- why not? Contexts are inexpensive and can be deleted without regret once their usefulness is past. You aren't carving your context list on a stone tablet; use the flexibility OmniFocus gives you!
But the feature request is exactly time sensitiveness on contexts, having the same on actions is not really necessary because I'll filter contexts anyway such that only those with remaining actions will be shown.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian View Post
In any case, if folks send in this request via email, we'll make sure the request gets recorded properly. Thanks, all!
I did send it also by mail.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Peerst View Post
I'm not sure if I made my request clear: time sensitive contexts will be exactly what you are suggesting as workaround but automatic.
Oh, it was quite clear. I'm a big fan of things you can do for yourself now, instead of things you might be able to get someone else to do for you in the future. You're assuming that what Omni will deliver (assuming they do deliver something) will handle your requirements, and as a practical matter, you're probably looking at a minimum of 2 or 3 months before you'll be able to get your hands on some software even as a sneaky peek. That's a lot of phone calls!
Quote:
Thats what I'm doing now but it is not working for me, because many contexts have weird times and I forget to look at the right contexts at the right times. Actual real life example (times in 24h format):

Mo 8-12 + 16-19
Tu 8-12 + 16-19
We 8-12
Th 8-11:30 + 14-16:30
Fr 8-14:30
Those contexts all have substantial overlap. Set up a context for weekday morning calls, put the calls in there, and just do them. Put in a start date, or a calendar reminder, or whatever it takes to get you to look at that context at the appropriate time. I'm not a GTD dogmatist by any stretch of the imagination, but it sounds like your review process is failing you if you are not thinking of these things at the right time. There's absolutely nothing wrong with looking at your contexts/projects in the morning and mapping out what actions you intend to take. See page 50, The Threefold Model for Evaluating Daily Work, Doing Predefined Work. No automation required. Would it be helpful? Sure.

Quote:
A start date wouldn't help because then I would have to decide when exactly I will want to do certain things. Thats quite un-GTD like, because its like writing in your calendar things to do that needn't be done at that time.
See the paragraph above. A start date in conjunction with Growl or a tickler perspective will give you a reminder about that task that you've been avoiding. How much energy do you want to squander repeatedly postponing action?
 
Interesting.

This relates to a feature request of mine (which I never formally submitted): Start time and end time can be "Later."

This is sort of like the Dave Allen/GTD idea of the "someday/maybe" list. It's for projects and next actions that I don't want to even think about now, but would like to do at some point soon. I've always thought of "someday/maybe" lists as being lists of dreams or "bucket lists" (like in the movie)(not to be confused with bucket project types in OmniFocus). "Later" actions and projects are more immediate, but still nothing I want to tackle right away, or on a fixed timetable.

Right now, I've set a availability date for my "later" items as being 2050. However, being able to set the "availability" date to "later" would be more elegant.
 
 


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