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GTD is not for everyone. Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Well, if you haven't used the Mac version then you probably don't have any perspectives built which do this, but it is entirely possible (and very useful) to have a context mode view where actions aren't grouped by context, but rather by date (due, start, created, changed, completed), project, or flag status. I probably don't want to have multiple copies of that action in a row!

Now, in that view, or in forecast view, I don't actually see the context unless I tap on the action to open the editor (making seeing multiple copies even less useful!). What about in project view, where we'll presumably just see the single action? Do we get a list of all of the assigned contexts? If you have a due (or start) date more than a few days out, combined with context names longer than "Home", you might need to spend all of your time in portrait mode to see all of the text :-)

Then there's the question of whether one views multiple contexts as joined by AND or OR. If I need to talk to Joe in the lab to perform some experiment, @Joe and @Lab are obvious contexts for the action, but I can't do the experiment with him unless we're both in the lab, seeing him in the conference room is no good, just as being in the lab alone is no good. On the other hand, if I need to buy a bottle of contact lens solution, @Grocery store and @Drug store are both valid choices, and either one will do. How do I distinguish between the two cases when I look at the context view? It seems to me that multiple contexts implies building up a search engine and UI which will handle boolean expressions so that I can actually quickly find all the things I wanted to do with Joe the next time we were both in the lab.

Sure, there are probably workable solutions for these issues. It just seems like a lot of work to get to a situation where you're forced to look in more places unless you are very careful, and the task list looks bigger and more confusing. But the payoff is....uh, er, um, what was it again? :-)
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by psidnell View Post
(I ask you, if a cat sat on a new users keyboard when OmniFocus was running, how long would it take them to undo what happened?)
Hey, it isn't just a problem for new users! Fortunately, the last time one of the cats sat on my keyboard when I wasn't present, I had just started editing a note, containing the damage. It helped that my kid witnessed the whole thing and promptly snitched on the cat, too :-)

Of course, it was possible to get back to work after repairing the damage, but I'm not always so lucky. Notice here how she puts an end to all possibilities by simultaneously lounging on keyboard, iPad and iPod Touch!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgeV View Post
I am a logical person for the most part. I cannot for the life of me see why there can't be a hybrid context/tag scheme that will make everybody happy. I think either three contexts per item or 2-3 tags will make 98% of all members of both schools of thought happy.
I used to think that, but I've changed my mind.

Quote:
Originally Posted by whpalmer4 View Post
Let's say I have an action with 3 contexts assigned. What does context mode view look like?
It looks like all leave is cancelled for the Omni support team :-)

"why does my next action show up 3 times"?!?!

The best that could happen is that IF you only used one context per event then it would behave as it does now.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by whpalmer4 View Post
Fortunately, the last time one of the cats sat on my keyboard when I wasn't present, I had just started editing a note, containing the damage.
Last time I was cat sitting it peed on the keyboard.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by whpalmer4 View Post
Let's say I have an action with 3 contexts assigned. What does context mode view look like?
Well, if it were "tag view" instead of context view, the item with 3 contexts assigned would show up in any of the 3 contexts.

This is exactly how The Hit List handles it, FWIW. Actually it has the concepts of contexts or tags, which are exactly analogous, except contexts start with @ and are auto-colored pink, and "tags" start with / and are auto-colored yellow. But its display of tags is sensible and nice. You can get a live list of the # of items if you want, like so:
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whpalmer4 View Post
Getting back to your original post, do you have any ideas about what a better tool for you might look like, or do? Estimate your upcoming workload? Show you which tasks will get you the most return for the time invested? Build a work schedule or punch list for you?
I've been trying to give this some thought. It is difficult to articulate.

For some of my projects and actions standard GTD concepts apply and I find that I use OF exactly as most people do. For example, maintaining the water softerner. I need a recurring task to check on the amount of salt in it. Pick up salt when I run out. Refill it when it needs it. There are those kinds of tasks in both my personal and work life.

But as I noted before, the vast, vast majority of my work has no use for OF. I rarely check it during the work day.

The bigger problem for me is keeping track and planning out a whole variety of projects and tasks that are not related to my work. I am involved in a couple of statewide and national organizations where I serve on boards and committees in a voluntary capacity. This work is very important and some is complex and intense. Other tasks may be simply reading some background materials or preparing for board or committee meetings. Some have very specific hard due dates, and others don't.

What I need to have is a trusted system that will keep me on track. I usually have to find time to make sure that I can get this stuff done and work it into my normal schedule. Some of these projects may be over many weeks or months. I have to be able to look at things and determine, for example, that I need to handle task X this weekend because it is going to take several hours and I am not likely to have an available block of time to work on it again for another month.

The main issue for me is planning out time and deciding when to work on what based upon when stuff is due or needs to be done, and when there may be time to do so. And juggle that with other competing interests, whether those are other projects or simply watching TV or reading a book.

It is much more of a big picture planning and management function.

I have about 5 big general areas of life focus that I have folders for in Project view. Recently I changed from the traditional "work, home, computer, phone, in person, etc." type contexts to just those 5 areas plus "waiting for" and "on hold". It will be interesting to see if having things in these new contexts provides any additional functionality. Or maybe I will just go to 3 contexts, "active", "waiting for" and "on hold".

Being able to do frequent reviews and bring things forward using flags is a big help. But it may be too binary, especially for long projects or tasks without a hard due date. I haven't tried using contexts as substitutes for prioritization and may need to give that a try.

I just think reading a variety of alternative schemes may trigger a rare creative thought in my brain, or give me something to copy that works better for me.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by psidnell View Post
Last time I was cat sitting it peed on the keyboard.
Hmm, Omni has an office cat. Might explain this:
http://flic.kr/p/5rZxHk
:-)
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by whpalmer4 View Post
Hmm, Omni has an office cat. Might explain this:
http://flic.kr/p/5rZxHk
:-)
Is there a hat? That would explain it too...
 
I've decided to revamp my context's list from home, errands, walking, driving, school, etc...

to the ones recommend as per a linked article on this site:

So far it's been working beautifully and though its only been a few days; i must admit my productivity in terms of the more important goals are being tackled. Considering that i finished an essay that wasn't due the following day.

Full focused, brain dead, routines, hanging around (chillin' like a villin'), short dashes and thinking (which used to be brainstorming)

Again, its' an adjustment that my contexts aren't listed but for the most part I can tackle mostly anything anywhere...of course there are a few exceptions and when I see them I just ignore them.

Glad to have revamped my system... I've been on contexts for years since 2007...
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyDude View Post
I've decided to revamp my context's list from home, errands, walking, driving, school, etc...

to the ones recommend as per a linked article on this site:

So far it's been working beautifully and though its only been a few days; i must admit my productivity in terms of the more important goals are being tackled. Considering that i finished an essay that wasn't due the following day.

Full focused, brain dead, routines, hanging around (chillin' like a villin'), short dashes and thinking (which used to be brainstorming)

Again, its' an adjustment that my contexts aren't listed but for the most part I can tackle mostly anything anywhere...of course there are a few exceptions and when I see them I just ignore them.

Glad to have revamped my system... I've been on contexts for years since 2007...
Okay, i'm back 2 weeks later. I have to say that it didn't work. I changed my contexts and I ended up not really getting work done. Truth is, I need a more firm guide to actually get my things done, such as these context based locations. Looks like i'll be going back to real contexts such as Dorm, Walking, Driving, Phone, etc.
 
 


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