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Help, student new to GTD and omnifocus Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Hi, I'm a med student in need of some help starting using omnifocus. I'd like to plan my day according to location:

Location 1: Campus #1, Hospital, Gym #1
Location 2: Home, Gym #2
Location 3: Campus #3, Gym #3 i.e. school campus, home, and hospital.
On-the-Go/Personal: Low-priority stuff that I can get done on subway/bus, or special occasion type events

When I'm at location 1, I only want to see things that I can do at campus #1, the hospital, or at gym#1 and likewise for the other locations.

Some projects can be done at multiple locations. For instance, there is a gym here at home, one at work, and one at school, and I'd like the gym task/project to show up in any of the three locations until I work out, then I want it to disappear from all three. The workout would probably be a project with be the entire workout listed: action=exercise. (Which brings up another question, can you make a project recurring?)

Several of my tasks require a computer, or require me to remember to bring a book, or remember to bring a gym bag. I'd like to note this in the heading, since macs & gym lockers on campus are spread far apart, and med textbooks can be really heavy. Here's my Ideal

When I'm "On-The-Go/Personal"
-Just random actions, no need for sub-categorization

When I'm at "Location 1"
->Personal Errands (specific to location 1)
->Work Errands (specific to location 1: school/hospital stuff that must be done in person)
->Anywhere with a Computer (also shows up at the other 2 locations: email, research, studying, presentations)
->Bring a Book (also shows up at the other 2 locations: studying)
->Bring a Gym bag (some workouts require equipment specific to location X, others at any of 3 locations)

Repeat for location 2 and 3

Whatever method must work for iphone version also. Any suggestions?
 
Doc, happy to be of assistance, and welcome to the club. :-)

The way our location services works is that you tap the 'nearby' button, and OmniFocus shows you the contexts that have locations attached to them, ordered from nearest to furthest.

(The solution necessarily has to work on the phone, because the Mac version of OmniFocus doesn't have the same ability to figure out where you're at - you just select the one(s) that are relevant to your current situation in the app.)

Here's how I'd set up your contexts:
Campus 1
Hospital
Home
Campus 3
A "Gym" parent context, with child contexts having the name of each specific gym.
Computer
Book
Bag
(and just for good measure) Phone

Still on the mac, set up your projects. Add a "remember to bring gym bag" action to your workout project, assigned to whatever context describes where you keep your gym bag. (Home?) Ditto for Book and Bag.

You can use the Inspector to make either individual actions or whole projects repeat, depending on your needs. If not every action in the project repeats, don't make the project repeat. :-)

Assign actions that require a tool to the context for that tool. Assign other actions to the specific locations that make the most sense.

Here's where we get tricky: assign actions that can be done at any gym to the parent "Gym" context. Assign ones that require a specific gym to the appropriate child context.

(If it makes sense, you can apply the same techniques to your other contexts: create a parent context to contain actions that can be done at any of the child contexts. I have a no-location "errands" context, with child contexts for grocery, drug, book, and music stores, for example.)

Now, sync the database over to the phone. You'll add location information here. I'd do as follows.

Phone - always available
Campus 1, Hospital, Home, Campus 3 - street address of each.
Gym - parent context gets a business search that looks something like this:
name of gym 1 OR name of gym 2 OR name of gym 3

Enter the name of each gym with a capitalized OR between them. Type carefully, because it can be difficult to edit business searches; I wrote that up as a bug. If you make an error, you may need to blow the search away and start over.

For best results, don't enclose the gym names in quotes, and use google maps on your Mac to verify that the name you're entering gets the results you expect. (Enter the name of the gym with the appropriate zip code - does google find the gym you expect?)

Each child gym context gets the street address of the specific gym they're for.

Computer, Book, and Bag don't get locations associated with them; if you have that resource available, you look in that context. If you don't have it with you, you don't check that list.

Here's how this will all work. You're out and about. You hit the "Nearby" button in OmniFocus on your iPhone. You'll see the contexts that are closest appear at the top of the screen, with things getting further away as you scroll down.

You should see all the "Gym" tasks and the tasks for the specific gym that's nearest to you appear one after the other in your list. Further down in the list, you'll see the tasks that are specific to the other two gyms.

Does that make sense?
 
Great guide... I had to make some tweaks, but I think this'll work. Ill let you know how it turns out!
 
You can also create specific perspectives to use (sounds like you are using the iphone and I am not sure how perspectives work there).

I combine three different contexts into one perspective (Calls, Work location, Computer) since I can do all three at work (but I can also do calls on the road and computer at home).

If I want, I can print a perspective list pretty easily for mobile use.

Randy
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rsailer@mac.com View Post
You can also create specific perspectives to use (sounds like you are using the iphone and I am not sure how perspectives work there).

I combine three different contexts into one perspective (Calls, Work location, Computer) since I can do all three at work (but I can also do calls on the road and computer at home).

If I want, I can print a perspective list pretty easily for mobile use.

Randy
So, I read the whole tread but have a question in what I just quoted.

Why would you need to combine only a few of your contexts and print out? What came to mind was with DA's GTD that you look at your overall contexts list and just disregard the contexts you're not at....I can understand if you have a lot of context locations, but iono, i'd like to hear something about this. I'm not judging, i'm just curious as to how this could be a benefit.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyDude View Post
So, I read the whole tread but have a question in what I just quoted.

Why would you need to combine only a few of your contexts and print out? What came to mind was with DA's GTD that you look at your overall contexts list and just disregard the contexts you're not at....I can understand if you have a lot of context locations, but iono, i'd like to hear something about this. I'm not judging, i'm just curious as to how this could be a benefit.
The sidebar where contexts and projects are listed allows you to view just the subset you care about by building up a selection in the standard Mac fashion. Why look at the whole list when you can easily look at only the portion that is available? Rsailer@mac.com has just made some perspectives to automate that process. As for printing such a list, I imagine that is because he might want to reference and work the list while he's away from his computers. Seems like printing the Errands context and the Calls context might be an obvious combination -- make some calls while driving around doing errands. Perspectives are inexpensive, so I make and delete them liberally. I'll make one that just shows the projects I want to work on for the next few days, for example.
 
 


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