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Dear all,

I just watched the introduction tutorial video and was wondering because in the video, the projects do not appear in the context menu. If I create a new project in omnifocus, it immediately appears in the context menu.

I was wondering, because the most of my projects contain actions with several contexts. So why do the projects appear in the context menu? Is there any possibility to hide them? Or is there some very good reason to assign the projects to a context?

Thanks a lot for reading and any answer!


The videos are using earlier versions of OmniFocus, and this is an example of something that has changed.

Projects don't appear in the context menu; did you mean the context view window?

The underlying notion here is that any parent row (which includes projects) has an optional context. When you create a child row underneath a parent, the context for the child will be defaulted to the context of the parent, or left blank if no context has been set for the parent. However, if you want a different context for the child, you just fill it in. If you are creating a project or action group where most of the actions have the same context, this can save you some effort, and it doesn't make for any more work in the case where the actions have many different contexts.

Now, when you look at a context view, you may see those project and action group "actions" (in other words, the parent rows), or you may not. The parent rows are not considered available until all of the contained actions have been marked complete. So, if you are displaying only Available actions or Next Actions in your context view (those actions which can be done now), you probably won't see many parent rows. If you are displaying Remaining actions, you'll see all of the parent rows.

When you see an available parent row in the Context view, that means it is time to either add more actions, or mark that parent complete. Some people like to flesh out their entire project at the outset, and others just put in the first actions to be taken, and repopulate as they are completed. Both are valid working styles.

If you don't like seeing the parent rows, you can make them disappear by either displaying only Available or Next Actions (which hides all but the ones awaiting immediate action), or by using View->Hide Parent Items in Context Mode, which removes them from the display entirely.
Hi all,

I think I may be asking the same question so will put it under here! (apologies if not). I currently use things (lightly) but trailing OF due to wanting to take GTD a bit more seriously and ever increasing responsibility that I want to be on top of.

this is an embarrassing noob Q!!

Basically, If I set up a new project let's say 'Upcoming Event'
Add a few other actions in the project and contexts of 'office' to each action when I think go into context mode it always says the project titles have no context? yet the actions have?
And when I add a new project it won't let me add a context!?

Confused! Please help a noob - other than that i'm dong OK with it! :)

Originally Posted by Chris777uk View Post
I think I may be asking the same question so will put it under here!
You are.
this is an embarrassing noob Q!!
Nah, it's fine.
Basically, If I set up a new project let's say 'Upcoming Event'
Add a few other actions in the project and contexts of 'office' to each action when I think go into context mode it always says the project titles have no context? yet the actions have?
And when I add a new project it won't let me add a context!?
Projects usually get contexts added via the inspector or by right-clicking and choosing the context in the Context section of the popup menu. There are some routes by which you can set it without using the inspector or popup, but we'll ignore them for now. Action groups, which are like projects embedded in projects, behave similarly to projects as far as showing up in the context view, but can have their context set directly if you are in context view and have turned on the display of the context column.

So, it is expected behavior that your projects don't have contexts even though the actions do you need to set a context for the project if you want one. Besides the defaulting of the context for child rows entered after setting the context, setting the context for a project or action group controls where the project or action group will appear in the context view listing. In your example, if you set your "Upcoming Event" project to have context "Office" you would get "Office" set as the context for any new action entered in the project (unless you entered something else). When you switch to context mode and start doing the actions, once you'd completed them all, "Upcoming Event" would appear as an available action in the "Office" context. Checking it off would complete the project. Or, if you're a proponent of the "plan as you go" approach, seeing it appear would be the indication that it was time to figure out the next handful of actions. Often it isn't practical to draw the entire sequence of actions for a project at the outset.
Hey palmer

Thanks so much for the reply, i'll throw it out there - i'm still a little confused! ;)

I've added projects and in inspector assigned context but I still get a list of the actions then the project underneath solo? in my small mind it would make sense for the the project to be on top and the actions nested underneath rater than detached!?

It's weird I love things for it's simplicity but love the idea of contexts and perpectives for the long haul (rather than just tags)

If I can get my head round this simple thing, I think I could get on with OF!

I really appreciate your time.
Odds are Bill will finish his answer as I write this, but just in case...

The row for the project appears beneath the items in Context view because that seemed the most natural position for the thing you would check off after all the steps leading up to that point were checked off. Check off step 1, check off step 2, check off project itself.

Does that help?
Hey Brian

Thanks for the reply, yeah, I see that does kind of make sense. It's just i've got it to auto delete when last item is checked off anyway so didn't put 2 and 2 together!

suppose it's going to take a while to get used to it. But I must admit I am being drawn to OF, I'm watching tuts and trying to learn it. It seems pretty complex in some ways but that's because it has depth. I like the way it does more than things so going to try and give it a real go at learning it.
just to add where I am at after a few days of testing...

I'm finding that things is pretty and OF is productive.
That's hard to say as things was the first GTD or productivity app I've bought. I suppose it's good for people who wan't to dive in and doing so I would argue compromise on depth.

I would say OF is a greater learning curve but from trial so far I think I could see greater rewards in sticking with learning it.
Sorry for my late answer, but I just want to say thank you for your answer whpalmer4! It helps a lot and also let me think about, that it is not stupid to assign contexts to the parents. Thanks!



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