OmniFocus contexts for all

Context is a thing. If you can be bothered, you can set a context for any particular task you need to do. Back in the olden days, like thousands and thousands of years ago, typical contexts were Home and Work. So you’d say this bathroom tap you have to fix has a Home context, this sales call has a Work one. Hold that thought.

While you hold that thought, add in that this is actually useful. Maybe not in this example but in general. You could go in to work, get out your To Do list and have it only show you the things you can do there. Nothing about the tap or the spanner you need to buy, because you can’t do anything about that here and now.

The trouble is that you can make that sales call from home now.

So maybe you have a context that is Worky Stuff. Okay.

Traditionally, the people who use contexts in this way are followers of the Getting Things Done system that advocates them. I’m resistant to some of this GTD stuff but I use contexts and I also use OmniFocus which is a To Do app that features them.

Traditionally, OmniFocus users have believed that you should have very few contexts or it all gets messy. I get messy. I have contexts for places so that I can say to Siri “Remind me to email Des when I get home”. Lots of places. Lots of contexts. I have been naughty.

Except there is this writer who says nuts to that, have many, many, and three times many contexts. For this reason:

OmniFocus’s role as an Everything Bucket often seems to be overlooked by those looking for just a to do list. Which is fine. I’m a big believer that whatever system works for you, well, works for you.

For me, I like the idea that there’s one place that all my tasks end up. I like that it’s not my email inbox, and I like that it means that I have a quick answer when someone asks me if there’s anything they can help with…

…In actual fact, I have hundreds of the damn things, and not just because I have a context for just about every person I interact with. Seriously, it’s how I ninja’d that meeting: I had a context for my colleague and had been collecting “things to ask” over the course of a couple of weeks.

Meetings, awesomeness and potential bodily harm: an OmniFocus story – Relative Sanity (21 January 2015)

Read the full piece. Hat nod to for spotting this and making me happy.

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