Omnifocus Suggestion for Computer VS iPhone/Mobile and Work/personal

ivanjay205

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Hi everyone,

Like everyone else in 2022 that is in the knowledge worker category I would say that probably about 70% of my next actions are on my computer both personally and professionally. Right now I have a Computer Tag. I also have two perspectives in Omnifocus setup, one for personal and one for professional to allow me to view all my next actions in each "bucket."

What I am thinking about now is that some next actions can be done on my iPhone and some cannot. I originally had two separate tags that I used independently and I found that a bit confusing. What do most people do? I am leaning in the direction now of creating a Computer tag and an iPhone tag. If I can do it on either one I can tag both of them since Omnifocus lets me do that.

Just wondering what others are doing?
 

Gardener

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I don't really have a Computer OR an iPhone context, in the normal sense. My "computer" context refers to things like installing software, backups, upgrades--tending the computer, rather than using the computer.

However! If I did find a computer-as-a-tool context useful, I would only add an iPhone context if there are frequent substantial times when I had access to iPhone and not to computer.
 

ivanjay205

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I don't really have a Computer OR an iPhone context, in the normal sense. My "computer" context refers to things like installing software, backups, upgrades--tending the computer, rather than using the computer.

However! If I did find a computer-as-a-tool context useful, I would only add an iPhone context if there are frequent substantial times when I had access to iPhone and not to computer.
That is certainly the case for me. I need to do a lot of emailing, msft teams, office, powerpoint, quick books, and other software driven solutions so computer is for sure a tool.

There are times when I can do it on mobile as I travel quite a bit so when waiting to board a flight, or when at my kids practice, or something like that where I can get some things accomplished on a phone but not going to have a computer available.
 

Gardener

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so computer is for sure a tool.
To clarify, it's a tool for me, but it's not a context for me, because it's so ubiquitous that I may as well have a context of "sitting in chair" or "being indoors." :)

If I did do a lot of travel, then "mobile computer" would probably be a context for me.
 

ivanjay205

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To clarify, it's a tool for me, but it's not a context for me, because it's so ubiquitous that I may as well have a context of "sitting in chair" or "being indoors." :)

If I did do a lot of travel, then "mobile computer" would probably be a context for me.
Lol yea I can relate to it. Like I said 70 percent of my work is computer so basically I have office, home, computer, calls. Computer becomes a laundry list. I tried breaking it down by app but it was too granular.
 

Wilson Ng

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Computer becomes a laundry list. I tried breaking it down by app but it was too granular.

Instead of using a context for each app, I turn towards "thinking" modes. I have different contexts:
@Write - when I want to do writing in Ulysses
@R&D - when I'm scouring the internet (blog posts, ScreenCasts, YouTube videos, etc.) to gather material for writing.
@Plan - when I'm doing things like clearing my inboxes in email, Drafts, DEVONthink, Ulysses and organizing them, or mind mapping in iThoughts.
@Scan - when I'm gathering all of my paper invoices I received and need to scan them and organize in DEVONthink.
@Read - when I'm in the Kindle app or the Apple Books app.
@Design - when I'm doing work in Affinity Publisher or Adobe InDesign.
@People - when I'm dealing with people in my social media platforms (Facebook, email, WhatsApp, Instagram). Usually, I'll title the task itself with the preferred platform for that contact (FB Mark re: shipment #1234, EM Sarah re: price quote #5678).

These are all contexts that can be done "on my computer" but involve different thinking modes for me. This is what helped me break down my insanely long "Computer" context. Instead of the device, look at my mindset:

Do I feel like doing braindead work and scan some paper invoices (@Scan)?
Do I feel like writing (@Write)?
Do I feel the urge to work on that advertising flyer for the Father's Day ad insert (@Design)?
 
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mcogilvie

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Instead of using a context for each app, I turn towards "thinking" modes. I have different contexts:
@Write - when I want to do writing in Ulysses
@R&D - when I'm scouring the internet (blog posts, ScreenCasts, YouTube videos, etc.) to gather material for writing.
@Plan - when I'm doing things like clearing my inboxes in email, Drafts, DEVONthink, Ulysses and organizing them, or mind mapping in iThoughts.
@Scan - when I'm gathering all of my paper invoices I received and need to scan them and organize in DEVONthink.
@Read - when I'm in the Kindle app or the Apple Books app.
@Design - when I'm doing work in Affinity Publisher or Adobe InDesign.
@People - when I'm dealing with people in my social media platforms (Facebook, email, WhatsApp, Instagram). Usually, I'll title the task itself with the preferred platform for that contact (FB Mark re: shipment #1234, EM Sarah re: price quote #5678).

These are all contexts that can be done "on my computer" but involve different thinking modes for me. This is what helped me break down my insanely long "Computer" context. Instead of the device, look at my mindset:

Do I feel like doing braindead work and scan some paper invoices (@Scan)?
Do I feel like writing (@Write)?
Do I feel the urge to work on that advertising flyer for the Father's Day ad insert (@Design)?
You know, I’ve tried this sort of thing many times and I always get hung on on choosing a context and deciding when to change contexts. I’m glad it works for you, but I do well with a few, physical contexts. I suppose it helps that I can re-order next actions within a context very easily.
 

Wilson Ng

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You know, I’ve tried this sort of thing many times and I always get hung on on choosing a context and deciding when to change contexts. I’m glad it works for you, but I do well with a few, physical contexts. I suppose it helps that I can re-order next actions within a context very easily.
Yeah, I'm too lazy to distinguish if I want to do something on the iPhone, iPad, or Mac. Most of my apps work on more than 1 platform so I've set it to my mindset instead (what do I feel like doing right now).

I choose the best fitting context (mindset) and don't bother changing it. But yes, this is how I break down my "computer" context down so it doesn't get overwhelming. I got frustrated when I had a task that will have the iPad or Mac context. I always had a moment of hesitation when i had to choose between Mac or iPad. I did slowly get around to the idea of using mindsets. But I think I can stand to reduce my tags a bit further to simplify it.
 

ivanjay205

Registered
You know, I’ve tried this sort of thing many times and I always get hung on on choosing a context and deciding when to change contexts. I’m glad it works for you, but I do well with a few, physical contexts. I suppose it helps that I can re-order next actions within a context very easily.
Yea I was sitting on this and thinking about this method.... I really do like the idea of mindset as that is true it is a bigger and better filter. But I am not sure how I would do with that. I am not sure I am always in a mindset until I start on something. Once I do like I stay in that arena but I could see struggling with it
 

mcogilvie

Registered
Yeah, I'm too lazy to distinguish if I want to do something on the iPhone, iPad, or Mac. Most of my apps work on more than 1 platform so I've set it to my mindset instead (what do I feel like doing right now).

I choose the best fitting context (mindset) and don't bother changing it. But yes, this is how I break down my "computer" context down so it doesn't get overwhelming. I got frustrated when I had a task that will have the iPad or Mac context. I always had a moment of hesitation when i had to choose between Mac or iPad. I did slowly get around to the idea of using mindsets. But I think I can stand to reduce my tags a bit further to simplify it.
What I do now is break out @email as a separate context to give it extra visibility for a timely response. @iphone/ipad is calls, web surfing, some workflow, et cetera. @MAC is generally things I can’t or don’t want to do anywhere else. I don’t hesitate to kick things into @MAC If I’m resisting doing it elsewhere.
 

Wilson Ng

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I am not sure I am always in a mindset until I start on something. Once I do like I stay in that arena but I could see struggling with it

I create a time block or appointment in my calendar. I intend to cut the grass today from 6 am to 8:30 am. I honor that appointment as if it was a doctor's appointment. If I know my doctor's appointment is on Tuesday at 8 am, I prepare my mindset for that.

I can schedule every Tuesday morning from 8 am to 10 am as my writing mindset. When my phone dings me 15 minutes before the Tuesday 8 am appointment/time block, I'm going to prepare everything to get some writing done. Open up my writing ideas list, prepare a cup of coffee, lock the door, turn off notifications, and get ready. Plan ahead and it's amazing what you'll get done.

If I have no plan and just "go with whatever I feel like doing" and I'll end up spending time wandering around for 30 minutes on YouTube/Instagram/Netflix until I feel like actually doing something. When the day is gone, I'm kicking myself for wasting the day away. All because I didn't set a plan or an appointment to get s**t done.

Schedule it. Get everything set by preparing the tools needed to get into the mindset. Seeing my files and folders on my desk and opening up my app an hour before the appointment helps me to prepare for this morning's work.
 
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ivanjay205

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I do this too. What I found works well is theme days. Tuesday are business finance. I go into that area of focus. Thursday HR and Long Term Strategy. That area of Focus. Friday IT etc…

It gives me a way to narrow it down and hone in on somethings.
 

GTDengineer

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I think it’s a great idea to create a Computer context tag and an iPhone context tag. If you can do it on either one, and your list manager allows, you could add both tags.
 
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