I work in consulting and have numerous active client engagements (circa 30) … some of which I need to run as Projects (sequential, dependencies, etc.) and others are just collections of independent Tasks to complete. Client engagements tend to last for years and comprise abroad array of different initiatives. So, not really Projects in the truest sense of the word.
In OF2, I had a folder called “Clients” and a Project within that folder for each client organisation. The Projects were set up as single action lists but, where required, I used grouped Tasks with dependencies.
I then had similar structures with top-level folders for “Non Client Work”, “Personal”, etc.
I didn’t really have a strategy for Contexts as I found them too restrictive.
It worked OK but felt a little to cumbersome and hierarchical.
Now I have OF3 across IOS and Mac I decided to shake things up a little. Its still a work-in-progress but this is what I have…
I now have a far simplified Folder / Project hierarchy which looks something like this:
Single Action list: “[Personal]”
Project: “Plan holiday”
Project: “Renovate basement”
Single Action List: “[Clients]”
Project: “Develop new widget strategy for ACME.com”
Project: “Onboard client X”
Sub-Folder: Non Client
Single Action List: “[Non Client]”
Project: “Organise staff party”
Project: “Launch new staff goals”
I only create named Projects where I need a project flow, usually with task dependencies, they have a specific deliverable and I know it will come to an end when delivered. Otherwise, everything goes in one of the single action lists.
The [ ] around the single action list names is a technique I picked up from other users in Learn Omnifocus group. Its simple but very effective. They are just buckets for stuff.
I then use Tags extensively to help me access different ‘lenses’ on this much simplified hierarchy.
I have tags per Client; per Person; per Group / Team I am a member of; per Locations; per specific Technologies; and a special “Today” tag to use in the Forecast View (where I used to use Flags in OF2)
I definitely went over the top initially and started having Tags for complexity, energy, urgency, priority, tools, completion levels, etc … but I found I was tagging for the sake of it and never really using these criteria as a lense / perspective so have gradually stopped being a tag-monster.
It is early days but I am enjoying the idea of turning my system on its heads and using Tags to create a more non-hierarchical view of my (sometimes shambolic) workflow.
Be interested to hear if others are trying something like this and any variants that might have worked for you…