Assigning sub-actions to separate projects

Hi guys

New Omnifocus user here, loving it so far, and hoping that it can be used for the following scenario:

I have a context called Errands.

Within errands, let’s say I create an action “Go to IKEA”

In IKEA, I want to buy picture frames relating to my “Hang Dad photos” sequential project, and buy recycling bins related to my “Put recycling bins in the bathroom” sequential project.

So, can Omnifocus simply show “Go to IKEA” in my Errands context, and then have “picture frames” and “recycling bins” as sub-actions under “Go to IKEA” so that when I’m in IKEA I can complete the sub-actions, which will then activate the next actions in the photos and bathroom projects?

Thanks :-)


Hey there @frankm! Welcome to OmniFocus.

The app certainly supports the use case that you’re talking about, but not exactly the way you describe. Instead of “Go to IKEA” being an action, you can create it as a child context of your Errands context. I actually have a few of these contexts – one for the Apple Store, one for work, one for home, etc.

Once you have an IKEA context, you can place your “picture frames” and “recycling bins” actions in that context. If those actions are also in the right place in their respective projects, everything else should fall into place: when you check off each action, the next action in the corresponding sequential project becomes available.

This is a great way of approximating shopping lists, as it happens – you can build up different items in different projects, and as long as you assign them to the context corresponding to a store, you can run out on all your errands, visiting each store that has tasks in its context and leaving when that context is empty.

Hope that helps!

Hi tekl

Thanks for your reply! I should have mentioned that I’m already using child contexts, but was resisting adding too many of them as it seemed a bit messy. That’s fine, I’ll add more contexts.

My other issue is with grocery shopping lists. I usually end up creating a shopping list action within the child context and then writing my shopping list directly in the note, because it seems like overkill to have a separate action for each item. I then delete the items as I buy them, which is much messier than checking the boxes off if I had them as individual actions. It feels like it should be easier, and I’ve seen mention of templates for this. Could you point me in the right direction?

Thanks again for your help!


I have a project Shopping List. All things I need to shop for go in to this project then I assign the context Errands: Lowes, Errands: Walmart, Errands: Kroger, Errands: Online, etc. Then a perspective for errands that separates all the shopping by store/location. In my Errands context I have sub context such as Lowes, Home Depot, Kroger, Walmart, etc for places a frequently shop. You can collapse the Errands context so all the sub context do not show if you find this list long and messy. Additionally, when adding an item you only need to type the store i.e. Lowe’s and OF will assign the context Errands: Lowes. For the Grocery list I do have a perspective to show this as well as I find that much easier as this is usually a long list. Hope this helps.

Thanks tekl, very helpful :-)