In theory, I’m a big OmniFocus fan, and I’ve read enough GTD (including the book) and blogs and tips related to both to feel like I have a decent handle on the fundamentals. In practice, though, every time I’ve attempted to put all this into action by using OF myself, I got too bogged down in the minutiae to make it work. One of my biggest stumbling blocks was contexts, which always made sense when I read what other people did, but I couldn’t master. One never felt like enough. With the introduction of tags in OF3 I’m prepared to give it another shot, but let me give an example of the kind of thing I get stuck on, in hopes that the gurus here might help un-stick me.
Without any reliance on OF or any other productivity app, I’ve been making a recent push to de-clutter and organize my home. I’ve kept my momentum so far by picking and working on small achievable zones or projects each day, since “De-clutter house” is too big to ever start. One day might be purging old t-shirts I never wear anymore. Another might be choosing an out-of-control drawer to go through and trash what I can, and then use the new space to better arrange stuff so most-frequently used is most accessible. Bit by bit, my home is shaping up, even though nothing much changes in any single day. While I have some sense of things like, “I gotta get to that shelf in the garage…”, I basically just look around and pick something. Every room presents multiple areas in need of attention.
I would like to manage this in OF so I don’t have to keep the remaining to-dos only in my head, and for the satisfaction of ticking off “complete” actions, but I get stuck on how to organize this in OF itself. Let’s say I want to capture the action, “Purge unused t-shirts”. That’s pretty much a single action, and the location it occurs at will be Home. I could just process it that way and be done. On the other hand, I’m also trying to improve my habits, so if that task occurs in my bedroom, and I’d like some sort of tickle reminder every month or two to “Assess bedroom for things that need de-cluttered, purged, organized, fixed”, then entering small tasks in isolation as they occur to me won’t really keep that habit going. I have trouble deciding what should be a tag, a folder, a project, or a single action. With tags, I’m tempted to have a whole tag hierarchy like, “Household:Bedroom, Household:Kitchen, Household:Garage, etc.” so I can sort by room if I want to focus on one, but I don’t want every task I enter to require 5 tags (since that’s not my only hierarchy). I’m having trouble striking the balance between too much detail (my natural tendency) and not enough.
So, as a test example, how would you handle the objective of capturing list of projects throughout the home, and if that ever gets “caught up”, periodic reminders to check each area for new stuff since that kind of complete doesn’t stay complete forever? If you want to be able to quickly see any and all “Bedroom” projects/actions, would you group those under an “Organize Bedroom” SAL project, tag those actions with “Bedroom”, or maybe just make sure any such action is entered with the room name in the title? Or something else?