Classes - Contexts v. Projects?

Hello, second year law student with ADHD here, trying to get organized. Earlier today, I began to add projects/memos I have due as Projects, but then I decided to try having classes, in their entirety, as Projects, with sub-projects for big things due and regular actions for day-to-day stuff like readings or homework…if that makes sense!

I’m wondering if it makes more sense to have classes individually as Projects or as Contexts? (When I say “class” I mean the course as a whole for the semester.) Does it matter? Is one better to use than the other? Should I do something else entirely? I’m so new to OmniFocus and I want to get my life organized.

Here are suggestions from the other side (a university professor) …

  • create Folders on a semester basis
  • create sub-Folders for each class that semester
  • create sub-sub-Folders for different aspects of the class (as needed)
  • create Projects (inside the sub-sub-Folders) for each assignment

For example …

Fall 2016 (folder)

  • CHE 642 (sub-folder)
    – Homework (sub-sub-folder)
    — Hmwrk 01 (project)
    — …
    – Exams (sub-sub-folder)
    — …
    – Lectures (sub-sub-folder)
    — Lecture 01 (project)
    — Lecture 02 (project)
    — …

Hope this gives you a clear sense of a useful hierarchy for your needs.


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I’m taking courses towards a Master’s degree. I have projects for each week of the class in a folder “Masters”. The assignment and other related tasks for the week have a context related to the task, “reading, writing, research”. I have a perspective that focuses on the “Masters” folder.


I’m a university professor also, and I recommend the simplest thing that makes you comfortable. I have each class as a project in a folder labeled “Teaching”. If each class has short-cycle routine assignments, this is probably enough. If you have complex long-term assignments, such as a presentation that represents a large chunk of your final course grade and has many components, a separate project is probably a good idea.

I’ve just finished my masters degree and used a simple approach. I created a project for each subject (i.e. course) and then added tasks for each week. For example:

Project: Accounting & Finance ACC515

  • Week 1: Introduction to Financial Management
  • Week 2: Financial Markets
  • Week 3: Financial Mathematics
  • Assignment 1: Case Study

I put due dates of Sunday night at 9:00pm for each weekly topic and both due dates and flags on the assignments. The project was set to sequential mode.

This essentially mimicked the subject outline which was enough to keep me on track.

Also a Prof, & I use the same approach as mcogilvie . One other thing to consider is that you might want to use contexts in ways that cross cut courses. For example, I have a location-based context for our university library, and a couple others for other libraries that I use periodically, a context for tasks that are waiting on someone else, contexts for particular colleagues whom I may meet with, etc. All of these can involve tasks from multiple disparate projects.