Contexts within Projects

Hi all,

I’m very new to Omnifocus, but I’m reading the docs and reviews on how everyone else does things and it’s slowly taking shape.

I have a project called “Get Christmas Presents” with an action for each present, for each person, I need to buy, as well as sub projects for presents that involve more than just one action.

I also have a Context called “Christmas”, where I put actions relating to Christmas this year.

The project “Get Christmas Parents” is assigned to the “Christmas” context. Should I also add the actions of the project to the context “Christmas”? or just to top level project, “Get Christmas Presents”?

I’ve tried both scenarios and see that if I add all the project’s actions, I simply get the project and it’s actions added to the context. If I don’t I just get the top level project.

But what’s the correct way? is there a correct way?

Thanks in advance for any tips or advice.


I don’t think Christmas should be a context. Your contexts should be related to what, where or who that relates to an action. So the contexts should be Shopping or phoning people or activities you do on the computer or at home etc. That way your actions can be filtered by the context you are in.
If you have a number of Christmas related projects, you should create a Christmas folder and put the projects in that.

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I tend to agree with @simoncasey that ‘Christmas’ is not necessarily a useful context. I might suggest a Christmas folder, with “Get Christmas Presents”, “Plan Christmas Dinner” and “Decorate for Christmas” (or what have you) as projects. The contexts involved might be Errands (for buying both presents and decorations in local stores), Home Computer (for online present buying, diagramming your light display, emailing family to decide who will bring green bean casserole, etc.)

Assign a context to an action to indicate where, when, or in what frame of mind you can best get the job done.

Assign a context to a project to set a default context for actions which get created in this project. If you want to shop local, you might set the default context for “Get Christmas Presents” to “Errands”. And then if “Tickle Me Elmo” proves hard to find in stores, you could change that one action’s context to “Home Computer” to remember to buy it online.

(I just checked, and couldn’t find an explanation of assigning a default context to a project in our documentation, so I’ve filed a bug to improve that.)

If this hasn’t answered your question, or inspires new questions, please ask again.