Ideas for location-based (and device-based) contexts

Inspired by the new version of Launch Center Pro, launched today, I think OmniFocus could follow the example* and have the following:

  1. Improved to location-based perspectives

  2. New device-based perspectives (eg. “My car”)

How do you like the idea?? :D

  • feature requests submitted.

Sounds cool, though I personally won’t be using them.

I have no need to restrict a location to certain dates and times, as I usually simply set the defer date of the task.

As for iBeacons, I lake the idea, but can’t currently find a use case for my tasks.

Two use cases I’m willing to try:

Location based
  • I currently have two sub-contexts in my Home context, called Home-In and Home-Out. They work fine, but most of my cases for Home-In should trigger an alert only during weekdays (M-F) by the end of the day.
    → Deferring tasks would make them disappear from my perspectives. I would prefer them to be visible, but to be alerted when the situation occurs.
Device based
  • I have a context called Car, that I currently barely use (considering to eliminate, as I tend to use Home-Out instead). If OmniFocus would only trigger alerts when it knows I’m inside my car (with the sound system turned on, for instance), it would be useful.
    → The Omni team suggested on Twitter to use Launch Center Pro as an alternative. Sure, it could be done, but the alert would pop-up regardless of having or not a task in that context.

(My first post in an Omni forum)

I’m still getting accustomed to OmniFocus, but I had this idea of time-basis too.

I could think of two grounds:

  1. One may receive location-based reminders when they would be useless, like approaching a location at an undue time (like an office when your contact likely is at home, or his (m/f) home when he likely is at the office.

  2. One may have different interests in a small area at different times of the day (and week). During daytime, you’d only be interested in business-related notifications, during off-time you’d only be interested in leisure-related notifications. (Assuming your working hours are rather standard.)

I don’t currently have use for contexts like “my car”, but I can definitely imagine it being useful.

One thing I’d love to see, would be filters. Not only context and project filters, like some people mentioned in other threads (eg. ability to set contexts NOT to be included on a given Perspective), but also geo-location filters.

Let’s say I have an Home and an Office context on my setup. Today, I do not geo-tag them, as I only use geo-location for Errands. But it would be very useful to do so if I could say, for instance, that my Work context filters OFF all the tasks I could not do right there (eg. my Errands and Home tasks).

iBeacon is a little bleeding-edge right now, particularly since it requires a hardware investment, but I can definitely see the use for it as the technology becomes more popular and mainstream.

In the shorter term, I think it would make more sense to use Bluetooth proximity going down that road. My car and my home already have Bluetooth devices that can be used to detect proximity. Even my door lock is Bluetooth in fact (although I’m arguably in a minority there :) ).

Time-based contexts for location notifications would definitely be great, and arguably much more useful now that OF is actively pushing out notifications. Being reminded to “Buy Milk” when I drive by the grocery store at 3 AM isn’t really all that useful – it’s more of a distraction than anything else. It was one thing when I was actually looking at a Nearby list and mentally filtering, it’s quite another when my iPhone is buzzing at me to do things that are essentially impossible at that moment in time.


Any chance we will see iBeacon functionality like they have in LaunchCenter Pro any time soon? I made the switch from GeoFences to iBeacon recently and it makes a world of difference in terms of reliability and being able to narrow the field where presence is detected. This no longer “bleeding edge” technology really after 2 years.