Location-based Contexts on Apple Watch


I have one question regarding Contexts. I understand that you can assign a location to a context that can trigger a notification when arriving/leaving this location.
What I want to achieve however, is that I can see the actions on my Apple Watch that are currently important to my current location. That means that if I am e.g. at home I can look at my watch and it will display the Context “home” and will give me the items accordingly, all only depending on my current location. Another example would be: I am at the supermarket and have a Context set up to store my groceries. As soon as I arrive there I want to be able to lift my arm, tap on the OmniFocus complication and see the Context “Groceries” on the bottom of the screen. All of that without using notifications.

Is that possible to achieve with the current version of OmniFocus? If not, are there workarounds?


I already use location (geofenced) contexts much the same way you seek to use them. All you have to do is leave the perspective containing said contexts open on your iPhone and voilà, it’ll appear as if by magic on your watch!
I use it for the grocery store amongst various other locations. The beauty of the system is that every time i drive near my chosen grocery store I get a reminder based on the geofence on watch/phone and that reminds me to check my watch.
You can also set the watch to keep the chosen location onscreen permanently so you never forget or like me, leave it variable depending on what perspective you have open.
Does this help?

Hi Max,

Using the Pro version, here’s what I’d suggest.

  1. Set up the contexts that you want. A good starting point is suggested in the blog at https://www.omnigroup.com/blog/OmniFocus_for_iPhone_the_Coolest_Feature_Youre_Probably_Not_Using
  2. Check out http://forums.omnigroup.com/showthread.php?p=61080#post61080 for tips including some advice from other people using Location-based Contexts.
  3. On the iPhone, make a custom perspective that shows the location based contexts (or just the contexts you want to show on the Watch).
  4. In Settings under Today and Watch, pick the custom perspective you set up in the step before.
  5. Set up your Watch so that you are using the OmniFocus complication–there is a good overview here: https://support.omnigroup.com/omnifocus-on-apple-watch/

See how that works for you! It might not be perfect, and without using notifications, I’m not sure if it is going to do everything the way you are envisioning, but it should get you off to a pretty good start. There might be people who use location based contexts more who have other ideas, but I use my Watch every day, and for me, the custom perspective showing on the Watch face is better than relying on reminders. I still have reminders for very time critical appointments, but I don’t use them for tasks that I need to complete that just need to be done sometime today. When I first started using OmniFocus I had way too many due dates and I used reminders too often. As I’m learning what works better for me, I’m using the contexts more and the reminders and due dates less.

I hope this helps! Good luck.


Thanks for the reply! It does help indeed. However, I understand that for your last solution (keeping the view permanenlty on the watch) I need the Pro version of OmniFocus (which I currently don’t have). Is that correct? Otherwise I could not find the necessary settings for e.g. keeping the location onscreen permanently.

Thanks for your suggestions. Since I currently do not have the Pro version (I am pretty much a beginner), I understand that I am not capable of customising everything like I want it to be. I will consider the Pro version then ;)

Hi Max,

You can try the same steps with Standard, but you won’t have a custom perspective, so that will limit your control over the view in the complication on the Watch face. Still, try the various options and DO try the complication to see how it works. You can do almost everything here, but it is just the custom perspectives that you’ll be missing, as those allow you to show just certain perspectives you select rather than everything.

Standard is a great place to start. If you get to where you feel you need more powerful and deep options than you have in Standard, there are a few things you get only in Pro, which we have a video about here: https://www.omnigroup.com/video/set/omnifocus-2-for-mac/whats-in-pro/

Many people are happy with Standard and never end up needing Pro. It really depends on your workflow and your needs. You can try Pro for free if you want to see the difference. Directions are in the video to try it.



In the iPhone, make a custom perspective that shows the location based contexts (or just the contexts you want to show on the Watch).

How exactly do you achieve this? I see no option to filter perspectives by location.

You would have to know which ones they are, then choose them for contexts to include in the perspective manually under Context Selection (Available if you don’t use project hierarchy).

@lanettetest - I’ve done this, but the perspective on the watch just shows all the tasks from the multiple contexts in one list. It seems like you as well as @revstu were hinting that there is some way to show only the active location context in the perspective? I can not figure out how.

It is possible that @revstu means that the location based reminder will show on your watch, depending on how you have the permissions/notifications set up. They might be mentioning a trick that I’m unaware of though!

You can’t set up a perspective based on the context location you are at alone, but your location based notification reminders should show up on your Watch if you’ve given OmniFocus the permission to do so. Check out the section “Staying in the Loop with Notifications” about the Watch at https://support.omnigroup.com/omnifocus-on-apple-watch/ and keep in mind you may need to check that notification permission is turned on on your iPhone and in OmniFocus and in the Watch app. So many settings!

Give it a try! I hope that it works. There is at iOS 10 bug that has been impacting some customers, so toggle notification permissions on the iPhone itself off and on again before you try this for your best chances of success if you are on iOS 10.


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Hi @cdobler
I simply meant that if you carefully curate a list of context based location reminders, you can access them on the Apple Watch in a way that is incredibly helpful. There is no hidden trick to it. I can now enable that same context list to be shown via the new customisable data field at the bottom of the watch.
It does take a while to fine tune your location based reminders, but the investment of time pays big dividends next time you are at the hardware store and suddenly remember you need emulsion, or to remember to visit someone next time I’m at the right part of the Parish. I have a dozen or so places organised to appear onscreen iPhone/watch as appropriate.


Cool! I am going to try this. Thank you for sharing the tips that work well for you.

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@lanettetest I have a recurring nightmare - that Omnifocus is deleted on my devices, has disappeared from the App Store and Omni website. All my data gone.

This was my reality for years juggling a Filofax and loose paper notes getting lost under a mountain of paperwork. Leaving home for a meeting without it, or worse leaving in someone’s house during a visit.

Omnifocus holds all this in a package that is backed up, and in devices small enough to wear on a wrist! I’ve tried other rival apps but though they have their strengths and weaknesses, OF1 & 2 knocks the socks off them every times for sheer flexibility, customisation, scripting & other advantages. Not to mention the excellent support humans who are gracious, patient and super smart!

@revstu - Thanks for the clarification. Also, you said you can set the watch to keep the chosen location onscreen permanently? I couldn’t figure out how to do that either.

@cdobler enter settings on OF2 iPhone app

  • scroll down to ‘Today & Watch’ and tap it-
  • then slide the ‘show a custom persective’ slide the button to the right-
  • choose the requisite perspective you have already set beforehand.
    I hope this helps.

The ability to have this sort of location-based power, without the need of notifications would be incredible. OP (@maxvelich) hit the nail on the head. This would make the watch app NEXT LEVEL. @SupportHumans (Probably a pro feature)