I think the concept of tagging / allowing multiple contexts is already acknowledged by the Omnifocus team - however they are only supported hierarchically.
In David Allen’s four-criteria model for choosing actions in the moment, he outlines the following (from his book Getting Things Done : The Art of Stress Free Productivity, Chapter 2):
- Time Available
- Energy Available
Context is only a single item in the list. Time available could be covered by Estimated Duration and/or Due, Energy Available is simply not available as a choice. In a podcast I heard mention of a ‘Context’ called ‘Low Energy’ or ‘Brain Dead’ that serve to cover these kids of tasks but that is mixing the metaphor of Energy with ‘Context’. And the Priority right now is very poorly represented in OF. It is either flagged or not, due or not. I don’t particularly like to have complex priority systems. But even MS Outlook has the possibility of Low, Normal and High priority. Again you can blend your Due Date into the Priority metaphor but you are mixing a martini here … mmm martini … the closest I have is to flag something.
Does the four-criteria model work in a hierarchical context model with some additional fields. No it does not - I have to work around the limitations of the tool to make it work.
This is why other tools that provide so-called ‘Tagging’ which is really a filing/metadata/search concept actually are functionally richer because they allow you to apply all of these criteria - either singly or in multiples to slice and dice your data.
The workaround, it seems, is a complex use of pretending that you have ‘tags’ in action notes by somehow typing them separately from other notes and then using a Pro feature of having multiple perspectives to try and make sense of what that all means.
The reason I bring this up is I have done a lot of training on OF - webinars, ebooks, elearning, and so on, and yet when it comes to the cut (currently I am working through TRO again as I am forced to use outlook in my work environment) I have a simpler and easier system to use in outlook of all places simply because I can assign multiple categories (contexts) per task. OF cannot be my main task manager because it is severely hampered by the lack of this feature.
Maybe for running my home and personal life it works fine (it does!). Maybe if I was running a small or medium size business it would work too … (it also does to a limited extent). But at the executive level of a very large organization where time is extremely limited, and given a constant and very intense email, IM, text and phone barrage every day and OF’s lack of multiple context and the ability to cut between them shows immediate problems.
I’ve been an avid follower of OF since the Omni Outliner and Kinkless GTD days. I am eager for it to work but each attempt has simply bumped into workaround after workaround.
Right now TRO at least shows a way past this. Unfortunately OF is not a tool that even works with this approach.
I would urge the consideration of at least the four-criteria model for inclusion in the product. Perspectives can then take care of the rest.