My Contexts, 2021

I started a new venture and am now self-employed. And while waiting to starve to death, I revamped my OmniFocus contexts. Figured I’d describe them here briefly. (These are my ‘contexts,’ being the Tags that serve that function. I’ve got a few others but these constitute the GTD contexts I use for my next actions list.)

⬆️The Top - This is for anything that needs to be put straight to ‘the top of the list.’ Not necessarily important or priority items, but mostly timely things I don’t want to miss when they pop up. Morning tasks such as taking medicine, giving my toddler his inhaler, grabbing the widget before leaving, etc.

⚙️System - This is the non-creative management of my system, comprising OmniFocus, Shortcuts, my calendar, etc. Not for planning, just the maintenance tasks to keep my system running. Things such as “thaw out another X OmniFocus template” or “fix a problem with that iOS Shortcut.”

💡Lights On - Work that requires some human attention, as opposed to mundane work. Things like pursuing an idea, research, planning, reviewing.

📡Communication - Calls to make, emails to send, etc. Can also be paired with a tag for a particular person if relevant.

🧮Admin - Tasks that don’t require creativity associated with work, such as verifying a client’s insurance, scheduling appointments, or billing.

🗄Clinical - Work related to treatment and documentation, such as session notes and clinical forms.

🏠Home - Tasks that require me to be at home, such as taking out the trash and cleaning the toilet.

📱Phone - Because this is a device I almost always have, I use this to mean either something best completed using my phone or as ‘anywhere.’

💻Mac - This is for tasks best completed on my Mac as opposed to my phone. Some things could be completed on my phone but would be easier and more comfortable using the Mac. My Mac is hard to sit down at for much time, so it ends up serving as a ‘need to have a minute without kids screaming’ context too.

🚗Errands - Anything requires venturing out of my house to complete. I have a handful of other tags nested under this one, such as the bank and grocery store. I keep my general weekly shopping list in a separate tag excluded from my next actions, so anything entered using this will appear as a discrete task.

Some of these tasks, such as Communication and System, are used in both personal and work areas, and I use perspectives to parse out the difference. (For work, if only includes items with those tags that are included in my ‘Work’ project folder.)


“Lights on” made me smile so I’m stealing it to replace my boring “full focus”. Thanks!

1 Like

This topic was automatically closed 30 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.