Using OmniFocus: Dealing with Calls and Agendas

This entry is part of a series, Using OmniFocus»

For a long time, I had difficulties separating calls and agendas. In one project I would have:

  • Call Jim about stuff.


while, in another project I might have:

  • Call Jim about other stuff.


A problem becomes apparent when I assign a start date to one of these tasks. I see the call task, but then not the other. I may forget to mention the other item as it is not appearing on the radar. Even if I do remember the other task, I would have to sift through the “Calls” list for Jim’s name to make sure I said everything. This is hardly efficient.

An “Agenda : Jim” context is better, but still not great. It’s still a context in the similar vein of “Calls”. If one agenda item is dated and another is not, it is still lost in the midst of other tasks. I can open the side bar, select the “Agenda : Jim” context to see if there is anything else. But this is not that efficient, either.

The solution is one of those that took a while to stumble upon, but is rather a simple combination of the two:

  • List all items which are to be discussed or otherwise with an Agenda context. They are agenda items after all.
  • Keep “Call Jim” as a separate task with a Calls context. This task can then receive a start date, flag or whatever marker.
  • To smooth the process, go to the context “Agenda : Jim”, «Control-click» (Updated: Thanks, Lee!) and select “Copy as Link” and paste the link in the notes field of the call task.



Now, when the call task appears, I can select that link and have a list gathered from all projects of all the discussable tasks:



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  1. I don’t think this will work if the projects that these “discuss” actions belong to, are in sequential order and the next action is something else than “discuss”. Then you will still miss it, unless you make sure you filter on “remaining” and not just “available” or “next action”.

    Or am I missing something here?

    • I think that is correct, Sander. This would only work with an action that is available. If there were something to discuss that is not dependent upon previous actions, it would likely better sit in a parallel sequence.

  2. Create a text document for “Jim” and set up Quicksilver or Launchbar to quickly append to the document. Refer to document when “calling” Jim to make sure you don’t miss anything you’ve noted to tell him

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