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Sync Contexts to Outlook Categories



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TheGriff

Posted: Nov 17, 2008
Score: 0



I was wondering if there is any chance that syncing between Toddledo contexts and Outlook categories could be implemented. I've been using categories to track contexts for years and as such it seems more intuitive to me to sync them to contexts rather than folders.

Thanks for the consideration!
DrLaban

Posted: Nov 18, 2008
Score: 0



Assuming you are using keef's sync tool I'd say that it is possible to sync contexts.
Toodledo has its own Contexts functionality and the sync tool is able to sync these contexts quite well.

Now, if I understand you correctly you're, in Toodledo, dealing with
* Contexts
* Categories

The contexts; for me, are for instance places you are at, say @Computer, @Office
The Categories; for me, indicate projects or logic groups, say "Reinstalling Windows", "Build house"

The way I've set this up is by syncing both contexts and folders and I've mapped them to Outlook by custom views
* Folder (Toodledo) -> Category (Outlook)
* Context (Toodledo) -> tdcontext (custom field in Outlook)

Is this what you're after?
keef

Posted: Nov 18, 2008
Score: 0



I should also point out that I've set things up so that you can use Contexts to filter between different sets of tasks on different Outlook setups.

For instance I use Contexts to separate the tasks I sync to my home PC from the tasks I sync to my office PC. This to me falls more in line with the aim of Contexts in the GTD method. From my understanding of the book, Contexts separate the different situations where you consider your tasks (home, office , travel etc), whereas folders are the 'maniila folders' you use to categorize (ie Categories) the tasks you would consider within each Context.


keef
sventhebrit

Posted: Nov 18, 2008
Score: 0



keef,
I like this idea of syncing different contexts to my Home and Work PC. I hadn't thought of using it in this way.
Cheers
Steve
TheGriff

Posted: Nov 18, 2008
Score: 0



Posted by BinLabin:

The way I've set this up is by syncing both contexts and folders and I've mapped them to Outlook by custom views
* Folder (Toodledo) -> Category (Outlook)
* Context (Toodledo) -> tdcontext (custom field in Outlook)

Is this what you're after?


I'm actually after somewhat the opposite though I really don't care about folders within Outlook. I'd like the Contexts in Toodledo (@Home, @Phone, @etc.) to map to Outlook category...in other words:

*Context (Toodledo) -> Category (Outlook)

Thanks for the reply though.
TheGriff

Posted: Nov 18, 2008
Score: 0



Posted by sventhebrit:
keef,
I like this idea of syncing different contexts to my Home and Work PC. I hadn't thought of using it in this way.
Cheers
Steve


That is an interesting idea but I use just one computer, my laptop, for everything. I've created custom views within Outlook that will filter things for me based on Category. So for example I have an @Client view that gives me @Client, @Web and @Phone categories (contexts).

I can of course modify my views to use tdcontext instead of category but I thought just using category would make things neater. Seems I may be the only one wanting this though so not a biggie.
MSM

Posted: Nov 18, 2008
Score: 0



Griff,

I'm just setting up Toodledo with Keiths synch tool and like you I've been using Outlook categories for context (@computer, etc) for years. In Outlook, folders map to folders I've set up in my Outlook .pst.

I definitely prefer mapping my existing Outlook categories to Toodledo contexts.

Anyone know if this is it possible?

-Mike
rob

Posted: Nov 24, 2008
Score: 0



It'd be nice if there was some flexibility in configuration options to let a user select what items from Toodledo are mapped to different items in Outlook.
tedenison

Posted: Dec 17, 2008
Score: 0



I'm with Mike - been using the categories field in outlook for years to tag each task with a GTD context. I can't seem to find/figure out how to get the sync tool to map fields so I can tell it to take outlook's category and fill in the toodledo context? How do you tell the sync tool to behave and change the field mappings?

- Tim.
keith

Posted: Jan 26, 2009
Score: 0



I'm new to GTD (just read David Allen's book last week), but from what I've gathered, it does seem much more beneficial to use Outlook's "Categories" as GTD contexts. There are plenty of blogs out there with people doing some pretty cool GTD stuff in Outlook 2007 using the color-coded categories as contexts.

The current Toodledo Sync application, as we all know, maps Outlook "Categories" to Toodledo Folders (although you can disable that in Options) and maps an Outlook custom-defined "tdcontext" field to Toodledo's "Context". Because I want to have my cake and eat it too, I'm trying to figure out some workarounds. I started dabbling into VBA macros, and I'm pretty sure a half-decent coder could whip something up fairly quickly. Here would be the requirements of the macro or add-in:
1. Detect each incoming task via Toodledo sync (using event handlers). Then copy its "tdcontext" field to the "Category" field.
2. Detect each new user-created task on Outlook. Then copy its "Categories" field to the "tdcontext" field, so it will sync properly back to Toodledo.

You'd also need a way to handle multiple categories (Outlook stores them all as one comma-separated string). If you want to get a little fancier, you can use some of the spare "sync"able fields (like "tdtag" and the Folders information that ends up in Categories) for additional meta-data that can be used to further define the task or move it somewhere.

Maybe I'll give it a try when I find time (putting in tickler file).

On the same note, I really like the feature of filtering syncs by context. I've found it extremely useful. You don't want your office PC to-do list cluttered with things you can only do at home, and vice versa.
David

Posted: Mar 17, 2009
Score: 0



Did anyone figure out a solution? I use Outlook and ClearContext for GTD on my pc. I use multiple categories per task and have not found a way to sync with Toodledo with out losing categories in the conversion to folders.
DSM

Posted: Mar 18, 2009
Score: 0



Posted by keef:
I should also point out that I've set things up so that you can use Contexts to filter between different sets of tasks on different Outlook setups.

For instance I use Contexts to separate the tasks I sync to my home PC from the tasks I sync to my office PC. This to me falls more in line with the aim of Contexts in the GTD method. From my understanding of the book, Contexts separate the different situations where you consider your tasks (home, office , travel etc), whereas folders are the 'maniila folders' you use to categorize (ie Categories) the tasks you would consider within each Context.


Hmmm. But what are you using to represent a Context in Outlook?

I think most other GTD tools that support Outlook uses Categories as Contexts. I would think that you'd want to represent this as Tags in Toodledo.

If you're equating Outlook Categories to Toodledo Folders, what do you do with the Outlook Task that has multiple Categories? Can Toodledo handle having a single task in multiple folders?
DSM

Posted: Mar 18, 2009
Score: 1



Actually, let me rephrase that...

What is needed here is a complete data model for GTD data that can then be represented properly in Outlook, Toodledo, Jello-Dashboard (the three I'm using at the moment) and so on. With a proper data model, there is the likelihood of moving back and forth between the tools to find what works for you. Without the data model, you get lock-in...

So, with that in mind:

* Tasks
** Outlook: Tasks
** Toodledo: Tasks

* Projects
** Outlook: a Contacts folder named "Projects"
** Toodledo: Tasks with subtasks

* Folders
** Outlook: Folders
** Toodledo: Folders

* Contexts
* Outlook: Categories beginning with "@"
* Toodledo: Contexts

* Tags
** Outlook: Categories (no leading-@)
** Toodledo: Tags

And so on...
robin

Posted: May 02, 2009
Score: 0



I agree with the people that want Categories(outlook) synced with contexts(Toodledo). I am a newbie at GTD but am determined to get it working. The combinations between Toodledo and Outlook seems to work quite the opposite of what it could/should be doing.

My projects are if you will folders in outlook as long as the contexts are categories. Projects and subprojects should the be able to sync to custom fields in outlook. If this would work Toodledo and Outlook would be a perfect match.

Any answers to this problem will be greatly appreciated

Robin
tmereniu

Posted: May 14, 2009
Score: 0



DSM - that is EXACTLY the kind of format for syncing I am looking for as well. That's why I used to love the old Chapura software on my old Treo (KeyOffice Suite or something like that) - it synced everything exactly the way it was setup in Outlook; Setup a new "contact" (which was actually the "project") in Outlook, then assigned tasks to that contact/project (as next actions) with contexts (categories).
The Chapura software synced it perfectly with my Treo. Then on my Treo (and Outlook) I could sort out the next actions by context, and they would all relate back to the project name (contact).
Still not quite there using my iPhone (Pocket Informant) with Toodledo and Google calendar as the go-betweens for syncing, but getting close..... Unfortunately Chromatic Dragon's Outlook sync tool sync's the Outlook Category field with Toodledo's "Folder/Project" field; so all of my Outlook Context Categories are actually sorted as Projects within Toodledo (and Pocket Informant).
eric

Posted: May 18, 2009
Score: 0



+1 for syncing outlook categories to toodledo contexts.
geoffsaxby

Posted: May 25, 2009
Score: 0



+1 for syncing outlook categories to toodledo contexts
Aamy

Posted: May 25, 2009
Score: 0



[Deleted for cross posting in over a dozen topics. Please stay on topic and don't spam.]

This message was edited May 25, 2009.
keef

Posted: May 31, 2009
Score: 0



Could you please post Outlook sync client issues in the Third party forum? The Toodledo admins have asked us to stop using the developer forum for sync client support.
cheers
keef
GabbyM

Posted: Jul 27, 2009
Score: 0



Longtime user of GTD using Outlook and Phone/Blackberry devices and now iphone.

+ 1 for syncing categories to contexts. Much needed. DSM's logic seems spot on.
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