Channels and Contexts

Overview of how to use Contexts and Channels in Sunsama


Channels allow you to categorize tasks, events, and objectives so that you can better understand where you are spending your time each day. The ritual flows will show you a breakdown of how you spent your time by channel.

Contexts allow you to group several channels together so that you can quickly focus your on one context at a time. For example, you can switch to your "#work" context to see all just your work tasks, or you can switch to your "#personal" channel to see all your personal tasks for the day.


How to use

Filtering your workspace by channel · 0:19

Click the "Filter" button at the top of your workspace, or use keyboard shortcut Shift F, to reveal a dropdown menu of your contexts and channels.

Click, type, or use arrow keys to select a channel or context. This will filter your view of your workspace to only show tasks assigned to that channel or context. When you add a task while filtering, the task will get assigned to the channel you're filtering by.


Filter to focus

Filter your workspace view to your #work tasks during your work day so you aren't distracted by #personal tasks, and vice versa!

Assigning a channel to a task · 1:23

While typing a new task, hit # while in the add task modal to assign a task, or click on the channel field.


AI: Channel recommendations

Use this setting in Settings > AI to have Sunsama automatically assign a suggested channel to your new tasks, so you avoid having #unassigned tasks.

If the task is already created, you can change the channel of the task by clicking on the name of the channel (or using keyboard shortcut Q), and selecting a different channel.

Settings · 4:13

Access your Context and Channel settings via the main dropdown menu, or by clicking "Manage channels" in the filter channel dropdown.

Click on a particular context or channel to configure its settings, or the "Create" buttons to create new ones.

Toggle on/off the "Enable" switch next to a channel to hide or show it in your workspace.

Personal setting

Toggle the "Personal" setting to make a context for personal tasks. Tasks assigned to a personal context or a channel within that context do not count towards your workload in Sunsama. In a collaborative workspace, they will also be necessarily private.

Private setting

Only for those in collaborative workspaces, use the Private setting to make a context or channel private to only yourself or certain members in the workspace

Default channel

Enable this setting if you want all new tasks to be assigned to this channel by default.

Note: Enabling this means the AI: Channel recommendation feature cannot be used.

Note: Channel filtering and other automations will override your default channel setting.

Integration links

You can link a channel with a particular Slack channel (for notifications of new and completed tasks), Asana project, or Trello board.

Calendar <> Channel link · 7:40

From your Calendar settings, link a calendar to a channel. This will have two effects:

When you timebox a task, the resulting working session will be created on the calendar linked to that channel.

When you import an event/meeting from a calendar, the resulting task will be assigned to that linked channel.


Link work to work, personal to personal

Use this channel <> calendar linking so that your work tasks end up on the calendar you intend (so your colleagues do or don't see your working sessions, per your preference), and so your personal tasks stay on your personal calendar

Best Practices

  • Use the Shift F shortcut to filter your workspace to a specific channel or context regardless of what view you're in (e.g. Home, Daily planning, etc).
  • Don't create too many channels per context. 5-7 channels is usually a good amount. It's easy to get obsessed with finding the perfect taxonomy and organization of your data but it won't actually help you work with calm and focus.
  • Channels help you understand where you are spending your time and that's why their best kept fairly high-level e.g. just use #hiring instead of #phone-screens #interviews #debriefs.
  • If you are using Sunsama collaboratively, consider setting your default channel to a context or channel that is private or personal so that your tasks are hidden by default.
  • Make sure to designate your personal context as personal in the context's settings even if you are in a private workspace. This is useful for having personal tasks not count towards your workload.