Forum

  • If you are new to these Forums, please take a moment to register using the fields above.
Announcement Announcement Module
Collapse
No announcement yet.
How do you handle next actions that can have multiple contexts? Page Title Module
Move Remove Collapse
X
Conversation Detail Module
Collapse
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • How do you handle next actions that can have multiple contexts?

    Specifically, the @online/@offline context. I frequently travel (with my laptop) and sometimes I have a net connection and sometimes I don't. Let me toss @airplane in just for fun.

    Every computer related action *can* be done online. For others, I don't really have to be online. It would be nice to pull up a list of what I could be working on when I'm sitting at my laptop and don't have a connection. Yet, I don't want these actions to be dormant (between weekly reviews) on an @offline list if I always have a net connection.

    I can't be unique in this. What do others do? Add actions to both lists? So that if I'm scanning my inbox and decide I need a computer to do that, put it on online and then ask if I *can* do it offline and if so add it to that list too?

    What happens on an airplane when I have my @offline list and we're about 10,000 feet and I go to open my laptop but the idiot in front of me decides to recline in my lap. About all I can do here is paper-based stuff. Is this on an @Anywhere list - so every action in my inbox has to go here too?

    I get the fundamental concept and usefulness of context lists (why look at the dozens of things I need a net connection for when I don't have one), yet putting it into practice is eluding me.

    The reason I'm posting here on the Gear list instead of the General list is because I use Things and it makes it impossible to look at multiple contexts at once.

    Help.

  • #2
    I think you've created too many contexts; when that happens actions tend to overlap boundaries. I suggest you have as few contexts as possible and choose a primary context for each action if there is overlap.

    I suggest you use @Computer for actions that simply require a computer and @Computer-Web for actions that require a computer with an Internet connection. @Airplane seems unnecessary; I suggest you dump it. A context is a *required* (not convenient) tool or location to perform an action. How many actions do you have that *require* you to be in an airplane (any airplane for that matter) to do? Not many, I'd guess.

    Comment


    • #3
      Applications with tags.

      Any software application that treats contexts as tags (you can assign more than one tag to an item) and allows to filter the items using combination of tags solves the problem.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by ellobogrande View Post
        A context is a *required* (not convenient) tool or location to perform an action.
        CLICK!

        I can't thank you enough. Somehow I interpreted the use of contexts as where I can do it or where I would like to do it instead of what/where is required to do it.

        Problem solved. Thank you again.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by TesTeq View Post
          Any software application that treats contexts as tags (you can assign more than one tag to an item) and allows to filter the items using combination of tags solves the problem.
          Things allows you to assign multiple tags, but you can only view multiple tags as a logical AND, not a logical OR.

          Looking at OmniFocus.....

          But the REAL solution to my problem was given by a previous poster.

          Comment


          • #6
            Nested Contexts

            Perhaps conditional contexts are really what would help here rather than multiple contexts? I use far too many contexts for some I'd imagine but the granularity works for me (so far) because I can nest contexts in OmniFocus to support those contexts where you can't have one thing without the other. Not sure if Things will help in that regard but if it does this is what I find works for me here:

            ▼ @Mac
            ▼ @Online
            ▼ @VPN
            I can see all my @computer actions if I have all 3 conditions met and skip the lower levels when I don't.

            [Should have checked later postings before hitting publish]
            Last edited by helenr; 04-14-2010, 09:49 AM. Reason: Already answered...

            Comment


            • #7
              Only the absolute requirement is the context

              Context is by required not possible. I have a context @computer Windows because there is one application I am required to use the windows system for. Since my mac is running fusion I could technically be in my Windows context whenever I am at my mac but it's helpful to separate it.

              Just because you can do a bunch of things when you are traveling in an airplace is the airplane really required? Perhaps, but unlikely.

              Comment


              • #8
                I had A LOT of contexts at first too, and then reduced them (paper-based). Just divided the piece of paper into different areas eg for internet @Google (things to research) @e-mail etc. Then cleaned the e-mail inboxes and put stuff (from the previous @e-mail or @net context) into @reply or @action or such in the e-mail.

                /It's still not 100% perfect and I'm still tweaking it a bit!/

                PS (paper-based helps in case of electricity outings or forgetting to power the phone or such) If internet is not reliable on a plane, it's good to have some non-internet tasks or activities, reading material etc with.
                Last edited by Layla; 04-14-2010, 01:32 PM.

                Comment


                • #9
                  @anywhere

                  I keep my contexts very simple and only apply them when they are necessary for a task to get done. I have quite a few tasks that I put in the @anywhere context - things like mind-mapping (which I like to do on paper) and stuff I can get done using just the iPhone and paper.

                  An @iPhone context would be silly as it's with me 95% of the time, anyway!

                  Comment

                  Working...
                  X