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Context "@Calls" vs "@person"

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  • Context "@Calls" vs "@person"

    Hello!

    David recommends in his book to set up a context @calls. This allows us to get a list of all phone calls to take very quickly. Great so far.

    I set up different contexts for important persons I deal with regularely. If I have to talk to such a person I set up an action like "Discuss the meeting agenda with Mrs. Winter" and assign it to the appropriate project. The context then will be "Mrs. Winter". When by chance, Mrs. Winter calls me, I open very quickly the context "@Mrs. Winter" and can clear all those open things with her I have to. I do not have to phone her again. I find that very effective. On the other hand I can't get a list of all my phone calls cause each task has only one context.

    Do you have any idea how to take advantage of both approaches? How do you work and what experiences did you make?

    Greetings,
    braintertainer

  • #2
    Originally posted by braintertainer View Post
    Hello!

    David recommends in his book to set up a context @calls. This allows us to get a list of all phone calls to take very quickly. Great so far.

    I set up different contexts for important persons I deal with regularely. If I have to talk to such a person I set up an action like "Discuss the meeting agenda with Mrs. Winter" and assign it to the appropriate project. The context then will be "Mrs. Winter". When by chance, Mrs. Winter calls me, I open very quickly the context "@Mrs. Winter" and can clear all those open things with her I have to. I do not have to phone her again. I find that very effective. On the other hand I can't get a list of all my phone calls cause each task has only one context.
    Personally, I prefer to put these under the type of activity, @phone, @mail, ... @mail to me means I only have to start typing (so no info searching or ther activity first) and like to handle a bunch of mails at once, especially on times I feel "low energy". And I don't especially like to make calls, so I like to have them together and get rid of them in one block

    And I rarely have to talk to someone about more than 1 project, usually it's linked to one single project, so the approach @mrswinters would usually just give me 1 item on that action list anyway, so it wouldn't be useful.

    Myriam

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    • #3
      Here are a couple of possibilities:

      Use software that allows keywords in addition to contexts or multiple contexts. This is software specific, more trouble, and has more failure modes, but you can do it.

      If you have a lot of agenda items with a lot of people, then presumably you are looking at the agenda list frequently. When you decide a given person needs a call, put his or her name on the call list.

      On the other hand, if you typically communicate with someone only by phone, then just put the agenda items on the @call list.

      Some people will just duplicate the items on @calls and agendas, and whichever you get to first, it's fine, as long as you remember to delete the item from the other list.

      Another approach is to have an @communicate context, and however the communication happens, it happens. This will work for some people but not others. I've never had an @call list, myself. Almost everything I do is email or face to face. I can call from anywhere anyway, and I don't make so many calls that I benefit from batching them.

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      • #4
        Use the @Mrs Winter list to park reminders of things you want to talk about the next time you meet face-to-face or voice-to-voice.

        Use the @Calls list to remind you that you need to call Mrs Winter. While you're on the call use your @Mrs Winter list as action support to that call.

        Comment


        • #5
          I require multiple contexts and I have to use a system that supports it.

          I have a variety of tasks, including this "calls" example", that can be accomplished across a couple different contexts.

          Another example is that I have a @hardware_store context which is essentially a sub-context of @errands. There are times that I'm running errands and I want to see the stuff that I need from the hardware store. There are other times where I simply find myself at a hardware store in an emergency and I want to quickly identify the other items I need there. Both contexts are useful to me in different situations.

          Comment


          • #6
            Thank you all for sharing your experiences and giving some hints.
            As GTD tool I use OmniFocus which works very well for me. I often have to do with different people and with some of them I work on different projects at the same time. At the moment, all in all, there are 324 active projects with 1363 defined actions I am working on simultaneously.

            I think I'll follow the proposition of ellobogrande. I'll use the @call list just to put reminders for who to call and I'll set the details up on the different lists for each person.

            I'm sure that will work fine to me.

            Again, thank you for your quick and helpful advice.

            braintertainer

            Comment


            • #7
              I use OmniFocus too. I have a @Calls context where my call NAs show up. As I always start the name of the NA with the name of the person to call, I can easily sort the calls list and have all the NAs that I need to talk to with the same person next to eachother.
              Using a simple search would of course also do the trick.

              Comment


              • #8
                Handling @Calls vs Agendas with people

                I'm paper-based, so this is the system I devised.

                I have a tab called @Phone -- this covers everybody that I need to contact via Phone, regardless of work/personal/project, etc. I do this so that I have an actual non-time/date context to work from. By definition (for me), @Phone holds more priority than @Agenda. What's funny is that over time, I end up putting some entries into Someday/Maybe -- I realize that I didn't really want/need to call them!

                I have 5 tabs for Agendas
                Agenda - ABCDE
                Agenda - FGHIJ
                Agenda - KLMNO
                Agenda - PQRSTU
                Agenda - VWXYZ

                I'm entering each entry starting with the person's initials or their name, then the phone number if applicable and a short reminder note of topic.

                I used to just have one Agenda tab, but then I had to sift through many pages to find the entry -- I found that having 5 tabs alleviated that.

                I used to have specific tabs by "important" people, but then I had to remember to also look at that tab, so now everybody (regardless of importance) is within the Agenda tab.

                It's scary how quickly I can find Agenda items when people happen to be in front of me -- system works very quickly if you're consistent with how you enter it -- initials or name. Most often I'm cross-referencing the entry to some Action Support location. If it's an email, I'll add something like "XREF Short, JF, 12/19" -- this means that in my ShortCycle email folder, I have an email from JohnF that was dated on 12/19. This may sound odd, but it works really well for me.

                Hope that helps.

                Paul

                Originally posted by braintertainer View Post
                Hello!

                David recommends in his book to set up a context @calls. This allows us to get a list of all phone calls to take very quickly. Great so far.

                I set up different contexts for important persons I deal with regularely. If I have to talk to such a person I set up an action like "Discuss the meeting agenda with Mrs. Winter" and assign it to the appropriate project. The context then will be "Mrs. Winter". When by chance, Mrs. Winter calls me, I open very quickly the context "@Mrs. Winter" and can clear all those open things with her I have to. I do not have to phone her again. I find that very effective. On the other hand I can't get a list of all my phone calls cause each task has only one context.

                Do you have any idea how to take advantage of both approaches? How do you work and what experiences did you make?

                Greetings,
                braintertainer

                Comment

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