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  • Context help

    Hello everyone

    I'm getting a little hung up on Contexts and I wonder if you can help. I have been really enjoying implementing GTD and it's taking me a long time- over a year so far. The 5 level view is really helpful, and I am starting to get real energy and focus. (I'm a slow learner.)

    However I think I am missing something regarding the use of contexts: I can't get them to work for me. Firstly, I always have the resources around me I need to do most of my work. Phone, laptop, notes, etc. I don't need to have "@computer" or "@phone" etc because I always am. Am I missing the point here?

    I am using Todoist to process my tasks, and I like the way the outline format allows you to drill into various levels of detail. But I don't really use the tags to much effect.

    Is it more effective to use areas of responsibility to define my contexts? That would make more sense but seems a little obvious: So I might have "@Work", "@Home", "@Finances" etc...

    Has anyone else grappled with this?

  • #2
    Treat David Allen's contexts as an example or starting point.

    Originally posted by danscoular View Post
    However I think I am missing something regarding the use of contexts: I can't get them to work for me. Firstly, I always have the resources around me I need to do most of my work. Phone, laptop, notes, etc. I don't need to have "@computer" or "@phone" etc because I always am. Am I missing the point here?
    Treat David Allen's contexts as an example or starting point. He created them when there was no Internet everywhere and no smartphone in every pocket.

    Now we don't have to create separate @phone context because phone accessibility is restricted. But we can create such context to block our time just for phone calls.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by danscoular View Post
      However I think I am missing something regarding the use of contexts: I can't get them to work for me. Firstly, I always have the resources around me I need to do most of my work. Phone, laptop, notes, etc. I don't need to have "@computer" or "@phone" etc because I always am. Am I missing the point here?
      Yes you are missing the point a bit. First off just because you have all the tools available doesn't mean it is effortless to switch between contexts. Part of the context is that once you are in the phoning mode you stay there and it's more efficient.

      Second, you need to adapt contexts to suit you. I have contexts like
      @inside with help
      @outside with help
      @shop building
      @computer mac
      @computer Open Office

      I will sometimes set contexts for specific fields and then remove them when those projects are done.

      Play with contexts to get ones that work for you. You might try energy level contexts or by software package or even by role if that makes more sense to you. Feel free to play with contexts until they are right for you and change them as needed to suit new circumstances.

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