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Keeping @Contexts with you

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  • Keeping @Contexts with you

    I'm still new to GTD, so I'm learning how to best handle these things. I have a few file folders here in my office labeled @Phone, @Computer, @Campus (I work on a college campus). My question, though, is how do you all keep your contexts with you when you step out of the office?

    Do you gather up all the context folders each time you leave, or just the ones that you think you may need while you're out?

    I mean, for me, we use Google apps, so @computer could apply to anywhere. @phone could stay in the office because I don't make business calls away from here. @campus kinda speaks for itself. I review the items in it before I take off to walk around campus so I can be sure of where I need to go.

    Thoughts? How do you keep your contexts with you? Is it a constant game of loading up your briefcase and unloading it every time you take off somewhere?

  • #2
    I may have just answered my own question by sitting here thinking for a few minutes. I'll refrain from answering, though, until I hear suggestions from you bright folks.

    Comment


    • #3
      My context lists are in a loose leaf notebook. If a page is relevant -- @Errands, say -- I can pull it out and take it with me. Mostly I leave everything behind unless I'm planning on working at another location for a while.

      Katherine

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      • #4
        Originally posted by ErikB View Post
        My question, though, is how do you all keep your contexts with you when you step out of the office?
        I think you are confusing contexts and lists. Contexts are where you do actions and lists are the collection of next actions that you do in that context.

        It sounds like you have hard copies of reminders in paper folders.

        Ideally you want to rework your system into something more portable, so that you have all your lists with you everywhere, so if you found yourself @campus, you'd have that list readily available.

        - Don

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        • #5
          check out the hPDA

          I keep all of my lists on 3x5 cards. Check out these places

          http://www.43folders.com/2004/09/03/...he-hipster-pda

          And here:

          http://www.diyplanner.com/templates/official/hpda

          I have a Palm and to be honest, the few things that it can do that these can't does not make up for the speed at which I can write data down and move it around as I need. It also keeps me from just needlessly storing data "just because I can"

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          • #6
            Erik -

            What you want to do is get yourself a 3-ring binder, start out with 8.5x11 (you can change all this later, if you wish) and some tab dividers. Make each tab a context (@campus, @phone, @computer, etc.) and put your context lists in there, each behind its respective tab. Have a tab for Projects, Notes, Someday/Maybe, etc. This notebook is your system now and you carry it wherever you go. I'm not paper-based myself. So, I'd check elsewhere on the forum (or on 43folders.com) for details on how to set up a paper-based system. The key, though, is to have all your lists with you all the time, to be able to add a new list at the drop of a hat and to be able to very flexible in how this is structured so it works best for you.

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            • #7
              Ok

              It sounds like your heading along the right track. Organised next actions by context is a great start and very much the spirit of gtd.

              Portability is the issue you have. It sounds as though you may not be working from a simple list as your primary source of what you could do in a given context. If your not you need to do that. Fold them up and pop it in a file folder to carry around at the least.

              If you already are it sounds as though you may be keeping support material eg a form for the dean to sign, and this may weigh you down. How do you know you will see the dean today? So you carry a lot of stuff unnecessarily.

              The way i would work it is call ahead when you can. Take only the stuff you know its likely you will need but take that context list.

              Hope that helps.

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              • #8
                Try a pocket notebook with different pages allotted to different contexts (one or more per context). Easy to open anywhere. Once all the things on a page are done, trash that page. In fact it becomes a good capture tool as well: use the other end as capture, and include it in your review.

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                • #9
                  Erik, if you're filling a folder for one single context, there's something awry. You should be able to get a context list on a single sheet of paper. I'm generalising wildly here, since a context list is as long as a piece of string, but if you've got more than about 70 Next Actions on your context list, you might want to think about shifting some of your Current Projects into Someday/Maybe for a while, so that you thin down your context lists.

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                  • #10
                    It all depends on the context. I use different forms for different lists.

                    For example, @Laptop is a text file that's actually on that laptop. @Work is a text file on my work computer. @Home is a sheet of paper on a clipboard that usually lives in my home studio.

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                    • #11
                      I have something similar that I keep with me that has all of my lists in it. It's a view tab report cover from Wilson Jones.

                      Originally posted by Jon Walthour View Post
                      Erik -

                      What you want to do is get yourself a 3-ring binder, start out with 8.5x11 (you can change all this later, if you wish) and some tab dividers. Make each tab a context (@campus, @phone, @computer, etc.) and put your context lists in there, each behind its respective tab. Have a tab for Projects, Notes, Someday/Maybe, etc. This notebook is your system now and you carry it wherever you go. I'm not paper-based myself. So, I'd check elsewhere on the forum (or on 43folders.com) for details on how to set up a paper-based system. The key, though, is to have all your lists with you all the time, to be able to add a new list at the drop of a hat and to be able to very flexible in how this is structured so it works best for you.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I've tried to keep my context lists together so I only have to focus on carrying one thing with me no matter where I am. I have the habit of getting ideas whenever I'm not at the context I need, for exaple phone calls when I'm not at a phone. I like being able ot just add to my list. All my lists are in my hPDA. Before that, I was using a smartphone which also worked well. To me, if everything is in one portable item then I only have to be concerned about where that one item is when I need to look at my lists.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Tspall View Post
                          I've tried to keep my context lists together so I only have to focus on carrying one thing with me no matter where I am. I have the habit of getting ideas whenever I'm not at the context I need, for exaple phone calls when I'm not at a phone.
                          That's what my Hipster PDA is for.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Thanks for the help, everyone.

                            I was a bit confused, and have since fixed my system. It's not perfect, but it's workable, and much, much more portable than before. I've started using a Moleskine notebook that I had laying around. I put tabs on a few pages and lableled them as contexts. In the back of the book is my collection area, where I take down notes, etc., until I can process it into next actions and/or projects.

                            What I was originally using as context folders have become more resource-based. I have a folder full of items that are associated with "Errands" such as things that need to go to the post office, etc., and another folder for deliverables on-campus for when I'm out roaming the campus. I take the folder with me so I have everything I'll need, but there are no actual next-actions in the folders anymore. All my next actions are listed in my notedbook and referenced to the proper resource folder.

                            Sound better?

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                            • #15
                              Welcome aboard

                              Originally posted by ErikB View Post
                              Sound better?
                              Sound great! Welcome aboard Erik! We are proud to have a new friend @GTD.

                              Ehm! Is it allow this context?

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