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Time and Place and Equipment Context

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  • Time and Place and Equipment Context

    I'm wondering how I should resolve the following issue: my current context list, except for hard landscape which goes on my calendar, is really Place/Equipment focused. However, that's not exactly true - for example, as long as I have a computer, I could do work. I don't need my work computer. Some things are time focused - not exactly a specific time, but within certain time blocks. I don't want to do anything that involves more complicated electronic systems. Here's what I have so far:

    - Hard Landscape - Must do, specific time or place
    - @Agendas - things to say to people, via phone or email or face to face
    - @CompWork - Work related items that need a computer
    - @CompPrs - Personal items that need a computer
    - @Anywhere - things I could do anywhere as long as I have my phone or something
    - @Home - need to be physically @ home for
    - @Work - need to be physically @ work for
    - @Errands - need to be out and about and go to a specific place (which I put in the text of the task)

    Just by writing it down, I can see its mixing up some stuff. For example, @Agendas isn't 100% useful - some calls, etc. I should really only do during work hours. @CompWrk and @CompPrs are just the opposite problem - it's more a question about whether it's "work time" or "not work time."

    I think you guys get the ideas. Again, I want to avoid something too complicated (e.g., new software with multiple tags or calendars or something). I'd rather do something simple. I was thinking fputtingh task puting in
    I[Item needed]


    Practice first chorus of "Life on Mars" on ukulele +LifeOnMars T[Weekend] I[Ukulele]

    Don't know if that's tforwardicated. I look fowrward to your suggestions.

  • #2
    I don't try to work in specific time stuff unless it requires it.

    I also try to make sure I focus as clearly as possible on the @context. I use a PC at work so @hp is for the PC and @mac is for the Mac at home.


    • #3
      Yes, but you could bring your work laptop home or do work on your Mac. So, isn't it really the workday MF that's the context?


      • #4
        I had similar thoughts and after a period of trial & error decided to divide "work" and "personal" into 2 separate workspaces.
        If any personal action is needed to be done during work, I'll give it @work context.
        If any work-related action is needed to be done at home, I'll give it @home context.

        The advantage of such division is that you don't have to create so precise contexts - when working from personal workspace you already know that @computer context is related to your personal computer, not the one at work.

        Also, think about (and try!) how precise do your contexts need to be - following your example does "Practice Life on Mars first chorus at weekend" isn't sufficient? Do you have any instruments beside ukulele? Maybe you can place a reminder in calendar?

        Good luck!


        • #5
          The ability to get more specific on contexts depends on the system you are using for your lists. My list manager Pocket Informant, allows only one context per action, but many tags per action. So I use the tags as context sub categories. For example, I have context called @Dell (my work laptop), and have the tags 'offline', 'network' to further separate them.
          So I can then go to my context list and sort by tags, to get the lists broken into more detail if I'm offline, or keep them all together if I'm on the network but want to see all of them.


          • #6
            That sounds like an interesting idea. Can you send me your list of tags and categories?


            • #7
              Hmm... Now that I look at the replies I think I'm still not getting it. Forgetting for the moment about new technologies, there's no reason you couldn't have 20 contexts (silly, but you could). So again, let's say I have a task "Study for SCJP Exam, Chapter 2." It requires a computer but I could either use my Work or Home computer. However, It's only something I'd do during "Idle" time when I have energy (which is not a context, it's part of the decision making process), so it's probably a weekend or early evening thing. What context would that go in?


              • #8
                Try create @Weekend context and let us know how it worked.

                I use @agenda, @sms, @mac, @waiting and @home now. I mentioned that my @mac actions were overlooked. I created a block of time for working off my lists and still could not get to my @mac list because I started doing with my @sms list. Now I think I will integrate @mac and @sms to give more chances to my @mac list and will use sub-tags to mark my former @sms actions for possible idle times when not in the office.

                Try and play!


                • #9
                  Tweaking your contexts

                  It takes a while to figure out what contexts work with your life - and for many people, they frequently change. So don't be too afraid to change your contexts if they aren't working for you, keeping in mind DA's advice to have "as many as you need but no more" (to misquote).

                  I recently created a context called @Personal-Anywhere. These are things that I could do while physically at work (during lunch, say) but are not part of my job. They include phone calls I need to make during the day (e.g., to book a medical appointment).

                  In your example of studying, if it was me: if I could study while at work or while at home, I would put it on my @Personal-Anywhere list. If I needed to be at home on the computer, it would go on my @Home-Computer. Or if I didn't need a computer, it would be on my @Home list.


                  • #10
                    My contexts


                    my contexts are a mix of the classics (like @phone or @mail) with a bunch of contexts that reflect the kind of work involved, more than a specific tool required. So my contexts include:
                    @development (= writing out a structure for new training programs or articles I plan to write), I find I'm good at doing this on the train, while travelling
                    @writing: I work as an author, so this is actual writing work
                    @admin: all kind of administrative tasks (fill our forms etc..)
                    @search: looking up stuff & information
                    @study: personal develoment (find out how xxx works)
                    @review: reviewing work from others and provide feed back (for example students)

                    All of these can be done at my home office, some of them like @development or @review can be done while on the train or while waiting somewhere. The @admin is functioning a little bit like the @braindead context I saw others mentioning.

                    This works fine for me.



                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Myriam View Post
                      The @admin is functioning a little bit like the @braindead context I saw others mentioning.
                      So an MBA could also be a MBS aka Master of Braindead Stuff? Sounds about right to me.


                      • #12
                        Thanks. I'll look into creating a few more contexts and report back!


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Cpu_Modern View Post
                          So an MBA could also be a MBS aka Master of Braindead Stuff? Sounds about right to me.


                          • #14
                            Hmm... I actually got a lot out of my MBA degree since I hadn't studied business college. I didn't really understand how financial accounting, production operations, etc. until I did the coursework.


                            • #15
                              when working from personal workspace you already know that @computer context is related to your personal computer, not the one at work.