Thread: Fear of OF/GTD
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When I first came to OF and GTD I had a similar situation with a lot of questions about how to set up the best system. I read lots of post about best practices, and I finally realized that the beauty of OF is that it allows such flexibility to set up a system that works best for each individual's needs. There doesn't seem to be any right way, but at the same time there are also a lot of common ways to use it appropriately.

One of your questions asked if it would be good to set up all of your different "hats" as contexts. This doesn't seem to be the way to go. Contexts should always boil down to a place, an object, a state of mind, a person, etc. "Finance" doesn't work well as a context since that could mean any number of things. In your examples, "Post Office" would work really well as a context, a grouping where many actions spanning different projects/departments can live. So, you can click on the "Post Office" context and see every action that needs to happen there from any project you have set up. Or, you can widen that context to a more general "Errands."

Your idea of setting up all of these different "hats" as folders seems to me to be perfect. You will have many open projects, and the best organization is to probably divide them up by your areas of responsibility. Some people divide projects by Home/Work or Work/Creative, etc. You can even go with more finely detailed folders nested inside other folders. It is always a balance between good organization vs. a cumbersome mess of folders/projects. Whatever helps you focus in on a set of grouped projects is best.

As far as multiple actions in one context from different projects, here too you can do things in a variety of ways. If OF is truly going to act as your external brain, you want to make sure you don't have to stop and think, "Did I already add 'Go to the Post Office' in my accounting project, or should I add it to the new proposals project?" I would add it to anything as it comes to mind, with the appropriate due dates, etc. That way, when you click on your "Post Office" context, you might see multiple actions needed there....perfect! That is exactly what this is designed for. Maybe one of the actions isn't due quite yet, but as long as you are there, take care of it.

Another way to take care of it is to use the note feature. You can add one instance of "Go to Post Office" in one of your projects, and then create a list in the notes of all the things you need to take care of there. As you are thinking of the post office in your accounting section, add a note to take care of something for your proposals section - doesn't matter how it's organized in the system, it just gets done.

I'm not sure if this was helpful, but I am happy to try again on this or help out with any other question - OF has been an amazing system for me and I am happy to try and give my experiences with my best practices.