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I am relatively new to GTD. I haven't finished reading the entire book yet, but I understand the basics, and I haven't been managing my tasks under GTD done yet. This new app will hopefully kick-start that process for me.

I am struggling with contexts (how to structure them), and would like to see snaps of how others organize their contexts.

Like many others who have posted I struggle primarily with the following:
I am an IT manager, so 95% of what I do, I do on my computer, and nearly 100% of that is "online". What is the context? The app I am using? It shouldn't be the "project", although as a newbie to GTD there is a strong motivation to use the project as the context (which just comes form old thinking).

I want to separate work from home (and both involve a lot of computer time).

And the other big thing as a manager, is the delegation/agenda piece, where you want to hand off a task to a co-worker, but followup with the task to make sure it has been finished properly.

There was a nice long post in these forums about tags (, which seem like an ideal solution for me, but in lieu of that, I would sure like to see how how others manage their contexts
There are some discussions of contexts here and here that may be helpful.
First, you might want to think about the resources you need to do your tasks.

For example, I work at home on my laptop. I have a context Computer and 3 sub-contexts:
- online, for things I can only do online
- off line, for things I can do off line
- printer Since I keep the printer turned off, and it's in a different part of the house, I group my printer tasks so I can do several at once.

Another way to think about contexts is: If I'm in place XYZ, what types of things can I do there? Would you need different contexts for office calls, home calls, and cell phone calls? Or do you want to see all the calls you need to make in one context?

We all have different contexts, since we all work in different ways.

My problem, and that of many others, is that the resources are not important. I work with a laptop, at home, at work, and away on vacation (where I am now). Most everything I do involves the computer. Oh, there are those other activities such as mowing the grass or doing some shopping. Most of these activities, though, I don't bother listing as a task. But...

if I have something to do outside or at the mall and I'm in the mood to get away from the computer, then I'll do these other activities. Unlike the examples in GTD, I'm not going say - "hey, I'm outside, what tasks could I do there?" Or, "I'm in my car - what shall I do now?" I work in the reverse order: if there's something to be done outside, I'll do it. If a trip to the mall is important, I'll do that instead. For my work habits, duration is most important. I'll say, "I've got a little free time, what shall I do that is quick?" Generally, any short term task can be done. It's rare that I need to be somewhere special in order to do something. Like one of the previous posters, @computer just about equates to @awake. I use one laptop and it's usually connected to the net, so @email or @Word are meaningless.

But that's me. There are so many workflows and true contexts in use, that I don't believe any one method is THE universal one. And who knows, maybe some day my workflow will completely change and then I'll have to design a new set of contexts.
As well as the usuals...
@Agenda (and people within)

I have contexts for places like

I have contexts for brain states, like...

I have contexts for computer, like

None of the above are complete, but that's my usual approach. I think the main thing is the kind of activity that is important to me as well as the limits on that imposed by my, energy, tools available etc.

I have access to the net pretty well everywhere I go, I can't see any point in @Mac_Online for me, I use Research, Shop, and Blog, what kind of thing am I doing, each of which presumes I'm online.

My Mac_Create can get a bit large at times, I could subcontext it using apps, but I'd be more inclined to do it by activity, like


Last edited by TommyW; 2007-06-03 at 11:45 PM..
These are the ones that I've used for the last 2 years. Fairly standard stuff:


@agenda (these tasks always start with the name of the person I need to mention whatever it is to)


@computer anywhere


Hope it helps some. K.
When I read GTD, the context idea gave me the impression of someone that's on the go a lot (like an executive) and would benefit highly from a @calls or whatever list, since they could make phone calls to a bunch of people at once when they had "a few minutes before a meeting" or whatever.

But for me, I spend a lot of my time at the computer, and much of what I do starts and ends there, even if there are other things to do. I've been ironing out my contexts as well, and I think brain states are very useful. I have a Thinking super-context, which also means Working. In it, there are a few sub-contexts: Brainstorm, Tedious, Medium, Intense, and Percolate. The last one doesn't have next actions, but has things that I'd like to keep on my mind to think about (that's how my brain works, YMMV).

Otherwise, it's pretty self-explanatory. Specifically, Tedious is for things like transcribing notes from a seminar from my Moleskine into Journler/NoteBook/VoodooPad or whatever, Medium is for things like working on an assignment for a course, and Intense is for reading and understanding a research paper.

As pvonk said, I don't usually magically find myself in a context and say "Well, now that I'm here…," I need to put myself into a context. So brain states is a way for me to channel my energy while in my @computer=@awake context.
I love seeing the nuts-and-bolts of other people's systems. Here's my setup:

... @Chores
... @Desk
... @Email
... @Coding
... @Photoshop
... @Web Research
... @Writing
... @Chinatown
... @Lower East Side
... @SoHo
... @East Village
... @West Village
... @Chelsea
... @Gramercy/Flatiron
... @Midtown
... @Upper West Side
... @Agendas: Bill
... @Agendas: Sally
@Reading *
@Waiting For

* I have an AppleScript that I threw together that lets me quickly add a web page to my @Reading list.
Originally Posted by dansays
* I have an AppleScript that I threw together that lets me quickly add a web page to my @Reading list.
Care to share that AppleScript?
Originally Posted by jlindeman
Care to share that AppleScript?
Sure! Just unzip and drop this script in ~/Library/Scripts/Applications/Firefox (create the path if it doesn't yet exist). Make sure "Show Script Menu in menu bar" is checked in AppleScript Utility.
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