Originally Posted by GeoffAirey
GTD's view of contexts would have applied to me back in the early 90's when I reported into a single boss, but not now and I don't think I'm alone.
Related to knowledge workers:
The fact is that lots of knowledge workers now have smart phones or Tablets or Laptops with them most of the time. Very few people in these kind of positions report into a single person anymore and a single context does not cater for these situations in my opinion. if you have a phone and internet access most of the time, this leads to massive contexts which are overwhelming and counterproductive.
This is why multi context with things like Energy, Location and Priorities (even down to Covey's Quadrant of 1 = Important and Urgent, 2 = Important, 3 = urgent and 4 = Other) would allow these Leviathan (pinching someone else's word) contexts to be broken down into far more meaningful lists.
I've been able to incorporate my own version of Covey's quadrants in a different way.
Anything important but not in urgent will be flagged. I renamed my flagged perspective as "important_not urgent". I can see all my important and urgent tasks/projects in this perspective.
Anything that has a due date will be revealed in a custom perspective called "important_urgent". This shows all available tasks that are due soon. Unfortunately, this also shows the "not important but urgent" stuff as well. What may be important and urgent to someone else may not be important and urgent to me.
Then my "not important_not urgent" are shown in the Someday/Maybe. These are projects that are on hold. I don't really have the need to keep all my projects in active mode. Just a small handful. This is the equivalence of the Three Big Rocks model. I just flag three projects (sometimes up to but never more than five).
Important is such a mythological label in the productivity world. What may be important to you may not be important to someone else. What was important yesterday may no longer be important today or even in a few day's time. Having to tag every task as "important" or "not important" on a day-to-day basis would be difficult and time-consuming to manage. The importance label shifts so freely from day to day or even hour to hour. I've basically given up on wanting to label important because everything seems important but it may or may not be depending on one's perspective at any given time.
If it's not important and not urgent, it's placed in Someday/Maybe with the on hold status. I know I'll get around to either activating it, deleting it, or delegating it to someone else.
I have been toying around with putting an asterisk (*) in front of the project name and the tasks to indicate an important status. That might work for some folks.
The Location "tag" can be used on the iPhone or iPad. Just set a context to the current location. Whenever you are in the neighborhood, it'll show you what is available in your current location.
Energy "tags" is something I don't really worry about. I can already look at a perspective and determine "yeah, I don't really feel like doing my taxes right now. But I do see another easier low energy task I can do." I don't need a tag to determine whether something is easy to do or not. I'll instinctually know. I don't even bother with energy tags. I can put a label at the end of a task if i wanted to...
Watch TV show @low_energy
Work on my 1040 taxes @high_energy
But here is another link on the tags vs contexts situation. The comments sections has an interesting debate between tags vs contexts.
I know that people would love tags to help generate multiple contexts. But this can lead to an over-abundance of contexts and just drags your system down even further. Here is an article that talks about simplifying your contexts.
I'd think that adding multiple contexts may make life more complicated than it needs to be. We sometimes make our life sound more complex than it really is. Sure, you'll feel "liberated" at being able to have multiple contexts assigned to a task but sometimes too much of a good thing is not good for you.
Consider this article about what really makes a context real or "fake"