Originally Posted by maverator
I just wanted to add my 2 cents into this - multiple contexts is a fact of life, and not just hierarchical contexts. I don't know how you deal with this from a visual standpoint in the context view, but the usefulness of OmniFocus (which otherwise looks incredibly useful) would be severely limited without multiple contexts. Simple example: @Shopping:Gifts:Mary and @Yardwork:Hedges:Mary. Maybe this is related to delegation, but in neither case is Mary actually doing the tasks.
I don't think I understand your example. Contexts in the GtD sense are particular places or tools that are preconditions for working on a task. I can see Shopping, Yardwork, and Mary all being contexts. I can also see Hedges being a context if there are lots of tasks that you do around the hedges. I don't see how Gifts is a context. It is a nice piece of meta-data to have available. I do like to search for gifts that I've given in the past to avoid buying someone the "perfect gift" two years in a row. :-) Omni is planning on including a meta-data facility for tracking such things.
I deal with multiple contexts by grouping contexts into places. For example, when I'm at my office, I want to see all the next actions in the following contexts: @Briefcase, @Computer, @On-line, @Phone, and @Agenda (the last having subcontexts for the various people I work with). On the other hand, when I'm on a plane I want to see @Briefcase and @Computer.
Considering lshasting's example about a delegated task to Susan being in @Waiting, @Agenda:Susan, and @Phone, it seems unusual to me for the item to be in all those contexts. If I just delegated something to Susan, then I'm waiting for it. I don't want it showing up on my agenda or phone contexts, lest it make me (even more) impatient. I would instead put the task in @Waiting with a due date. When the date comes up, I would reevaluate whether to send a follow-up (moving the task to @Email or @Phone) or to just put it on my agenda for the next time I see Susan. I also have to review my agenda items occasionally to be sure nothing is languishing there. To me GTD works best when I'm studious with reviews so that my context-based task lists are unpolluted by things I am not ready to do. If a task for Susan was immediately on my @Phone list right after I delegated it, then this would seem like task list pollution to me.
I'm not trying to say that multiple contexts wouldn't be useful, just that I don't understand yet how they would be useful. I would appreciate more examples, or perhaps just more description around the current examples. Maybe I'm missing the boat on something that would help me be more productive.