ForumsQuestionsSetting multiple contexts?

Setting multiple contexts?
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Posted: Mar 23, 2009
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I'm really enjoying the Toodledo online app working with my iPhone version of Toodledo too! But a couple of your competitors have something so minor (yet huge) over Toodledo - the ability to set multiple contexts to a task. Is this coming soon?

Does asking this question mean I have too many contexts set? I travel and have a home office, so often times things may overlap... I have/use "at home, errands, spiritual development, personal, phone calling, reading, traveling, and work"
SCW - greg

This message was edited Mar 23, 2009.

Toodledo Admin
Posted: Mar 23, 2009
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You might try using tags, since this allows multiple per task.

Posted: Mar 24, 2009
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I had the same trouble as you when first setting up my contexts, but I now use a combination of tags & context and it works pretty well.

My contexts are large, overarching sets of circumstances and the tags are more specific, or are more about the type of task rather than the actual context. So for me, "reading" would be a tag, because it can largely be done anywhere. I'm not sure I would call things like "spiritual development" or "personal" contexts at all, unless the tasks under these headings can only be done under very specific sets of circumstances. I'd class these as "areas of focus" and have them as folders (although if you don't have a pro subscription you may be using folders for projects, so tags might be the best option). I think one area of confusion is the fact that several "contexts" are also areas of focus (like "home" & "work") so it is helpful to distinguish between where a task should be done and why it should be done. For example, buying cleaning products would be done for the home, but would be in the "errands" context, and working in your home office might be done for work, but done at home (or @computer).

So, for instance I have contexts of:
- Anywhere (for tasks that are not tied to a specific location)
- Home
- Errands
- Computer (although this could be in several locations, it is tied to a piece of equipment that is not always available, and I find it more efficient to do several computer-based tasks in one sitting)
- Kids (tasks that I can only do when the kids are around, including things the kids themselves need to do)
- People/calls (I combine these two together since many of these could be accomplished either when I talk to someone in person or on the phone)
- Uni (I'm studying at the moment so I suppose this is my equivalent to "work"!)
- Projects (not strictly a context, I know, but since, strictly speaking, projects don't have contexts, only individual tasks do, I find it helpful to use the context field to label my projects so that I can view them in one screen. If you don't have a pro subscription this may be of less use to you)
- Inbox (again, not strictly a context, but I have this set as my default context so all newly created tasks go to "inbox" unless I have time to assign a context)

I then use the tag field to narrow these down more, so I might have an "@desk", "@phone", "@kitchen" or "@internet" context tag to narrow down the location or tools required, and "reading", "organising", "thinking", "housework", "creative" etc to represent the type of task, or the mindset I need to be in to do the task. I use the tags less religiously since I often don't need that level of granularity, but it helps when I'm in a particular mood, or I'm tied to a particular location (e.g. if I'm cooking something that needs regular stirring but not constant attention I'll bring up the "@kitchen" tasks so I'm not far from the stove).

Obviously, you might prefer to do it a completely different way, but it always helps to see how other people have set things up, doesn't it?

This message was edited Mar 24, 2009.

Posted: Mar 27, 2009
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Yes. as I'm wrapping up the book David Allen's GTD, it makes more sense to me now. Context = location where certain tool sets/environments present themselves to allow you to be productive on a certain series of tasks.

I followed his recommendations and set these up: Agendas, At computer, At Home, At office, Calls to make, Errands, Online, Read/review. Agendas is a bit nebulous at first glance, but he makes a good case for it in having key meetings with people and having discussions points available for those conversations.

Thanks Saskia

Posted: Mar 29, 2009
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re: multiple contexts, I keep my contexts really simple: Home, Work, Car. I typically view my tasks filtered by context so I don't see the work tasks at home. Someone above suggested using "no context" for a task that could be done anywhere (in any context), which is great except there's no easy way to set a filter "Work context OR no context". So I guess I'd like to be able to filter in this way.

I could switch to using saved searches always I suppose, but the standard views are otherwise pretty nice, and convenient.
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