Monday, May 19, 2008


Contexts made GTD work for me

I have played around with GTD for several years. It has worked reasonably well but I recently learned that I have done one thing wrong: I used categories instead of contexts. They sound like the same thing but using context has made a big difference.

In the past I used categories like: "personal" and "work". It works for grouping tasks together but it is a bad idea when you have to choose the next thing to work on as it says nothing about the "context" you require to do them. I could have a personal task like "scan letter" that I actually have to do in the office where I have access to a scanner.

Defining real context makes it very clear what you should work on at any given time. No need to scan through the tasks and discard the ones you cannot work on as you are missing something. These are the contexts I use the most

  • Computer

  • Home

  • Person A/B/C etc: Something to do/discuss the next time I meet the person.

  • Office

  • Waiting: Anything I am waiting for ends up in here. I review it on a weekly basis to make sure I'm not loosing track of something

You can find plenty of good contex suggestions here.

Seeing a long lists of things to do regardles of context is just overwhelming and causes stress, so I have extended poToday to use context as well. Changes in version 3 of poToday

  • Support English date formats

  • Added a "move to no date" feature

  • Added context support (using the categories in Outlook).

  • Support for different screen orientations and sizes

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