Reminders are always bound on a date. But what happens if you need another person to complete a task? It's great you have a reminder, but when that person is not around at that time, the reminder is pretty useless.
Many tasks or items are not bound to a specific time, but are only interesting in specific situations. If you want to discuss marketing spendings with Steve, then you should definitely be reminded of that task when you next see Steve. Contexts make that possible.
What is a Context?
A context is a person, location, situation or area of interest:
- Person: Your spouse, your business partners, your team members - in short: everybody you interact with for a specific task. Either you discuss the task with him, you want to tell him about or you need to do something the next time you see that person.
- Location: Your office, your garage, your car, a supermarket, Online, at your iPad. This is when you need a reminder about something, when you are at that specific situation. Your greens-list can have a context "Supermarket" or "Grocery", so you easily pull out everything you need while you are at the location to do it. The same thing for your business stuff. The context "At Work" shows up all the stuff you can only do while you're in your office.
- Situation: Anniversary, Board Meeting, Traffic Jam or any other situation where you want to be reminded of something. Take the board meeting: Assign the context "Board Meeting" to all the stuff you want to be reminded of during the meeting and Organize will bring up the list - no matter when or where the meeting is.
- Area of interest: You're interested in golfing, but not actually doing it? Why not make up an "area of interest" where you collect interesting stuff about this topic to read it later - or plan actions.
The context is an add-on. You can (but don't have to) assign it to an item additionally to the project or folder where the item stays and a reminder or review time.
If you don't want to assign a context to a task, just leave it. That's no problem. But once you start working with them you will find the concept of contexts comes quite handy!