Where can this activity be completed?


If it is a phone call, then it should appear on the "Phone calls" list when a Dashboard is generated, so that you can group similar activities together. If it can only be done in the office, then it should also be on the "Office" list.


You can type a Context name into the Context box, or choose from a list. Choosing from lists is preferred, as ResultsManager will organise activities by unique name, and "Phone call", "Phone", "Telephone" and "Call" would create four different lists. So it makes sense to have a single name for this context and use it consistently.


ResultsManager will automatically add the "@" character in front of Context names when it displays them in dashboards or sends them to Outlook. The contexts "@Phone" and "Phone" are the same to ResultsManager, and both will appear as "'@Phone" in the dashboards. It will remove any "@" signs already present.


Clicking the List button () next to the Context text box will display a list of the most recently used Context settings. This is useful where you are entering several activities that all have the same context. 


Recently-used Contexts pop-up


Clicking the "More contexts..." selection, or clicking the Browse button () by the Context field displays the Context List picker dialogue:


Context list picker dialogue


The list picker dialogue lets you choose previously defined or used Contexts and add them to the current Activity. Click on a name in the left hand column, then click "Add" to move it to the right-hand column. To remove an existing context, click on it in the right-hand column and click "Remove". When you click OK, the contexts shown in the right-hand column are written to the Activity.


Working with Contexts


The context where an activity can be completed is often a physical location (home or office), or a specific piece of equipment required (such as a telephone or a computer). You can also use the names of people you frequently work with as contexts, to remind you to ask someone about something the next time you see them or speak with them on the phone. However, it is not a good idea to list people whom you only see infrequently, or will only see once, otherwise your Contexts list in the dashboard will become too large to be meaningful. The objective of using Contexts is to be able to take advantage of specific locations or opportunities that arise, by having a list of things that can be done in that context.


Whole projects are not usually associated with Contexts, unless the project requires a specific piece of equipment or is exclusively completed in one place.


An action or project can have multiple contexts assigned to it, and will appear in each of the lists when a dashboard containing breakdown by context is generated. However, note that a list is generated for each context used. If you assign "Phone" and "Office" to an action, then it will appear in each of the "Phone" and "Office" lists in the dashboard. But if this task can only be done from the phone in the office, then you should create a new Context called "Office Phone", and use this instead, to ensure that the action only appears on one list.


If no Context is given for a task or project, ResultsManager looks "up" for a parent task or project to see if there are any Contexts there. If it finds a Context on the parent project, for example, then it will automatically show this activity as having the same Context as the parent project, when listing it in a Dashboard. This feature can be switched off by disabling the option "Automatically inherit activity settings" in the Dashboard Options dialogue.


Using unique Contexts


Sometimes, it makes no sense for Contexts to be inherited by the sub-topics in the map. For example, if you assign a context of "@Phone" to a particular activity, then it does not follow that all the sub-topics (predecessors) of this Activity are also phone calls.


You can prevent a specific Context from being inherited by adding a star (*) at the end of the Context name:




Sub-topics in the map will not inherit this Context, but will look further up the tree for a valid Context to inherit.