Productivity blogger Merlin Mann says he wasn’t nearly as ruffled by yesterday’s Gmail outage as many folks were because he organizes his tasks using GTD-style contexts. Any given project he is working on has next actions in a multitude of contexts, like “@phonecalls,” “@web,” and “@email.” Mann writes:
So if you forgot your phone, skip “@calls,” and move to anything else. Boss out to lunch? Skip “@Boss,” and move to anything else. Internet went down? Skip @web, and move to anything else. Gmail is down? Yes! You’ve already guessed it! Skip “@email” and move to anything else. Anything else. Anything. Else.
With tasks put in the right contexts (instead of piled up in your email inbox), you won’t be left flailing helplessly if utility workers accidentally sever your broadband link.