> Having to close and reopen tools forces you to cut down on context switching. At least for me, that helps productivity.
Good for you. For me, it guarantees that thoughts will be dropped before they can fully form, so it's deadly to productivity.
Maybe it's the fact that I don't always have control over context-switching. I don't control when somebody shows up in my face with a demand for attention; pushing what I've been doing aside, with all the contextual cues I can marshal, by switching to another desktop to bring up the tooling needed to service the interrupt, means a much greater chance that I can go back and resume what I was doing, without backtracking (or, worse, working through a context crash to retrace my own thinking up to where I left off).
The times when I do have control over context switching are often when vagrant thoughts coalesce suddenly into ideas which are potentially valuable but irrelevant to my current effort. I want those ideas securely noted somewhere appropriate (even if it's just in a loose-notes catcher) and dismissed quickly so I can resume the task I'm trying to keep my focus on. I keep text windows open on other desktops partly so I can bring up a notes editor for that. Sometimes those ideas need a quick look at my filesystem; I keep ytree poised in those text windows for that
Then there's the full-screen shuffle. I remember my Windows days, when I had to minimize and iconize and shuffle things out of the way to get a clear view of a browser or other Internet tool. These days, there's IM, an etherape viewport on my LAN, another browser pointed at intranet tools, and all of them maximized because bringing them up to full size takes too long when I need to respond to a situation. I couldn't do that on one desktop, in fact I use 8, and often fill them all (though some assignments, like 2 for synaptic, are reservations so my habits know where to put things so I don't need to consciously think about it).
Single desktop discipline works for you and your work habits. It's needless frustration for me and mine.