As Drupal site-builders and developers we are all very aware that Drupal core 7.x is not the most useful product out of the box. We constantly add modules and custom code to make Drupal what we want it to be. There is nothing wrong with this, in fact it is what attracts people to using Drupal in the first place. The block system that comes with core is what we get after installation as our real only means to laying "stuff" out for our website. People have done things like turning nodes into blocks, or making every block on our a site a view. These concepts worked, but had a lot of draw backs for usability and performance. There are lots of other layout tools for a person to use, but this series is going to take a look at the Context module and Bean module. These two modules are really two completely different modules but when used together give us some pretty powerful options in place of Drupal's core block system.
Check your version
This collection covers a topic in Drupal 7 which may or may not be the version you're using. We're keeping this tutorial online as a courtesy to users of Drupal 7, but we consider it archived.