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  • Scheduling from lists to calendar

    Hi all,

    As recommended by GTD, I use a very simple list (Google Tasks) with the various subcategories (At Computer, At Home, Calls, Waiting for, Inbox, Projects, etc etc etc).

    So, here's my question:

    Is there any good way of dealing with the following...

    So I have a task to delegate, namely, our staff have to remove one row of chairs from our sanctuary. They have to do this by the day after tomorrow. Ok, so, I've delegated to them, they're aware of it, and, now I move it to my "WAITING FOR" list. Problem is: my waiting for list is getting EXTREMELY large, since there are MANY things that I need to wait for. And, more importantly, many of them are on different dates.

    Some additional examples:
    Waiting for Graeme to confirm liturgy
    Waiting for specsavers to complete my new glasses
    Waiting for Julie to confirm that she'll sing on Sunday
    Has Amber called Ross about coffee after evening service
    Waiting for proof of payment from finance dept to follow up video converter for projector that is faulty
    Has Chris made a decision about joining the worship team

    Ok, so, there's a list of about 6 or 8, and that's just from one day. Every day it grows. If I have a list of 40 - 50 such items (since I work with a congregation where one deals with many, many different members, and is often waiting for replies from them (that's beside staff and delegation)) and many of them are for specific dates/time. Now, since I'm doing this in digital format and not on paper (Google Tasks), I'm looking for a good way to "line them up" so to speak, so that I don't miss something.

    Unfortunately, Google Tasks does not have a "TODAY" view, only a by date, and a non-dated view. Thus, all the things that I am constantly following through on, are simply unscheduled, or the ones that aren't specifically dated, BUT, those that are dated fall under their date in the "WAITING FOR" list.
    I would have liked to see the non-scheduled items at the top, below them the items that were dated for today, and below them the rest of the future dates.

    It is not displayed as such. It simply displays items by date, and at the bottom the non-dated.

    I'm so afraid of lining things up, and then "missing" them, because I misread the date, and don't realize something is "FOR TODAY" under a specific date. I am VERY scatterbrained, and NEED to stick to lists, but a mistake such as that is something that I easily make.

    Without having to buy other software, does anyone have a good alternative for this? I initially thought of the tickler system with the 43 folders, but that means and additional 43 lists in my task-lists, and that does not make sense, does it?

    Thanks all

  • #2
    I have not used Google Tasks, but this is how I handle the issue in Outlook.

    I attach my first outgoing e-mail message to an Outlook task with a note to myself of the big-picture driver due date, set a reasonable review-again date in the @Waiting For folder, and wait. When the time's up, I forward my original message to the original recipient with a "Do you have any information for me on the attached?" note. That way, he sees the date/time-stamped version of my original request. Repeat as necessary. (My record was 9 layers of messages. In that particular case, I just gave up, as it was clear that he was not going to respond.)

    So, I have *zero* undated items in my @NA list or @Waiting For list. Everything has an assigned due date, so that it "bubbles up" to the top of the lists as time marches on. So long as I keep an eye on near-term items, nothing (including follow-up contacts) gets missed.

    I hope this helps.

    Joe

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    • #3
      I have gotten into the habit of creating Follow-up Tasks, rather than continuing to add things to an enormous Waiting For list. This has been working much better for me.

      So, at the time that I delegate something (whether by e-mail, or call, or whatever) I create a task in my normal task list (in this case Outlook) which does not appear until the date I feel is appropriate to follow up with the individual to whom the task has been delegated. Until then, it remains out of sight (I use the Start Date field to filter out future tasks).

      You could do the same with ToodleDo, or with Taskwarrior, or probably with a dozen other free tools if you're willing and able to try others and if Google Tasks doesn't offer you the functionality to make this work.

      Example scenario: today I delegate a task to "Bob" and I think to myself that if I haven't heard from him by Monday, I'll follow up with him then. In my task list I'll create a task titled "F:Bob: Re: Fixing the door frame" and with a Start Date of Monday. Until that day arrives, I won't see this task. On Monday when I look at my list during my normal routines, it will appear; if I've heard from him already I'll just close/complete it. If I haven't, then I'll contact Bob.

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      • #4
        You could change your list tool. Toodledo has the same basic price as GoogleTasks, except much better and ToodleDo isn't selling you and your data out. Alternatively, you could use your calendar better. If you haven't heard by Thursday from Julie about singing on Sunday, then calling her Friday at the latest becomes something that must be done that day.

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