Forum

  • If you are new to these Forums, please take a moment to register using the fields above.
Announcement Announcement Module
Collapse
No announcement yet.
Using GoldMine Project Manager for GTD Page Title Module
Move Remove Collapse
X
Conversation Detail Module
Collapse
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Using GoldMine Project Manager for GTD

    Jump starting the new year with GTD book, tapes and telecoaching. Great stuff.

    But I need the help of experienced GTD users to make my system fully successful. Specifically, I need input about using GoldMine Project Manager with GTD system.

    For years I have used GoldMine extensively and will continue to use it for my contact manager. I've used the old Covey system of entering every action, phone call, errand, etc. on the calendar rather than keeping it sacred. Then those items just roll over every day and give pop-up alarms that interrupt thought and actions.

    I think the GoldMine project manager would be a great help keeping tracks of projects. I'd like to know if you agree based on experience with GTD and GoldMine.

    As an estate planning attorney I do a lot of projects that are repetitive, just for different clients at different times - eg prepare an estate plan, probate a will, etc. The next actions (tasks) are generally the same for each type of project - don't need to brainstorm, mind map etc too much - just individualize the plan to the client. With the GM Project manager it is possible to standardize those individual task, next actions, calls, etc in a template that can be used in each future project. I just don't know how well this works with the GTD system.

    Has anyone used the GoldMine project manager successfully in this way? If so, would you please post a response? Would you allow me to have a phone conversation about the specifics of this topic? You may e-mail me off list at meoffice@arn.net or call the number below.

    Thanks for your assistance.

    Mark R. Ensign, JD, CPA
    Attorney and Counselor at Law
    500 S. Taylor, LB 228, Suite 1060
    Amarillo, Texas 79101-2445
    806-373-77056

  • #2
    Hi Mark,

    I too, have used GoldMine for many years. I rely on it heavily for business and personal information tracking.

    The project manager I tend to use only for client related, income generating projects. This doesn't work well with GTD (for me at least), because in GTD, many things are projects. Technically, if it requires more than one or two steps, it should be entered into your GTD tracking as a project.

    An example from my own GTD project list at the moment: "Review Counter Apps", or "Schedule puppy for rabies shots and checkup". For me, these just don't work well in the GM project manager.

    Another problem you'll encounter when trying to use GM project mng with GTD is the next actions list. In GM, you see the tasks/action list per project - not in context. In GTD, you're supposed to work on actions based on context/location, and GM does not account for this.

    So, I've personally found the GM project manager to be useful for general client project information tracking, and to be sure all data is available for reports when needed. I use my Palm for all GTD stuff, and instead of using the project task list from GM, I simply schedule Next Actions, Other Actions, and Appointments in GM, link those to the appropriate project, and transfer them to my Palm for sorting GTD style.

    Hope that helps a bit,
    Kathy
    --
    Kathy Burns
    Electronic Perceptions
    http://www.electronicperceptions.com

    Comment


    • #3
      Thank you, Kathy, for the feedback. Your observations about the GM Project Manager are pertinent and helpful, especially about the limitations on viewing next actions etc in context/location. Perhaps what I've discovered and explain below could help you see things in that manner, not just from the project manager limited view.

      After a lot of experimentation with GoldMine 6.0 and my Palm Tungsten I've developed this approach.

      1. Primarily I'm using GoldMine for entering and tracking Appts - Calls - Next Actions and Others - as they show up as tabs in the View Activity screen (View - Activity List or F6).

      Then I've adopted GTD style @codes and attached them to all Next Actions (Clients only here) and Others (Non-client here). I've used cods with some Calls such as @WF = Waiting for someone to return my call.

      Using this View Activity screen, these 4 tabs give 4 GTD major categories and within each tab several @codes provide even more categories. These are context/location related and quickly reviewable as a whole, not just project by project. This is how I've overcome the limitation of the Project Manager.

      On this View Activity screen I move from tab to tab and click on the "Code" column to sort by these @codes for a quick category view by context/location. I am not out of the office that much so no real need to put all these on the Palm - but appointments and some calls are copied to the Palm via the Palm Desktop.

      Also, when I know I won't be able to get to some actions for some time (usually because I'm waiting on clients, etc), I add dates to these next actions, etc. but DO NOT USE TIMEs. This keeps these items from showing up on my calendar, keeping it sacred for date, time specific items. This, in itself, is a great improvement from how I tried to use GM for years in the Covey method.

      2. As Goldmine does not have a not-time-specific area on the calendar like the Palm does, I set those items with times of 7-8 am so I can easily see them as reminders such as items that must be done by the end of the day but not at a specific time.

      3. I set up the GoldMine project manager for client projects, sometimes more than one project for a client. With Project Manager I can keep projects listed by stages and status and can quickly review them and the associated Next Actions, Calls and Appts can be seen at a glance under that specific client project.

      Plus with the project manager I can put in task and timelines - Gantt chart - but I'm just beginning to experiment with this. I can also set up templates for recurring projects such as probates, guardianships, etc so I don't overlook steps in these projects.

      I am not putting personal projects on GM's project manager. I'm keeping these on my Palm, as I understand you are doing with all your projects.

      4. As GoldMine, even the new version 6.0, is not set up to work with the Palm OS v. 5.0 that Tungsten uses, I've had bad problems with attempts to synch. EG Trying to copy over one single contact from a non-client database brought over hundreds of calendar/action items from 3 databases!!! Thank God I figured out how to restore a backup from the night before to clean up the Palm Desktop and Palm PDA!!!

      Bottom line - after about 3 weeks of work on getting things organized with GoldMine, I think I've worked out a very workable GTD system and I am feeling that things are coming under control.

      I'm going to have to continue to get a bunch of my reference materials under control and filed. My daily/monthly tickler file folders are set up and I've actually enjoyed labelling file folders and stuffing stuff in folder in file drawers!! I've been using the 5 step program with current items for the past 3 weeks so the piles have stopped growing. I'm going to need to work on project definition with outcome defined and next action - especially for non-client projects.

      In addition to David Allen, his tapes and book, I must give credit to Meg Gott (for a great hour of general GTD consultation, non-GM oriented and putting me in touch with another GM user to chat) and to Jason Womack (for talking about how they had worked with a reorganization using GM) - both are David Allen coaches. Finally credit goes to God - the source of our "intuition" and my inspiration - to guide my experiment with GoldMine and helping me set up the GTD system. Now its back to work and Getting Things Done.

      Thanks for the helpful comments, Kathy. I hope my comments may help you make GoldMine more useful in the GTD process and help others who may begin down the path of GTD organizing who want to use GoldMine to make it successful.

      Mark R. Ensign
      meoffice@arn.net

      Comment


      • #4
        Thank you, Kathy, for the feedback. Your observations about the GM Project Manager are pertinent and helpful, especially about the limitations on viewing next actions etc in context/location. Perhaps what I've discovered and explain below could help you see things in that manner, not just from the project manager limited view.

        After a lot of experimentation with GoldMine 6.0 and my Palm Tungsten I've developed this approach.

        1. Primarily I'm using GoldMine for entering and tracking Appts - Calls - Next Actions and Others - as they show up as tabs in the View Activity screen (View - Activity List or F6).

        Then I've adopted GTD style @codes and attached them to all Next Actions (Clients only here) and Others (Non-client here). I've used cods with some Calls such as @WF = Waiting for someone to return my call.

        Using this View Activity screen, these 4 tabs give 4 GTD major categories and within each tab several @codes provide even more categories. These are context/location related and quickly reviewable as a whole, not just project by project. This is how I've overcome the limitation of the Project Manager.

        On this View Activity screen I move from tab to tab and click on the "Code" column to sort by these @codes for a quick category view by context/location. I am not out of the office that much so no real need to put all these on the Palm - but appointments and some calls are copied to the Palm via the Palm Desktop.

        Also, when I know I won't be able to get to some actions for some time (usually because I'm waiting on clients, etc), I add dates to these next actions, etc. but DO NOT USE TIMEs. This keeps these items from showing up on my calendar, keeping it sacred for date, time specific items. This, in itself, is a great improvement from how I tried to use GM for years in the Covey method.

        2. As Goldmine does not have a not-time-specific area on the calendar like the Palm does, I set those items with times of 7-8 am so I can easily see them as reminders such as items that must be done by the end of the day but not at a specific time.

        3. I set up the GoldMine project manager for client projects, sometimes more than one project for a client. With Project Manager I can keep projects listed by stages and status and can quickly review them and the associated Next Actions, Calls and Appts can be seen at a glance under that specific client project.

        Plus with the project manager I can put in task and timelines - Gantt chart - but I'm just beginning to experiment with this. I can also set up templates for recurring projects such as probates, guardianships, etc so I don't overlook steps in these projects.

        I am not putting personal projects on GM's project manager. I'm keeping these on my Palm, as I understand you are doing with all your projects.

        4. As GoldMine, even the new version 6.0, is not set up to work with the Palm OS v. 5.0 that Tungsten uses, I've had bad problems with attempts to synch. EG Trying to copy over one single contact from a non-client database brought over hundreds of calendar/action items from 3 databases!!! Thank God I figured out how to restore a backup from the night before to clean up the Palm Desktop and Palm PDA!!!

        Bottom line - after about 3 weeks of work on getting things organized with GoldMine, I think I've worked out a very workable GTD system and I am feeling that things are coming under control.

        I'm going to have to continue to get a bunch of my reference materials under control and filed. My daily/monthly tickler file folders are set up and I've actually enjoyed labelling file folders and stuffing stuff in folder in file drawers!! I've been using the 5 step program with current items for the past 3 weeks so the piles have stopped growing. I'm going to need to work on project definition with outcome defined and next action - especially for non-client projects.

        In addition to David Allen, his tapes and book, I must give credit to Meg Gott (for a great hour of general GTD consultation, non-GM oriented and putting me in touch with another GM user to chat) and to Jason Womack (for talking about how they had worked with a reorganization using GM) - both are David Allen coaches. Finally credit goes to God - the source of our "intuition" and my inspiration - to guide my experiment with GoldMine and helping me set up the GTD system. Now its back to work and Getting Things Done.

        Thanks for the helpful comments, Kathy. I hope my comments may help you make GoldMine more useful in the GTD process and help others who may begin down the path of GTD organizing who want to use GoldMine to make it successful.

        Mark R. Ensign
        meoffice@arn.net

        Comment


        • #5
          Hi Mark,

          I'll try and keep this short, but I did want to address a few things you mentioned

          1. The Activity List. I've tried this method myself, and tried matching GM codes to various contexts (@WF = Waiting for, @CT = Calls/Talk, etc.) but I found I didn't like it in the end. Sorting by code allows you to see various contexts at once, and you can use filters to see just those contexts too, but for me it was just too much information at once, and not easily glanced through as needed.

          2. You can set things to no time in GM but simply leaving the time slot blank. Delete anything in the time box on a Next/Other Action, and the item will show up in your GM Task list. It will also show on the Palm as an untimed event for the day.

          Alternatively, you can put an A,B, or C item in the time slot, and it will change to "Priority" instead of time. This is useful if you prioritize, but I use it to monitor/track "steps" of actions in projects. Step one is labeled "A", step two is "B" and so on.

          3. I've stopped trying to use the gantt chart in GM projects because the tasks do not transfer to the Palm. I don't like this at all. I also can't see an "all project" overview, to get a general idea of how much I've committed to, and the project tasks don't differentiate themselves on the task list. So, in general, I tend to feel more "information overload" when trying to use those.

          Recently I started scheduling N/O actions for project steps. These I'm using like gantt tasks, but they have more flexibility and they transfer to the Palm.

          4. GM 6 and Tungsten will work well together actually. The GM sync is just a bit different than the older versions. I was using an m505 until the day after Xmas, then moved to my Tungsten. Both have had no problems with transfering data between the DT and Palm.

          This I think, is where I differ from most people. From what I understand, many people tend to use their Palm as a reference tool, and the desktop as the data entry method. So everything is entered on the DT, and the Palm is just for carrying it around.

          I actually work the opposite of that. I tend to do the bulk of my data entry and manipulation on the Palm, and use GM as a cross relational database reference and email tool. Because of this, and due to several new client projects added recently, I finally broke down and bought Companion Link Pro a couple of weeks ago. I wanted to be able to link things better from the Palm, and I wanted to be able to see forecasted sales and additional contacts. The software makes a huge difference, but has it's own set of issues I'm still adjusting to. I'm sure it doesn't help that I've been playing with a beta version of Agendus too

          I also found the GTD reference/filing system really easy to handle, and *much* easier to reference down the road. I've set up my ticklers electronically though - again on the Palm - as a todo category. Tickler items then show up on my calendar on the specified date and are dealt with appropriately.

          I have a paper inbox on my desk, but it doesn't get much traffic (thankfully), so that gets cleared about once a week. My primary inboxes are twofold: Email (GM), and Slap (Palm). Email is cleared several times a day, and Slap is cleared several time a week.

          Like you, I've also added to DA's GTD system. I get a daily morning email from EarlyToRise.com (wonderful stuff), and they have a "morning routines" system that I like a lot, and utilize partially. I review my goals/focus, then review my action lists, and move 3-5 of them to the current day's calendar. I highlight them as Priority, and try to clear each of those before the day is done.

          In any case, glad my GM comments helped, and good luck with finding what works for you
          Kathy

          --
          Kathy Burns
          Electronic Perceptions
          http://www.electronicperceptions.com

          Comment


          • #6
            Goldmine and Treo

            I have to write that I am totally disappointed with the ability to do GTD with a Goldmine hack. I was doing really well for 12 months with GTD and had a great calls, to-do and errands, waiting for etc. system in place with outlook. My desk was clean and inbox empty. Nothing was slipping through the cracks.

            However, since going to goldmina (good for the company for customer relationships) my productivity has been way off. I can not seem to get a GTD system in place with my goldmine 6.0. The biggest loss was the ability to quickly drag and drop email into to-dos or calendars. It is now a multi-step process to initiates and complete.


            I would love to see a complete GTD for Goldmine pdf. The suggestions here are good but the whole value of GTD is that it is supposed to "free" your mind so you don't worry about missing things (It did actually do that for me in outlook.) I have tried a bunch of approaches over the last several months (I even constructed one of David's low tech set ups) Nothing seems to help bridge the workflow problems between Goldmine and GTD.


            ****
            One trick worth mentioning. It seems like the PAlm syncs over any of the activities that are selected to be displayed in the goldmine calendar view. This means you can have calls, next actions, messages and appointments displayed on the calendar and they all will sync over to the Treo.

            Comment


            • #7
              I also use Goldmine at work, and although I have a Palm I don't sync it with Goldmine info. Basically, Goldmine has all of my work NA's and the Palm has all of my home NA's. I keep them separate, because I am at work sitting in front of the computer using Goldmine 8 hours a day.

              I do like that Goldmine has the NA functionality built in and find it easy to use for GTD. I don't use the Project Manager, though.

              For a good Goldmine site, check out ContactReview.com.

              Thanks for bringing up Goldmine, I tune out on all of the Outlook stuff here and tend to forget there are others in the same situation as me.

              Comment

              Working...
              X