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Mac Users: how are you GTD'ing with Entourage 2004?

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  • Mac Users: how are you GTD'ing with Entourage 2004?

    I'm looking for advice from anyone using Entourage 2004 and GTD successfully.

    Entourage is the center of my home-business life, and I know the program very well, with the exception of the Projects Center. I find the PC just baffling for actual usage, especially with anything related to GTD.

    My productivity increases greatly after reading DA's Getting Things Done 2 years ago. And I was able to weave what I learned into Entourage, with one exception: a really well designed Action and Next Action list.

    While my business projects were simple (publish a book, and create a members-only website), I did fine with timed alarmed Calendar events (I use this for a dozen things a day). But I'm about to enter a much larger business project, and I really need 1. a method for recording Actions, and 2. a method for choosing the Next Action.

    How are you E'rage 2004 users doing this? Have you done it via its Project Center? If so, can you clearly spell out exactly how you are doing that?

    I spend my life in front of my Mac (either the G5, or when on the road, my 12" PB), so "Contexts" aren't important to me (or better said: I have only 1, max 2, contexts). I just need some way of using Entourage or some other program to help with this Action/NAction process as my life gets super complex in 2006.

    Note: I'm open to using an adjunct app for this process, but having just spent the last 4 days trying to understand OmniOutliner Pro (and the kGTD add-on), I'm really hesitant. It was a brutal 4 days, and it would have to be a fairly simple program.

    Last note: I would also be willing to hire someone to help me set up this last piece of my GTD puzzle, especially from someone who's successfully doing this with E'rage or a tightly woven third-party app.

  • #2
    There were some indications that DAVIDco is working on a whitepaper for Entourage similar to the Outlook whitepaper, so you might want to keep an eye out.

    I vacillate on the utility of the project center. Fundmentally, it is too cumbersome to set up for every project, and not very flexible. Perhaps it would work for you if you only used it for your BIG project. Or you could just make a custom view that gives you a list of things associated with the BIG project. Or you could have subprojects of the BIG project, all defined as Enourage projects, and have a custom filter to show all of them. Bear in mind that the project tag doesn't transfer between computers without a server, which is a nuisance.

    However, you don't really say what the BIG project is like. Just you, other people to work with, or what? Is it deadline driven? Are there milestones? Where is it on the cost/time/quality tradeoff triangle? What is your role?How do you want to work on it?

    You may need multiple tools. If you don't need a full-blown project manager, but the level of project detail is more than fits comfortably in a note, consider using something like OmniOutliner as an auxilliary tool to hold the current state of the project as well as future plans.

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    • #3
      Hi Mcogilvie,

      Thanks for your response. My BIG project is to invent, from scratch, a drink product for sale nationwide. Small team, just 3 people. Only deadlines are those that we set. The only thing I really find missing in Entourage is a way to:

      1. Create Actions
      2. Set Next Actions
      3. Dynamically move done actions down the list (or remove) so the current Actions are always at the top of the list.

      Also: you mentioned that DavidCo may be working on an Entourage add-on. Do you know who I could contact so I could request being on the beta team? I live and breathe Entourage, and would be a great asset to that team.

      I sure hope I don't have to use OOP. I spent days on it, and could not get my mind around how it works, in relationship to GTD.

      thanks!

      Comment


      • #4
        Entourage Whitepaper Forthcoming

        Just a quick note to say the Entourage whitepaper is now in beta testing.

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        • #5
          Contact Kelly Forrister!

          Originally posted by tuqqer
          Do you know who I could contact so I could request being on the beta team? I live and breathe Entourage, and would be a great asset to that team.
          Kelly is looking for Entourage beta testers (http://www.davidco.com/blogs/kelly/a...g_for_ent.html).

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by tuqqer
            My BIG project is to invent, from scratch, a drink product for sale nationwide. Small team, just 3 people. Only deadlines are those that we set. The only thing I really find missing in Entourage is a way to:

            1. Create Actions
            2. Set Next Actions
            3. Dynamically move done actions down the list (or remove) so the current Actions are always at the top of the list.
            I originally thought you seemed to be concerned with the large scope of your new project. Upon re-reading your first post, I now think perhaps you are not comfortable with next-action lists. I have categories, including @Agendas, @Calls, @Computer, @Out and Projects- Work. Each project has a note, with something like this

            =OUTCOME=

            =NEXT ACTIONS= (or sometimes =PLANS=)

            =HISTORY=

            =NOTES=

            Most project-related stuff will fit under one of these. I don't use everything for every project. Try this out, and see if it works for you. Try breaking your big project down into smaller projects on a scale of months. I have found it really helpful to keep my project notes as clear and clean as I can, reflecting my honest current understanding of the project. I get next actions from the =Plans= section (items may not be true next actions!) out into the correct context. When something in =PLANS= is done, I may move it to =HISTORY=. It's just a big loop for projects, similar to the one for workflow management.

            Originally posted by tuqqer
            I sure hope I don't have to use OOP. I spent days on it, and could not get my mind around how it works, in relationship to GTD.
            thanks!
            OOP is not necessarily a GTD tool. It can just be a way to brainstorm and then organize. If it doesn't work for you, don't use it. There is software that will more-or-less automatically feed you the next action (kGTD and Life Balance come to mind), but they are outliners. I don't think they would be a good fit for you.

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