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Best of two worlds, perhaps... (long)

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  • Best of two worlds, perhaps... (long)

    (A relatively long winded 'pat myself on the back for recognizing a personal flaw and overcoming it' post... if it helps, great, if not, feel free to ignore it

    Ever since I came across the concept of GTD, I've taken to heart the comment about "anything that interferes with trusting the system should be jettisoned" (I know I don't have that exactly, but the thought's clear).

    I've struggled with all kinds of different implementations on my Palm, and on paper for a little while... always something that never quite fit. Life Balance is a great program, but I stumble over the somewhat orphaned Date Book entries... DateBook5 is just as versatile, in different ways, but it still has quirks and I've tweaked at it (ie, procrastinated for far too long.

    The stumbling block has always been how to represent recurring NAs in a decent form - my home life is VERY variable - any fixed recurrence gets me overdue items, and that's a personal boogeyman...

    I've read cris and others, about their index cards in tickler files for recurring tasks... I really like the concept of having a physical reminder in hand, for today's 'things'. The flexibility to reschedule the next occurence on ANY date is exactly what I need... but the index cards would trip me up as badly, I think... hmmm...

    Now I've accepted the "spending too much time fiddling with the system" self-diagnosis, combined ONLY the concepts I need, and voila! An "Index card system on the Palm"...

    I use only the built-in DateBook, ToDo, MemoPad, NotePad. NotePad & MemoPad for collecting, where paper isn't already present. The relevant NAs get sorted: time or date critical go straight to a Date Book appointment; all other NAs go into the ToDo List. Projects get created as needed at Review time, or as a Someday/Maybe (priority 5...) if I won't work on it soon.

    The recurring tasks: each one is a Date Book entry, that *doesn't* repeat. I look at them as they come up, do or defer as required, and manually set the next time that I want to be reminded.

    (Big Sign of Relief!) Now I know that the things I care to remind myself about will come up at the time I want... not by somebody else's (inherently limited) algorithm. I don't delete anything except completed and archived ToDo - type NAs, so I know that everything is still there.

    Much stronger trust, much closer to completely embracing GTD.

    Howard

  • #2
    Recurring tasks repeated manually.

    I implement the "repeat algorithm" manually for recurring tasks too. I couldn't find any electronic device or software which is flexible enough for my needs. For example I need to do one of my tasks on last tuesday before the 25th day of each month. I play tennis each Wednesday but not on Christmas Eve or last day of the year. So it is easier for me and more reliable to manually change date of the recurring event because I know the constraints.
    Regards,
    TesTeq

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    • #3
      Manual Repeats

      Another vote for manual repeats - reaffirms commitments and cuts down on datebook clutter.

      Andrew

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      • #4
        It almost makes me laugh (at myself), all those months of playing around with different pieces of software, and having lots of fun doing it too - but just buying in to David's simple approach more fully and voila, a more trusted system!

        I have recently gone this same route myself. I put "do or die" ToDo's in my DateBook on the day they are due. I put them also in my NA list, so I will be reminded to catch them early if possible. I put a little identifying mark in front of them in the DateBook to remind me that they repeat - and then I just pick the next date they must be done by.

        I love it. So simple. But it forces me to do that little bit of thinking, "more than I had, but not as much as I was afraid I might have to." And the side benefit - as andmor stated - is a cleaner DateBook too!

        Bonus!!

        Gordon

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        • #5
          One small adjustment to a still solid system

          Well, it's a couple of months later... some crazy things have happened, I've monkeyed with things, and come right back to this system, again.

          I must like it, hmm? (That's kind of a serious thought for me - I usually like 'the next thing' so much I never stay with one implementation.)

          The only thing different now is that my 'tickler' items aren't in the Date Book anymore - it takes too much time, with the granularity of my ticklers, to pop up details, tap the date field, monkey the calendar, then ok the details.

          The To Do entries, however, if you 'Show Due Dates', give you one-tap access to tomorrow / next week, and two-tap access to the calendar. MUCH more streamlined, and it gives me the 'look, choose, tap, next item' speed-of-thought responsiveness that I've been looking for.

          Phew! Such words for such a simple change But I like passing along the thoughts, in case they might help someone else, too.

          G'day,
          Howard

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          • #6
            Re: Best of two worlds, perhaps... (long)

            Originally posted by figmenthi1
            I use only the built-in DateBook, ToDo, MemoPad, NotePad. NotePad & MemoPad for collecting, where paper isn't already present. The relevant NAs get sorted: time or date critical go straight to a Date Book appointment; all other NAs go into the ToDo List. Projects get created as needed at Review time, or as a Someday/Maybe (priority 5...) if I won't work on it soon.

            Howard
            Hi, could you talk a little more about how you handle projects with just the built-in palm apps? I seem to be having problems with that particular aspect.

            Thanks.

            Jay

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            • #7
              Re: Jay - how I've learned to handle projects

              Hi, Jay... I don't come back to this topic very often! wow.

              I handle my Projects very loosely, compared to some. There's a Projects category in my ToDo app, and a Someday/Maybe. Things that aren't one-context AND one-sitting size go here. I leave off dates when I first enter an item, so I'll see it and know to go back and either sub-divide down to a first sub-project, or first NA, and record that; at that point I set the original Project's date to the next Sunday (AM time for review weekly).

              Someday/Maybe things get reviewed, asked "Am I committed to do something about this in the forseeable future, or NOT?", and sent to a future review date or moved to Projects then and there.

              I use the "Show only Due Items" preference (it should be named "Hide Only Future Items") to display only today's dated items and the undated ones - i.e., just the things I want to put effort into right now. So my reviewed projects disappear until the next scheduled time, and I flip through only the NA lists until they show up again.

              (I use this same general idea to implement a tickler file in my NA lists too - it's super-fast to reschedule a ToDo compared to paper or even DateBook entries, and when I finish one, and set the date in the future, it disappears until that day comes... sweet

              I hope I overlapped at least part of what you wanted to hear... feel free to ask more, and I'll check back more often on this topic for now

              Howard

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