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GTD & Projects

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  • GTD & Projects

    Bare with me on this.....I am frustrated with getting next actions captured and processed. Perhaps it is too much input, maybe not.

    I am using Outlook 2007 and NextAction! on a Blackberry 9000.

    My question concerns the use of projects. In my work I will numerous tasks, calls and details to control in the process of completing a sale. My expectation is that I can contain all of those details in my task list and that the they will be connected to the specific project. I also have the usual list of general GTD tasks, it is on the general list that all of my next actions begin.

    Is it logical to think that these actions should be (somehow) listed under the specific .project? Or do these task get completed and spawn a next action and never link to a specific project?

    The more I describe my confusion the more I seem to be asking for a general explanation of projects and how they are used.

    I have purchased the Outlook implementation white paper, I have been somewhat impatient with working through it. I did do a more thorough job with the 2003 guide.

  • #2
    Linking to projects and Projects in general

    I sometimes find it handy to have a link between a Next Action and a Project. Usually I will incorporate a Project nickname into the Next Action task, e.g.:

    DESK - Relist desk for lower price online

    This simple approach allows the Next Actions to be sort-able by Project and searchable by "tag."

    You also asked for a description of Projects, generally.

    Your Projects list is a reminder of the changes you are trying to make in the world, the steps of which are your Next Actions.

    Example: If you decide you want to bake cookies, you put "Bake Cookies" on your Projects List. On your Next Actions list, you may have @Errand - grocery store - buy sugar, flour, chocolate chips.

    Fast forward and you have purchased those items. You cross that task off the list and you are satisfied.

    And yet your cookies aren't done. If you did not have Bake Cookies on your Projects list, you would not have a "stake in the ground" reminder that there is more to do.

    In this simplified example, it would seem obvious that now that you have the ingredients, you still need to make the cookies. Unless you keep a list of your Projects (i.e. changes) that you are working on, things may slip through the cracks.

    Hope the example isn't too simple to follow. When the project is "build and addition to the house" or "do my taxes", there may be several next actions on several lists, all of which are working toward one Project. Don't want to have anything slip through the cracks or forget why you are doing them.

    HTH

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    • #3
      Originally posted by JohnV474 View Post

      Hope the example isn't too simple to follow. When the project is "build and addition to the house" or "do my taxes", there may be several next actions on several lists, all of which are working toward one Project. Don't want to have anything slip through the cracks or forget why you are doing them.

      HTH
      Hi JohnV, I wanted to follow up on your example above. In the "build an addition to the house" example, it's safe to assume that many of the actions involved will infact take more than 1 step to complete.

      Say of instance one action you identified was to "create budget for house renovations". According to GTD, anything that takes more than one action is a project. Understanding this, what would your workflow or project hierarchy look like? would you then create a project within a project?

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      • #4
        Hi glenkalley

        There are loads of free resources about this on GTD Times, our blog. For example:

        http://www.gtdtimes.com/2010/02/15/m...m-david-allen/

        I would suggest putting "project" into the search box of GTD Times and you'll see loads of helpful posts like this.

        As for paid content, there is tons of educational content on GTD Connect about projects, including a webinar on project planning. The free trial will give you access to this content to play on the Connect site. (You just need to be a subscribing member to download.)

        We also have an audio product coming out in November on the best practices of Managing Projects. That covers all of the common questions we get about projects.

        Hope this helps!
        Kelly

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