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  • Question About Projects & Actions

    Hi,

    My name is Gavin Mountford. I'm fairly new to GTDConnect although I've been an avid GTD'er for the last few years. I'm almost at the point where I have everything down and working smoothly but there are a few tweaks and distinctions I need to make.

    My question is this...

    We are having a baby in January and have a lot of different items to buy the baby, for example:

    Blanket
    Toiletries
    Towel
    Lamp Shade
    etc...

    Some of the items I know that we are definitely buying and they are single action items. They have a context of 14th Nov Baby Shop so everything is on that context list.

    But... some of the things on the list, mainly the ones above have potentially more than one action to buy them.

    I need to speak with my wife about if we need the item or if someone else is buying that item for us.

    So, I then thought, maybe I should create projects for each of the items with more than one action step. So I have a project label in my Nozbe software called baby and then I have the following projects:

    Things to buy for baby (Which is a list of all single step items)
    Buy Blanket
    Buy Toiletries
    Buy Towel
    Buy Lamp Shade
    Buy Play Gym

    And within each of the above projects are 1 or more actions which we need to do before we buy.

    Would this be the most effective way to do this, or should I just have them all in one list?

    A long post for such a small section of GTD but I feel if I can get the best practice on this then it will make sense a little more for me.

    Thanks for your help,
    Gavin

  • #2
    Hi Gavin!

    Welcome to GTD Connect and congratulations on your baby!

    If this were my project, I don't know that I'd get that granular with the projects, like "Buy Blanket." Even though technically they are more than one action step, some of there don't really need to be defined as a project. Guessing here, as it's not my project, but I'd probably have some groups of projects like "Purchase all baby supplies" as the project, then "buy blanket" etc. as Next Actions. In fact, first, I'd do a big Mind Sweep of everything baby to see the whole inventory of what makes sense.

    Or, you literally could have one project like "Baby up & running" and all of the supporting actions on Next Action lists and in your Project Support materials.

    Hope that helps!

    Next time, I would suggest posting this to the Connect Forums (which all start with GTD Connect: ..) so that you can also get some input from David and the Coaches. Like the GTD Tips, Tricks and Coaching Forum:


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    • #3
      "baby up & running" might take a few years to complete
      sorry, couldn't resist

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      • #4
        Define one "Purchase all baby supplies" project.

        Originally posted by gavinmountford View Post
        Things to buy for baby (Which is a list of all single step items)
        Buy Blanket
        Buy Toiletries
        Buy Towel
        Buy Lamp Shade
        Buy Play Gym
        I would follow Kelly's advice and define one "Purchase all baby supplies" project.

        And for each item to buy I would define a Next Action:
        • Buy Blanket @errands
        • Buy Toiletries @errands
        • Discuss "Buy Towel" @wife
        • Discuss "Buy Lamp Shade" @wife
        • Buy Play Gym @errands

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        • #5
          another possibility

          Originally posted by TesTeq View Post
          I would follow Kelly's advice and define one "Purchase all baby supplies" project.

          And for each item to buy I would define a Next Action:
          • Buy Blanket @errands
          • Buy Toiletries @errands
          • Discuss "Buy Towel" @wife
          • Discuss "Buy Lamp Shade" @wife
          • Buy Play Gym @errands
          I would do this too, except for 1 thing. If you notice that those "baby-related"-NA's are invading your @errands list, I would consider making a "buy-baby-stuff"-list, just like you make a groceries list, and you don't put "buy milk" and "buy sugar" etc... as seperate NA's on your @errands list.

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          • #6
            I would have a natural planning discussion with your wife. If you are both in agreeance with principles eg
            - sustainability (cloth nappies/disposables? Chemical free or not? natural fabrics?)
            - age appropriateness (always adhere with guidelines on toys/equip or use own judgement?)
            etc.
            - top quality/reasonable/cheapest buy?
            Once you are clear on this, it then makes it easier to let friends and family buy you stuff, and you can trust each other to buy stuff too.
            Then I would just stick things on the errands list, unless they require research, eg you might want to research big things like the stroller (check reviews, compare prices etc), which will have different tasks at different contexts and you might have these as a project.

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            • #7
              I'd try to define more in deep which outcomes you like. If we list "buy toeletries" do we really think to buy whatever product, in any place or any chemical formula for our baby?

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              • #8
                I'd start with a planning discussion for a project called something like: "Get everything ready for new baby". Go through the purpose and principles up front, as this will shape the favour of what you do. Have you already agreed on things like whether you care about gendered colouring? Do you want to use disposable or cloth nappies/diapers? DO you like the idea of a sling? Have you considered reading about attachment parenting? All this will feed into your sub-projects.

                Once the subprojects fall out, it's just case of whether you want to have your shopping list actions in separate contexts. As a general principle, you want as few contexts as you can get away with.

                One thing I'd caution about: most of the items you list as not being projects are not really only one-step projects. You probably need to fill out warranty forms, you might need to put reminders in a system to buy extra supplies, you might want to file instructions or other info in your reference file. If you don't get explicit about those commitments, you won't let go of them.

                Good luck, and welcome to parenthood!

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                • #9
                  don't overplan this...

                  I agree with Lordcope on not forgetting the extra steps that come with finishing some of the steps you described (everything happening after the "buy xx" part is finished).

                  On the other hand, I would also like to warn you to not overplan the buying part... if you know that you will have to buy baby soap, you don't want the NA drilled down to "choose color of soap", "choose brand", ... you just want "baby soap" on your @errands list (or on whatever other list, if you want someone to give it to you), then you go to the shop, you look at the soaps and you decide. I can't imagine someone putting "choose color of tooth brush" on his NA-list. You simply put "tooth brush" on your groceries list and get one in the store (unless again, you need a special type that can only be baught in one specific store you only come once in a while, then it would go on @errands)...

                  Myriam

                  ps: congratulations on the baby..; by the time nr 2 and 3 are on their way, your NA's will probably change into "search the attic/garage/basement for old baby stuff"

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                  • #10
                    I would probably make actions that treat all of this buying as one project, with lists as support materials.

                    So my actions might be:

                    - Make rough draft of baby items list. (The list would include the items, how you'll obtain the item, your chosen brand and model, and so on. If you're frazzled and busy, this might instead be a repeating task that repeats at some interval until done: "Spend twenty minutes working on rough draft of baby item list.")

                    - Get SuperMomFriend's opinion on baby item list.

                    - Finalize baby item list with spouse. (This, again, might be a repeating task.)

                    - Go to BabyRama and buy available "we buy" baby items. (BabyRama might or might not have everything you want, so you might then have a Next Action to go again on Friday, when the stock clerk told you that the new stuff comes in, or to go to another baby store.)

                    - Check off baby items received as gifts and update "we buy" items. (After the shower, or maybe once a week as the baby approaches.)

                    And so on.

                    Gardener

                    Edited to add: And for items that might involve several tasks - for example, if you want to ask four friends and check safety data sheets and test-drive a bunch of choices before choosing your stroller - I would break those out as separate projects. But fairly simple repeating things like "Find out if we're buying X or expecting it at the shower" would, I think, be more efficient as a column on the baby item list.)

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                    • #11
                      A Big Thank You

                      Thank you to everyone who posted a reply on this thread, I appreciate all the input and it's helped me work out the best practice for this.

                      I now have an area of focus called baby for the time being (Until baby has a name . I have several baby related projects within the area of focus. Purchase all Baby Supplies is the project and then I have spoken with my wife and finalized all the items we need to buy.

                      I've added each item as a task with the context of Nov14th-babyshop so I can refer to all items we will be buying on Saturday.

                      The remaining items are in the project.

                      Thanks again and I'm sure I'll have many other questions. I'll also be sure to post in the correct forum.

                      Thanks
                      Gavin

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