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Ideas vs Actions - where does "think about" fit in the process?

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  • Ideas vs Actions - where does "think about" fit in the process?

    I do social change communications - it's a job that generates a lot of things to do (write, call, standard stuff that fits into traditional GTD contexts) but also a LOT of stuff I want to think about...

    I'm struggling to find a way to handle these - are they next actions in a someday / maybe list? An entirely separate project - something like "Intellectual Recapitalization" ? Any ideas? Any suggestions for implementation in OmniFocus?

  • #2
    Im guessing the things you need to think about are linked to projects/outcomes? In that case I would have next actions where I sit with a piece of paper and pen and doodle for 20mins as I formulate what's on my mind.

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    • #3
      What I do in practise, is create a project called "decide what to do with XYX" or something like that. The first NA I define is then "brainstorm about XYZ", others might follow (f.e. research, or speak with people about it).

      Based upon the outcomes of my brainstorm and my horizons, I decide whether it will be a project, as someday/maybe or just trash.

      I do this for all stuff I've captured, but couldn't process right away, since I couldn't directly find out what it means to me.

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      • #4
        A GTD system also has a category of lists called "Reference Lists". In Microsoft Outlook reference lists are implemented in Notes (the little post-it notes component). "Ideas" is a suggested category of those lists.

        Reference lists are supposed to be reviewed during the weekly review, so each week you get to look at these ideas and decide if you have any further actions that you want to take on them.

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        • #5
          What I'll usually do is start the next action with "R&D". If you have a lot of items you need to think about, you might also want to create a separate context list called "R&D" and use it as a place to corral all of your "I need to think about..." items.

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          • #6
            thanks !

            Thanks for the ideas - it helped me think it through. I implement in OmniFocus - so I created a context - using the "someday / maybe" logic - called it "Research - someday" for all the "I'd like to think about this" items. The things I must look at - go into my work context as a "research" action. Thanks....

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            • #7
              I use project categories to organize my projects. I find that level of stratification helpful in guiding my eyes across the landscape of work I have in front of me. My favorite category of all I call "Big Ideas". I plug in things I want to ponder and reflect on that have potentially meaningful implications for work and life in general. Sounds like something along those lines might help you.

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