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Your system of implementation...

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  • Your system of implementation...

    I've half applied GTD (context folders, inbox (traveling, not stationary), weekly review (broken down so that it's done thrice-weekly)) and I have some questions about how your system looks in it's final implementation.

    1. Do you spec out projects from beginning to end, and just return to the project list after finishing a NA for the next one...or do you figure out what the next NA is only after finishing one?

    2. Do you have just lists in your context folders, or something else? I've been printing out emails, dumping mail I need to act on, and writing notes for things I have to do in my context folders. It's worked for me.

    3. Do you sometimes send things directly from collection to the context folder? For instance, making a doctors appointment. I just processed my inbox, saw the note I made (don't know when or where), couldn't do it at work without information I have at home so I dropped in the @home folder and went to the next item in the inbox...

    I'm sure I have more...

  • #2
    Re: Your system of implementation...

    [quote="EmeraldIsle"]
    1. Do you spec out projects from beginning to end, and just return to the project list after finishing a NA for the next one...or do you figure out what the next NA is only after finishing one?

    Planning is important. Do as much as you think is necessary. If you know how to Do the Project, you can make a few notes to keep you on track, espacially for deadlines. If you don't know how to Do it, write one NA to find out. Only those actions that are not dependent on something else being completed first would be defined as Next Actions and put on your NA list(s).

    2. Do you have just lists in your context folders, or something else? I've been printing out emails, dumping mail I need to act on, and writing notes for things I have to do in my context folders. It's worked for me.

    You can use the document itself as a reminder, but if you have a lot of them in a Context folder, you might want a list of contents so that you can scan it more easily for selecting what to Do.

    3. Do you sometimes send things directly from collection to the context folder? For instance, making a doctors appointment. I just processed my inbox, saw the note I made (don't know when or where), couldn't do it at work without information I have at home so I dropped in the @home folder and went to the next item in the inbox...

    It sounds as if you Processed it by thinking about it. Perhaps you should consciously decide the Next Action for your Home Context and write it on the note - at least in the beginning stages of GtD, just to establish the Processing habit. The key is not to go directly from Collecting to Organizing, because Organizing might become the objective by default - and that's not the primary objective of GtD, which is to have your lists complete, Processed, specific and ready for selection/Doing.

    Andrew

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    • #3
      Re: Your system of implementation...

      Originally posted by EmeraldIsle
      1. Do you spec out projects from beginning to end, and just return to the project list after finishing a NA for the next one...or do you figure out what the next NA is only after finishing one?
      I almost never spec out a project all the way to the end, if by that you mean figuring out every single NA that will be required to finish it. I'm happy with just the very next action. It will trigger me to work on the project, and I'll work along until an interruption comes up, or I need some resource I don't currently have. Then I'll create a new NA and leave it for myself. This is what some of us on this forum refer to as the "bookmark" style.

      Sometimes, with a new project that is extremely exciting and juicy, a whole bunch of next actions will come tumbling out of my head, or maybe I'll write a rough outline. Those I do store. Life Balance makes it easy to decide on the fly whether I want to see only one NA at a time for this project, or whether I want to see all the things which can all be done "next" -- they have no dependencies.

      I would be afraid to spec a project out in NA detail all the way to the end -- it feels like putting in a lot of work ahead of time that may have to be tossed as the project changes.

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      • #4
        Re: Your system of implementation...

        Originally posted by Ambar
        I would be afraid to spec a project out in NA detail all the way to the end -- it feels like putting in a lot of work ahead of time that may have to be tossed as the project changes.
        Ambar:

        I couldn't agree more. You can get trapped by trying to project too much, especially if there are other people involved. I like the idea of roughing out an outline though. I do something similar in Outlook. When I start a new project and I know some of the NA's it will require, I dump them into the notes field of the project item. I don't try to be exhaustive at any one time.

        But every time I finish the NA for that project, I have a list I can quickly scan. If the actual next action is on the list, I use it. If not, I create it on the fly.

        It's been working really well for me.

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        • #5
          As far as planning projects to the end, my answer would be: sometimes. If something is deadline driven with several moving parts and many people involved, then yes I absolutely write down every single thing I can think of that I might have to do, who's responsible for the other stuff, and in some cases, will create a spreadsheet with deadlines and a note on whose job it is to get it done. Sometimes I don't wind up having to do some of those things like I thought I would, so you do have to maintain some kind of flexibility as far as that goes. For smaller projects I may or may not. Depends on my mood, my energy level, my level of experience with whatever the project is, how committed my boss is to it and to a lesser extent how committed I am to it.

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          • #6
            Thrice-weekly review?

            EmeraldIsle,

            How have you broken your weekly review down into into "thrice-weekly reviews"?

            Bridgette

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