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  • Triggers to look at checklists

    Hi folks,

    I’ve recently started to make proper use of checklists and I’m now starting to compose a bunch. In particular I’ve started to compose some for things that I might not need to worry about for quite a while: I’ve got a “new client” checklist which I might not need to look at for months.

    How can I ensure that I will actually remember to look at some of these checklists? I think I need to set up triggers of some kind but I don’t know what.

    At the moment I have a folder on my computer called “when” that has a hierarchy of different situations within it and I classify things in there. So I have “when/bored”, ”when/preparing_to”, ”when/upcoming/special_occasions” etc. but I’m worried this is just going to become a bit of a graveyard and I’ll just forget about all this stuff.

    I did a search for “checklist trigger” on these forums and couldn’t find anything of great interest. I’m really surprised this hasn’t been discussed before.

  • #2
    Instead of "trigger", you will probably find a ton of reading searching "tickler". What you are referring to is a tickler file.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by me
      I’ve got a “new client” checklist which I might not need to look at for months.
      What I meant by this is that I’ll only need to look at this when I get a new client. I don’t know when that will happen.

      Comment


      • #4
        Just an idea on how to use ticklers to suit your needs

        Perhaps you could put a list of these checklists in your tickler files. Then each night when you go home you empty the ticker file (including this checklist list) into your in tray. The next morning you could have a quick look through the list and say YES/NO to any of those checklists. I would also have a note on that list as to where they are found so that if you needed someone else to locate them or you're not feeling well it is not a big exercise. Then refile the list in tomorrow.

        That may work?
        Allie

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        • #5
          Hm. A checklist checklist. That could work.

          Thanks Allie.

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          • #6
            No worries

            No worries at all. I am totally going to use my own idea :P Thanks for helping me come up with it!

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            • #7
              Win!

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              • #8
                How about making it an item that you look at during your weekly review?

                Joe

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                • #9
                  Checklist in the tickler file.

                  Originally posted by Duckienz View Post
                  Perhaps you could put a list of these checklists in your tickler files. Then each night when you go home you empty the ticker file (including this checklist list) into your in tray.
                  What about people who need morning and evening checklists?

                  If they put "empty the tickler file" item on their evening checklist and put this checklist in the tickler file they will never be reminded about checking this checklist and emptying the tickler file...

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Checklist

                    Originally posted by olliesaunders View Post
                    What I meant by this is that I’ll only need to look at this when I get a new client. I don’t know when that will happen.
                    I have a lot of checklists like this - new client, new project (for work), new sales pursuit, leisure activities, people I want to visit, and so forth. They are all things that are triggered by something that I can't predict whether it's getting a new client, a new project, a new opportunity, additional time to visit someone or available time to take break with something fun. This seems to relate to what you're asking.

                    I keep them all as checklists in my GTD system which syncs to my mobile system. I don't worry about not looking at it because I've just gotten to the point that if something new comes up I will generally check to see if I do have a checklist to help me figure out the next steps. And during the weekly review I do look through all my checklists so when I see my "new client' checklist I'll think "Oh yeah, there was that client this week - let me go back into that project or next action and make sure I've captured all the next actions and record the future action in the project files".

                    So my thought is that once you create your checklists, and they are well organised, you'll start to trust that you can go there once you are doing something that's routine/repeatable. If you look and there isn't one - add a placeholder for a new checklist and a next action to build it out. Over time, I think you'll find that your checklists are an integral part of your GTD system and you won't be sending things in there to disappear!

                    Betty Enyo

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by TesTeq View Post
                      What about people who need morning and evening checklists?

                      If they put "empty the tickler file" item on their evening checklist and put this checklist in the tickler file they will never be reminded about checking this checklist and emptying the tickler file...
                      Ha ha ha I meant just the checklists you need occasionally, not daily. I could totally see that some people would do this though, so thanks for the heads up. I wouldn't have wanted to be one of them :P

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        So my thought is that once you create your checklists, and they are well organised, you'll start to trust that you can go there once you are doing something that's routine/repeatable. If you look and there isn't one - add a placeholder for a new checklist and a next action to build it out. Over time, I think you'll find that your checklists are an integral part of your GTD system and you won't be sending things in there to disappear!
                        Yeah yeah yeah. I think I see where you’re coming from.

                        Is another way of saying this that the habit of being willing to create a checklist for anything that looks like it might repeat functions as the trigger to see if there’s already one there?

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