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Action Lists

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  • Action Lists

    Hi all,

    I bought the book, and I could not put it down for 2 full days! It is awesome! I am certain it is a huge solution for someone like me who can never stop thinking of things and never actually get to do them because of the amount of information I carry and how often new ideas pop in my head! I am sure there are some of you who also experiences this, you think of something (business idea, I am an entrepreneur) and then before you get to do it there is so much that can go wrong with it or there must be a lot in place and in perfect condition before you move on with it and at the end of the day you do nothing because of those reasons. This organizes my thoughts! Brilliant!! I am sure it will solve my procrastination issues just thinking of the "what to do next" action.

    Okay enough of that...

    I need to know, after zeroing your 'inbox' David talks about lists and stuff, is this where you keep reminders of it for when you should do them etc... I do not quite understand the workflow around that. Can someone clarify it for me?

  • #2
    Hi Darius,

    The workflow diagram (at the start of chptr 7 - Organizing) is a good place to start. The lists that David talks about are where to store your next actions, so that you can keep them outside of your head, and are referred to under the "Defer" part of the diagram.

    In practical terms, I work from my lists everyday and add to these throughout the day as new input comes in. I will also do "work as it appears" and processing and organising (see the three-fold nature of work in the book for more info). Any actions that I can complete within 2 mins I normally do immediately (following the 2-min rule). The rule is a real gem - if I added these small items to my lists they would get clogged and overloaded. Instead, I get many small tasks done quickly - helpful to both those who I am responding to and to me.

    I hope that this is helpful.

    Good luck!


    • #3
      Hi Sarah

      Thank you for your reply. Then I would only ask, where would one keep these lists. I have got a Franklin Covey diary and I will probably rip out all their stuff and customise it for me as a Action List Diary, Something that I can carry with me all the time in case I need to have a look at what to do next etc. Is this the correct route to follow...


      • #4
        Hi Darius

        Your diary sounds like a really good place to start. I also use paper:
        - a filofax - for all my personal actions
        - a paper pad - for all my work actions (I am lucky enough to be able to leave my work actions at work!)

        I use my filofax to take note of any items that I think of at home that relate to work (and vice versa) and shuttle them between.

        Paper works really well for me. What's important is that you really gel with the system you are using and want to use it. Lots of people use electronic systems that sync up with their mobile devices and there's loads of discussion about these on the "Discuss gear" section of the forums.
        David usually suggests starting with paper as it had the easiest learning curve and then once you are used to the habits of GTD you might consider whether an electronic version of your lists would be helpful to you.

        Let us know how you get on!


        • #5
          My main suggestion as you're starting out is if you're using a diary, be super-careful not to simply use your calendar as a place for lists. That will really impede your ability to implement GTD principles. You want to have a way to have appropriate "what do I do next" action lists for each of your contexts.

          Good luck!


          • #6
            Diary use

            My aim with the diary is to use it just for what it is, a diary. So I will need to sync my laptop, blackberry and my diary with each other...

            The daily diary stuff will be used as a calender only, for instance, appointments will go where appointments go (because it is time and date specific), whole day appointments/stuff to do will go at to-do list (Because it is date specific) and then my notes will purely be for note taking purposes (But I can also use that for day specific info)....

            All the other stuff of Franklin Covey like Goals, Values, etc I removed and made my own custom Next Action File/Folder. I believe it should work out good like that. I am just concerned regarding the synchronizing between my laptop, BB and diary for calender stuff.


            • #7

              As a business man, there are really many things to remember and consider. "Empty" the inbox is not the purpose. To save the efforts, listing things on the diary is a good method. Also you can use the online to do list software to help you to do so. "Online to do list software" like a "online diary". You even have to bring a heavy diary with you, just a account to login.

              Time is life. And it is really worthy for us to discuss how to save time and make things more effective.