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  • Can't start using project list

    I like GTD system and it works fine for me. I can't start using project list and that is a project in itself Last week I prepared a list of projects I had. During the week new tasks kept coming. I captured them, processed and then moved into the system.

    Putting in next action takes some time (I use Pocket Informant in iPhone). Then I need to add a new project and check if I had it on the list before. It means I have to look through the list of projects first and make a new entry if there were no such a project before. I just feel like I do a double entry and loose the time because I could process more new inputs I got

    Please support me!

  • #2
    Originally posted by Solyanov2011 View Post
    Putting in next action takes some time (I use Pocket Informant in iPhone).
    You may find that another tool or even paper works better for you. Just don't feel like you're stuck with a particular list manager if it's slowing down your process.

    Originally posted by Solyanov2011 View Post
    I just feel like I do a double entry and loose the time because I could process more new inputs I got
    Can you group projects by categories or Areas of Focus? For example, all of the projects related to where you live might go on a "Home" list, or work projects might divide into their own categories, depending on the sort of work you do. This way, you only have to look at that particular list of projects, not at every project.

    Originally posted by Solyanov2011 View Post
    Please support me!
    Absolutely! Just keep the questions coming! I've gotten a ton of fabulous suggestions from this amazing group.

    Dena

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    • #3
      Do you mean changing to paper the whole system?

      Split projects by AoF would mean double entry of AoF

      Any advantages of a project-list VS no-project-list?

      Comment


      • #4
        Basic

        Originally posted by Solyanov2011 View Post
        Do you mean changing to paper the whole system?

        Split projects by AoF would mean double entry of AoF

        Any advantages of a project-list VS no-project-list?
        In my opinion, having a Projects list is a fundamental premise of GTD. Nobody will put you in prison for not having one, but if you want to implement GTD, you'd need one. Otherwise, you're implementing...well, something else.

        Would love to get Kelly to weigh in on this.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Solyanov2011 View Post
          I like GTD system and it works fine for me. I can't start using project list and that is a project in itself Last week I prepared a list of projects I had. During the week new tasks kept coming. I captured them, processed and then moved into the system.

          Putting in next action takes some time (I use Pocket Informant in iPhone). Then I need to add a new project and check if I had it on the list before. It means I have to look through the list of projects first and make a new entry if there were no such a project before. I just feel like I do a double entry and loose the time because I could process more new inputs I got

          Please support me!
          Get a better tool that doesn't repel you from tracking your commitments.

          Projects are not something "GTD" tells you you have, they are commitments you've made to achieve outcomes. The Next Actions tell you how to get there. There's no requirement to track Projects, but what else will tell you that you made a commitment to a larger outcome when the Next Actions are marked as done?

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          • #6
            I don't always add the project to my projects list immediately. I sometimes find that this is best done at the weekly review when I review my action lists. It depends, as some actions start out as one-off next actions (so seem not to need a project at all) but then turn into projects!
            I use a short-hand version of my Areas of Focus as a starting point for my projects (explained in other projects thread), so it doesn't feel like double entry. There are also some areas that don't have a project or next action at present.
            What is most important is that the system is comfortable and easy for you to use, otherwise you will not want to maintain it...

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Solyanov2011 View Post
              Last week I prepared a list of projects I had. During the week new tasks kept coming. I captured them, processed and then moved into the system.

              Putting in next action takes some time (I use Pocket Informant in iPhone). Then I need to add a new project and check if I had it on the list before.
              I'm confused. In my tool, Omnifocus, projects are added as I process items. When I see a new input it's immediately obvious what area of focus it belongs to. I then look at that folder in OF (I have my projects arranged by AOF) and if the project is already there I add it to that existing project as an action or support item and if not I add it right then and there. For me keeping a project list up to date happens painlessly in the normal course of processing inputs.

              When you process items don't you see what projects you have already in your system easily and just add them then? I would incorporate updating the project list as part of the processing of new inputs and actions. IMO if you are using an electronic tool there should be no reason for a separate step, the tool should support gathering project data and it should not require separate tasks to update the list.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by kelstarrising View Post
                Projects are not something "GTD" tells you you have, they are commitments you've made to achieve outcomes. The Next Actions tell you how to get there. There's no requirement to track Projects, but what else will tell you that you made a commitment to a larger outcome when the Next Actions are marked as done?
                When I cross off a next action I put a new one in. It reminds me of the commitment.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Solyanov2011 View Post
                  Putting in next action takes some time (I use Pocket Informant in iPhone). Then I need to add a new project and check if I had it on the list before. It means I have to look through the list of projects first and make a new entry if there were no such a project before. I just feel like I do a double entry and loose the time because I could process more new inputs I got
                  I also use Pocket Informant. I save time by using the project list in PI as my GTD project list, I don't double list them. So when I'm adding a new action, I select the projects, if there isn't one there I type one into the 'search or create' field, and then hit the + button and it creates a new project. Simple. Easy

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Solyanov2011 View Post
                    When I cross off a next action I put a new one in. It reminds me of the commitment.
                    I do that too. All you need is the context lists: when finishing one
                    action you think up what the next action will be in that project
                    and write it on an appropriate context list. Others on this forum
                    have also mentioned doing that, and see also
                    the Pigpog method: http://pigpog.com/2006/07/11/gtd-the-pigpog-method/
                    I am starting to use project lists too, though.

                    Each person needs to find the methods that work well for them.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by cwoodgold View Post
                      I do that too. All you need is the context lists: when finishing one
                      action you think up what the next action will be in that project
                      and write it on an appropriate context list. Others on this forum
                      have also mentioned doing that, and see also
                      the Pigpog method: http://pigpog.com/2006/07/11/gtd-the-pigpog-method/
                      I am starting to use project lists too, though.

                      Each person needs to find the methods that work well for them.
                      One way is to just keep one next action for each project of the form

                      recruit army > conquer albania

                      and to keep future steps in the note. Forked projects can be annotated as

                      hang army deserters >> conquer albania

                      or similar. Or if your software supports it, you can duplicate tasks as you go.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Then I need to add a new project and check if I had it on the list before.
                        It quite surprises me that you doubt if you have registered a project already or not. I don't think I could ever have that doubt; once I decide, for example, 'man, I want to go to Greece on holiday this summer', I am positive about having written it in my project list or not -even if maybe later I'm quite inefficient about taking the required steps, etc-.

                        The first 2 steps in any of my projects are usually these: 1) Figure out a desired outcome and write it in the project lists. 2) Create a new action: "(keyword for project) - NPM" (i.e. Natural Planning Model). If I'm on a rush, 1) can be a single keyword, and the phrasing will be better decided during the NPM session, where I can decide a SMART goal, etc... But in any case, I don't see the duplicity you talk of; do you have a lot of those single actions that grow into projects? Could it be that you are overplanning? Can you give an example of this kind of actions?

                        Just my two cents. Like Kelly puts it,

                        Projects are not something "GTD" tells you you have, they are commitments you've made to achieve outcomes. The Next Actions tell you how to get there.
                        An analogy that I found very handy is that list items are like bookmarks; you put them when you stop working at something, so you can resume it easily later: "where was I? Oh, yes... Now I have to..." On a different level, I think it also applies to project list items, and to all the different K's.

                        Hope something helps

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          David's response to this

                          I asked David to respond to this question on the purpose of the Projects list. Really rich discussion. One of those awesome DA responses about the power of the Projects list and how it ties to the Weekly Review in particular. You can hear it in the February Up Close podcast on GTD Connect. Starts at 6:52.

                          (If you're not GTD Connect member, the free guest pass will give you access to listen to this podcast online.)

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