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  • Should I put it in my calendar or on my next actions list

    I have something that I need to do / some information that I need to find out lets say by a phone call or checking a file. Its an easy single action. I need to do it at some point in the next 6 months but it doesn't need to be done now. I could do it now if I wanted. Should I put a note in my calendar on a future date to consider (such as "I need to investigate / consider xxx) it then or should I put it on my next actions list and get around to it when i feel like it.

    If something can't be done until a certain point in the future for example looking for car insurance quotes ( i can't really do that until near my current insurance expiry date) or waiting for a new product to launch and then needing to decide if I want to buy it. Then I put that in my calender - for example in the month my car insurance is due i will put a week or so before expiry "plan car insurance quotes" or "X product was lauched this week - read reviews"

    Hope this makes sense!

  • #2
    Assuming you are on a paper based system, this is what I would do:

    Put it in your calendar on the due date.

    If the task is something you could do straight away, also put it in your Next Actions list. Note the due date here also.

    If you can't start it yet then put in in your calendar on the due date and in your tickler file for the day you can start it.

    I use an electronic system that has start dates and due dates that handles this nicely (Toodledo.com)

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    • #3
      For your item number 1 I'd add it now to your context lists as an action. I'd also consider adding a due date just so you get pinged it it's getting near the end of the 6 months and you haven't finished it yet.

      For item number 2 that's a perfect place for the tickler. I'd set up a project in Omnifocus "Evaluate and Decide on new car insurance" and a first action of plan car insurance project ad set a start date to when I wanted to be reminded. For me that would actually be about a month before it was due but if a week works for you then I'd set the start date for a week before the old insurance runs out.

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      • #4
        You don't have to wait until your current auto policy expires; I know this from experience. You can cancel your policy at any time and the insurance company has to refund you the unused premium. So that's a project that you can start right now.

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        • #5
          You are right (at least for the UK, subject to an admin fee). However, most people just wait for the policy to expire. Otherwise you could be looking for a better deal every day.

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          • #6
            Sorry I was using auto insurance as an example. I just renew each year and here in the UK you can only get quotes to start within a few weeks. Do people really change insurance mid year? It never occured to me really...you would change every week when a new deal came around? My apologies if I have opened a can of worms.

            Thank you very much for your replies. Very much appreciated as always

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            • #7
              As said, you can put a reminder about something to your calendar.

              Also, tickler file is great help. I personally prefer it to calendar on thing that are not time specific events. For me, it is little bit easier to just make a quick note and put it into tickler file than write a reminder to my electronic calendar.

              I try to make the decision whether to put something to calendar/tickler or next action list, based on fact do I feel I need to see it weekly, or is it enough to know I get reminded about the thing when it is needed.

              In my tickler I have a note in year 2014 (I have expanded tickler, which has 10 yearly folders) which says my passport will expire at the december 2014. I don't need or want to be reminded about that every week, but I really want to be reminded about it at january 2014.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by macgrl View Post
                I have something that I need to do / some information that I need to find out lets say by a phone call or checking a file. Its an easy single action. I need to do it at some point in the next 6 months but it doesn't need to be done now. I could do it now if I wanted. Should I put a note in my calendar on a future date to consider (such as "I need to investigate / consider xxx) it then or should I put it on my next actions list and get around to it when i feel like it.

                If something can't be done until a certain point in the future for example looking for car insurance quotes ( i can't really do that until near my current insurance expiry date) or waiting for a new product to launch and then needing to decide if I want to buy it. Then I put that in my calender - for example in the month my car insurance is due i will put a week or so before expiry "plan car insurance quotes" or "X product was lauched this week - read reviews"

                Hope this makes sense!
                Hi Macgrl,

                This question comes up a lot. I am not a GTD Coach, but I can tell you that I personally handle this one of two ways. I either put a reminder in my calendar, or put a reminder in my tickler system. I tend to use my tickler a lot more because I don't like to have a lot of stuff in my calendar (just personal preference). I also have a digital tickler that allows me to pick a specific date to be sent a reminder (through eProductivity), so it makes it easier to use. When I use a monthly tickler system, I can stick a piece of paper in say, June, if that's when my insurance is up, that says 'look for new insurance company' and I can put that in my next actions.

                Hope that helps!

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                • #9
                  Tickle me to death!

                  I really like the tickler file. I would not want to see something like renew auto insurance or passport in my calendar while trying to decide if I can commit to attending a conference in a year.

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                  • #10
                    Thanks for your replies guys. Very much appreciated and helps me out a lot

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Almost Done View Post
                      I really like the tickler file. I would not want to see something like renew auto insurance or passport in my calendar while trying to decide if I can commit to attending a conference in a year.
                      Good point! So, a principle here is to ask yourself: when will I want or need to see
                      this item? Do I want a bunch of this sort of thing on my calendar? Will I be motivated
                      to look at my calendar if it has a bunch of stuff like this on it?

                      Originally posted by kkuja View Post
                      In my tickler I have a note in year 2014 (I have expanded tickler, which has 10 yearly folders) which says my passport will expire at the december 2014. I don't need or want to be reminded about that every week, but I really want to be reminded about it at january 2014.
                      I have folders up to about 2015, plus an "And on!" folder for later years. I also have one folder per day for 2 months.

                      It took me a while to figure out how to use the "And on!" folder. At first I thought it would always just stay at the back of the tickle file. Then I realized it had to march to the front so that I would eventually do the things. I let it march to the front, but I felt intimidated seeing it come closer, knowing it had a bunch of things like "renew passport" in it. So I decided to go back to leaving it at the back; but the way I use it now is that whenever I create a new folder for a specific year -- which I do when I feel like it -- I then look through the "And on!" folder and move things as appropriate to the year folder. I create new year folders as needed so that the "And on!" folder doesn't have too many things in it.

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