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Does anyone find Microsoft Project useful?

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  • Does anyone find Microsoft Project useful?

    I have this program but never used it, looking at videos now but.. i don't know. I'm just trying to get the hang of this GTD thing. Is MS Project one of these things DA would describe as a toy?

  • #2
    MS Project is not a toy - it's quite a powerful tool designed for project management. Not something I'd suggest for GTD.

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    • #3
      I've not heard DA refer to it as a toy. As Peter says, it's a robust project management tool. In your GTD system, it could serve to manage your project support material.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by kelstarrising View Post
        I've not heard DA refer to it as a toy. As Peter says, it's a robust project management tool. In your GTD system, it could serve to manage your project support material.
        I have an audio tape of DA where he describes having used lots of different systems including mind mapping software (maybe that is all he was talking about), he said, "they're all toys".... something like that anyway. I know he now endorses mind mapping software, the tape is several years old, that is what I was referring to.

        I bought a clear inbox, a metal file cabinet, a label maker, put that flow chart on the wall but this GTD stuff is very complex for me. You tube videos are helping and now I have both his books I'll read them instead of relying on memories of the seminar tape.

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        • #5
          MS Project is software for doing traditional project management, and if you would want to have done training/reading on project management. It has lots of features, I use it for work but keep it simple, it's too hard to use all the features. As Kelly said, it becomes project support material, you do a gantt chart as part of the organising step in the project plan.

          Unless you know you need it for work I would just focus on GTD implementation, leave it until later.

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          • #6
            Jumbo Jet for errands.

            Originally posted by Mike in Winnipeg View Post
            I have this program but never used it, looking at videos now but.. i don't know. I'm just trying to get the hang of this GTD thing. Is MS Project one of these things DA would describe as a toy?
            Microsoft Project is a perfect tool for managing projects but not necessarily for getting things done. I've seen many well managed, useless projects.

            You can try to use Jumbo Jet for errands but there are better alternatives.

            Originally posted by Mike in Winnipeg View Post
            I have an audio tape of DA where he describes having used lots of different systems including mind mapping software (maybe that is all he was talking about), he said, "they're all toys".... something like that anyway. I know he now endorses mind mapping software, the tape is several years old, that is what I was referring to.
            You can dig from the past any statement about technology maturity and prove it wrong after sufficient period of time.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by TesTeq View Post


              You can dig from the past any statement about technology maturity and prove it wrong after sufficient period of time.
              I'm not quoting DA for a "Got ya!" moment, just quoting him that's all, you seem kinda defensive. I'm trying to find something that will work for me and my small home based business. I'd like to be as digital as possible but a lot of tech I look at doesn't do it for me including project. I have been using DA's suggestion of Word in outline view for quite a while for brain storming etc. I have office 2010 now (64 bit so that GTD add on doesn't work) Excel and word. And I take notes by hand on a pad when the phone rings. I'm just looking for ways to use this stuff more effectively I'm so unorganized. *apparently that's not a word.
              btw, I'm not into mind maps even though I've read Buzan's books a few.. correction, quite a few years ago.

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              • #8
                Excel and outlines.

                Originally posted by Mike in Winnipeg View Post
                I have office 2010 now (64 bit so that GTD add on doesn't work) Excel and word.
                Some people successfully use Excel for their GTD lists.

                Originally posted by Mike in Winnipeg View Post
                btw, I'm not into mind maps even though I've read Buzan's books a few.. correction, quite a few years ago.
                I'm not into mind maps too - I prefer linear outlines.

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                • #9
                  I have a vague memory that somewere DA said project management tools like MS project are good for managing complex projects, but should be combined with a tool/system (like GTD) which ensures all planning is translated to physical next actions. MS project etc are not correct tools to define next actions like call Fred. Their planning power is in higher level.

                  If I recall correctly DA has said it is next impossible to plan certain projects (e.g. large construction project) without proper tools (and MS project was mentioned as one possible tools). Natural Planning Model can be used to avoid obvious errors (like Dodger stadion build without drinking fountains).

                  I also have tried to use mind maps, but I have found it easier to use outlining tools. My current favourite is MS word.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Mike in Winnipeg View Post
                    I'd like to be as digital as possible but a lot of tech I look at doesn't do it for me including project.
                    @Mike - if you haven't done so already, check out some of the "cloud" solutions available. That's what I've been using for about three years now and have been happy.

                    I was using Toodledo for most of this time and syncing with Appigo's Todo on the iPhone. I recently switched over to Appigo's Todo Online and have found it simpler yet more powerful. Cloud has the benefit of multi-platform (Mac, Windows, mobile) and cool features like email to inbox.

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                    • #11
                      MS project isn't for most people in office environments. After all how many of us have projects where we really know what will be required six months down the line?

                      However we commissioned a major (£1.5M) renovation of a community building in a previous charity, and the project plan was designed in MS Project by our major contractor & architects.

                      That was only a small build in the scheme of things, but the level of complexity blew my mind - 1 major contractor with a total of 79 sub-contractors. Every sub-contractor needed a small window of time, sometimes 9 months down the line, to do their work and they would only be able to do it every single previous step was complete. Genuine critical pathway stuff. (You cant paint a wall until its built, after all)

                      So in those situations MS Project was great. But for many cases, its overkill.

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