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When waiting for is not a person

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  • When waiting for is not a person

    How does one track a @waitingfor when it isn't a person? For example, If I am waiting for a meeting to take place, or waiting for the first of the month when a new procedure goes into effect, or waiting for a parts shipment to arrive?
    Last edited by kglade; 04-06-2012, 12:06 PM.

  • #2
    Originally posted by kglade View Post
    How does one track a @waitingfor when it isn't a person? For example, If I am waiting for a meeting to take place, or waiting for the first of the month when a new procedure goes into effect, or waiting for a parts shipment to arrive?
    For your meeting example, I would put a note in my diary (normally as an all-day event) to remind me that the meeting is happening on that day and to reactivate any following actions; if it was something I actually needed to bring up in the meeting then I would add the item to my @agendas for that particular meeting so that I didn't forget.

    For the first of the month example I would use either my calendar (as in the first example) or a tickler file.

    For your shipment of parts, I would use my regular @Waiting For list. I am often waiting for train tickets as part of my job and I add these to my @Waiting For list with a date so that I know when I ordered them. If they are needed for a date that is coming up soon, I will also add a note in my diary to check that they have arrived a few days ahead. If they haven't arrived that will give me time to call the train company and do something about it. Normally just having them on the @WF is enough as I review the list fairly regularly during the week and always at the weekly review and will pick up on it if it is still outstanding.

    Hope this helps.

    Sarah

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    • #3
      I put them all on waiting for

      If I know when the meeting is, I might put a note with the meeting or use a tickler file. But I am often waiting for a meeting that has not yet been scheduled - the waiting for list is perfect for this. I use my waiting for list for online purchases and airline tickets before I take a trip etc.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by kglade View Post
        How does one track a @waitingfor when it isn't a person?
        I still have the action set as a context of @waiting in my electronic system. Since I review those at least weekly and when I have time that I am unable to deal with more pressing matters I read my @waiting context to see if any need a new push. So I get to review or at least read that context about 3-4 times a week.

        Currently my @waiting context has Waiting for last 2011 lamb registrations to arrive before sending database off for weight conversion and waiting for ditch to get turned on. Those actions are in the Convert weights to decimals project and Get irrigation running for the summer project.
        Last edited by Oogiem; 04-08-2012, 09:25 AM. Reason: add example

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        • #5
          What difference does it make whether it's a person or not? Either way, it's something you don't need to do anything about now but you might need to do something about in the future.

          I treat all waiting-for's as actions. That is, if I'm really not going to do anything about them, I don't have them in my system at all. If I'm going to do something such as remind the person if it isn't done yet after some time, then I put them in my tickle file. When they
          come up in the tickle file, they're real actions that can be done immediately or when
          I have time, and can be treated like other actions.

          I guess the advantage of linking waiting-for's to people is that you can collect all
          the things you're waiting for from the same person, along with anything else you
          need to talk to that person about, and discuss them all at once when you see
          the person.

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          • #6
            As above, the WF is a reminder for you of where the project is up to, so whether its a person replying to you, or a meeting occurring, or even some natural event, it makes no difference. It means you can look at the project in the weekly review and decide quickly about whether you should do something else about it.

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            • #7
              I don't need to look at it every week and decide; I've already previously decided what needs to be done when. To me, using "waiting-fors" seems out of character with the rest of
              GTD, e.g. identifying a specific physical next action. It depends, though, on the type and number of "waiting-fors" a person tends to have.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by kglade View Post
                How does one track a @waitingfor when it isn't a person? For example, If I am waiting for a meeting to take place, or waiting for the first of the month when a new procedure goes into effect, or waiting for a parts shipment to arrive?
                How you treat these things may also depend on your implementation. I use software that has both start and due dates. Start dates can be used with waiting for items to give you a reference point, as in "I placed an order 2 months ago- where is it?" This can be done by simply putting a start date in your entry, even using paper. With an electronic system that supports start dates, you can have entries that appear in any of your lists on the start date. So you can have "Read previous minutes" appear the day before the meeting and "Review meeting notes for action items" appear after the meeting without cluttering your waiting for list. You can duplicate this even with a paper calendar, but the electronic implementation is convenient.

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                • #9
                  If I'm waiting for a specific date (or meeting that's happening on a specific date) I put something in my tickler to let me know I will need to take action after that date.

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                  • #10
                    The @WaitingFor Category

                    Originally posted by kglade View Post
                    How does one track a @waitingfor when it isn't a person? For example, If I am waiting for a meeting to take place, or waiting for the first of the month when a new procedure goes into effect, or waiting for a parts shipment to arrive?
                    The examples that you give would end up on my calendar and/or tickler system.

                    If the Sales Meeting is Friday, then I might add a note to my Outlook calendar for Thursday that says, "Sales Meeting tomorrow". Or...it might be a set up as an entry in my paper-based tickler system. So...when I pull the material from Thursday's tickler folder, I would find a note that says "Sales Meeting tomorrow" (or something similar).

                    The Sales Meeting would (of course) be an entry on the day that it takes place. And...I have to be disciplined enough to review my calendar (both forward AND backward) every day so I don't miss anything.

                    Hope that helps.

                    Sometimes you have to experiment and find the tip or trick that works best for YOU.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by cwoodgold View Post
                      I treat all waiting-for's as actions.
                      Recently, I almost had to break down and start a real GTD-style "waiting-for"
                      system. The problem was: I had a "waiting-for" type item, but in this case,
                      unlike previous cases, I wasn't quite confident that when a reminder came up,
                      I would remember whether the thing was already done or not. If it's buried in
                      the tickle file, I might not be able to get it out when I see that the thing is done.

                      I fixed it for this time, though: I still put it in the tickle file, and I created a new
                      email folder where I can put emails indicating that an action of that type is
                      done. So, when the reminder comes up, I can check that folder to see whether
                      it's already done or not.

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