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  • #31
    Originally posted by cwoodgold View Post
    Oh, no! You mean while we're gabbing on the forum you're out there Getting Things Done (TM)?
    I wish. There are more ways to not get things done than forum-dwelling, and I'm a grandmaster in a couple of them.

    Comment


    • #32
      Originally posted by cwoodgold View Post
      The only other reasonable possibility I can think of is things that only occur once.

      Example: Things to buy at the grocery store today.

      Example: Things to bring on this particular trip when travelling (if the
      trip is sufficiently unique that it's not worthwhile to save the checklist
      for future trips).

      Example: Things to mention to a particular person in a particular conversation.
      Of your examples my experience is that only number 3 is one I use regularly. Something I buy at the grocery store today I will inevitably need to buy again some day so it's better to save it on a list somewhere and then just mark that I need it again. (one reason I use a shopping app for my shopping lists). I don't travel much anymore so number 2 while possible was not my experience when I was traveling but I can see how it might be possible. Number 3 is the only one I ever really have and I just add those things to a waiting for/agenda list for the person.

      Comment


      • #33
        I think it depends on how in your face you want your checklists to be. I use checklists in my tickler file for when I get to work and for when I get home (even have one for leaving for work in the morning, so I don't forget my wallet, or heaven forbid, coffee). When I get to work I pop out my "things to do when you get to work" checklist, do them, then pop it into the next day's folder. These checklists I generally don't care about until I walk into the office.

        For something that I don't want to know about until that day but that I want emphasized (such as submitting a status report) I will attach a sticky note to the checklist in my tickler file. When this comes out of the tickler file and into the inbox the next action lists get updated and the sticky goes on my monitor to annoy me and guilt trip me until I get the thing done. Sometimes things in my tickler will go into my inbox and then onto my action list but not get done that day because of other priorities. The sticky prevents this by distracting me until I get it resolved.

        If I really really want to not forget something that I know I need to do but can't do right now I'll put a reminder on the calendar, the actual checklist / item in the tickler file, and a pre-event tickler as well (as was mentioned). This is really in my face and hard to forget. I only do this for things that I absolutely must not forget, like wife's birthday or big presentations to the customer.

        For the vitamin thing, I would put a mini-tickler file next to the coffee maker. This may be different for you but for me that’s the first thing I'm going to grab in the morning and I'll do my little morning checklist without even thinking about it (mostly because I can't, I'm not caffeinated yet). I would then modify the reoccurring checklist as you changed your health plan. I have a tickler file at work and at home (but one list of action items) because the types of things that go in both of those are really disjoint. My @home activities really start in the evening and I empty my home tickler file and start processing. My daily chores list and movie ideas lists are in there so if I were taking daily vitamins I would put a reminder there.

        For reoccurring projects what it seems like you need (and I would be very happy with as well) is a template that would auto-generate some NAs on some day. Every day / week / month the project would be added to your project list and the default NAs populated to their corresponding contexts. Probably even an email reminder so that you could get a heads up that a new project has already been started and you have default accepted it into your workload. I don't know of any digital tool that does this. Best I could come up with is a paper list of the project NAs and you place this in your tickler to be re-entered every time the project occurs.

        Remember that an item on your action list can be done immediately if you are in the right context. Things on your calendar or in your tickler have no immediate actions. The calendar just gives you a bigger view of your work and allows you to stress more. If vitamins are important enough to worry about them before you can do anything about them then you start using your calendar. If not, throw them in a tickler file.

        FYI, I have been searching for a digital version of a tickler file that will email me something on a particular date. Haven't found anything yet, or at least not something I would trust with work material.

        Comment


        • #34
          Tickled pink

          Originally posted by Cpu_Modern View Post
          Then put this task before Tuesday into the Tickler and on that day when you need to be aware of it you re-tickle it for Tuesday.
          "re-tickle": great verb! I love it!

          Comment


          • #35
            Originally posted by artsinaction View Post
            I really have to jump back in here. I am tickled... totally tickled at the interest and fabulous suggestions my dog food situation has elicited. ...

            But I have to clarify that my daughter (she's my step-daughter, so I take no credit for how rockin' incredible she is) is extremely responsible.
            You're quite right. Some of the things I suggested were too harsh.
            I'm thinking about this more as a an interesting example that
            I and others may learn something from, than to find
            any more suggestions for you, so I hope you don't mind if I continue
            the discussion.

            I was wondering: how to give the child opportunities to learn responsibility
            smoothly and pleasantly, i.e. while the parent models civility and cooperation
            rather than harshness and punishment?

            I thought, how about when the child says "I've just used up the dog food,"
            you could say "Thanks, you showed responsibility by telling me that.
            ... and, next time you can show even more responsibility by telling me when
            there are only about 5 or 10 days of dog food left!"
            But that sounds like a criticism and deflates the compliment.

            So then I thought: you can just say "Thanks, you showed responsibility by telling me that!" And then, when there are about 3 weeks of dog food left, you can
            tell the child, "If you ever notice there are only a couple of weeks or less
            of dog food left, you can show responsibility by telling me." The idea here is
            that the child can relatively easily remember to tell you a few days later.
            If however the child immediately replies, "Actually, there are only a couple
            of weeks of dog food left right now," you can give a positive reply like
            "Oh, thanks for telling me! OK, I'll make a note to buy more."
            (Not "oops, this isn't working, I was supposed to warn you a week earlier"
            or something.)

            This way, the child is learning a skill which will be of long-term use to the
            child throughout the child's adult life: noticing when a supply of something is getting low
            and doing something about it. And then if for some reason your tickle
            file doesn't work and you don't buy the dog food, the child may usefully
            remind you.

            Maybe an easier way to start: when you want to check how much
            dog food is left, instead of looking yourself, ask the child: "About how much
            dog food is left right now?" The child may not be good at estimating
            the number of days of food left; just accept that it's going to be very
            approximate and don't criticize; the child may naturally get better at
            that with time. If the child just says "Oh, lots!" then you can say
            "Thanks. And let me know if you ever happen to notice it's less than about
            half a bag." And still ask again every couple of weeks.

            Generally, a positive response "Thanks for telling me!", (not "Why didn't
            you tell me earlier?" or "Oh, no! I'll have to change my plans for the day!")
            will encourage the child to approach you with that sort of information.

            Cathy

            Comment


            • #36
              Originally posted by mcogilvie View Post
              You can put daily recurring next actions on your calendar, on a next action list, or on a checklist.
              You can also literally "put it in front of the door": I do that with things I'm planning
              to bring with me.

              Not everything has to be written down. Some things, like "eat lunch", we may just
              remember on our own without a reminder. Other things can be in a physical
              location: If I already have a habit of using breakfast cereal every morning, I
              can put a vitamin bottle beside (or in front of, or taped onto) the breakfast cereal
              so I'll notice them. For some things, I find it's more pleasant, and a few seconds
              less time-consuming, to work with
              physical things rather than having to read a checklist. I think that's quite within
              the spirit of GTD: as long as you put it in a trusted system, it doesn't necessarily
              have to be a written system.

              Comment


              • #37
                Originally posted by Defibaugh View Post
                FYI, I have been searching for a digital version of a tickler file that will email me something on a particular date. Haven't found anything yet, or at least not something I would trust with work material.
                I'm on a UNIX system at work and I put "mailx" commands in my crontab to send myself
                an email on a particular day of the year or recurring emails on particular days of the week or month etc.

                If you don't trust systems "out there" on the Internet that send you emails like that,
                perhaps you could sign up for more than one different system (if you can find them) and arrange for them
                each to send you an email. Then if one of them fails you'd still get at least one reminder.

                If you're not on a UNIX system but you're able to write programs, perhaps you could
                write one that runs all the time (with a keepalive script to re-start it if it stops for
                any reason) and/or that starts every time you turn on your computer, that checks the
                current date-time and its own records of whether it's already sent emails, and sends you
                emails on or after dates and times you list. I could write a program like that fairly easily, but
                perhaps ironically only on a UNIX (or Linux) system!

                ... maybe this should be on the other forum about gear and software. You might want to try asking there.

                Comment


                • #38
                  Originally posted by North View Post
                  I wish. There are more ways to not get things done than forum-dwelling, and I'm a grandmaster in a couple of them.
                  LOL!

                  Sometimes I take advantage of procrastination: if I procrastinate really hard
                  on doing one thing, I'll just naturally find myself filling in the time by
                  doing a bunch of other useful things I'd been putting off.

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    It can be dangerous to use work system for your personal reminders.

                    Originally posted by cwoodgold View Post
                    I'm on a UNIX system at work and I put "mailx" commands in my crontab to send myself
                    an email on a particular day of the year or recurring emails on particular days of the week or month etc.
                    It can be dangerous to use work system for your personal reminders. Tomorrow never knows...

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      Originally posted by Defibaugh View Post
                      FYI, I have been searching for a digital version of a tickler file that will email me something on a particular date. Haven't found anything yet, or at least not something I would trust with work material.
                      I use Things for that, which can be set up to put an item in the today list at any date, or even recurrently (any interval). There's where I have many of my recurrent actions. (But it can't send any material, only whatever text you type in.)
                      Last edited by North; 08-13-2012, 01:05 AM. Reason: Adding info

                      Comment


                      • #41
                        So there have been a number of suggestions here, as I suspected it's a big topic and a very common type of action item. Like I said I do have some solutions for recurrent actions (but I'm always open for improvement), so it was more of question of whether GTD really addresses the question adequately.

                        While there are plenty of solutions that integrate reasonably with GTD I have not been convinced that GTD deals with recurrent actions in a direct way.

                        Not even sure if DA mentions recurrent actions directly in Getting Things Done. He does have a section called "The Next-Action Categories" which would be the natural place to write about RAs, but what he writes is:

                        What does need to be tracked is every action that has to happen at a specific time or on a specific day (enter these in your calendar); those that need to be done as soon as they can (add these to your "Next Actions" lists); and all those that you are waiting for others to do (put these on a "Waiting For" list).
                        Nothing on recurrent actions. They are a type of next actions in my view, but they don't always go into the next action lists or the calendar (read this thread for a number of creative solutions to RAs).

                        I'll return with at least one more post, on how I deal with RAs myself.

                        Comment


                        • #42
                          Another question re: checklists

                          The more I exmaine it, I think there are "checklists" (David Allen describes them in Getting Things Done as "recipes of potential ingredients for projects, events, and areas of value, interest, and responsibility") and then there are, for lack of a better term, "procedures" (I need to remind myself to do XYZ every morning and in that order)...

                          Checklists could be things you want to be reminded of on a regular basis, at which time you can decide whether or not you're actually going to follow through on them. When you review that kind of checklist, and say to yourself "Yes, I would like to do that" but you're not doing it RIGHT NOW (for instance: I have a bi-weekly checklist for my cat, and one of the items is "cut claws"). Well, I'm not necessarily going to read that item, put down the sheet of paper, then go find the cat and cut his claws... Do you then add the item to your @Home next action list? And if so, do you ever find that it's still on your next action list the next time you review your checklist?!!!

                          Comment


                          • #43
                            GTD compliant strategy for handling recurring tasks

                            According to David, day specific actions belong on the calendar. In the case of recurring actions, it would be correct to have them on your calendar - they are technically day specific actions. However, I agree with you when you feel there should be another way of dealing with them. Do you really want your calendar filled with 'take 2 omega-3 pills', 'take 3 vitamin D pills', 'take 3 vitamin B12 complex'? Neither do I.

                            I suggest an alternative method that still stays true to GTD principles.

                            TL,DR-

                            Master projects list - consume set amounts of healthy body supplements
                            Next actions list - take reminder list from project materials folder and swallow supplements
                            Next actions list - go to store and purchase more pills
                            Project materials folder - reminder list (all the pills you want to take)


                            (I chose to use the term 'reminder list' in your project materials folder, instead of 'checklist' to avoid confusion)

                            Is it actionable? Yes

                            What is the desired outcome?
                            Consume set amounts of healthy body supplements

                            (This outcome can go on your master projects list as a placeholder.)

                            What is the next action?
                            Take the reminder list from my projects materials folder and swallow pills on the list.

                            (write out the pills you have to take on a reminder list and insert it in your Projects materials folder)

                            Let's say you take your next actions list out and see this task. You've pull the list from your projects material folder, and finish working the list off by taking all the pills you set out to take that day.

                            Now, once you've completed the task, you'll have to decide the next action, with the project the the master projects list acting as a placeholder to draw more action steps.

                            For instance, you decide you still want to do this tomorrow. You'll just add the same next action to your NA list (just date it in case it's a busy day and you forget if you already took the pills earlier that day).

                            OR

                            you decide you need to go get new ones from the store, because you have the placeholder in your master projects list, you can have "buy x,y,z pills at Xx store" as a next action to put on the NA list.

                            OR

                            You only had access to pill A but not pill X,Y,Z. The next action step would still be 'take reminder list out of project folder and swallow pills' but put a date on the ones you took already.

                            Im not sure I would use checklists for this particular scenario. David recommends it only as an inactionable bucket for you to draw inherent projects and actions from.


                            Let me know what you think.
                            Last edited by ctklai; 09-07-2012, 04:38 PM. Reason: grammar, typo

                            Comment


                            • #44
                              Originally posted by Defibaugh View Post
                              FYI, I have been searching for a digital version of a tickler file that will email me something on a particular date. Haven't found anything yet, or at least not something I would trust with work material.
                              Candid suggested 'http://www.followupthen.com' here: http://www.davidco.com/forum/showthr...029#post102029

                              Comment


                              • #45
                                Keep the system "light"

                                Originally posted by cwoodgold View Post
                                Not everything has to be written down.
                                I would definitely agree! Keeping the system clean is only possible if you don't crowd it. I would say reminders are best placed outside the GTD system, in an app/tool of its own.

                                Goncalo Mata
                                www.WhatsTheTrick.com

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