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  • Google Calendar becomes dysfunctional. Too many day - specific actions.

    Hi everyone,
    I've just encountered a huge problem with my Google Calendar. The calendar is my "hard landsape" and sticking to GTD principles this is the place to hold my time- and day-specific actions.

    The problem when reviewing past calendar data for reporting purposes. There is just too many day-specific actions (which are all-day appointments - i do not use Google Tasks). The "real" appointments are mixed up with to-do items, and important stuff is kinda blended with lower priority ones like "call Joe".

    My questions are:

    1. Should I create separate calendar for To-Do's in my Google Calendar? That's extra couple of clicks when entering data to gCal, but might work.

    2. What to do with completed day-specific actions (all day appointments)? Some of them, like "Call Joe" can be surely deleted, but others are important (reporting, etc). I dont want to spend time tinkering too much with completed actions, reassessing which ones are ok to keep. And there is no priorities in GTD.

    I'm kinda stuck with dysfunctional calendar
    Any thoughts?

  • #2
    I'd say get your tasks out of your calendar. Software like Nozbe does a great job of date-specific (and recurring) tasks -- I only use Google Calendar for specific appointments (call Joe at 3:00, etc).

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by thomas b View Post

      1. Should I create separate calendar for To-Do's in my Google Calendar? That's extra couple of clicks when entering data to gCal, but might work.

      2. What to do with completed day-specific actions (all day appointments)? Some of them, like "Call Joe" can be surely deleted, but others are important (reporting, etc). I dont want to spend time tinkering too much with completed actions, reassessing which ones are ok to keep. And there is no priorities in GTD.

      I'm kinda stuck with dysfunctional calendar
      Any thoughts?
      You don't mention where you keep your next action lists, which might be relevant to possible solutions. For example, you might be able to simply have actions that start and are due on a given date, and from that have a record. However, it depends on what tool you use! Another possibility is to have a calendar for "done" items, and to move day-specific actions to it when you have completed it. You can probably hide that calendar too, but I'm not an expert in gcal. Yes, it's an extra step, but if you have a reporting requirement, you GoTta Do what you gotta do.

      Comment


      • #4
        Are you being brutal with keeping things out of your calendar? That is - for tasks to complete on a certain day - are they 'would like to - or even really like to' - as opposed to 'locked in, won't go home until it's done'.

        I have very little in my calendar except for appointments - I find that otherwise I feel I'm using the wrong tool (a slightly less obvious form of the old 'using the inbox as a default to do list').

        Comment


        • #5
          You shouldn't use your calendar to store Next Actions.

          Originally posted by thomas b View Post
          I've just encountered a huge problem with my Google Calendar. The calendar is my "hard landsape" and sticking to GTD principles this is the place to hold my time- and day-specific actions.
          You shouldn't use your calendar to store Next Actions. Use a list manager instead (eg. Nozbe).

          You can create a "to-do" list for a day but it is not a core GTD practice - it helps some people to focus on the important stuff.

          Send me a Private Message or e-mail so we can discuss the problem that you've encountered.

          Comment


          • #6
            @mattsykes:

            Come to think of it, that might be the problem. Thanks!

            @mcoglivie:

            Im using a mix of Producteev software and text files.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by thomas b View Post
              @mattsykes:

              Come to think of it, that might be the problem. Thanks!

              @mcoglivie:

              Im using a mix of Producteev software and text files.
              You may be putting items on your calendar because some aspect of your list tools makes you uncomfortable. Personally I did not think Producteev would work well for GTD, but you should think about how well your lists are working for you.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by mcogilvie View Post
                You may be putting items on your calendar because some aspect of your list tools makes you uncomfortable. Personally I did not think Producteev would work well for GTD, but you should think about how well your lists are working for you.
                Agree. I find Producteev counter productive and uncomfortable, but it is an official teamwork app in my organization (mainly due to delegating features). I am considering of opting out of the system. But that's offtopic.

                Thanks for your input mcoglivie!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Agreed with the others that I would look closely at what those day-specific items are.

                  Things that go on your calendar should be things that will blow up if they are not done that day. And I even also force myself to limit them to things that have to occur on that day or not at all. So it's not a deadline for getting something done (if I have a deadline-based NA or project, that date is in my lists, because the hope is always that I will knock out that project before its due date), but rather an appointment to myself that says, "This can happen now and only now."

                  My only day-specific-but-not-time-specific action on my calendar for this week is "Call Dad" on Sunday. Maybe not something that will blow up, per se, but certainly something that doesn't mean as much if I don't remember to do it on the actual Father's Day. But it also doesn't matter what time of day I call. So that's on my calendar as a day-specific action.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Thank you all for your feedback, really appreciate it!
                    It is clear for me now that I was polutting my calendar with things "I wish" I got done on this specific day. The advice I found most helpful was "put that thing into your calendar only if things will explode if you don't do it". I trust in my calendar more now. Thanks.

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