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  • How to deal with a project / action that is due at some point in the future

    Hi.

    How do you deal with a reminder for a project or next action that is due at some point in the future

    In my case I thinking about car insurance renewal or booking an appointment like the dentist. How do you set a reminder that by may 15th I need to renew. I would want to start looking at prices a week or two before but it need not be on s specific date. So would it be tickler file? Or a date on calendar to start project or next action (phoning dentist)


    Thanks. Macgrl

  • #2
    Originally posted by macgrl View Post
    Hi.

    How do you deal with a reminder for a project or next action that is due at some point in the future

    In my case I thinking about car insurance renewal or booking an appointment like the dentist. How do you set a reminder that by may 15th I need to renew. I would want to start looking at prices a week or two before but it need not be on s specific date. So would it be tickler file? Or a date on calendar to start project or next action (phoning dentist)


    Thanks. Macgrl
    Both work. If you use software that supports start dates (omnifocus, things, Toodledo all do), you can just use that feature.

    Comment


    • #3
      Wonderful thank you so much for your reply.

      Can the same be used for waiting for items that you don't need to worry about that you are waiting for until some time off in the future...i.e. those things that you are in no rush for or should they just go on the regular waiting for list to avoid complications?

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by macgrl View Post
        Wonderful thank you so much for your reply.

        Can the same be used for waiting for items that you don't need to worry about that you are waiting for until some time off in the future...i.e. those things that you are in no rush for or should they just go on the regular waiting for list to avoid complications?
        Yes, but remember your brain has to be comfortable with "delegating" the task of remembering and reminding to wherever you put things. I would typically put long-term waiting for's someplace visible because not everyone is a gtd black belt and may need follow-up, and also situations change. I might schedule a reminder to check on the progress of something I'm waiting for.

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        • #5
          Start Dates

          Originally posted by macgrl View Post
          How do you deal with a reminder for a project or next action that is due at some point in the future
          I use start dates in Omnifocus for those types of things and I set them far enough in advance to get at least one weekly review in before they are due so I can catch up if I missed the actual start event. In Omnifocus those are pending projects and I have about a hundred of them in my system as of today.

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          • #6
            Thank you all very much for your replies..how do you set up start dates in omnifocus? Do they then not get shown until the start..if so how can you see them so that you know you have set them up?

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by macgrl View Post
              Thank you all very much for your replies..how do you set up start dates in omnifocus? Do they then not get shown until the start..if so how can you see them so that you know you have set them up?
              You can set start dates to show as a column in any view on the desktop, and they are always available in the inspector. Items with future start dates show up in the "blocked" font; they show up as remaining but not available tasks.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by macgrl View Post
                how do you set up start dates in omnifocus? Do they then not get shown until the start..if so how can you see them so that you know you have set them up?
                click on the calendar icon in the start date section of a project or action or set it in the inspector. Or just enter them in via words or test (tuesday, tomorrow, 9/26/12 etc)

                Review them separately as pending projects during weekly review time, or they will show up if you are in projects mode and look at all projects with a small clock superimposed over the project icon.

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                • #9
                  Thank you for that much appreciated

                  How far into the future do you set these reminders to start projects?

                  Do you ever add them to your diary to start the project at a certain date or just in omnifocus?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by macgrl View Post
                    Thank you for that much appreciated

                    How far into the future do you set these reminders to start projects?

                    Do you ever add them to your diary to start the project at a certain date or just in omnifocus?
                    I think my furthest out items are to renew my driver's license and my passport, both several years away. I just have them scheduled as a project with a future start date, not in my diary (calendar in the US).

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by macgrl View Post
                      How far into the future do you set these reminders to start projects?

                      Do you ever add them to your diary to start the project at a certain date or just in omnifocus?
                      My furthest out one is renew my passport and it's for 3 years into the future.
                      I only keep them in Omnifocus not on my calendar/diary.

                      edit - whoops found one action with a start date 8 years into the future under the project major house maintenance : Call and get septic tank pumped
                      Last edited by Oogiem; 09-25-2012, 07:15 AM. Reason: found a longer one

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by mcogilvie View Post
                        You can set start dates to show as a column in any view on the desktop,
                        Thanks for that tip...how do you do that?

                        Within the GTD system would it be acceptable for me to put a calendar entry to say to kick start a project or a reminder that there is something coming up?




                        I used to do that and I look at my calendar every day so wouldn't miss it. If I had a bill that i knew should come in October I would have a entry in my diary to say "has that bill come by now" that way i wouldn't miss paying it.

                        Or if I had to arrange to meet someone by a certain time i would put 2 weeks before into my calendar "I need to think about calling James for a meet up"

                        A great real situation is October 1st 2012 - a house i have is going to be rented on that day...I need to contact the utility companies to change over names...I can't do this until the monday as I need to take final meter readings so I have a calendar entry to take readings and call the utilities.

                        Rather than having an action in omnifocus with a start date I have calendar entry...

                        Are these acceptable tactics?

                        It worked for me but I want to implement the GTD philosophy as truely as possible so can change what I used to do.

                        Thank you all very much for you time in replying. I am trying to mould my system so that it is one that I can trust and rely on..no nagging doubts etc and that also follows gtd so far as is possible. I guess some of it is personal preference?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          To add the start date column in OF, right-click/double-tap on the column label bar. Check the columns you want shown in the menu that appears.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by macgrl View Post
                            Within the GTD system would it be acceptable for me to put a calendar entry to say to kick start a project or a reminder that there is something coming up?....Rather than having an action in omnifocus with a start date I have calendar entry...

                            Are these acceptable tactics?
                            What that says to me is that you don't trust your Omnifocus system and you are not doing regular weekly reviews.

                            The key factor for calendar actions is "Will this become irrelevant if I do not get it done on exactly this day and/or time?"

                            If nothing bad will happen if you slide that action around a day or 2 or a couple of hours or 3 then it's not really a calendar action and shouldn't go there.

                            A reminder that something is coming up would IMO be a tickler item if paper not a calendar item. IOW you want to review it at a certain time. I reserve my tickler for paper things. Otherwise it's clearly an Omnifocus item with a start date to me.

                            Examples:
                            I have to get a batch of sheep off to slaughter in October. I have a project set to start on the 1st of October to select and sort out the slaughter sheep. It doesn't really matter if I start that day or a day or 2 later so it doesn't belong on my calendar and starting then gives me a weekly review before it's due so I can see if I need to push it to the forefront. Part of the reason is that I may have other more urgent or critical items that I need to do on that day and may not have the time to do it. There are several actions, I need to select the short list of possibles, sort them and do a final evaluation with hands on sheep. Plus actually sorting the animals means I need the weather to cooperate and no weather service is remotely accurate that far in advance. I do have a deadline of when I need the decision, the night before when we load the trailer with the selected sheep.Until then it's clearly a project with a start date not a calendar item. I have already blocked out on my calendar the time I will need the nght before to load the selected sheep and the time the next day to drive them to the slaughterhouse. Because those items must be done exactly on those days and times.

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                            • #15
                              Thanks for that great reply....you are of course completely right. I don't trust omnifocus..well not yet anyway...I think that will come with time and is something that I should commit to. The more I play with it and see what it does and that I am getting stuff right using it and not missing things by erronous use I guess I will build up a relationship and trust it over time and many weekly reviews / months using it. I need to fully trust a system and be consistent in how I deal with information within to fully be happy and commited to it. That is what I am trying to put in place now. So sorry for all the questions about best practice. I'm kind of all or nothing...fully trusting it or not really happy

                              I must confess that I have been putting things into my calendar that wouldn't matter if I did it at that time/day or not (such as future reminders about things that I need to do) and so have been losing the "hard edges" of the calendar being just for things that have to be done on that date / time.


                              So it is okay to have project in omnifocus set to start in many months time / next year?

                              If i have a reminder for something coming up that is not paper / physical such as "on October 15th I need to think about booking a table for my birthday" is that okay to go into a calendar called tickler / an electronic tickler file on the date i want reminding?

                              - this calendar would be separate from my "actual" calendar - or should it be a project in omnifocus with a start date of 10/15? (what if it is just one action and not a project that could be done at anytime after the 15th but before the 23rd such as one call to one restaurant?)


                              Using your sheep as the example (great example btw) could you put a reminder that it is coming up in your tickler file or is it that you prefer to have a project set to start at that date instead.

                              Do future start date projects and actions appear in omnifocus (maybe in a different font / faded) or are they hidden only to appear on starting? I wouldn't want to miss anything in review / I would want to see what was there to confirm that I had set it up...with months inbetween the entry and the start I would want to be sure that it was there.

                              Also does that mean that you would have omnifocus full of future projects / single next action going many months an years in advance?

                              Many thanks macgrl

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