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Basic Question about Project List

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  • Basic Question about Project List

    I have a list of projects stated in successful outcomes. There are over 20 (professional life only). This week I realized during my Weekly Review, that my ASAP PROJECT file folders did NOT match my Project List. My Someday/Maybe area in my drawer did NOT match my "Someday/Maybe" list.

    I spent all of the 90 mins of my Weekly Review time getting the list to match the file drawer area. At the bottom of the Project List I had typed "Updated July XX in Weekly Review"
    So obviously updating the list regularly would be good.

    My question is this: Should I have a separate page for each project with the Next Actions listed, important phone numbers, important deadlines/milestones, etc? Or is one master list of Projects enough?

    I have a separate Next Actions folder, which I grab Phone Calls or At Computer or Waiting on TODAY as needed.

    What is a project support folder?
    I feel like this is a very basic question, and I have been doing weekly reviews (90 Mins each week, plus one hour a week for processing ins to empty the day before the WR). Did I miss something big, or am I just realizing this for the first time?
    What paper based system do others use?

    Thanks

  • #2
    Originally posted by Almost Done View Post

    My question is this: Should I have a separate page for each project with the Next Actions listed, important phone numbers, important deadlines/milestones, etc? Or is one master list of Projects enough?

    I have a separate Next Actions folder, which I grab Phone Calls or At Computer or Waiting on TODAY as needed.
    If you already have a separate Next Actions folder or Next Actions list sorted by context then there is no reason for you to have actions listed with your projects list.

    You can mix the two, but a Projects list is basically just a list of your projects.

    So it would look something like this.

    Complete the Spending Analysis worksheet
    Gather prices for Iphone Repair business
    Setup budget binder
    Convert that list of 5 DVD's so I can play them on my Iphone

    Each of these are projects and have more than 1 action to them.

    I could add in all the next actions, but that could clutter the page. It is easier to be able to just scan a list like the one above and know that they are all projects. Your brain doesn't have to guess if they are a project or not. You just know.



    What is a project support folder?
    A project support folder is basically going to hold all the information that you need for any particular project.

    Let's say that you want to get a job. Well you can put that down as a project (or a goal) but in this case to make it simple let's say it's a project.

    Well, along with that project there are going to be different actions steps like printing resumes, cover letters, practice your answers to interview questions, etc.

    But once you create a cover letter, or a resume, what you will want to do is to put that Cover Letter and Resume into a folder that supports your project. That helps you complete that project.

    So a project support folder.

    So your Project Support Folder for Getting a job, can hold your Resume, Cover letter, Letters of Reference, a list of companies that you would like to work for, a list of people to contact in those companies, etc.

    I am sure you get the idea.


    I feel like this is a very basic question, and I have been doing weekly reviews (90 Mins each week, plus one hour a week for processing ins to empty the day before the WR). Did I miss something big, or am I just realizing this for the first time?
    I don't understand this question? Are you asking if you are missing something because your weekly review takes 90 minutes? Or are you asking for another reason?

    Please clarify.


    What paper based system do others use?

    Thanks
    I used to use an Iphone app, but then I signed up for a free 14 day trial to GTD Connect and they have this great, great Webinar on how to setup a Paper Planner.

    And there are tonnes of other great webinars in there.

    Check it out you can try it for free for 14 days.

    www.gtdconnect.com

    Comment


    • #3
      The way I've implemented this: my stack of Project folders is my Project List.



      Cheers,
      Roger

      Comment


      • #4
        David Allen says a "list" can be a pile of papers with one item on each page. I don't remember whether he generalizes further, but I figure a "list" can be a pile of folders, so a list of projects can be folders with the name of a project as the label of each folder. To read the list of projects, you just read the labels. The folders can also contain project support material. I don't do it that way, but might in future.

        I have a "projects" folder containing one page per project, which functions as my list of projects. Each project page has the name of the project at the top, so I can read my list of projects by just reading the top of each page. Each page also has a list of steps for that project. When I review them, I can (in theory at least) just check off the steps that are done and get a feeling for how far along I am in the project, and see what still needs to be done. I also have a pile of project support folders, which doesn't have to exactly match my list of projects. Some projects might not have project support folders because everything I need for them is on the computer or in my head or something. There may be project support folders for projects I'm no longer working on in the pile, or for things that aren't exactly projects or are parts of other projects. The most often used folders tend to be near the top of the pile. I usually only use these folders when I've already decided to work on a project and feel I need something from its folder.

        Almost Done, when you talk about getting your set of project folders to match your project list, I'm wondering what the purpose of that is. Isn't that a form of duplication? During the week, how do you decide what to work on -- are you prompted by your projects list (or, equivalently, by next-action lists that were based on it), or are you prompted by the existence of the ASAP folders? I figure one or the other should be primary.

        What is the purpose of having a list of projects? What good does it do to read a list of just names of projects? Pretty much the only purpose I see is to check whether I'm trying to do too much.

        To answer your question, Almost Done, I figure a project support folder can contain any material that's useful in getting the project done: drafts of manuscripts, receipts, forms, lists of actions, mind-maps, notes, whatever.

        Originally posted by shane_k View Post
        I don't understand this question? Are you asking if you are missing something because your weekly review takes 90 minutes? Or are you asking for another reason?
        I believe Almost Done is talking about the question "What is a project support folder"?

        Comment


        • #5
          Project Support Materials - Where Volume Goes

          This was my big "ah-ha" moment when I listened to the David Co. Projects audio CD set.

          A project list is just a simple list of each successful outcome - the tops of the file folders as David calls them. At least one next action is just a description of the next physical, visible action.

          So where does all the other stuff go? Project support!

          There's a temptation to make the projects and next actions lists do more than intended and part of the reason is project support gets undersold in describing GTD.

          A lot of the time I START in project support by using a sheet of paper and dumping everything I can think of about the outcome. The I distribute the outcome and action to those lists. Then if I want to add content or do brainstorming I go back to project support.

          It's really simple but big payoff.

          Comment


          • #6
            Thank you!

            I think I get it now. Maybe a separate Project List is not necessary, unless I want to feel good crossing things off. Yes, it might be duplication.

            Indeed, all of my project support folders have everything I need inside them. It seems I just made that a bit more complicated than necessary.

            I don't mind at all that my weekly review is 90 mins. There have been a few weeks that I didn't use all 90 mins, but mostly setting the timer for 15 mins for each: calendar review, empty my head, review my yearly goals (once per month), and go over my WR checklist helps. If I simply do an hour of process ins to empty the day before the WR it goes much more effectively.

            Thank you again for all of your feedback. This is an awesome group!

            Comment

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