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  • Question about the Getting Things Done System...

    Where do you guys put your project goals in?
    In the book, David advise others to write down their project goal but he doesn't tell us where to put those goals.
    Last edited by gtdnubcake; 11-24-2012, 10:28 PM.

  • #2
    Was it Getting Things Done by David Allen?

    Originally posted by gtdnubcake View Post
    For the paper based gtder, do you guys really use a new sheet of A4 paper to write an action reminder?
    Did it ever strike you as wasteful?
    It strikes me that I don't know what book you've read. Was it really Getting Things Done by David Allen?

    Comment


    • #3
      I'll answer the part about paper. I use paper a lot, and I also use computers a lot. Yes, I use a whole sheet of letter-sized (8.5 by 11 inch, usually) paper for each action, in some of my systems. (In other systems I have multiple actions on a page, e.g. in a notebook in my pocket, or items listed on computer.) To avoid being very wasteful, when I finish with the action, if there are only a few lines of text written on the page I erase it. I use soft pencil leads (2B), so it's easy to erase. I sometimes re-use a sheet multiple times in this way. If one side of the sheet of paper is full, I cross it off and use the other side for other actions. I also collect used paper printed on only one side and use the other side to write actions etc. Sometimes I cut up a large (used) envelope into one or two sheets of paper. I also cut up smaller, business-sized (used) envelopes into several smallish pieces of paper for writing notes to family members, reminders to myself taped to the fridge, etc.

      I really like having the actions one per page, so that I can sort through them and easily move them into different piles. The page also provides room where additional information can be written.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by cwoodgold View Post
        I'll answer the part about paper. I use paper a lot, and I also use computers a lot. Yes, I use a whole sheet of letter-sized (8.5 by 11 inch, usually) paper for each action, in some of my systems. (In other systems I have multiple actions on a page, e.g. in a notebook in my pocket, or items listed on computer.) To avoid being very wasteful, when I finish with the action, if there are only a few lines of text written on the page I erase it. I use soft pencil leads (2B), so it's easy to erase. I sometimes re-use a sheet multiple times in this way. If one side of the sheet of paper is full, I cross it off and use the other side for other actions. I also collect used paper printed on only one side and use the other side to write actions etc. Sometimes I cut up a large (used) envelope into one or two sheets of paper. I also cut up smaller, business-sized (used) envelopes into several smallish pieces of paper for writing notes to family members, reminders to myself taped to the fridge, etc.

        I really like having the actions one per page, so that I can sort through them and easily move them into different piles. The page also provides room where additional information can be written.
        Where do you put all your project goals in?

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by TesTeq View Post
          It strikes me that I don't know what book you've read. Was it really Getting Things Done by David Allen?
          If you are really a forum hero, why not answering the question instead of nitpicking newbies post and making sarcastic comment?

          Comment


          • #6
            Weekly review binder

            I am a paper based GTDer and I have a red three ring binder for my weekly review.
            I have some lists: Waiting for, Projects, Someday/Maybe and some personal trigger lists that help me stay on top of my game by asking myself reflecting questions.

            When something comes up that I need to reflect on during my weekly review, I put a small piece of paper in the hanging file with the binder. I use these small pieces of paper for phone calls, which go in a phone call file.

            No, I do not find the paper based system to be wasteful. The paper I use (not the entire 8 1/2 x 11 sheet) is reused. Do you know the white paper which wraps paper towels? That paper can be cut up into 3-4 strips. The backs of daily Dilbert calendar cartoons make a festive workplace. Backs of envelopes, any junk mail that is printed on only one side. I have these small pieces of paper stacked so neatly no one would ever guess that is how I use them.

            When it comes to the environment (I am not trying to pick a fight here), who wastes more? The computer based system doubtfully reuses more paper than I do using my system. Recycling is great, but reusing then recycling them is pretty good for the planet in my opinion. Again, not trying to sound arrogant or holier than thou. I am trying to make the case that paper based systems are wasteful.

            Good luck with whatever system (or combo) works for you,
            AD

            Comment


            • #7
              Separate sheets of paper for a mind sweep.

              Originally posted by gtdnubcake View Post
              If you are really a forum hero, why not answering the question instead of nitpicking newbies post and making sarcastic comment?
              What question? I can't see it in your initial post.

              But fortunately it survived in my previous comment:

              Originally posted by gtdnubcake View Post
              For the paper based gtder, do you guys really use a new sheet of A4 paper to write an action reminder?
              Did it ever strike you as wasteful?
              So let me answer your question.

              In the GTD book David Allen never tells us to put action reminders on separate sheets of paper. That's why I was wondering if you really had read the book.

              David Allen mentions separate sheets of paper in the context of a mind sweep. Here is a quote from the book:

              Originally posted by Getting Things Done by David Allen, Kindle Edition
              I recommend that you write out each thought, each idea, each project or thing that has your attention, on a separate sheet of paper. You could make one long list on a pad, but given how you will later be processing each item individually, it's actually more effective to put everything on separate sheets. You will likely not keep these pieces of paper (unless you decide that low-tech is your best organizing method), but it'll be handy to have them as discrete items to deal with as you're processing.
              To summarize: collect each idea on a separate sheet of paper (or 3x5 card or post-it note or using David Allen Notetaker Wallet), put it in your inbox and then process it. Then these sheets of paper can be thrown away or used as a project reference items.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by gtdnubcake View Post
                Where do you guys put your project goals in?
                In the book, David advise others to write down their project goal but he doesn't tell us where to put those goals.
                Where do you want to see project goals, i.e., desired outcomes? Many people try to write the project title as a brief outcome, e.g., "refrigerator installed" or "client swindled." Other people who use electronic list managers will put a statement about outcomes in the note section of a project. Others put it with other project support material, either paper or electronic. Put your outcomes where you will see them when you want or need to see them. Try different things until you find one you like.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by TesTeq View Post
                  In the GTD book David Allen never tells us to put action reminders on separate sheets of paper.
                  No, but as I remember it, he advises us to put action reminders on lists, and he describes a number of possible ways to implement lists, one of which is a pile of papers with one item on each sheet. So, if I remember right, putting one action on each sheet of paper is one of the options he suggests. I like it.

                  Processing doesn't have to involve throwing away the paper. For me, some of the papers become action items with no modification; others may become action items or projects or something with some modification; and as I mentioned, the paper can be re-used after erasing or turning over.

                  "handy to have them as discrete items to deal with during processing": I agree with this from the GTD book. My processing of the sheets of paper mostly involves moving them from one pile to another.

                  gtdnubcake said, "Where do you put all your project goals in?"
                  When my systems are working well, I have s sheet of paper for each active project
                  in a "projects" folder, and typically the objective of a project will be expressed within the title
                  of the project at the top of the page; or more than one objective may be listed on the page. Major steps towards achieving the project are also listed there.

                  However, I think that in GTD terminology, the objective of a project isn't called
                  a "goal". A project is a smaller thing (perhaps to be achieved in about 3
                  months or less; or even a very small thing that takes more than one step
                  and can be achieved within a few hours). A "goal" is a larger thing,
                  perhaps with a time horizon of about a year or so.

                  gtdnubcake, you seem to have edited the first post of the thread and removed
                  some questions from it. I'm not sure if there are any rules or guidelines for
                  editing posts, and I'm not sure whether you had a strong reason for withdrawing
                  a question, but it's confusing. I've made minor changes to some of my posts, but not ones that
                  would leave someone else's reply looking as if it had no reason to be there or something. Just a suggestion: if someone wants to prevent further answers
                  to a question, after a reply has already been posted,
                  maybe they could edit their post to say "(originally I posted
                  the following question, but I'm withdrawing it: ....)" and leave the question there.
                  If you edit immediately after you post, before others reply, I think you can make
                  a lot more changes without anybody becoming confused or even noticing that you've
                  edited. Sorry to sound critical. Maybe nobody's worked out guidelines for this
                  sort of thing yet.

                  [I made a small edit to this post immediately after posting it.]
                  Last edited by cwoodgold; 11-25-2012, 04:47 PM. Reason: Clarification

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    No action reminders on separate sheets!

                    Originally posted by cwoodgold View Post
                    No, but as I remember it, he advises us to put action reminders on lists, and he describes a number of possible ways to implement lists, one of which is a pile of papers with one item on each sheet. So, if I remember right, putting one action on each sheet of paper is one of the options he suggests. I like it.
                    Unfortunately neither I (with my unreliable memory) nor my easily searchable Kindle version of the book remembers David Allen's suggestion to put one action on each sheet of paper.

                    In the GTD book there's only an option to arrange Project list in this way:

                    Originally posted by Getting Things Done by David Allen, Kindle Edition
                    I recommend that initially you make a "Project" list in a very simple format, similar to the ones you've used for your lists of actions: it can be a category in a digital organizer, a page in a loose-leaf planner, or even a single file folder labeled "PROJECTS" with either a master list or separate sheets of paper for each one.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I use mostly electronic (reminders on the iPhone/iPad). In my @projects list is where I keep my project goals. In fact I try to word my projects on my lists as goals. If there is more to the goal or project description I'll use the notes section. Looks something like this:
                      @projects (this is the list header)
                      **Complete business analysis for xyz market event (the ** indicates I have notes attached)
                      NOTES SECTION: review market declines, sales force reallocation opportunities, budget reallocation

                      Hope that helps!

                      Jason

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        OK, to answer TesTeq, the forum's "hero"
                        Here's the part where David tell other people to use full size paper to capture thought:

                        Page 92 GTD:
                        Plain Paper
                        You'll use plain paper for the initial collection process. Believe it or not, putting one thought on one full-size sheet of paper can have enormous value...
                        Also, stop trolling the thread.
                        If you don't have anything to say that's relevant to the question, don't post

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by gtdnubcake View Post
                          OK, to answer TesTeq, the forum's "hero"
                          Here's the part where David tell other people to use full size paper to capture thought:

                          Page 92 GTD:


                          Also, stop trolling the thread.
                          If you don't have anything to say that's relevant to the question, don't post
                          The collection process is different than your eventual Projects List. You've gotten a lot of useful information in this thread, but I would just say - don't get confused between the collection phase and the organization phase. Your "trusted buckets" will be your Projects List(s), your Someday Maybe list(s), and your context-based Next Action lists.

                          In the quote you include here, David suggests the one item per piece of paper strategy - especially for your initial mindsweep - so that it is easier for you to focus on PROCESSING one thing at a time. and by processing, I mean asking "What is my desired outcome? What is my next action?"

                          (There is also a case whereby you may want to work with folders instead of lists (either paper lists or electronic lists), in which case you would keep actions, projects, etc. on separate pieces of paper in a folder.

                          Hope that helps...

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by gtdnubcake View Post
                            Also, stop trolling the thread.
                            If you don't have anything to say that's relevant to the question, don't post
                            Notice that David Allen's recommendation is for an initial collection process.

                            Also, please be more polite and let our personalities grow on you.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              gtdnubcake, you have discovered the strange paradox of the GTD forums--despite the fact that we're all here precisely to discuss how our implementations differ, a lot of people insist that there's a "right" way to do things.

                              Here's a comment I find relevant...

                              Originally posted by CJSullivan
                              (There is also a case whereby you may want to work with folders instead of lists (either paper lists or electronic lists), in which case you would keep actions, projects, etc. on separate pieces of paper in a folder.
                              to back that up from the book:

                              Originally posted by page 141, hardcover
                              When I refer to a "list," keep in mind that I mean nothing more than a grouping of items with some similar characteristic. A list could look like one of three things: (1) a file folder with separate paper notes for the items within the category; (2) an actual list on a titled piece of paper (often within a loose-leaf organizer or planner); or (3) an inventory in a software program or on a digital assistant, such as Microsoft Outlook task categories or a category on a handheld PDA."
                              So yes, one possible way that David suggests to organize NA and project lists is simply to continue the one-sheet per item method but group them into folders. For most people, however, this is going to be too cumbersome and require too much fiddling.

                              In my experience with these forums, it is often best to ask, "How do each of you implement this aspect of the system" or "Where do each of you put this kind of reminder for yourself" rather than "Where should I put this" or "How should I do this"

                              There really are no "shoulds" beyond "Get it off your mind and review it appropriately so that it stays off your mind until it's the right time to get done."

                              The implementation of GTD is intensely personal and highly situation specific. When you ask with the understanding that you're going to get multiple options, you'll get multiple options and you can pick and choose which ones to try. No two of us are implementing GTD in exactly the same way.

                              That said-- to give you an answer about where *I* put my projects: I use Google Tasks for my NA lists, and my project list is simply a list in Google Tasks. Since my contexts lists are all preceded with the @symbol, that means that my lists "Projects" and "Projects--Writing" and "Someday/Maybe" appear at the bottom of my system, which is perfect since I don't review those as often.
                              Last edited by jesig; 12-12-2012, 12:17 PM. Reason: that paradox wasn't a paradox

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