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  • Trusted Sustem - Yes; Trusted Memory - No so much

    I now have a trusted system that is easy to use and allows me the freedom to carry one thing.

    My iPhone (a 5, but I was with the same thin with a 4) has a great Mac-based software called "Things" which has an iPhone, iPad, and Mac client. Things syncs in the iCloud system and makes sure all of these items are consistent on every platform.

    Unfortunately, there are type when I cannot pull my iPhone out and enter a quick task into the program (when I face-to-face with a client for instance). Go I have used some 3M removable adhesive strips on the back of the phone, and "taped" a Flipnote notepadon the back - http://wellspringgift.shptron.com/c/flip-notes - when the Flipnote is aligned with bottom of the phone, it does not get in the way of the camera, etc. (although I'm sure steve jobs would not approve).

    When I get back to me home office I drop any paper notes I've made into my physical in box and add them to Things

    My problem is that this would be foolproof if I could remember what I had already entered and what I had not. So I could fill up a pad that has the same reminder that I already entered yesterday or that I entered earlier that day on the note pad.

    I seems to me that if I could come up with a consistent way of alphabetized the tasks, I could use small cards instead of the notepad entries - so i could as least try to catch duplicates.

    I know one of the benefits of GTD is to get things out of your head, but instead that has translated to having all these item in my head to juggle to making sure I have all these items into GTD.

    Surely I can't be the only one who has encountered this problem.

  • #2
    In case of doubt: enter

    If a thought comes to my mind, I write it down and process it. During processing, I try not to spend time to see if this was already entered in my system or not.
    This can lead to duplicate entries, but you should be able to spot those when going through your lists and certainly not later than your weekly review.

    I have experienced that double entries can indicate that there is something missing and that the NA I have captured might not be the real NA.
    Example: I jot down "call Dave re: budget 2014"; during processing, I put the NA on my @ calls list.
    If the thought occurs to me again that I need to call Dave about the budget, it can mean two things: it is really important that I get this done and I better set up a meeting/conference call to block sufficient time in both our schedules or I have to call Dave about the budget, but first I need to check how we are doing this year against budget so we can have a proper discussion.
    In both cases, the NA I had on my list was not the proper NA.

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    • #3
      Double Capture = not planned well

      For me capturing something twice almost always means that it's a project that isn't planned well enough or it's something that needs more work or is changing in priority. I don't worry about it, far better to capture twice than not at all. Catch it in processing or at weekly review.

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      • #4
        I have some duplicate things in my system. Not a big problem. When they come close enough together that I'm sure one is a duplicate, I remove it. The only possible problem is my reminder to water a certain plant once every two weeks. What if I had two of these, and was watering it every week, which would be too much for this plant? But I don't want to remove it and not water at all. Not a big deal -- I'll figure that out one way or another.

        Suggestions: When you enter something that's written on a sticky note, just cross off the thing on the sticky note. I use a slash to mean "this has been copied elsewhere so I don't need it". That's like a check-mark to mean "done" or an X to mean "I've decided I don't need to do this". Or you can tear the corner of the sticky note or something.

        Or, in your electronic system have a tag or flag meaning "this was copied from a paper source that still exists". If you go to enter it again and aren't sure if it will be a duplicate, you can check for that flag.

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        • #5
          I'm not sure if your concern is that you might enter the data from a given written note more than once, or that you might make, and then enter, several notes for the same issue.

          For the first, I'd recommend trashing or crossing out or somehow marking the note as done.

          For the second, I'd say don't worry about it, unless it's the rare occasion (like the watering-the-plant example above) where you might also forget whether you _did_ the task and doing it again would be bad. It's very common for me to find a reminder to do a task that I've already done, and I consider it harmless.

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          • #6
            Writing down really helps in a lot of ways. It is not always possible to remember everything, and sometimes you need to compare with various other points too.

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