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How many of you have "hacked" GTD?

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  • #16
    I use some minor adaptations, but no major "breaks":

    1. I keep one "phony project" for each Area of Responsibility, where I keep my single actions for that AoR. All real projects are also tagged by AoR. I have no single actions. All actions have an informative "project" designation visible in my list.

    2. I use a not-strictly-sequential approach to projects (usually a few active actions per project). This is actually in total compliance with the basic definition of what a Next action is (or Waiting, for that matter) but it conflicts with the conflicting recommendation to only pick one at a time.

    3. I use priorities and review frequencies in my own special way (as "synonyms"), but not in a way that is at odds with the GTD "spirit". For example, my task selection is fully situational (based on all four types of characteristics). And my Normal (Medium) review frequency is as per the standard.

    4. I do not use the original sample contexts, such as computer etc. I have my own. (Don't we all?)

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    • #17
      Originally posted by Folke View Post
      2. I use a not-strictly-sequential approach to projects (usually a few active actions per project). This is actually in total compliance with the basic definition of what a Next action is (or Waiting, for that matter) but it conflicts with the conflicting recommendation to only pick one at a time.
      I haven't seen a definition which says there should be only one next action per project. I always try to identify all parallel next action to maximize the potential of project being moved forward. I don't remember was it in Getting things done or making it all work, but David said if you want to be truly relieved about thinking a project you should identify all moving parts which can be moved forward independently.

      Or did you mean consecutive next actions?

      Originally posted by Folke View Post
      4. I do not use the original sample contexts, such as computer etc. I have my own. (Don't we all?)
      I hope we all have our own. I don't think sample context are meant to be used as is. Everyone should find his/hers own contexts.

      You say you don't use computer context because you have a computer.... So do you have a computer with you always? If you mean you can do computer actions always when you are in home, then I understand. Though I personally have selected to separate home and computer lists, because most computer next actions require high mental energy, and most home actions are just physical performing, and quite a brainless tasks. So when I'm in low energy I don't have to think, I can just do some brainless @home actions.

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      • #18
        On the same page, it seems

        @kkuja and @bcmyers2112

        This means that at least the three of us - and many others, I am sure - interpret David Allen in the "correct" way, i.e. that there are as many Next actions as there really are. If an action is possible to do now, without anything else being necessary to be completed first, then it is a Next action.

        I have heard on countless occasions, though, people on various app forums claim that DA really means there can only be one Next action, and they sometimes quote some passage from one of the books which might seem to recommend "do not pick too many", "one is usually just nice" etc. More often than not, though, I believe they just quote other users. There seems to be a fairly solid and common misconception out there. And the existence of strictly sequential projects in some apps (either that, or the parallel shotgun type, but nothing flexible in between) encourages this misinterpretation.

        @kkuja

        I do not have a computer context, because I usually have a computer or computer-like appliance nearby. It would be handy sometimes, I admit, to have all kinds tags, but I do not have the energy to tag everything with a computer context since that is something I usually have everywhere. I do have location tags like office1, office2 and home, though, and these places all have all the computers and faxes I need. But they may have entirely different sets of other things, e.g. paper based document archives or some very special software that is only available in one of these locations - that's why I tag those that need be done in one particular place.

        I also agree and sympathize with your effort to combine several aspects into one single tag, when possible, such as, in your case, home and brainless. Such relationships are very individual, though. Another such combo, that I have heard many find useful, is quick-n-easy, combining low energy and short time.

        Defining tags (contexts) is an art in itself, and is intimately related to the quick filtering capabilities available in the app. For example, if you have a NOT (exclude) filter, you can get away with much less tagging and do more precise filtering. You could then have lots of infrequently used tags called "requires special software X" etc, and simply exclude the tasks that require this software whenever you are in the wrong place. If you only have the ubiquitous "pick this only" (AND) filter, then you would have to tag the vast majority of tasks with the "does not require X" to accomplish the same thing - and that's simply too much work.
        Last edited by Folke; 09-19-2013, 05:20 AM.

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