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Problems with hard-copy backup for single action tasks

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  • Problems with hard-copy backup for single action tasks

    I have been doing fairly well wit the GTD system, but seem to be having a major problem with one specific area.

    I seem to get several single action (greater thant two minute) tasks that have a hard-copy item related to them. Say, for example I have a vendor invoice that will probably require a lengthy phone call to resolve. I create a task to call .......regarding vendor invoice. I have now captured the task in my list, but have this hard copy paper that I need to have in front of me when I make that call.

    Where do I put this piece of paper so that I remember where it is and it is easily retrievable when I do this task?

    I can have a very large number of tasks that have hard-copy related items, so this can be quite tough to manage.

    Your help will be greatly appreciated as this seems to be my biggest problem.

    Also, all my work is done only from my office, so it doesn't have t be mobil.


  • #2
    I keep a folder called Action Support, for just the sort of support material that you mentioned. Project support material goes into individual project folders, but paperwork related to single next actions goes in this folder.

    My next actions list clearly differentiate single next actions from project-related next actions, so it's not difficult to find where the appropriate support material is located.



    • #3
      Problems with hard-copy backup for single action tasks

      Thanks HTH.

      That's the way I'm currently handling these items, but since they are frequently secondary to my primary job and function, I may get six of this type of item in per day and only act on and complete two. At this ratio, this folder gets fully packed rather quickly. I was wondering if anyone had any other ideas.


      • #4
        Another possible approach is to disperse them throughout the various folders of a paper-based tickler system with a notation next to your next action indicating which folder it is in. You just have to remember to change the notation if you decide to move a tickled item forward.


        • #5
          Could you file the invoices alpha by vendor? This way, you should be able to find them easily, and maybe can be more efficient by noticing that you have more than one invoice for a vendor so one phone call can cover several invoices.



          • #6
            Tickler File Addition

            What I do is I have a set of 15 files labled simply "F1", "F2", etc in addition to my tickler file. I put items like this into one of my "F" files, and only one item per file, and the indicate next to the Next Action which file the item is in. For example, "8/20 - Call Finance about travel voucher (42) (F7)." The first item is the date I put the action on my list, the second item is the action, the third item (42) relates it to my project list and the last item tells my the notes and travel voucher is in file 7. Simple and effective, learned this from my old Franklin Covey days.