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How many Projects and NAs do you currently have?

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  • How many Projects and NAs do you currently have?

    I've been reading a number of old messagethreads at this forum, and am very appreciative to have access to them.

    One of the most startling things I read was in an old posting by Jason wherein he mentions that he currently had 80 projects and 100 next actions.

    This was a relief to read, as too, was the mention made in the GTD book that most First Mind Dumps take anywhere from 10-15 hours to complete.

    As a newbie to GTD, I've had no basis of comparison about such things, and consequently I thought that maybe I had way too many projects and maybe that meant that I was missing some essential process in GTD.

    What I'm currently most perplexed about is WHAT to do with all of those recurring chores.... e.g., how MANY times in the last year (much less the past few decades) have I realized or recalled that we need, for instance, MILK or bananas or some staple, and then taken time to write it down?

    I am amazed at the HUGE amount of time/energy something so utterly inconquential in one sense -- and yet necessary in another, has taken from the days of my life.

    I'm not sure if Allen's GTD book confronts the merry-go-round of such recurring 'junque,' or not.

    I'm not even sure if someone out there on the Net has already got a solution for grocery staples, so that this no longer preoccupies so many seconds of one's consciousness, again & again & again... and yet again, ad infinitum....

  • #2
    I know people who keep a list (made using a word processor) of all the grocery items they normally buy. When you look at it, most of us buy the same types of biscuits, the same type of milk, the same cereal, the same bread, etc all the time, and never buy 95% of the items supermarkets have on offer.

    These friends leave the list on their fridge, on the kitchen bench, or inside the pantry door. Every time they use up a packet/tin/box of something, they add to the tally next to that item on the list. Then, on shopping day, you can just grab the list, give it a quick scan and add a few things you know you'll need this week, and go shopping.

    You can fit a lot on a normal sheet of paper, especially if you print it landscape and use multiple columns.

    One big tip is to sort the list of items in the same order as your supermarket's aisles are laid out. That really makes shopping quicker!

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    • #3
      [quote="Anonymous"]I know people who keep a list (made using a word processor) of all the grocery items they normally buy. When you look at it, most of us buy the same types of biscuits, the same type of milk, the same cereal, the same bread, etc all the time, and never buy 95% of the items supermarkets have on offer.

      Hi,

      I do something similar. In Bonsai, I keep a master list of all the items I normally buy. It is not necessary for me to worry about adding things because usually, the items are there. Anything that I bought the last shopping trip is in red. Anything I didn't need is in maroon. I use the priority system to color code items.

      Then when I am about to go grocery shopping, I whip out my palm and see what I need. Then I do the necessary color coding. I may have to make minor changes to items here and there, but rarely are there major changes.

      Once I am finished, I synch everything to my desktop and print out a copy of the updated list to take with me. This is preferable to me over taking the palm to the store.

      In the past, I would keep a list on my refrigerator. But inevitably, I would forget to add something to the list. By keeping a master list that covers everything in Bonsai, I no longer have to worry about forgetting something.

      PT

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      • #4
        I keep my list in Excel on my iPAQ. My long list of almost everything is in the right hand column in alpha. When we run out of something, I move it to the left hand column. Then, when I'm in the grocery store, I sort the left hand column by aplha and there's my shopping list.

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        • #5
          Just piling on . . .

          I keep my grocery (etc) lists in the plain vanilla palm.

          I have a todo category called @outandabout.

          I have a TODO for each store I frequently go to.

          Under Ralphs (my grocery store), for example, I put the items I need in the note field.

          Whenever I get the inkling that I need, say, paper towels, I run to my computer or my palm, whichever is closer, and note it down. OR jot it down and throw into my briefcase or inbox for entry during morning processing at work.

          I take the Palm right to the store with me and delete stuff as I go. I know, uber geek. But hey, it works!

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Grateful
            I'm not even sure if someone out there on the Net has already got a solution for grocery staples, so that this no longer preoccupies so many seconds of one's consciousness, again & again & again... and yet again, ad infinitum....
            I use HandyShopper for Palm OS (discussed many times on these forums). HandyShopper checklists, along with necessary action reminders in my GTD list system, have revolutionized my shopping errands. Whenever I think of something I need, I try to put it in HandyShopper immediately.

            For groceries, it didn't take me long to develop a long list of all the items I frequently buy. Using HandyShopper, I sort by aisle and breeze through the store.

            I prefer HandyShopper on the PDA to paper lists because I always have my PDA with me, so I can take advantage of unexpected opportunities to stop in at Trader Joe's and grab all the things I currently need. This situation may not apply to everyone, I realize.

            -andersons

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            • #7
              Originally posted by andersons
              I prefer HandyShopper on the PDA to paper lists because I always have my PDA with me, so I can take advantage of unexpected opportunities to stop in at Trader Joe's and grab all the things I currently need. This situation may not apply to everyone, I realize.
              I went the HandyShopper route for a little while, but returned to a paper list. I found it awkward to carry my PDA, check off items, push the basket, etc. After nearly dropping the PDA a couple of times, that was it.

              I keep a small notebook handy at all times, and it goes in my purse when I leave the house. If I drop my paper list, I'm not out big bucks to replace it.

              As you said, YMMV.

              Carolyn

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              • #8
                Handyshopper + Excel + Paper

                Handyshopper is ideal for this purpose. You can make a database of things you buy routinely. When you check them off, they disappear from Needed view but aren't deleted. I put priorities to indicate how many paychecks out until I buy the item: 1 for now, 2 for next payday, etc. You can put in prices and see how much things will cost. There's an Excel import/export converter for Handyshopper databases, making it possible to print the list if you'd rather take paper with you to the store.

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                • #9
                  Another vote for HandyShopper. I use it for my grocery shopping and for checklists of various routines. I have Daily, Weekly, Monthly Quarterly and Annual Checklists (and numerous other checklists). Plus I have a next action to review each checklist at the appropriate interval. I use the due date function of the Palm to tickle the checklist to my attention at the appropriate time. For example, I have a weekend chores checklist. Instead of cluttering my next action lists with next actions like clean litterbox, vacuum and record receipts in Quicken, I just list them on my weekend chores checklist and review that list only on the weekend. Some items are the obvious kind (after all, I will eventually notice the litter overflowing onto the floor), but it helps to have a checklist to scan to make sure I have not missed anything.

                  I can see the point about it being somewhat awkward to refer to your PDA while shopping, but the efficiency is amazing. Like the name says, it's handy!

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