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  • A couple dopey questions about tickler files

    I've been gradually doing the GTD thing for the past few months. But I haven't really figured out the tickler file, so I haven't tried to do it yet.

    Here's what I don't get. Today is January 3, so I guess my tickler file looks like this

    4
    5
    6
    7
    (etc.)
    29
    30
    31
    Feb
    1
    2
    3
    Mar
    Apr
    May
    (etc.)
    Nov
    Dec
    Jan

    Where do I put a piece of paper that I will need on Feb 5 this year? Where do I put a piece of paper that I will need on Feb 5 next year?

    Thanks! -Steve

  • #2
    Hi,

    I would put everything in the "Feb" folder. Then, on January 31st, you would review everything in the "Feb" folder and distribute everything in there to the appropriate day of that month. I suppose Feb of next year could stay in the "Feb" folder throughout the year, until next January 31st.

    Just my $0.02!

    Comment


    • #3
      It's not a dopey question. I'd put the Feb 5 2005 paper in the "February" folder with a sticky noting the day it's for, unless it's self-evident. End of January, you go through the February folder and put the contents in appropriate day folders, or elsewhere (Someday/Maybe, The Round File...). Unless it'd be more useful to you between now and next year if it were in a project-related folder, I'd put the Feb 5 2006 paper in a "2006" folder, also with a sticky if needed.

      I hope the GTD pros can tell us whether that's okay, or if there's a better way.

      Comment


      • #4
        If today is January 3rd put the stuff for February 5th in the "February" folder because you have January 5th items in the "5" folder.
        On the other hand it really does not matter if you put stuff for February 2nd in the "February" or "2" folder. The only requirement for the system to work is to redistribute the "February" folder contents to "1" .. "28" folders on the last day of January.
        Stuff for February 2006 should be put in separate "2006" folder.
        I also suggest to put "29", "30", and "31" folders between "March" and "April" folders during January 31st tickler file review. It helps to avoid month length confusion at the end of months that are shorter than 31 days.
        TesTeq

        Comment


        • #5
          I have one set of 12 file folders labeled Jan., Feb., Mar., Apr., to December and another set of 31 file folders numbered 1-31. This month, the paper in the numerical folders is January activity only. If I have plans, invitations, notes, reminders, etc., for future months, I just put them in the appropriate "month" folder. At the end of Jan, I will open up the Feb., folder and insert the February paper in the right numerical folder. Been doing that for 5 years, and works very well.

          Comment


          • #6
            It is important that you plan in advance what you want to use the tickler for, or you might put something in it and need it before the date it will appear. If you can't remember the date, you have a lot of folders to search through. To me the best kind of ticklers are: 1)the wooden shelf-like box for bills the envelopes stick out so you can readily see them), index card boxes in which your keep "cycling" reminders but the actual reference materials are in a labelled folder in your cabinet. I have lost really important things in ticklers. I would be interested in knowing what other people use their ticklers reliably for and for how long they have been at it. What, besides bills to be mailed on certain dates, maintenance sequences, maybe family menus, and maybe collections of notices that you will be putting on a calendar on a monthly basis are usefully used in a tickler? Also, if you collect great wads of paper in the monthly folders and then have to sort through it when the month appears you may be doubly processing (although that has some advantages).

            Comment


            • #7
              Too smart for my own good

              Last Friday I wrote a check for the water bill, paper clipped it TO the water bill, and left it on my otherwise clean desk in a very obvious place. Then I scheduled, in my calendar, a reminder to take the water bill and the check to the village office today, 1/31 (the due date).
              This morning, no check or bill was on the desk. I called the post office, thinking I might have accientally dropped it off there with a big batch on Friday, but they didn't have it. Called the village office, thinking maybe the mail man really had found it and delivered it even without an envelope or postage (I live in a really small town and this is entirely within the realm of possibility).
              Ended up going down to the village office and writing them a new check. Then I came home and resumed my work. Opened up my January 31 tickler folder....
              You can guess the rest. Into the shredder with that old check!
              I guess the lesson for me is, if you're going to use a tickler file, you have to actually USE it. First thing, every day.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Too smart for my own good

                Originally posted by Jane M.
                Called the village office, thinking maybe the mail man really had found it and delivered it even without an envelope or postage (I live in a really small town and this is entirely within the realm of possibility).
                I think that the mail man delivered it to your tickler file because he is GTDer and knows the importance of the tickler file .
                TesTeq

                Comment

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