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  • Newbie: dealing with a v long 'Next Action' List!

    I got the book, read it this weekend, and am now getting the Outlook add-on. It all looks great.
    I've started following the guidelines, but I'm generating a very long list of 'next actions' for all the tasks and projects this week - how do I organise them on the page, to prioristise and allocate time appropriately? Tips please!

  • #2
    Re: Newbie: dealing with a v long 'Next Action' List!

    This situation is what lead to the idea of breaking up a list of Next Actions (NA) into smaller lists organized by context. A smaller list makes it easier to make the intuitive decisions on what to "do".

    Here are all my task categories ...
    (I put the @ sign at the beginning of NA's for sorting in my Palm)
    @Agendas
    @Anywhere
    @Calls
    @Computer
    @Errands
    @Home
    @Office
    @Waiting For
    Projects
    Someday/Maybe

    I don't have any experience with the Outlook Add-In program though. I do this within the Palm Desktop at home and Outlook at work.

    Mark

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    • #3
      Re: Newbie: dealing with a v long 'Next Action' List!

      I've started following the guidelines, but I'm generating a very long list of 'next actions' for all the tasks and projects this week - how do I organise them on the page, to prioristise and allocate time appropriately?
      Bravo,

      Congratulations on getting going with a PKM (personal knowledge management) system that can keep up with the speed of work. Now, it sounds like you’re coming up with some observations that are more objective in nature.

      I’m continually reminded that all that clients “see” when they start to organize and analyze their work, actions and outcomes, was already there. Before you read David’s book and started organizing by context, you managed all of this stuff. How did you do it then? And what’s the difference now?

      I’ll submit that the difference (and it’s a huge one for some people) is that for the first time in a long time, they see IT ALL in one place. So, naturally, the question of “how do I prioritize and organize” comes up.

      There are various models out there you can use. Some of them David Allen’s, and some of them from other consultants. In leading seminars, I invite participants to (1) get it all out onto paper, (2) begin to get some system to manage agreements externally, (3) do their best to pick the ones that matter, (4) renegotiate and reassess the whole thing at least weekly.

      The good news about too much to do? It forces the priority question. If I have 30 minutes before a meeting, I’m in my office, and I am connected to the Internet, I’d better make a good, educated, professional, meaningful choice about what to focus on…

      Comment


      • #4
        Mark, Jason - v helpful

        Yes, I suppose 'getting it all in one place' inevitably raises new issues of prioritising... I'm continuing to use MindManager's mindmap for my overall overview - I like that you can review how issues are interconnected. Word is great for specific project summary overviews - particularly as you can highlight and right-click an item to hyperlink to another doc or URL (you all probably know this).

        Now I'm getting to grips with adapting Outlook - I've just downloaded the pdf on adapting it - a bit reluctant to change my settings using the plug-in just yet.... what are your experiences of the plug-in?

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