Forum

  • If you are new to these Forums, please take a moment to register using the fields above.

Announcement

Announcement Module
Collapse
No announcement yet.

"Vanilla plain" Palm GTD and links between NAs and

Page Title Module
Move Remove Collapse
X
Conversation Detail Module
Collapse
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • "Vanilla plain" Palm GTD and links between NAs and

    Hello,

    I have read "GTD" book as well as David's article about Palm configuration. I am curious how does DA implement/maintain relationship between NAs and Projects?

    Now, I have to switch to my project's TODO to get all references (phones, infos etc) and switch back to NA's TODO to check it out, and then back to project to get next NA and create TODO for it. This procedure is so inconvenient, so I wonder how David solves this problem?

    I use Palm IIIxe and DateBk5.

    Regards,

  • #2
    Czesc Wojtku!

    The NA to Project relationship problem is discussed here from time to time. Some say it is not needed because you can easily identify the connection by the NA title (description). But some stress that it is necessary.

    Take a look at the PigPog method described here:
    http://pigpog.com/michael/blog/2004/...pog-method.php

    Pozdrawiam serdecznie,

    TesTeq (Krzysztof z Warszawy)

    Comment


    • #3
      The approach I've taken is to come up with a TLA (three-letter acronym) for each project (I have 6-12 real projects at any time, so it's manageable). For example, a home project of "Master Bedroom Remodel" would have a three-letter acronym of "MBR".

      I use Lotus Notes, but this would work for any computerized system:

      @Projects/MBR Master Bedroom Remodel
      ... a task containing overall notes for the project.

      @Home/MBR Measure existing layout and create drawing
      ... the "Next Action" task to make forward progress on MBR

      This allows me to have multiple Next Actions in play at any time (I find that many of my projects can make forward progress on more than one front at a time, i.e. there is often not a single possible next action, but several which can be done in parallal).

      This also allows me to quickly see all open items for any project (sort by task name). Or I can continue to sort by category/context.

      Comment


      • #4
        I don't think the answer to your question is as clear in the GTD book as it is in the CD set. There, DA says that "only your brain will tie [the NAs and Projects] together, somewhat labor intensively, in the weekly review".

        For myself, the project that an NA is related to is usually pretty obvious from the NA itself, based on the way I've articulated it. When I look at my Project list, the associated NA's are not always apparent, so I've taken to making a quick entry in the Notes field of a particular Project listing the pending NAs, which I update during the weekly review.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Esquire
          I don't think the answer to your question is as clear in the GTD book as it is in the CD set. There, DA says that "only your brain will tie [the NAs and Projects] together, somewhat labor intensively, in the weekly review".
          What a waste of brain power. Visual structure facilitates both memory for and processing of information. If it's worth keeping lists, it's worth keeping them in a form that makes it easy to see and remember the structure.

          No wonder so many people have trouble getting into the habit of the Weekly Review!

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by w454385
            Hello,

            I have read "GTD" book as well as David's article about Palm configuration. I am curious how does DA implement/maintain relationship between NAs and Projects?

            Now, I have to switch to my project's TODO to get all references (phones, infos etc) and switch back to NA's TODO to check it out, and then back to project to get next NA and create TODO for it. This procedure is so inconvenient, so I wonder how David solves this problem?
            During the weekly review, not on the lists. Hence David's quote, "Only your brain will tie the dots together on the weekly review." A weekly review should consist of simply (1) collecting all of your "stuff," (2) listing the successful outcome implicit in each piece of stuff on the project list, and (3) listing the next actions on each project in the appropriate context on the action lists. Trying to manage support material during the review (other than filing it) is too much overhead. The lists hold the results, not the process, of thinking through all of your projects and the next actions on each of them.

            The need to represent the relationship between projects and actions within an organizational structure is, in most cases, a questionable presumption if your focus is getting things done rather than "getting organized." It's like drafting a Gantt chart to make a sandwich. It's certainly more organized, but not worth the effort.

            "A lot of people have nothing very well organized, and a lot of people have nothing, very well organized." -- DA

            Comment


            • #7
              I too was trying to come up with the perfect way to link NAs to the projects. I tried a couple of things and ultimately became very frustrated. I found my brain was constantly flipping from runway to 10K and I was unable to get into the “Zone” or flow of just getting things done. Once I did the weekly review and trusted that I had at least a weeks worth of NAs, I was able to let go and just do.

              While I’m still not as religious about my weekly review as I should be, I am at least able to put to bed the laboring over trying to come up with the “perfect” link between NA and project. It’s just not necessary and really a waste of mental energy.

              Part of my intelligent dumbing down….(Hey, DA, do I qualify for a yellow belt now? )

              Comment


              • #8
                Yes.

                When I was training myself to let go and just do NAs, I would do mini-reviews a couple of times a week to re-fill my NA list.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I have to agree with the above comments about "letting go".

                  The bottom line is that, unless you've got a project for which the NEXT next action is not readily apparent upon completion of the current NA, but HAS to be completed before your next weekly review (by definition w/i the next <5 days, assuming weekends off), then you really don't need the explicit "link" between NAs and Projects in front of your face all the time.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    One other thing that has helped me, is that I've been using Listpro to manage my lists. When I complete an item within a context, I just mark it as completed but don't delete it. When I go through my Weekly Review, I look at all the items that I've checked as completed to make sure I don't have any orphan NAs that have since turned into actual projects that I need to close the loop on.

                    Once I've gone through and reviewed all the NAs for each context, I go ahead and delete the ones I did the previous week. This usually leaves me with some NAs that I didn't get done from the previous week, along with my fresh NAs for the upcoming week from reviewing my projects.

                    Between last week's weekly review and this week's weekly review, my wife and I had some 40K foot discussions that now has us hunting for a new house. My NA lists from last week compared to this week are dramatically different with a focus towards getting our current house fixed up and ready for sale. Without the weekly review, I would not have been able to refresh my list as aggressively and as far as the priorities, once again, they've taken care of themselves.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Projects to NA's and Back

                      Here is what I do to resolve this issue:

                      Like DA, I have my contexts and a project list set up as categories in the Palm Task application.

                      I put project-specific NA's in that Project's note under a line called Next Actions, and start each task line with a context. Project Sample in the Palm's Task List:
                      -----------------
                      Clean House

                      Desired Result
                      Live through wife's return trip from Chicago.

                      Next Actions
                      @Calls Art for help
                      @Home Check that vacuum cleaner works ok

                      Notes
                      NOT AGAIN!!!!!! When are you going to learn?????
                      -----------------

                      Now those actions live there and nowhere else. The @Calls category in the Task App is used for calls not related to specific projects.

                      So to check for all the calls I need to make, I sort the Task App by the @Calls category, then I use the Palm's FIND feature to search the keyword "@Calls", which list any projects that need a call. You have to check twice for all your calls, but the Palm makes it quick and easy....which for me at least, beats the alternatives.

                      When the call is completed, I change the @ to an / so that it doens't list again under FIND and it also indicates to me that the task is completed.

                      Also to note...don't throw your Contexts around in the Palm apps, or you'll get a lot of false-hits on the FIND. (i.e. @Calls only exists in these two places where a call actually needs to be made.)

                      (My someday/maybe list has an entry for writing a small piece of software that will create a list from both sources, but the method I describe here is working really well for me anyhow.)

                      I hope this helps!
                      Last edited by q2mind; 02-19-2006, 10:26 PM. Reason: Correct late-night typos

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        One method I use is to use a list maker (Shadow Plan, but ListPro, Bonsai, and others would also work) to define my project lists, then use Shadow Plan's linking features to create NAs. Shadow allows me to check a box within each project step to create an identical To Do. I use Palm's categories to identify context for each NA, and then work my NA's from the To Do application. This works nicely because I can assign categories within Shadow and the To Do application helps me organize NAs by context.

                        This is a slightly more complex than the List Pro/PigPog method described earlier, but if provides a few conveniences I find invaluable:

                        - Working from my To Do list allows me to check of items and they disappear from my NA list, helping me focus exclusively on the next NA and maintain my work focus.
                        - Items checked off my To Do list disappear from sight, yet remain on my project list within Shadow Plan. Since they are checked off here, as well, I can quickly identify them in a periodic review, and update the project to reflect the Next Action, and automatically update the NA to my To Do list. This makes my Weekly Reviews much faster and easier.
                        - Shadow also appends text to each To Do's notes that identify the title of the item on Shadow Plan - that way my To Do is stated as a next action but I can always identify which project it supports.

                        The only frustration I have is that multiple contexts are not possible using the Palm categories. Programs like CanDo allow 'umbrella' categories that could allow for multiple contexts, but CanDo does not support repeating events (which I use frequently).

                        You may want to consider a list making program as a replacement for the Palm ToDo application. Many have robust filtering that could help you organize, identify and track NAs more effectively.

                        -MB

                        Comment

                        Working...
                        X