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eventual actions that are not next

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  • eventual actions that are not next

    Where or how do you keep track of actions that you would do if you are in a certain context but there is no reason to put yourself in that context yet. For example, you know that you will need ink cartridges but the store is out of the way so you won't go until you either need a few more similar items or the store is near some other place you are going?

  • #2
    It sounds like what you want is a plain old shopping list. I have three of them: office supplies, pet stuff, and groceries. I add stuff to each list as I think of it. When I'm near any of those locations -- say I'm having lunch across the street from the office supply store -- I check the appropriate list to see if I need to stop. If the list gets long enough, I make a special trip.

    All three lists live in my Palm as Memos in the @errands category.

    I also have shopping items that are one-shots. I don't go to the kitchen store regularly, for instance. These just go in my NA list in the @errands category. When I go out, I check the @errands list to see if there are any items that are either on my way or important enough to make a detour.



    • #3

      There are a couple of things that you can do.

      1) Enter a NA on your @errands list such as "Go to Office Max". Add a note to the NA and start a running list of the things that you need to buy. Or,

      2) Create a category in your Palm's memo application called "Might Buy". Create a list for Office Supplies and make your entries.

      When the list gets long enough that it's worthy for a trip, create the NA in your @errands category.

      I do both of the above, actually. For me, choosing which method depends on how soon I think I'll need to run the errand. If I know I won't be going to the office supply store for quite some time, I'll do #2. If I know I need to go there soon, I'll do #1.

      Hope this helps.



      • #4
        I have a list called "Buy." If it's something like books or baby toys, which I might buy more than one of at a single place, I'll leave some extra room for more items that could occur to me later. (I keep my various personal lists on paper in a little 3x5 Moleskine.)

        One helpful thing about a Buy list is you can think about the purchase for awhile before you pull the trigger. I find that if it's been on my Buy list for a month or two, I sometimes decide I don't need to spend the money. It's great for developing better consciousness around money and around your spending priorities. You may also find that you can wait until the item goes on sale.


        • #5
          actionable and non-actionable do not mix

          Whatever solution is chosen, remember that actionable items and non-actionable items must not mix. So, if you are THINKING about buying something, it does not belong on a "buy" or "errands" list. Maybe you want to create a new list or subsection in your someday/maybe list for stuff you are still debating on buying.


          • #6
            If by "next action" you mean "soon," then there's a problem. For me, "next action" simply means an action that can be performed the very next time that context is entered. If the next action is "Get file folders," but I'm not going to an office supply store in the next two weeks, I still put it on my @Errands list.

            Now if it's an action that's really a someday/maybe -- an action that you're not able or willing to take yet -- one way to contextualize it is by creating a memo list for it. I keep a memo category on the Palm called Someday/Maybe Buy, containing memos of lists like "CDs," "DVD's," "Books," "Computer Accessories," "Gadgets," etc. That reduced a lot of clutter from my main S/M list in Tasks.