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Best place to store Proejects and Someday/Maybe lists in Outlook?

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  • Best place to store Proejects and Someday/Maybe lists in Outlook?

    Hi Everyone,

    I followed some advice on the forum and have been configuring my outlook for GTD (had many delays so coming slowly). I have my tasks and task categories setup following the GTD outlook PDF guide, and have the folders for the email.

    However I have one question - the PDF guide tells you to make the someday/maybe list and the project list a Task category in the task area with tasks being actual projects, however I have doubts as to how efficient this is??

    Before I couldn't see the use of pocketthinker, but maybe this is it - wouldn't it be better to keep the actual project, someday/maybe, etc lists in an actual list program, leaving tasks to be just next action items? Is there any advantange to making your project list a "task item list"?

    Tell me if I'm not being clear here...

    Serene
    Last edited by Serene; 02-10-2006, 10:20 AM.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Serene
    However I have one question - the PDF guide tells you to make the someday/maybe list and the project list a Task category in the task area with tasks being actual projects, however I have doubts as to how efficient this is??
    Some people keep their project lists in an application separate from their next actions (not tasks ); in Outlook you could keep them in a different folder. I think most people find it most convenient to keep it all in one place. Here are some scenarios:

    a) You dump a big pile of your "things-to-do" that are not time/date specific into the task list (collect), then go through them all (process): some are next actions, some projects (more than one next action), some you someday/maybe. Occasionally, you will decide that something is a project component, neither a next action nor a project. In that case, you can put it in the note field of the appropriate project.

    b) A next action morphs into a project, so you just change its category to project.

    c) There is information in the note field of a project that you want to feed into a next action. You copy the project entry, change the description and the category, and there's your next action.

    d) You sync to a pda, in which case it is most convenient to have projects and next actions together.

    The only real downside is that someday/maybe lists can get real big, and it may be hard to get a big picture view of all the possibilities, as in "What is the most important house project to tackle next?" There are ways to deal with this, of course.

    Comment


    • #3
      I'm brand new to GTD and am also having trouble with where to keep a list of project resources as I am desperately trying to remain as paperless as possible.

      One problem I had was the inability to include a file or folder link in a task. But you can insert a file link in an email, and then insert the email in a task! I simply send myself an email with the link, when it arrives you right-click on the email and drag it to the Tasks button and select "Move here as contact with attachment".

      HTH

      Comment


      • #4
        Keeping it simple and flexible...

        Serene -

        Here are my three reasons for sticking to the guide as the David has written it....

        (1) Outlook gives you a form/note to do some planning and evaluation. I try to include a statement of what the successful outcome of the project would look like. I can also monitor the progress of the project by adjusting the percentage done selection. I can also prioritze projects by dates as well as by name.

        (2) Outlook allows for assigning a task to mutiple categories. As I assign each next action a context/category I also assign a project category to which the next action belongs. This allows for viewing all the NA's by project as well as by context.

        (3) By placing SomeDay/Maybe list of projects in the task list, you do remind yourself that there are some projects that merit review/consideration, if not a committment on your part, and as such they will not be forgotten during the weekly review. Since the PDF guide explains how to customize the Tasks view, you can collapse the projects and someday/maybe lists and defer viewing these lists until the weekly review. You can easiily drag a someday/maybe project into the projects list if you commit to making it happen. You can "delete" it by checking it off which is different from deleting it with the delete key as you can keep an archive of projects you dont want to commit to and prevent yourself from reinventing the wheel.

        Good luck!


        Lou

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by gsnell
          ...One problem I had was the inability to include a file or folder link in a task. But you can insert a file link in an email, and then insert the email in a task! I simply send myself an email with the link, when it arrives you right-click on the email and drag it to the Tasks button and select "Move here as contact with attachment".

          HTH
          You CAN include a copy of a file or create a link to a file or folder in the note portion of a task in Outlook. The copy won't synch back to the original so I tend to link.

          Comment


          • #6
            I'm very new to this, but for the last week I have been getting in to empty and setting everything up on Outlook.

            What is working for me is using the customised Outlook Contact form described here http://home.comcast.net/~whkratz/id3.htm. This allows you to set up a project in a Projects folder in the same way you would enter a contact in Outlook. This can be your Projects list, and keeps your Project list and NA list separate.

            From within the Project, you can plan the project in the notes part. When you decide on a Next Action, you create a “New Task for Contact” (see below). The Nas for any project can then be tracked from within the Project record on the Activities tab.

            You can add buttons to the toolbar in a Contact (or a Projects) by opening a contact or Project, and going to Tools, Customize, Commands, select Actions on the left, and drag the "New Task for Contact" button onto your toolbar. Likewise, you can drag buttons for "new appointment" etc.

            Someday/Maybes, I think, should go as Tasks in their own category. It's almost like a NA to decide whether to do them. If you decide yes, then you make a Project out of them. In Category View, you can minimise the Someday/Maybe category so they don't show as individual items until you do your review.
            Last edited by CEB; 02-24-2006, 03:19 AM.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Guy Bjerke
              You CAN include a copy of a file or create a link to a file or folder in the note portion of a task in Outlook. The copy won't synch back to the original so I tend to link.
              FYI, in Outlook 2003.
              Open the task.
              Click in the Notes section.
              Choose File from the Insert menu and select the file you want.
              Click the dropdown arrow to the right of the Insert button.
              Choose your option. I like to use Insert as Hyperlink.

              I got this from Sally McGhee's book Take Back Your Life . It is extremely helpful.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by moises
                FYI, in Outlook 2003.
                Open the task.
                Click in the Notes section.
                Choose File from the Insert menu and select the file you want.
                Click the dropdown arrow to the right of the Insert button.
                Choose your option. I like to use Insert as Hyperlink.

                I got this from Sally McGhee's book Take Back Your Life . It is extremely helpful.

                You can also just drag the file from windows explorer and drop it into the Notes section. If you have the task pad showing you can also drop the file onto a task category and a task item will be created using the file name in the subject area and the link in the notes section. A similar thing happens if you drag onto the appointments section.


                Rick Grant
                International Strategic Communications
                Calgary Canada
                www.rickgrant.com

                Comment


                • #9
                  On my last job, I often dealt with Autocad drawings, so when I opened a task I would attach the drawing to it to save myself time navigating through the file system. I ran into a problem though when I got a Pocket PC. Often, when you have a task or appointment with an attached file, syncing back and forth between two computers causes a lot of duplicates to develop. I had to stop attaching files to tasks and appointments because of that.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    If using Outlook 2K you can attach a shortcut to the file, not the file itself. Of course it will not sync to the PPC but that matters little, it is available to the local (or on the fileserver) machine and the link will work. Filesize in the Outlook pst is reasonable - added benefit that file corruption would be low.

                    Food for thought.

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