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  • How to implement "to bring" and "to find" in a clean way?

    Hi people.

    I'm sure my newbie question here must have been covered before,
    but I just can't find any good search terms, so here we go again

    While implementing GTD in a paper planner, I came across some items from my
    pile of previous lists an notes that I can't quite fit anywhere.

    1)
    "things to find in a fleemarket /ebay /secondhand, if the price is right etc."

    2)
    "things to bring along to the summerhouse for various projects"
    Or in more general terms:
    "things to remember for bring when about to travel from one place to another"


    1 looks a bit like a context, but on closer thought it would have to be
    several (at computer, at fleemarket, at garage sale), but clearly these
    things belong on one list not several.

    2 Is harder.. I mean, if I where to implement lists for all my to-from
    possibilities, I would rapidly get a _lot_ of lists...
    I could put the stuff on my context lists, but I suspect I would soon grow
    numb to those "to bring" items while I was actually "in context".

    Both 1, and 2 is most often connected to projects, but leaving them there
    would force me to do a full project scan when going to a garage sale, or
    about to travel, so that is clearly not practical either.

    So there you have it...
    What would you do with a situation like this?
    Or rather what have you done?

    Has been holding up my implementation for a week now, this question, as I am
    reluctant to process the full backlog and old archives into a system that
    can't handle all the bits, so I wold be most gratefull for some good thoughts
    on the matter

    Gaute
    Last edited by gaute; 05-16-2006, 03:58 AM. Reason: No, maybe not..

  • #2
    Wow! There's a system that handles all the bits? I didn't know that.

    I may be wrong, but GTD certainly doesn't "handle all the bits;" on the other hand, it doesn't purport to. It handles all the actionable work in your life.

    Comment


    • #3
      I'd just make as many lists as needed: flea market shopping list, book shopping list, travel checklist, summer house opening/closing checklist, etc.

      In my system, I'd treat all of these as reference material. Lists related to a particular project might get converted to action items once the project becomes active. (Items on a vacation planning checklist, for instance.)

      Katherine

      Comment


      • #4
        if you use Palm

        In Palm Memo function will sort A to Z, so you can keep zillions of lists and find them easily. It is helpful to use a word you will remember as the first word, (e.g., ANTIQUES-wanted, COTTAGE-bring there, COTTAGE-bring home, COTTAGE-closing up checklist, COTTAGE-dimensions and specifications (so you don't buy an antique armoir that is 7'10" tall for a 6'9" cieling. Somewhere in your system, such as in project notes, calendar, or an action action list, you might make a note to review the relevant list at the relevant time if there is something predictable like that.

        If you use paper, you might start a reference section in your planner and have lists in a to z order. If you don't like to carry things around, you might keep it in a note book that would be a kind of personal reference tool. You can also just make the list and put it in a folder and file it. You can do all three or just two. If you love your Roledex, and it has big cards, you can put lists on them.

        If you do have a lost of lists in Palm or someother PIM, then you might want to print out the headings.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Brent
          Wow! There's a system that handles all the bits? I didn't know that.

          I may be wrong, but GTD certainly doesn't "handle all the bits;" on the other hand, it doesn't purport to. It handles all the actionable work in your life.
          Very funny!
          In the same spirit I can easily think of a system that handles ALL the bits...
          A big pile!
          It just doesn't handle them very well.

          Now on the other hand "bring ax to summerhouse nex time you go there" looks rather actionable to me, but stil does not seem to fit anywhere...

          And the inbox certanly gets to see all the bits, so perhaps you are suggesting I add a "stuff this system does not handle bucket"?

          Hm.. no, this is not going to get very constrcuctive.
          I guess I should have just ignoreed you, but here you go.

          Have fun

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by kewms
            I'd just make as many lists as needed: flea market shopping list, book shopping list, travel checklist, summer house opening/closing checklist, etc.

            In my system, I'd treat all of these as reference material. Lists related to a particular project might get converted to action items once the project becomes active. (Items on a vacation planning checklist, for instance.)

            Katherine
            Hm.. reference...
            I guess you keep your other checklists in the filing system also then?
            Makes sense in a way, but how do you give yourself reminders of those lists?

            Going to a garage sale, I suppose it comes rather naturally to look up your "find and get" list, but "stuff to bring from A to B" is often more mundane and easily forgotten.

            To review my "at summerhouse" action list when I know I am going there tomorrow, would be a habit I could get into I suppose. A quick review of the appropriate projects would follow naturally I guess, and the "stuff to bring" list would be updated from that.

            If I where to keep a list for every possible direction of travel between 5 locations that would give me 20 lists... Starting to sound like an additional filing category or something, even if it wold not be that many in practice.

            Actually I was considering a separate category in my planner under the heading "to find & bring". They both deal with objects and things, and not actions in a way, even if finding and bringing both are actions...
            It could be good to be able to review these lists I guess, so there might be a reason to keep them together, and not as reference...

            Currently I keep them under "misc lists" with my other checklists, but that feels wrong...

            Hm.. I ramble

            Thanks for your input.

            Gaute

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Jamie Elis
              In Palm Memo function will sort A to Z, so you can keep zillions of lists and find them easily. -snip-
              You seem to suggest something very similar to Katherine above..

              All common sense, and possibilities I have thought of before,
              but that is GTD in a nutshell I guess, is it not
              "whatever it takes to get it of your mind", yes..
              it is the "into a system you trust" part I am working on now.

              So in a way you are arguing against making special categories of lists, saying that they will be to many and varied, and that a-z is cleaner..
              Then putting pointers to those lists where ever appropriate.

              Not trying to impose order where it is counterproductive...

              A reference section in my planner is rather similar to my "misc lists" section as it is, but perhaps calling it "reference" wold lead to cleaner edges, yes..

              It must seem like nitpicking this, to anyone "on the outside", but I have learned that from programming that good names leads to good thinking

              Thank's for your input

              Gaute

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by gaute
                To review my "at summerhouse" action list when I know I am going there tomorrow, would be a habit I could get into I suppose. A quick review of the appropriate projects would follow naturally I guess, and the "stuff to bring" list would be updated from that.
                I, personally, find this to be the hardest part of the day-to-day GTD implementation. Keeping the lists is no problem for me. As far as I can tell, checking them at the appropriate times is a habit that must be learned.

                If I where to keep a list for every possible direction of travel between 5 locations that would give me 20 lists... Starting to sound like an additional filing category or something, even if it wold not be that many in practice.
                Perhaps you can condense some of these. Maybe an "Errands" list for common times when you find yourself out and about doing something else. Maybe you can keep a general shopping list, as I do, which accounts for things I might buy at a garage sale as well as things I must buy at Sears. Certainly I keep a "Travel" list which includes things I need to bring the next time I visit family and well as thing I need to bring on the next buiness trip. As long as no one list gets incredibly long, I usually have no problem keeping them and finding things on them.

                Again, IMO, it's remembering to check them at the appropriate times that's the key. Otherwise, all this list keeping is worthless.

                Tom S.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Do not complicate!

                  Originally posted by gaute
                  If I where to keep a list for every possible direction of travel between 5 locations that would give me 20 lists... Starting to sound like an additional filing category or something, even if it wold not be that many in practice.
                  You are wrong in your calculation. You need only 5 lists - one for each destination location. You should browse these lists just before leaving the current location.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    As for the summer-house checklist, I'm presuming you are going to your summer house on a specific date? Then the list goes on your calendar! It's part of the "hard landscape": you have to bring that stuff on that specific day, not "when you have time".

                    If this is a one-time trip to the summer house, the list simply goes right on the calendar -- in a paper planner, if you don't have room for a long list right on the page for that day, you can insert a blank sheet of paper behind the actual calendar page for that day.

                    If you go to the summer house every summer, and always need to remember the same list of things year after year, then you've got yourself a Checklist. You can keep it in your planner, but I find it useful to keep frequently-used checklists in a simple word-processing document, so you can print yourself a copy and literally check things off as you do them.

                    GTDers tend to focus on Context Lists and Next Actions, but Calendars and Checklists are essential parts of the system too.

                    Enjoy your summer house!!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by gaute
                      1)
                      "things to find in a fleemarket /ebay /secondhand, if the price is right etc."
                      Next Action: Buy item
                      Context: Fleamarket

                      Next Action: Buy item from ebay
                      Context: Internet

                      Project: Buy item second hand
                      Next Action: Buy newspaper for second hand ads
                      Context: Shops

                      A problem might be that you may have got the thing on ebay but you still have the Next Actions for you to get it in the Fleamarket or in the second hand ads, but you should be able to clear this up at least weekly in the weekly review.

                      Originally posted by gaute
                      2)
                      "things to bring along to the summerhouse for various projects"
                      Or in more general terms:
                      "things to remember for bring when about to travel from one place to another"
                      I would create a checklist titled "Summerhouse" (file it under "S") and make a note in my diary to look at it shortly before my planned departure. I keep checklists separate from reference material but I don't suppose they have to be. Another option would be to simply list the stuff you need to take in your diary rather than make a separate checklist. It depends on whether you tend to take the same stuff every time you go.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        His question of intermediate-term future "bring-withs" reminded me of how useful I find "@Take With" as a shorthand context for "At home and about to leave for work/errands". I forget to bring along a lot less stuff these days.

                        Comment

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