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Tracking NAs not related to projects

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  • Tracking NAs not related to projects

    I'm a GTD Add-In user, and have a fundamental capture problem -- how to sort and track those NAs not associated with particular projects.

    What categories, surrogate projects, systems, etc. do others use to capture those items?

    Cheers,
    Shelley

  • #2
    Originally posted by rivergal
    I'm a GTD Add-In user, and have a fundamental capture problem -- how to sort and track those NAs not associated with particular projects.

    What categories, surrogate projects, systems, etc. do others use to capture those items?

    Cheers,
    Shelley
    I organize all of my NA's (project-related or not) in on my context-based "@" lists. Keep in mind that while a particular NA might not be driven by a "project", it's most certainly driven by something at one of your other horizon levels (20K, 30K, etc.).

    Jim

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by rivergal
      I'm a GTD Add-In user, and have a fundamental capture problem -- how to sort and track those NAs not associated with particular projects.

      What categories, surrogate projects, systems, etc. do others use to capture those items?

      Cheers,
      Shelley
      This is a delicate issue that I have struggle for sometime, I try to avoid those, since in general they will have a couple of next actions, so I try as a general to make the project.

      In any case my rule is that more than 5 of those in general means that they are small projects more than next actions...

      In any case, even if they have no project, I added to the right context...

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by jkgrossi
        I organize all of my NA's (project-related or not) in on my context-based "@" lists. Keep in mind that while a particular NA might not be driven by a "project", it's most certainly driven by something at one of your other horizon levels (20K, 30K, etc.).

        Jim
        Agree with Jim. I had some NA not related to any projects. It turned out they relate to areas of responsibility, i.e. help a friend with something correlated with Social Networking area.

        Eugene.

        Comment


        • #5
          I typically find that any next action that seems not to be associated with a project, if I really think about it, is actually associated with a project that I have not yet identified. Sometimes the projects are more related to higher areas of responsibility, and therefore seem somewhat nebulous. For example, I have a project called "Admin", which is sort of a catch all for the administrivia that often falls in this area.

          By GTD definition, a Next Action that does not belong to a project must have a specific outcome that you are trying to achieve, and be able to be accomplished as a single physical action. I've just generally found that while I can define a specific outcome for some single next actions, if I think about it then it is probably part of some larger outcome. If I can't find a specific outcome for it then I drop it from my list...

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by jpm
            By GTD definition, a Next Action that does not belong to a project must have a specific outcome that you are trying to achieve, and be able to be accomplished as a single physical action. I've just generally found that while I can define a specific outcome for some single next actions, if I think about it then it is probably part of some larger outcome. If I can't find a specific outcome for it then I drop it from my list...
            What do you do with, say, "@Errand: Pick up dry cleaning?"

            While the "larger outcome" is something like "have clean, well-maintained wardrobe," forcing such a simple errand into a project framework seems unnecessarily complex to me.

            Sometimes an NA is just an NA. Put it on the appropriate context list and stop worrying about it.

            Katherine

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by kewms
              What do you do with, say, "@Errand: Pick up dry cleaning?"
              Katherine, I agree with you, that can be the perfect example of the NA, as I said before:

              Originally posted by apinaud
              This is a delicate issue that I have struggle for sometime, I try to avoid those, since in general they will have a couple of next actions, so I try as a general to make the project.
              In that Case My project will have been.

              Project:
              WE GOT THE DRYCLEANING ITEMS

              @Home
              [DONE]Collect the Dry Cleaning and Bring it to the Car

              @Errands
              [DONE]Bring the Dry Cleaning to the Store
              Pick up dry cleaning

              Thats what I meant in my last post, I sometimes simply add pick dry cleaning, but in the WR I clean my act. The reason I do it is becasuse I belive that no project is unimportant, so they need to be treated the same... If they are unimportant then I took them out of my lists...

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by kewms
                What do you do with, say, "@Errand: Pick up dry cleaning?"
                I agree it's probably not necessary to put every next action on a project, but I tend to do so. This would go on the Honeydo project, along with @Home: wash dishes and @Home: Vacuum living room.

                I gave up on fashion a long time ago, so for me picking up the dry cleaning is about keeping the wife happy, which is pretty much the same outcome as the rest of the housework.

                I treat the Honeydo project similar to Admin for work. It's kind of a catch all that gives me one more chance to ask: "Do I really need to do this?" If so I put it on one of my catch all lists. If it doesn't fit here or on another project then I get to delete the task from my next action lists and not do it.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by jpm
                  I agree it's probably not necessary to put every next action on a project, but I tend to do so. This would go on the Honeydo project, along with @Home: wash dishes and @Home: Vacuum living room.
                  Wouldn't washing dishes and vacuuming living room be more suited to checklists? It would be overkill to keep on crossing off and rewriting recurring tasks.

                  Originally posted by jpm
                  I treat the Honeydo project similar to Admin for work. It's kind of a catch all that gives me one more chance to ask: "Do I really need to do this?" If so I put it on one of my catch all lists. If it doesn't fit here or on another project then I get to delete the task from my next action lists and not do it.
                  That's a nice idea. I think I'll give it a try. Knowing the project behind the NA would serve as additional motivation to get the NA done. Maybe it'll lessen the procrastination. But I'm curious, how do you associate @home: wash dishes with the honeydo project? do u write the project title beside wash dishes? or do you keep all actions of the honeydo project on one single list?
                  Last edited by NA_johnny; 10-08-2006, 05:21 PM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by NA_johnny
                    Wouldn't washing dishes and vacuuming living room be more suited to checklists? It would be overkill to keep on crossing off and rewriting recurring tasks.
                    I suppose that could work also... I use recurring tasks and have the task regenerate periodically (daily, weekly, etc.) after I complete the previous task ...

                    But I'm curious, how do you associate @home: wash dishes with the honeydo project? do u write the project title beside wash dishes? or do you keep all actions of the honeydo project on one single list?
                    I use the add-in for outlook and I just assign the appropriate next actions to the honeydo project...

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Tracking NAs not related to projects - Areas of Focus

                      Is anyone else still interested in the issues raised by this old thread?

                      In Outlook I have a number of pseudo-projects, one for each of my Areas of Focus:

                      zAdmin
                      zClients
                      zEvents Travel
                      zFamily Friends
                      zFinance
                      zHealth
                      zHouse Garden Car
                      etc.

                      (Prefixed with z so they sort to the bottom of my project list and do not clutter it up)

                      If a Next Action is not associated with a true project, then I associate it with one of these pseudo-projects.

                      This helps when reviewing by grouping related actions together, rather than seeing a list of miscellaneous unrelated items.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        You can use Gtdagenda.com.
                        You have folders and contexts listed on the right, and also a "no project" and "no context" on top. Clicking each of them will list the tasks and next actions in that project or in the "no project".

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by kewms View Post
                          What do you do with, say, "@Errand: Pick up dry cleaning?"

                          While the "larger outcome" is something like "have clean, well-maintained wardrobe," forcing such a simple errand into a project framework seems unnecessarily complex to me.

                          Sometimes an NA is just an NA. Put it on the appropriate context list and stop worrying about it.

                          Katherine
                          I couldn't agree more.

                          Be careful that you don't allow your GTD system to become your master instead of your servant. I fall into that trap from time to time and have to stop myself. Don't overcomplicate the system or you'll spend all of your time organizing it instead of actually getting things done. Just keep it simple.

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