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  • how to handle repeating events in a paper system?

    Hi everyone. I use a paper planner for my GTD implementation, which generally works great for me. However, one things that continues to be a drag is the work involved in entering repeating events. I came up with an approach I call interval + check circle (Planner Hack 3 - scroll down about 1/3 of the page), but I'd like to hear what others use. For example, do you have some kind of overlay for the week (for example) that you can reuse? Any details or product suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

    matt

  • #2
    Go back to digital = Start using Outook calendar - that saves huge amount of time with repetetive tasks, birthdays, reminders etc

    Comment


    • #3
      When I went back to paper, I still stuck with Sciral Consistency for repeating events. If you don't want to do that, there are a couple of paper options that might be fairly low maintenance:
      * Use a checklist. Thus, the only task that actually goes in your planner is "Check Weekly Recurring Tasks."

      * Use a spreadsheet. Basically a smart checklist. Run the list of things to do down the side, and dates across the top. Print on paper that fits in your planner. Check off boxes as you complete the items. Probably works better if you group items by the repeat interval. (This is a paper implementation of Sciral Consistency.)

      Hope this helps.

      Katherine

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      • #4
        Circa / Rollabind

        Not sure which paper planner you're using. I made up a planner using the Rollabind discs. I have my repeating / recurrent tasks on index card sized paper and move them to the appropriate week or month section as needed.

        For instance, I have a card with "enter monthly bank debits for car insurance in checkbook register". When I enter the debit for this month, I move the card to November section. Comes November, I see the card and move that card to the week I need to enter the debit again.

        Advantage to using the card is I can also add notes onto the card as needed, i.e. changes in premium etc... For the junior notebook size, I use the half-size index cards or cut the 3x5 vertically to give the thinner strips.

        Having said that, I couldn't trust that system so went back to keeping the repeating tasks/dates in DateBk and transfer them to the planner at weekly and monthly reviews

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        • #5
          Check out this at 43folders.board:
          http://board.43folders.com/showpost....65&postcount=5

          This tickler-hack may serve you in one way or another...

          Comment


          • #6
            thanks folks!

            Thanks to everyone who replied (and so quickly!)

            Eugene: Digital is not an option! I won't revisit the "atoms vs. bits" controversy, but I like paper. It's cheap, it's durable, it's satisfyingly tactile, and it's easy for people (read clients) to understand.

            Katherine: Great tips - thanks very much.

            petdr: Great idea - a removable checklist. Doh!

            Cpu_Modern: I definitely appreciate the pointer to the 43 folders post.

            matt

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            • #7
              About two weeks ago I complete purged my GTD system from my Treo and Palm Desktop and put it into a Moleskine (a rebuttal to self, for anyone bothering to keep score). I use the dash/plus system to denote open and completed items: a dash at the beginning of each open action item, and a downstroke added when completed. Open items that are carried forward to the next week's list or calendar get a circle around the dash. Here's a more elaborate rendition from a GTD blogger's whitepaper:

              I generally remember my recurring items during the weekly review, but for the couple of tasks that haven't become completely routine in my head enough to trust, they go in the tickler file for the date of my next weekly review.
              Last edited by Gameboy70; 10-22-2006, 10:35 PM.

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              • #8
                What format is your planner?

                Re: an "overlay"...

                If you're in a paper-based planner that's in a binder (virtually any binder--FranklinCovey, DayTimer, DayRunner, and standard 11" and 8.5" 3-ring binders are pretty much interoperable), FranklinCovey makes a bookmark ("pagefinder" in their parlance) that snaps on and off the rings with ease so you can move it around, and stays in place and turns like a page when you aren't moving it.

                They're generally clear, so you can print a clear mailing label with your recurrent appointments on them and move it day to day/week to week/month to month/whatever.

                Alternatively, there's a version call the pouch pagefinder that is designed to hold "compass cards" (a proprietary FC planning tool), but it wouldn't be hard to print off your schedule and cut it to size to fit into one.

                If you have a wirebound notebook or planner, they also make wirebound pagefinder that works the same way; however, if you have a wirebound, I'd recommend finding a FranklinCovey store and making sure it fits first, as it's designed to work with the sprial of *their* wirebound planner.

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                • #9
                  Book Idea

                  In the book To Do ... Doing ... Done they mentioned a technique that I used frequently in my Franklin Planner Task List days. Add "/TAF" to the end of a task or appointement. This means "Time Activate Forward" and the rule is that you can't make it as completed unless you've created the appropriate future entry.

                  Oil change is probably a good example. I see it in my monthly calendar notes section for this month. I write down the appropriate NAs to make the call, etc. When I actually have the appointment made, it's entered on the calendar as "WWG /TAF" (WWG is the initials of the garage, I know what it means). While I'm waiting for my car to be serviced, I can go ahead three months and put in that month's notes section "Oil Change?". Then and only then can I draw a line through the original appointment.

                  This can work with NAs as well.

                  Eric

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                  • #10
                    Thanks for the idea, maxleibman. I do have a "Today" marker, and I noticed I'd stuck my daughter's kindergarten schedule on it!

                    Thanks, eeckberg. That sounds like a simpler version of the approach I outlined in the article.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by cornell
                      Hi everyone. I use a paper planner for my GTD implementation, which generally works great for me. However, one things that continues to be a drag is the work involved in entering repeating events. I came up with an approach I call interval + check circle (Planner Hack 3 - scroll down about 1/3 of the page), but I'd like to hear what others use. For example, do you have some kind of overlay for the week (for example) that you can reuse? Any details or product suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

                      matt
                      Just my two cents, maybe not worth much more that that

                      When I used my day planner, I had a insert on the page finder that had my repeating tasks on it so I saw them every single day.

                      DAILY
                      1. Check backups on servers
                      2. yada yada yada

                      WEEKLY
                      1.
                      2.
                      and so on....

                      Simple and since I looked at that page finder every day, I had my early morning checklist, daily and weekly repeating tasks staring at me all day at the office.

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