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kGTD+iCal /Context Priority/My System..fire away

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  • kGTD+iCal /Context Priority/My System..fire away

    Hi everyone. First time caller, long time listener, ya know the drill. I’m a full time college student and am about to leave one job and am starting a new one this week. I also do some photography ([shameless plug] part of the new Nikon D80 as campaign [/shameless plug]) and just have a lot going on, as many of you do too. So I have a few questions, and I hope that by just going over my system and what I’m doing some of you might be able to offer some suggestions. I’m going to list my contexts, projects, and the problems I’ve been running into. I know when I see someone else’s implementation I gain something, so maybe this can help someone else as well. Also, most of these pertain to the kGTD/iCal system; so sorry if this isn’t relevant to a lot of how you guys and gals operate. Ok, so here it is:

    My contexts:

    @LUMINATIONS [for work I do at the internship office]
    @SOMEDAY/MAYBE [use this a lot]
    @CAMPUS
    @ONLINE [any internet connection anywhere]
    @WAITING ON
    @POWERBOOK ONLINE [have my comp, but don’t want to be distracted by www]
    @POWERBOOK OFFLINE
    @READ
    @FITNESS [at the gym, at basketball game, at tennis, etc.]
    @CITY BELT [at billable hours for newsmagazine, on the road, at my desk, anywhere I am billing]
    @ERRANDS
    @HOME

    SYSTEM:
    -Reference folder is standard A-Z with file folders in a plastic bin next to my desk. Easily accessible, but out of my way when I don’t need it.

    -PO BOX- I have an A-Z for things like papers or other things corresponding to S/M or things in the future in my calendar (iCal) so I can find them by letter. For example, if I come across a clip from a magazine I might want to use in a design down the road, I’ll put a note in S/M “clip in PO BOX D” and leave it there.

    -Post Office- I forget the GTD term for this, but this is for mailing yourself stuff in the future. This thing is essential for me and I mail my self stuff all the time (bills, birthday cards, etc.)

    iCal- appointments, classes, meetings et al. Go here.

    MOTO Q- I sync my iCal with my Motorola Q and I’m working on syncing kGTD/iCal with the Q, but with limited success. For my calander stuff this is great, but for my NA's, not so much. I try to capture things here too, but it requires syncing to iCal (and now kGTD, but this is inconsistent and I've been flakely about actually converting things I make in notes to NA's in my system)

    Folders- I usually carry an “IN’ folder for capture when I’m out. I also have an @TODAY folder for things that are on my NA”s for the day, but I’ve been using this less and less and think it might be redundant in the system. Each class gets it’s own folder I keep active (meaning in a folder system on my desk) and then each class also has a folder in the archive for the notes and papers I’m no longer actively using. I also have project folders for the old job, new job, and just other projects of things I’m working on. So now onto the fun problem stuff…

    (1) In kGTD, I created all the contexts you see above. I create my projects (for example a class I'm taking, Social Uses of Food) and have a list of NA’s for that class/project. I sync this to my iCal, which generates a calander for the context of each NA. One of these NA’s would be “create outline for term paper” with context of @POWERBOOK OFFLINE. The problem is how does this task have priority over all the other @POWERBOOK OFFLINE tasks that are part of various other projects? ICal just lists them all together in that calendar/context.

    (2) Is it possible to bring over the project title for each NA from kGTD to iCal so I’ll know, for example, what project “create outline for term paper” is part of?

    (3) For those of you that use kGTD, how do you handle NA’s that have an obvious context but are not part of a project? It seems that NA’s can only be created if they’re part of a project?

    (4) For the GTD’s in general, not just kGTD/iCal’ers…how do you handle the priority of NA’s that are all part of a given context if a couple are more important than another but don’t warrant a definitive due date?




    This might be a bit confusing, so any questions please fire away. If you see any holes here, fire away. I’m still just learning this system (about 3 months into it) and I haven’t read the book yet. So any advice is greatly appreciated.
    Last edited by gotbisco; 11-27-2006, 10:32 PM. Reason: correction

  • #2
    Originally posted by gotbisco View Post

    (1) In kGTD, I created all the contexts you see above. I create my projects (for example a class I'm taking, Social Uses of Food) and have a list of NA’s for that class/project. I sync this to my iCal, which generates a calander for the context of each NA. One of these NA’s would be “create outline for term paper” with context of @POWERBOOK OFFLINE. The problem is how does this task have priority over all the other @POWERBOOK OFFLINE tasks that are part of various other projects? ICal just lists them all together in that calendar/context.

    (2) Is it possible to bring over the project title for each NA from kGTD to iCal so I’ll know, for example, what project “create outline for term paper” is part of?

    (3) For those of you that use kGTD, how do you handle NA’s that have an obvious context but are not part of a project? It seems that NA’s can only be created if they’re part of a project?

    (4) For the GTD’s in general, not just kGTD/iCal’ers…how do you handle the priority of NA’s that are all part of a given context if a couple are more important than another but don’t warrant a definitive due date?
    I don't use KGTD, but I have used it briefly in the past, so YMMV.

    1) You can assign priorities in iCal if you need them. KGTD will color the next actions in each project to make them stand out. Either or both may help you make priority decisions. Honestly, I find that I am most effective when I am scanning relevant lists after the completion of each next-action driven chunk (sometimes I go beyond the next action on a project, of course). However, you have to find a way that is comfortable for you. I think you can add a priority column to KGTD if you want to, but I'm not sure what it buys you; check the settings area of the KGTD outline.

    2) No. Old versions of KGTD used to put the project name in the note, but this is gone now. Given that the author of KGTD is working with the Omni group on a replacement for KGTD, called OmniFocus, I don't think too many new features will be added to KGTD.

    3) Most people put random next actions in a Misc. "project" category.

    4) KGTD uses order in the project outline to determine who gets colored next. I believe you can set things up so each subproject can have its own "next" next action.

    Comment


    • #3
      That was great, thanks...

      I might start putting the project name in the NA's myself so I have an idea what each NA's are for. I'm excited for this OMNIfocus project, glad to see they're working for the GTD community.

      Comment


      • #4
        Thanks for sharing! I don't use kGTD/iCal, so I won't comment on items 1 to 3, but:

        (4) For the GTD’s in general, not just kGTD/iCal’ers…how do you handle the priority of NA’s that are all part of a given context if a couple are more important than another but don’t warrant a definitive due date?
        My brain handles it.

        Seriously. My priorities shift over time, and I don't want to have to update my system as those priorities shift. I look at my list and determine what's most important right now.

        Comment


        • #5
          that makes sense. If I'm in a given context, I can just look at those NA's and decide from there.

          Comment


          • #6
            Sometimes if I have NAs on a list and I'm unable to decide which one to start on, I *force* myself to start at the top of the list and move down. This helps me overcome whatever resistance I had to the action. Sometimes I still choose the "easiest" action of course. However, when I have lingering NAs on a list, I sometimes have to force myself to power through them. There are certain actions I know I need to do but resist doing. Perhaps it is something I haven't done before or is related to a financial issue with my business or may require confrontation, etc.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by darlakbrown View Post
              Sometimes if I have NAs on a list and I'm unable to decide which one to start on, I *force* myself to start at the top of the list and move down. This helps me overcome whatever resistance I had to the action. Sometimes I still choose the "easiest" action of course. However, when I have lingering NAs on a list, I sometimes have to force myself to power through them. There are certain actions I know I need to do but resist doing. Perhaps it is something I haven't done before or is related to a financial issue with my business or may require confrontation, etc.
              I myself can do the same thing sometimes. If I keep seeing a NA that's not getting done, especially if I see it in consecutive weekly reviews, I'll re-evaluate why I'm not doing it or if it's properly constructed. More often than not, I didn't write it up properly (it's more than just one NA or a project) and I end up getting it done quicker after the fact. Other times, I realize it's because it's something I took on and don't actually want to do. I've begun to really see the power of "no" when asked to take on too many responsibilities.

              Comment


              • #8
                I've begun putting new NAs only at the bottom of the list, so the top of the list holds the oldest NAs. Now, I notice those first.

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