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A few more newbie questions for the list

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  • A few more newbie questions for the list

    I've been using GTD (or at least attempting to) for the last three months or so. I've slowly been incorporating it into my daily routine and am very happy with the results. However, I'm picking up some questions along the way and hope the veterans on this forum can help out.

    1. Next Next Next Next Actions.... This is where I add a project to my list and can immediately think of 10 actions that all rely on each other to complete the project. For example, I'll add a project that is something like "Get my brother hooked on GTD". I'll think about the actions for this which are (A) @Errand - purchase another copy of GTD, (B) @Agenda-Brother - Arrange night out with Brother, (C) @Agenda - Brother - Give GTD copy to Brother, (D) @Phone Call - Call Brother to annoy the heck out of him till he reads the book. You get the idea. I already know the steps to take care of the whole project. Do I enter them all in? Do I put the first one in where it is supposed to go and then slap all the rest in the Waiting For list?

    2. I'm getting my Waiting For items and things that should go into a Tickler mixed up. Right now I don't have much of a Tickler file. I use Outlook and put Tasks in with reminder dates for me to remember to do something. I don't like adding them to the Calendar on specific dates because if I miss one I don't get a nice view of what I missed. Does anyone have good advice on how to distinguish Waiting For from Tickler? In essense I'm waiting on something and want to be reminded at a later date about it.

    3. On a related note, if you have a phone call you want to make in three months (i.e., Call Kennel Re: Boarding pet for weekend of XXXXX). Where does that go? Phone Calls? Waiting For? Tickler? It sounds like Tickler item to be me. I'd like to hear how other people are doing this.

    Thanks,

    MikeWo

  • #2
    Some questions gitsu some answers

    Originally posted by Mikewo View Post
    1. Next Next Next Next Actions.... This is where I add a project to my list and can immediately think of 10 actions that all rely on each other to complete the project. For example, I'll add a project that is something like "Get my brother hooked on GTD". I'll think about the actions for this which are (A) @Errand - purchase another copy of GTD, (B) @Agenda-Brother - Arrange night out with Brother, (C) @Agenda - Brother - Give GTD copy to Brother, (D) @Phone Call - Call Brother to annoy the heck out of him till he reads the book. You get the idea. I already know the steps to take care of the whole project. Do I enter them all in? Do I put the first one in where it is supposed to go and then slap all the rest in the Waiting For list?
    Here's my offering: if there's some you can do concurrently, slap 'em all on the NA context lists. The rest I'd just write down on the project sheet (I have one sheet of paper for each project: slip them into the project folder if you don't want to do this) so that I can recover them if my brain explodes.

    2. I'm getting my Waiting For items and things that should go into a Tickler mixed up. Right now I don't have much of a Tickler file. I use Outlook and put Tasks in with reminder dates for me to remember to do something. I don't like adding them to the Calendar on specific dates because if I miss one I don't get a nice view of what I missed.
    Big suggestion on the tickler file: 43 folders. 43 real, semi-live, all-singing and all-dancing manila folders in your drawer. Label 'em and stash stuff in 'em. That gives you a place to stash paper things instead of having to type them in, and it means if you miss something it's still there at the front, waiting accusingly for your attention.

    Does anyone have good advice on how to distinguish Waiting For from Tickler? In essense I'm waiting on something and want to be reminded at a later date about it.
    Distinguishing Waiting from Tickler: If you're hung up on a project until you receive something from someone else, that's a Waiting. If you want to be reminded to start moving on something at a later date, that's a Tickler.

    3. On a related note, if you have a phone call you want to make in three months (i.e., Call Kennel Re: Boarding pet for weekend of XXXXX). Where does that go? Phone Calls? Waiting For? Tickler? It sounds like Tickler item to be me. I'd like to hear how other people are doing this.
    Definitely tickler file. Write it down on a sheet of paper (including phone number, if you've got it) and stash in the Tickler folder for that month. That way it's out of your sight and out of your mind until you need it.

    Comment


    • #3
      unstuffed:

      Thanks for the reply. The comments about the differences between tickler and waiting for is exactly what I was looking for.

      On your one suggestion:
      Originally posted by unstuffed View Post
      Big suggestion on the tickler file: 43 folders. 43 real, semi-live, all-singing and all-dancing manila folders in your drawer. Label 'em and stash stuff in 'em. That gives you a place to stash paper things instead of having to type them in, and it means if you miss something it's still there at the front, waiting accusingly for your attention.
      Unfortunately, I know myself pretty well. I'm a very mobile person. Physical folders are just not going to work for me. As a consultant I'm always on the move. I don't like keeping any files that are not client related at the client sites that I'm at. Also, if I kept these tickler folders at my home I'm sure to be somewhere else when I need them. So far I'm very happy with implementing GTD in a more digital realm. I don't even mind scanning or retyping things (or at least enough that it jogs my memory).

      I think I'm going to try a "~Tickler" category for tasks in Outlook and throw all my tickler stuff in there. That way I can still add reminders and can even create a view for due date. We'll see if that works.

      Again, thanks for the response.

      MikeWo

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Mikewo View Post
        Unfortunately, I know myself pretty well. I'm a very mobile person. Physical folders are just not going to work for me. As a consultant I'm always on the move. I don't like keeping any files that are not client related at the client sites that I'm at. Also, if I kept these tickler folders at my home I'm sure to be somewhere else when I need them. So far I'm very happy with implementing GTD in a more digital realm. I don't even mind scanning or retyping things (or at least enough that it jogs my memory).

        I think I'm going to try a "~Tickler" category for tasks in Outlook and throw all my tickler stuff in there. That way I can still add reminders and can even create a view for due date. We'll see if that works.
        Hi Mike,

        I'm not an Outlook person, being a Mac girl from way back. But there may well be an elegant way to use it. You could even build a simple Excel spreadsheet to hold your reminders: that would at least give you an overall view as well as the daily one.

        I also seem to remember something at 43Folders that might help, although I can't for the life of me remember exactly what it was. Check out the archive at 43folders.com, and the forum as well. Do a site search: I didn't turn up anything on a quick glance, but you might be more motivated.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Mikewo View Post
          unstuffed:

          Unfortunately, I know myself pretty well. I'm a very mobile person. Physical folders are just not going to work for me. As a consultant I'm always on the move. I don't like keeping any files that are not client related at the client sites that I'm at. Also, if I kept these tickler folders at my home I'm sure to be somewhere else when I need them. So far I'm very happy with implementing GTD in a more digital realm. I don't even mind scanning or retyping things (or at least enough that it jogs my memory).

          I think I'm going to try a "~Tickler" category for tasks in Outlook and throw all my tickler stuff in there. That way I can still add reminders and can even create a view for due date. We'll see if that works.

          MikeWo
          I'm mobile user as well. I don't use 43 folder tickler. I use Outlook instead. I put "tickler" actions as an all-day event (shows on the top of Outlook calendar) and add "!" sign in the begining of the line. When I see such an all-day event I know that I should add it to my Actions list on that day. For example, if I need to be reminded of a call to mr. Bean when he's back from vacation after 15/03 I just put a line to Outlook on 15/03 "!Call mr. Bean re: his vacation experience". When I see it on 15/03 I can call right away or move it to @Calls action list.

          Regards,

          Eugene.

          Comment


          • #6
            unstuffed- Thanks, I'll search and see what I can find.

            Eugene - Out of curiosity, do you put reminders on our all day events that are "tickler" items?

            Comment


            • #7
              It's funny I had this exact same project!

              What I do for "ticklers" is create a @Waiting For task and then I drag the new task to the calendar on the day I want to look at it again. This way I have it on the calendae and also an ongoing task in case I don't get around to it.

              -Jeff

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Mikewo View Post
                Eugene - Out of curiosity, do you put reminders on our all day events that are "tickler" items?
                Mikewo, not really a reminder in terms of Microsoft. If I need to be reminded of something after a certain date, I create a new Appointment. Then make it All-Day Event, assign the date. In the subject line I put "!" sign and then what should be put in the system on that date, i.e. Go to school When I look at my calendar in the morning or during closest Weekly Review I know that this is Tickler event. Simple and works!

                Regards,

                Eugene.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I'm not particularly mobile, but I don't use physical tickler files either. What I use is a planning file in Word with the days of the month and the following months typed in. Reminders for a particular date go in that list. Waiting-fors go in that section of my Next Action file and get reviewed at least weekly. Hard-copy materials that go with a particular task (either a specific-date reminder or an NA) go in The Drawer (abbreviated D on the lists). This has been working very well for seven months now.

                  Do Mi

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    This is my first post to this forum so be patient!

                    I use Outlook for everything. I have a category for tasks called "Daily To Do". I filter this for only tasks due "today" in that category. Anything I need to do today shows in this view. So, if I need to be reminded to call someone in 3 months I create a task titled "@Calls: Mr Jones re: XXX" with a due date 3 months from now in the "Daily To Do" category. This way I won't see it again until it is time for me to accomplish the task in 3 months.

                    When I am waiting for something it also is a task in the "@Waiting" category. I have a view that filters only the "@Waiting" items. I have a recurring reminder task in the "Daily To Do" to review my "@Waiting" category with a link to a saved search for that category. Usually I just scan it quickly to make sure I am on top of everything and don't do an in depth review until my weekly review. If I receive the results I am waiting for I either mark the task complete or change the category to "Daily To Do" if it requires a next action from me and add the due date.

                    I hope I have explained this where it is understandable.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Backplate for Desk file drawer

                      Here is a real newbie question...where can one buy a backplate for the desk file drawer as the better option rather than hanging files, as the program suggests? I have looked all over the internet via search engines using all sorts of combinations of "Desk - File - Hardware - Backplate" and haven't found a thing.
                      Last edited by eberger2@cfl.rr.com; 02-12-2007, 01:45 PM. Reason: typo

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        eberger, I can't answer your question, but I can tell you that some GTD practitioners stick with hanging files and suffer no ill effects.

                        Good luck on your search.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Waiting For yourself

                          Originally posted by unstuffed View Post
                          Distinguishing Waiting from Tickler: If you're hung up on a project until you receive something from someone else, that's a Waiting. If you want to be reminded to start moving on something at a later date, that's a Tickler.
                          I thought I'd pick up on this thread - what do people do if they're waiting for themselves - i.e. a dependency on another project that they're working on?

                          What do people do to remind themselves that once they've completed task A in project X, they can then start task B in project Y?

                          Thanks - J.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by jsturtridge View Post
                            What do people do to remind themselves that once they've completed task A in project X, they can then start task B in project Y?
                            I'd put Task B for Project Y on the "waiting" list, with a note that it's "waiting" for Task A on Project X.

                            It's like waiting for any other delegated task-- just in this case, the task is delegated to myself.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Tickler

                              You might want to use a 'digital' tickler for point 3 - i use outlook tasks for this and just check it weekly for upcoming reminders.

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