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independant actions/ contexts

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  • independant actions/ contexts

    Many of my active projects have 5 to 12 independant actions. I want to be able to see a good number of them (all if possible) when I am in the context in which they can be done so I can choose the task to complete based on time available, energy, etc. I want to see these while I am in very specific contexts such as when I am in a certain neighborhood or a certain room in my house or part of the builiding in which I work. I am using plain vanilla Palm (handheld and desktop versions) but could use paper as well. Palm limits to 15 categories in either Tasks or Memo. I presently use Memo for my project definitions and my @contexts lists because it will sort A to Z and it is easier for me to see if I have already entered the item. The solution I see is to put the actions into the context categories with a short heading so they come up together. For example, in @home I can begin all the kitchen actions with kitchen and thereby see them together, and within @out I can begin the actions I need to do with a word to designate a more specific location such as Brooklyn, Midtown, etc. But, I fear that I am gravitating towards an heirarchy and that I am starting to make too many subcategories. Also, the handheld can display on the date view items from Task and you can ceck them off. This is very handy. I would appreciate any thoughts and examples of what other people do.

  • #2
    Do you have a Mac? There is a freeware tool for the Palm called MacNoteTaker. It is basically Memos, but it has a folders functionality, so you can put the Memoleafs into folders like on a desktop computer. I used to heavuly relie on that weh I GTDed with my Palm.


    • #3
      thanks but I lack a mac

      windows only


      • #4
        Why do you need a context for a specific room? I think it would take you less then 2 minutes to get there and start doing what you need to do. I have home, garage etc but all of that falls under @Home context. I don't check tasks lists every second (i.e. when I parked my car, what's next?) - that's too complicated. I get into @Home context and choose what to do next but before that I check my brain if there's something I want-need to do and if that's on the lists - great, my system and I on the same track


        • #5
          why is a good question...

          It raises the issue of whether the actions are really indepenednt and yes they are. I have many things to do in specific rooms and places and they are not routine things. I have done the thinking up front and my list tells me the many actions I can do without getting any other supplies, having conferences, making measurements, etc. But, if I am cued by just looking at the room, my brain will direct me to something that I have not processed in this way or I will recoil from the overwhelming number of things or start in on something that captivates me at the moment. If my list cues me to do something that is a purely indepenedent action but it will take a long time and I only have 15 minutes, I will not even start it or I might start it and then have to get it all cleaned up. If I see I have a choice, I can select the 15 minute one. I might get lucky and it takes me 5 minutes and I can get into another little one. Also, by looking at the list of ten small actions I can choose based on my instinct and the situation and how much physical or mental heavy lifting I can handle at the moment. Even when the amount of time is going to be about the same, fifteen minutes lubricating hinges has a different quality than fifteen minutes of re-labeling the recycling containers, etc. At work, if I go to a certain building for supplies and forms, and to drop items off I want to see the whole list for that part of the building. I may not be able to get each thing done because certain areas will have lines of other people waiting or offices may be unmanned for a period, so I want to be able to make moment to moment decisions in that very, very specific context.


          • #6
            I'll sometimes group related tasks on the Palm by giving them a priority code. For instance, if you want to clean your house and would like to segregate the cleaning tasks from the rest of your @Home list, give them a priority code of 1, assuming all other NA are unassigned to priority codes, then the Palm will throw the Priority 1 items to the bottom of the list. You should do this at the Palm Desktop; assigning priorities directly on the handheld gives inconsistent results.

            For an extended discussion, see this thread.