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Where do you keep any paperwork relating to @Waiting items?

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  • Where do you keep any paperwork relating to @Waiting items?

    Hello GTD fans,

    Where do you keep any paperwork relating to @Waiting items?

    Do you keep them in a @Waiting folder or in their own project or reference folders?

    Here's my example:

    Today I posted back to a company a faulty SD memory card, along with a returns note and a covering letter. I also got a proof of postage certificate from the Post Office.

    This item is now on my @Waiting list in Outlook as "Replacement for returned faulty SD card (19/05/07)".

    That's fine, but when I was clearing the inbox tonight I'm thinking where shall I put the proof of postage from the Post Office?

    In it's own 'Faulty SD Card' folder or in a general @Waiting folder?

    I've decided to print off a copy of the covering letter, pin the certificate of postage to it and put them in their own project/reference folder called " - Exchange faulty SD Card". I'll easily remember that.

    My problem with a general @Waiting folder is that it right now it would be full of mixed items; copies of job applications, copies of online purchases paperwork and in there somewhere would be this proof of postage too!

    Just wondering what do you do?

    Thanks for any advice, very much appreciated.

    Best regards,


  • #2
    Yep. Anything I need to keep track of (@waiting-wise) goes into the project's folder.

    If the project doesn't have a folder, I create one. Once I no longer need it, the folder gets recycled (one of the advantages of using a label maker). Though, for me, this doesn't come up all that often -- mostly rebates and such.
    Last edited by jknecht; 05-19-2007, 04:23 PM.


    • #3
      Paper support @waiting for

      I would put it into a Tickler File 2 weeks from now. If you get it replaced within 2 weeks, then when you get to that folder in 2 weeks time, just trash that piece of paper. If in 2 weeks, you still haven't received a replacement - it should trigger an action to track what they are doing about it. If it is still on it's way, Tickle it another 2 weeks from then. That way you don't have to create a separate reference folder just for it, or put it into a general @waiting for file where you brain may become numb to mixed items (unless you are reminding yourself of it every week in the weekly review).




      • #4
        I follow the same method as Frank. So long as your 43 folders are part of your daily routine it works almost flawlessly.

        Actually, I find the 43 folders always work flawlessly, but the operator doesn't


        • #5
          I would put the receipt in a file (Faculty SD Card) and track the item on my Waiting/For list.

          This approach is possible using a labeller and manilla folders. There are minimal barriers--both in cost and effort--to creating new files. It takes only a couple of seconds and it gets filed securely in my alphabetical system. Since I'm already tracking the item on my Waiting/For list, I don't need the redundancy of a Waiting/For folder--which will just make the receipt more difficult to find if problems arise.

          That's my approach, at least...

          (Regarding the tickler approach: while this would allow for regular reminders that one is waiting for the card, it will be more [but not impossibly] difficult to find the receipt, say, if the card arrives damaged.)
          Last edited by madalu; 05-20-2007, 06:37 AM.


          • #6
            thanks for all the ideas!

            Thanks Jknecht, Frank T, Vatark and Madalu for the replies – it’s very much appreciated.

            @Frank T, @Vatark: When I thought about this, I only thought I had two choices; pop it in it’s own folder and track it in Outlook or pop it in a generic “Waiting For” folder and track it in Outlook too. I never thought of the Tickler/43 Folders option for this – many thanks for the idea, very interesting to see how we’re all implementing GTD slightly differently to suit what we need!

            To be honest, I’ve not created 43Folders/Tickler file, as for almost 99% of the time it would be empty. But I love the idea! When I read about it in the book, I thought wow – that ingenious – why’d I not heard of this before! It’s a real simple idea but turns out to be a great “time shifting personal re-mailing and reminder system”!

            If I had more items that would go in it, I’d set one up straight away. But it really would be empty right now, well apart from this one MicroSD postage receipt! If I were based at a single location I’d maybe do it too, but I’m trying to keep my system (reminders at least) as portable as possible. Sometimes I might not be able to access the Tickler file but can track everything on my PocketPC instead.

            @Jknecht, @Madalu: Thanks for the feedback - I’d gone the route of what you’ve done and it’s reassuring I’m not alone in doing it this way! I’m simply filling the paperwork A – Z in it’s own labeled folder and a reminder goes into Outlook as a calendar item or as a Waiting For task item. This way I can track everything in Outlook (and my PocketPC) and I also know exactly where the paperwork is at any given time.

            I’ve not got a labeler, but I do print them from my PC and quickly too. They’re also on a roll so I can print single labels without having to print them in batches.

            I am thinking of setting up a single “Future Items” file folder and popping into it anything that will be used in the future, only on a single given day and then only be used once; items such as advance train tickets, concert tickets, birthday cards, etc.

            A reminder would go into Outlook, which will include a note to say the item is in the “Future Items File”. This folder would simply act as a container for the items needed and not as a reminder in it’s own right – I’d let Outlook do that instead! But right now, this file would still be empty – so I’ll only do it when or if the need arises!

            Thanks once again, very much appreciated,

            Best regards,

            Last edited by AndyD; 05-20-2007, 09:20 AM. Reason: accidentally quoted entire thread!


            • #7
              I don't ever have many papers for "waiting for" items, so mine go in a "waiting for" or "pending" folder that's part of my tickler system.