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  • Processing Mind Dump - Individual Folders?

    I'm getting to the point where I'm trying to process my mind dump, and maybe I'm misinterpreting something...

    When I took my notes on the book, I read it as saying you should write out each mind dumped item on a sheet of paper and make a folder for it.

    I'm having a hard time justifying to the logical efficient part of my brain the point of making folders for something like "Plan a trip to NYC." It feels like this is an item that should be on a Someday/Maybe LIST and not in a FOLDER.

    Did I miss the point? Are folders just for projects?

    (Secondary question)

    For a true "project" that takes multiple action steps to complete, should I have a folder for the project itself AND a folder for Project Support Materials, or just have a "Projects" list and just one folder, which holds Project Support Materials?

    I feel like I'm doubling up on the manilla folder thing, and while that's not a problem (if that's the way to do it), it just doesn't feel right for some reason.

  • #2
    Some projects require enormous quantities of project support materials. ("Alaskan Way Viaduct is replaced.") Some require little or none. (Junior's Back to School shopping is complete.) Feel free to use as much or as little space as you need, whether it be an entire filing cabinet or a single sheet of paper.

    That's for the general case. For the special case of your mind dump, remember that a collection of pieces of paper can also be a list. So you might have a file full of pieces of paper that eventually becomes your Someday/Maybe list, another that becomes your Waiting For list, and so forth. I don't remember a specific suggestion that each piece of paper should get its own folder, but it *is* important that you not get hung up on organization too early. You don't know what buckets you need until you know what you're trying to store. Until then, keep it simple.

    Good luck,

    Katherine

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    • #3
      > write out each mind dumped item on a sheet of paper and make a
      > folder for it

      I believe Allen recommends single sheets when doing your first mind sweep. This helps manage the possible overwhelm of your start. However, feel free to use multiple lines on a single page (or pages) for future brain dumps. You'll be processing them then crossing them out within 24 hours or so.

      Make a folder for a project only if you have supporting materials, plans, printed documents, etc. If there's no paper, no need to make a folder. However, you *will* need to add an entry for the new project on your master Projects list. Katherine has good suggestions in her reply.

      If "Plan a trip to NYC" is a Someday/Maybe project, then add it to that list. Note that I recommend using a *folder* for S/M, as very often I get printed matter in this category, and it's easier to simply file it. I have a mixture of items like that and lists of things that come up, but which have no paper artifact.

      > For a true "project" that takes multiple action steps to complete,
      > should I have a folder for the project itself AND a folder for
      > Project Support Materials, or just have a "Projects" list and just
      > one folder, which holds Project Support Materials?

      The former - every project needs its own dedicated folder, again, only if it has associated paper. There *is* a very useful idea of an "Action Support" folder, which is for in-process actions that don't have a project or folder. For example, bills you haven't paid yet, or receipts that you're waiting for. But don't use a large "catch all" folder for all projects.

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