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Do you sort your projects (in a paper-based system)?

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  • Do you sort your projects (in a paper-based system)?

    Should I have one long list of projects:

    serve nice holiday meal
    present request to Board of Trutees
    etc...

    or should I separate them in some way?

    since they tend to start with verbs, instead of key words, it's often hard to see what is what....

  • #2
    I keep my Projects list digital, but I don't sort it.

    On a side note, your list of Projects shouldn't be incredibly long, since it's a list of the Projects you're actively working on. If you haven't done anything about it in a month, it shouldn't be on your Projects list.

    (Oooh, I need to take my own advice.)

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Bottleblue View Post
      Should I have one long list of projects:

      serve nice holiday meal
      present request to Board of Trutees
      etc...

      or should I separate them in some way?

      since they tend to start with verbs, instead of key words, it's often hard to see what is what....
      What you do depends on what tools you use and how you like to see things. You could sort your projects into categories (2-5, no more), color code them, or change the way you phrase them, whatever you like. You probably won't find everything you try effective, so move on quickly ("fail forward"). Many people use name- verb for projects, but verb-name for next actions, to address your specific issue:

      Project: Albania- conquer by Jan
      Next Action: Buy 100 grenade launchers at Wars 'r Us

      Whatever you do, you have to be able to see all your projects at once.

      Comment


      • #4
        I separate mine by areas of responsibility (I'm a paediatrician). Iif I've got a couple of uninterrupted hours to do paperwork (ie not seeing patients, or going to meetings) it's easier to concentrate on one area e.g. Immunisation, or staff training. I'm using Outlook, with "Contacts as projects" using the Categories as areas of responsiblity. Each NA has both an @context and an "area" category e.g. "Ask Kathy if vaccine policy has been posted" is under both @phone and Immunisations.

        So if I'm having an Immunisation admin afternoon I just have the Immunisation category open. But if I want an overview, or to find out what all my dated NAs are for this week, or look at my full @phone list, I can switch to an alternative view.

        I'm not sure how easy that would be in a paper system though - I think I'd go for colour coding.

        Ruth

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        • #5
          My list is grouped into three sections

          Formal official work projects (I'm a project manager and these are projects I'm formally project manager for)

          Departmental projects (projects I'm doing for my boss or myself.)

          Personal projects (Listed on a different list)

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          • #6
            I think it depends on what you need. For me, a flat list of projects, mixed personal and profession ones, is fine. I don't have a ton of them, though (by design). Start simple - flat list. Try it for a while and see if it needs changing. Then group/categorize as needed. ?

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            • #7
              I keep two simple paper lists, one for personal projects and the other for work. They are listed chronologically; this helps me see how long I've been working on a given project and, during review time, why some projects have taken longer than expected or stalled out. It wouldn't be a problem for me to keep a single list. With a new job, however, I've found it more convenient to keep work separate.

              When I complete a project, I highlight it (counterintuitive, I know). In this sense, my project list also serves as a log for referencing what I've done in the past.

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              • #8
                No list here

                I don't keep a list of all my projects. I am using a fancy hipster based on 3x5 cards and a Levenger wallet to hold them. For me, each project has its own card. All of these cards go in one pocket of the wallet, so I can quickly grab the stack and flip thru them to review the next actions for each one.

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