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  • Lists that aren't NA lists

    I have several lists I can think of that aren't NA lists. For example, I serve in a position in our church. I compile an agenda for a weekly meeting during each week. I also have a similar list of people who will be interviewed by our Bishop each week.

    As these aren't NA lists I just have a list for the current week, when that's passed, I overwrite it with the next week. I'm not big into archiving unless I can justify the HDD space and actually need to refer to the info again.

    I'm interested to know how other people handle or would suggest handling these lists.

    Thanks in advance.

  • #2
    My question would be - do you need to refer to the list again after the event? If not then throw it out.

    I've just gone through 17 years worth of filing - the time I've been in this job. Huge chunks of stuff have never been needed again, and I've managed to slim down my system so I can actually find the documents I need! I'm now much more disciplined about deciding what I need to keep.

    Ruth

    Comment


    • #3
      Recurring lists

      Sorry, what I'm more interested in is handling recurring lists. The weekly meeting agenda for example - what kind of list is it? Or is it just an agenda that I update each week.

      I don't need to archive them at all as someone takes minutes, I just do the agenda by talking to attendees each week.

      Thanks.

      Comment


      • #4
        For your recurring weekly to do items, create a weekly checklist that has everything you need to do that week, e.g., interview __, compile agenda, etc. If you can't remember to look at it each week, then put a recurring reminder in your calendar. If you use Outlook, put it in your notes section for it. If you use paper, use something like what I outline here: Four Planner Hacks for Paper-Based Productivity | D*I*Y Planner.

        If those checklist items are short, you can work through the list right when you're reminded of it. Otherwise, they will kick off (possibly high priority) actions.

        Hope that helps!

        Comment


        • #5
          Sorry, I'd misunderstood what you were asking.

          For meeting agendas, we usually have a standing agenda, and then other items get added as people think of them. For the ones I'm responsible for the standing agenda is a document on my computer. Then when a new item comes up I either write it on my universal paper collecting device (a spiral notebook) and transfer it onto the document during processing, or put it in a note attached to the calendar entry in my PDA, in which case I add it to the document when I'm preparing the final agenda.

          So it's not a "list" of any particular variety, but supporting documentation.

          Ruth

          Comment


          • #6
            Great. I get a bit stuck on what becomes supporting documentation sometimes. I think the weekly agenda I have is definitely best treated as supporting documentation.

            My next question is where do I store that? It isn't related to a project, but a role/area of focus (20,000 ft). So do I put that in reference folder or like this:

            20,000 ft Areas of focus > (role) > list goes here

            like that? Or is this not the purpose of an 'areas of focus' folder.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by blair_one View Post
              Great. I get a bit stuck on what becomes supporting documentation sometimes. I think the weekly agenda I have is definitely best treated as supporting documentation.

              My next question is where do I store that? It isn't related to a project, but a role/area of focus (20,000 ft). So do I put that in reference folder or like this:

              20,000 ft Areas of focus > (role) > list goes here

              like that? Or is this not the purpose of an 'areas of focus' folder.
              I store all my recurring and upcoming agendas in an electronical folder named agendas, which is synched to my pda. So I can add items if necessary (almost) everywhere and everytime.

              Yours
              Alexander

              Comment


              • #8
                I use several options for supporting documentation for a meeting that isn't a current project.
                1) a note in my PDA attached to the calendar entry for the meeting
                2) a note attached to an NA saying "draw up agenda for X meeting"
                3) Papers for the meeting are in my tickler folder for the date of the meeting; I may scribble ideas on a piece of paper for agenda items and throw them in too. I especially do that for meetings where I am not responsible for the agenda, but want to raise a subject
                4) In my general reference system in the folder where I keep copies of the minutes

                I'm not sure what you mean by an "area of focus" folder. The only folders I have are reference folders, project support, and the tickler.

                Ruth

                Comment


                • #9
                  Ruth: What's the difference between Project Support folders and Reference folders?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Brent View Post
                    Ruth: What's the difference between Project Support folders and Reference folders?
                    I'm not Ruth, but for me Project Support materials are relevant to a current project. As such, I refer to them often and they get "prime" space near my desk. Reference materials are stuff that I am keeping for whatever reason (taxes, product manuals, completed projects, general information), but for which I don't have an immediate need. They are stored further away (where depends on the item). Reference materials also need more careful labeling, since there are more of them and months (or years) may pass between filing and retrieval.

                    Katherine

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Yes, exactly what Katherine said. At work my project support folders are in a drawer of my desk, except for two that are too big to fit and are on the shelf above my desk, next to my tickler. I can grab any of them without having to move my chair. The general reference stuff is in a filing cabinet about 10 feet away, or in ring binders on a set of corner shelves beside it. From experience, I access my general reference folders about once a fortnight.

                      At home it's more complicated so I won't go into that, but the principles are the same - any document I need for a current project in a nearby folder; everything else filed away for reference if needed.

                      There's an awful lot of GTD I haven't implemented, but this way of storing stuff has revolutionised my work.

                      Ruth

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by RuthMcT View Post
                        I'm not sure what you mean by an "area of focus" folder. The only folders I have are reference folders, project support, and the tickler.
                        Ruth
                        @ Ruth

                        In advanced workflow diagram under 'Do' if you look at the runway, 10,000 ft, 20,000 ft etc model that is what I mean. Higher level visions and goals filter down to projects and next actions.

                        'Areas of responsibility' is the term I meant. So if a reference list is created from an area of responsibility I was wondering if I have a sub folder (electronic, soon to be paper) under the Areas of responsibility and then notes/support materials for that area? I'm thinking I might just need to have a list of responsibilities (husband, father, employee etc) and then review the areas to see if I think of any projects. That sounds more like it.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by blair_one View Post
                          'Areas of responsibility' is the term I meant. So if a reference list is created from an area of responsibility I was wondering if I have a sub folder (electronic, soon to be paper) under the Areas of responsibility and then notes/support materials for that area? I'm thinking I might just need to have a list of responsibilities (husband, father, employee etc) and then review the areas to see if I think of any projects. That sounds more like it.
                          All my "big picture" materials fit in a single folder, which mostly lives in my Tickler because I only look at it during monthly reviews.

                          Generally speaking, I would say that if you can't remember an area of responsibility off the top of your head, you probably haven't really committed to that responsibility anyway. Certainly "husband" and "father" are not the kinds of responsibilities one forgets! For that reason, I would say that you probably don't need to maintain a rigid connection between your areas and specific projects, either. If you don't know instantly which area inspired the project, you probably haven't defined the project clearly enough.

                          In my experience, overly hierarchical file systems are difficult to use because I can never remember which branch something belongs to. Flatter is better.

                          Katherine

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            @ Katherine:

                            That sounds like good advice. I originally thought of the file structure as I was thinking that is where I should store reference materials.

                            I like the idea of the list though, that makes more sense. Thanks.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Yes, I have a single alphabetical filing system - well two actually, one for reference and one for current projects. If I want to group stuff I do it by the first word of the file name e.g.

                              Immunisation: policies
                              Immunisation: training

                              Then they are at least next to one another on the shelf or in the filing cabinet.

                              Ruth

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