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Repetative tasks where to put and how to manage

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  • Repetative tasks where to put and how to manage

    Ok I've not been around for a while here so apologies if this has been answered already. Around when I left this was still an issue that GTD didn't directly deal with but hey.

    I need to be reminded to do something every three hours starting from 08:00 until 21:00. The only way I can find to do this in Outlook 2007 is to put it on the calendar as an appointment going against to hard/soft landscape rule of GTD. I can't see how to easily do this as a repeating task.

    Does anyone know how to achieve this?

    TIA

    Jason

  • #2
    well, if what ever you have to do every three hours would die if you didn't do it, then technically it should be on your calendar.

    otherwise you have a stopwatch with a three hour timer on it.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by JasonJ View Post
      I need to be reminded to do something every three hours starting from 08:00 until 21:00.
      If it has to be done at a particular time, sounds to me like a calendar item. For instance, if it's medication that you need to take in order to stop you turning blue and having hair growing out of your ears, and you have to take it every three hours with the first at 8 am, then it's definitely hard landscape: it's a committment you need to keep at that time.

      Comment


      • #4
        If you google for "reminder watch ADHD" you will find quite a few solutions--

        http://www.eadhd.com/771085.html

        Here is one--it looks like a pager but you can have up to 12 alarms set to go off every day, vibrating if you wish.

        --Glenda

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        • #5
          Thanks for your help guys.

          hehe not quite to stop hair growing out of my ears but its not far off.

          No its a reminder for me to eat every three hours. One of my projects is to bulk up something which is a little alien to me and I can't rely on my stomach reminding me.

          The reason why I wanted it in Outlook was if I'm not near my laptop then I have my PPC which can also remind me.

          The reason for me asking for confirmation is when I look at my calendar with the reminders on it its very messy and a little off putting. What I don't want are these reminders to push me away from focusing on real "die if not done" tasks.

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          • #6
            But the idea of GTD is to get it out of your head right, so that you can focus on other tasks while you don't need to be concerned about eating, but then be reminded about eating when you would like to be. So, I would say stick it on your schedule and then you can decide if it's convenient or not when the time appears. If you don't put it on your schedule, won't your mind be niggling away that you gotta eat in 2.5 hrs, 2.25 hrs, 2 hrs, 1.5 hrs, 1.1 hrs, 45 mins, 44 mins, 43 mins etc... you get the idea?

            Paul

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            • #7
              I think a separate reminder system would be most appropriate for that. It would keep the clutter off of your GTD system. You don't really need to see numerous calendar entries for eating every day with your real appointments mixed in. You just need a little prompt to remind you that it is time again.

              A watch with a countdown timer would work if you don't mind being heard beeping at odd times. I often set the countdown timer in my cell phone as a reminder. This can be set to vibrate (or ring) so it is more discrete. Also, I don't have to carry anything extra. You could also set something up to send a text message to your phone every 3 hours. A dedicated Google Calendar with repeating events could do that. If you use a PPC, there are undoubtedly ways to set it to remind you at any certain interval, either with the basic software or some program that could be added for that purpose.

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              • #8
                @Paul - yep I get the idea and this has been working perfectly BUT my calender is covered with these reminders and when I look at it it repels me away instantly. I was wondering if there was a better way to do this.

                @Barry - the thing is that I can't have my phone with me when I am at work just my laptop. The times when I'm not at my laptop I have my phone so I think I'll look around for something separate that I can install on both.

                Thanks again for all your help and advice.
                Last edited by JasonJ; 10-01-2007, 10:20 AM.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by JasonJ View Post
                  @Barry - the thing is that I can't have my phone with me when I am at work just my laptop. The times when I'm not at my laptop I have my phone so I think I'll look around for something separate that I can install on both.

                  Thanks again for all your help and advice.
                  Maybe there are some stopwatch/alarm software that you can install on the PC that is separate from Outlook which you could use to countdown in the background?

                  Paul

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                  • #10
                    I'll take a look and let you know. Thanks again

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I’ve just been playing with repeating tasks in Outlook and it may be one solution which does not involve your calendar.

                      I usually view my tasks by category (which are my GTD contexts), so I bent that a bit and made an “@Recurring” category. This will keep the clutter down in the rest of your NA’s.

                      Here’s how I would set it up:
                      • Create a task, “Drink protein shake”, or whatever.
                      • Set the category to “@Recurring”
                      • Set the task recurrence to “Daily”
                      • Also select the option “Every 1 day(s)”
                      • Back in the main window:
                      • Set a reminder for 08:00
                      • Repeat the above steps for a total of 5 tasks, with reminders at 12:00, 15:00, 18:00 & 21:00.

                      Now, you should get a reminder every 3 hours during your specified time frame.
                      If you view your tasks in a format that has checkboxes (i.e., Outlook Today, Tasks), checking off the tasks will generate the one for the following day, which should start the cycle all over again.

                      As with all things Microsoft, there are multiple display and notification settings, so YMMV.

                      As a variant, if you want to follow this regimen only on specific days of the week, set the recurrence to “Weekly”, with the desired days of the week specified after “Recur every 1 week(s) on:”

                      I am using this for more and more of my recurring tasks. It allows me to check off watering plants every week, but feeding them only every 2 weeks and not having to remember which week is which part of the pattern. I get the satisfaction of checking things off lists and I get a log of sorts to see when I last completed one of these tasks.

                      Hope that helps.

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                      • #12
                        Multiple calendars?

                        Originally posted by JasonJ View Post

                        The reason for me asking for confirmation is when I look at my calendar with the reminders on it its very messy and a little off putting. What I don't want are these reminders to push me away from focusing on real "die if not done" tasks.
                        My (not successful) attempt to solve this was to create a number of outlook calendars: one for deadlines, one for recurring tasks, ...., and finally one for the normal appointments. The problem which I didn't solve so far is that you get alarms only from one calendar. Has anybody an idea whether and how several calendars can be enabled to send their alarms?

                        Wolfgang

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                        • #13
                          Excellent thanks for the help.

                          I implemented it fully and it works very well. My calendar now only shows me the hard landscape "Do or Die" tasks and is much more appealing to look at and work with.

                          Thanks again

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