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  • @brainstorming/planning

    I know some touched upon it in a thread about @anywhere recently, but I'm uncertain as to what to do. In that thread I posted that I put braintorming items in my @office list. However, I have quite a few NAs that involve brainstorming or planning. I feel I could get more done, if I create a context that groups together these types of NAs, which I not only do in quiet locations but also when I'm in a certain mindset. Granted this could go under an @anywhere context, which I'm currently not using.

    Would it make sense to create a context that groups these types of NAs? Would something like this add too much complexity?

    I'll list my current context:
    @agenda
    @errand
    @office
    @pc (any non-programming pc NAs)
    @program (special programming)
    @waitingfor
    @home

    I'm slowly starting to really enjoy my productivity, but I feel it needs more tweaking.

  • #2
    FWIW, I have a brainstorming context list.

    Any list of contexts that works for you is fine. The "official" DA-approved list is just a starting point.

    Katherine

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    • #3
      What's your Ubiquitous Capture Tool? I keep several brainstorming topics in that.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Brent View Post
        What's your Ubiquitous Capture Tool? I keep several brainstorming topics in that.
        I have several. A pad by my bed, one in my purse or bag, my organizer, etc. I also use Jott, which I'm using more, since I try to have my cell with me just for that. But I don't keep any such lists in there. I don't use either an hPDA or a PDA if that is what you are referring to. I use my organizer for calendar, contacts, checklists, project list, and Horizons. I use Thinking Rock for my NAs, since it lets me group NAs by context.

        I do have several NAs that are brainstorming or planning in nature. These are the next step in the projects and not so much something I can put on a list. I am thinking of grouping them in a context like Katherine does, since they are similar in nature but different from NAs in @office or @pc.

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        • #5
          Thanks for the reply!

          You can always put those brainstorming actions on some list somewhere. I've found that sometimes I've let brainstorming actions drift in the ether for far too long, and if I just put it on some context list -- @Office, or @Studio -- then at least I get to the brainstorming.

          Alternatively, you can create a new context/list to store those brainstorming actions. I put mine on index cards in my Hipster PDA; you could add them to your organizer, or drop a small notebook or a couple of index cards in your purse.
          Last edited by Brent; 02-05-2008, 01:30 PM.

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          • #6
            I keep an @ Strat (Strategy) context list, which could also be called @ Think

            Here I keep items which need to be thought through.

            Usually best away from the Internet or other distractive places or tools. Also at a high energy time of day.

            I might deal with these items by:

            - Walking / running - With a clear thinking agenda, rather than random

            - Discussion with a suitable personality

            - Mind Manager software

            - SWOT Analysis

            - Six Thinking Hats Analysis

            - Random brainstorming notes on paper

            I find it hard to stop action tasks and just think. Making a separate context for this has helped.

            Which strategy I use obviously depends on the item which needs to be dealt with.

            See here for help in getting the brain moving:

            Problem Solving Techniques

            http://www.mindtools.com/pages/main/newMN_TMC.htm

            Decision Making Techniques

            http://www.mindtools.com/pages/main/newMN_TED.htm
            Last edited by hagadol; 02-06-2008, 02:18 AM.

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            • #7
              Thank you all for the informative posts! It is important to see that it works for GTDers. I will add the new context and move some NAs into that context. I believe it'll make a big difference if I could just work from this context list when I'm in a thinking location (mentally, if not physically, or both). I also appreciate the tools and tips too, which I'll be putting into a type of worksheet/checklist, so that I'll have other things to turn to when I'm at a mental standstill.

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              • #8
                I have an @mindmanager list which I use for brainstorming requirements that specifically require MindManager.

                As I read your question however, another thought came to mind. Brainstorming for me requires a combination of @creative-mind and @whatever-tools-I-need-at-the-time. I often have one or the other. Rarely do I have both. Yet I know from experience that if I do sit down and brainstorm/create I can get a lot done quickly.

                As an alternative to the lists above I think it would be worthwhile scheduling in a day or half-day to do nothing but brainstorm your items. Schedule others to help you if needed.

                David

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                • #9
                  Just a follow-up to my new context @brainstorming/strategy/thinking (I'm still working on the name). I spent 2 hours in a quiet room without any distractions - no computer, no phone, no other electronic sidetracker. It wasn't planned, rather a circumstance in which I found myself. It was just me, my organizer, and a print-out of my NAs, under which I had 4 NAs in the new context. It worked wonderfully. I finished those 4 items and started brainstorming about other projects and ideas. The separate context was perfectly suited to this location/mindset. For the first time I wished I had more NAs in a context.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by sdann View Post
                    Just a follow-up to my new context @brainstorming/strategy/thinking (I'm still working on the name). I spent 2 hours in a quiet room without any distractions - no computer, no phone, no other electronic sidetracker. It wasn't planned, rather a circumstance in which I found myself. It was just me, my organizer, and a print-out of my NAs, under which I had 4 NAs in the new context. It worked wonderfully. I finished those 4 items and started brainstorming about other projects and ideas. The separate context was perfectly suited to this location/mindset. For the first time I wished I had more NAs in a context.
                    Simply wonderful.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by kewms View Post
                      FWIW, I have a brainstorming context list.

                      Any list of contexts that works for you is fine. The "official" DA-approved list is just a starting point.

                      Katherine
                      Thats 4 sho, completely agree with ya!

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