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Sharing Palm implemetations of GTD

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  • Sharing Palm implemetations of GTD


    I have a palm Vx and slowly am getting up to speed using the GTD method.

    Currently I do the following.

    Made a list of all the pojects I have open in a memo category. In this category I have the projects as individual memo's with the next actions listed in there. The immediate next action is marked with a * and the completed NA is marked with **. When a next action becomes live it is placed in the todo list as well.

    In my todo list I have only the following contexts.

    @Waiting For

    And the NA's are placed in there. I do the following as well though. If in my judgement I should be albe to get more than one action done for tha project by the next weekly review I list both down but with the follow on action with a lower priority. Then I hide the priority on the display.

    I'm not sure that this is the best solution but is working for me at the moment. Though I must admit I have a habit of leaving my todo list on the all categeory rather than looking at the individual contexts, but that is because I have about 10-15 NA's at the moment.

    Would anyone else like to share their setup. I have looked at DA but there are some things that look confusing to me. Like when he says he has his project lists in the todo app.



  • #2
    Welcome Rav,

    I would recommend you keep your Palm as simple as possible until you really "get" GTD. Using categories in both memo and todo list are what drive the context of what you can do based on where you are, the time you have, and your energy level. I think keeping your projects under either memo or the todo list under category of Projects works well. As long as you do the weekly review and identify next actions on each of your projects. Some other Palm programs such as Bonzai, Shadow, Life Balance, to name a few can assist if you want to get more in depth but the danger of these is the time spent organizing instead of doing. You might check out the GTD Palm group at Yahoo Groups for more info or search this forum. I think you'll find the simpler the better unless you just like to mess with gadgets.


    • #3
      Hi Rav.

      It sounds like you've got a great start.

      You mentioned updating your next actions as of the weekly review - in my experience, however, as soon as you finish one NA on a particular project, it is best to just plop the next one up there as a new NA (really just changing the title of the NA in my case.) If you wait for the weekly review, more thinking is likely to be required to remember where you left off and what the next thing is.

      Another hard earned piece of advice is to use a memo for each NA, rather than a todo. Many of us have experienced big frustration by not being able to view all outstanding NAs for a particular project together. It makes you wish you could assign a todo or memo to two categories - one for the context and one for the project. (Apparently in Outlook you can, grumble grumble.) If you have multiple do-able NAs for a particular project, you can make your system sort them by project by titling your memos:

      PROJECTTITLE: call Jim.

      This way, when you use the "All" view, you can see the NAs for each project sorted alphabetically next to each other. Todos, on the other hand, won't sort alphabetically, so the weekly review is a bear when you try to figure out what NAs you have outstanding for any particular project.

      Here's what my "all" Memo list looks like (I only view the title and category):

      PROJECT1: Call Jim. @Calls
      PROJECT1: Draft memo @Work
      PROJECT 2: research X. @Work
      PROJECT 3: review memo. @Work
      PROJECT 3: do contract (wf boss) @Waiting For

      It's easy to see what there is to do on a particular project and what the status is when the boss walks in suddenly and wants to know.

      If you continue to use Todos instead of memos, they will only sort by priority, due date or category. Not very useful unless you come up with something imaginative to use "priority" assigments for. I have found the alphabetical sorting of memos to be MUCH more useful. I separate the work stuff from the personal stuff by putting a period in front of all the work stuff: ".PROJECT1: Call Jim." That sorts it to the top of the list.

      A piece of trivia that I figured out the long way (counting): you can put just as many characters in a "note" attached to a todo than you can in a memo. Also, the first line of a memo is what appears on the list when you view "all" categories of memos. So a memo and a todo are really the same thing, they just sort differently (go figure) and todos have due date sorting capability which may be useful to you but isn't to me.

      You mentioned that sometimes you want to make it easy to find the next action after the one you are currently working on. I do this a little differently than you, however. I have a next action memo like:

      "PROJECTTITLE: Call Jim.

      Then, do drafting memo."

      But only if I have to call Jim before I can do the drafting memo. If I can do either one currently, they both go up as independent NAs, each with their own memo. You never know when you're just going to feel like drafting when you don't feel like calling.

      Finally, I think the most important habit to build in is to constantly keep your lists up do date. If you leave somebody a voicemail, (and thus you move the item to @waiting for), make sure to move it back to @work when they leave you a voicemail back. This seems like a lot of busy work, but especially if you don't review your @waiting for list every morning (I try, but it doesn't happen), then something could get lost out there before the weekly review.

      You've got a great start! Enjoy your Palm, I know mine would be the first thing I would save if my house was on fire! The Palm really does GTD well. Oh, also, don't hesitate to customize to suit your needs. Everybody's work is different, and lots of people have tweaked the system to make it work best for them.



      • #4
        There's a great Yahoo! Groups forum called GTD_Palm. You can find a ton of info there as well.


        • #5

          You can solute two of the problems Taxgeek mentioned with thirdparty programs: DateBk5 and Shadow Plan.

          - DateBk5 can sort todo's in alphabetical order.
          - When you use Shadow for your projects, you can link your NA's very simple to the tododatabase. When you use DateBk5 in listview for viewing your todo's, it sorts your todo's first in context (category) and then in alphabetical order.
          Besides of that, it is possible to filter with DateBk5, so you only have the na's of a particular project.
          To do that, you have to activate in Shadow, Append origin to TD/DB note. Now you make in DateBk5 a new custom view. When in List View, open View Display Options. Activate Find and add the name of your Shadow-projectlist as the find string. (i.e. @Officeprojects. Or when you only want NA's of a project in that list: @Officeprojects>Computer. For the exact code, you can open the note of a todo.). When you have saved your custom view, it will search the notes of your todo's and picks out the todo's with that code.



          • #6
            Memos as Todos

            The biggest difference between todos and memos is that you cannot check memos off as done. You'd probably have to have a category called "complete".

            All other things being the same, I'd just as soon be able to check them and have them disappear (todos).


            • #7

              Taxgeek, I like your idea which you posted above - listing projects, then next actions. That works for a personality like mine. It's simple - no learning curve, and I can work with what I have.

              Thank you.


              • #8


                Have you ever looked at Memoleaf?

                Its an excellent tool, cheap, efficient, and very simple for viewing and manipulating memos in Palm.

                Mark in Texas


                • #9
                  Another question

                  Taxgeek (or others),

                  I seem to remember you as an Outlook user - no?

                  If so, any tricks you've learned for your memo-based system within Outlook?


                  • #10
                    I'd recommend keeping it simple. I've fiddled w/ a bunch of stuff and am probably spending more time playing with my system than "working" it.

                    All that said:
                    - Bonsai is an INCREDIBLE product. If you want to track GTD on your palm, you can't beat it.
                    - The GTD Outlook product from David Allen is also pretty terrific.



                    • #11
                      One more suggestion for Outlook users

                      Originally posted by furashgf
                      I'd recommend keeping it simple. I've fiddled w/ a bunch of stuff and am probably spending more time playing with my system than "working" it.

                      All that said:
                      - Bonsai is an INCREDIBLE product. If you want to track GTD on your palm, you can't beat it.
                      - The GTD Outlook product from David Allen is also pretty terrific.

                      Gary's right about both tools and about the "danger" of spending too much time "playing with the tools than using them (I'm an unrepentant software addict though so YMMV).

                      I'd also suggest looking at KeySuite if you're an Outlook user. It's the best implementation of Outlook on the Palm I've found yet. As a long time Agendus user (going back to Action Names on the Newton Message Pad!), I resisted other options until I tried Chapura's KeySuite. It offers a number of advantages that address shortcomings in the native Palm apps - especially full field mapping to Outlook data objects, much larger notes (32K vs. the Palm's 4K limit), and the ability to use more than 15 categories.

                      If you use a hi-res+ Palm device (Sony Clie models or the Palm Tungstem T3), you'll also appreciate the support for the full screen KeySuite offers. If you're on a smaller screen device, you might want to alos look at DataViz BeyondContacts. I could not adopt that program because DataViz has failed to support the Sony devices (I'm on my second Clie, currently the totally awesome UX50).

                      As you can test drive these tools, why not take one for a spin?