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  • How to format a waiting-for list in a plain text file

    For those of you using plain text files to manage your system, how do you format your "Waiting-for" lists?

    I've been playing around with "planner mode" on emacs, so specific suggestions around that are particularly welcome.

  • #2
    Just a plain text file, with each item as follows:

    (name) re (project)

    So,

    Jeremy re Business Interactive website design
    Joan re job interview directions

    Comment


    • #3
      A few entries in my 'Delegated' (Waiting for) list

      Glad to see someone else using plain text files. I am attaching a few entries in my 'Delegated' file. (I have modified people's names to look like `AAA' etc. And I have removed sensitive items. Most of the remaining ones also happen to be low priority, so appear to go on for quite a long time! Date format for me is day-month-year.)

      My way of doing it is completely manual; no automation. I have learnt it (the hard way!) that any amount of automation is not sufficient once you go for it, so I am avoiding it all!

      I use 'vi' for the text editor.

      Hope this helps,
      Regards,
      Abhay
      Attached Files

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      • #4
        Originally posted by abhay View Post
        I am attaching a few entries in my 'Delegated' file.
        Thanks for the concrete sample, Abhay.

        I like how it allows you to keep notes about followup discussions right with the waiting-for. And it looks like it would be helpful when AAA shows up at your desk, and you can just rip through each item to find out status.

        Have you had any problems with this format? For example, do you have any trouble quickly identifying items that have been outstanding for too long?

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        • #5
          If you use Emacs I recommend Org Mode. Not Planner Mode. Even John Wiegley (author of Planner) uses Org Mode now, it is so much better. I highly recommend it. Name me one reason not to use it (Ha!). Of course, YMMV.
          Last edited by Cpu_Modern; 10-02-2008, 04:52 PM. Reason: completion of post

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          • #6
            Originally posted by jknecht View Post
            Thanks for the concrete sample, Abhay.
            Glad to be able to help!

            Have you had any problems with this format? For example, do you have any trouble quickly identifying items that have been outstanding for too long?
            Not at all! But the credit goes to the weekly review, when I go through each entry. So I have all those items also noted in the agendas or followup actions or will have emailed the person right at the time of weekly review when an item has outlived my expectation. If the item is more urgent than my next weekly review, I do not remove the item from my agenda items (which I review daily so that I remember there is something with this person when I see them, and can open their list). Even more urgent: calendar.

            The other difficulty could have been finding waiting-for for a particular person, which I solve by adding entries in alphabetical order.

            Regards,
            Abhay

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            • #7
              My personal rule of thumb: If something's on my Waiting For list for more than a month (4 weekly reviews), I need to reframe the associated Project, drop it, or otherwise deal with that Waiting For.

              Obviously, there'll be an occasional exception, but to me, an old Waiting For smells like a festering problem.

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