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When to check the tickler?

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  • When to check the tickler?

    I have no trouble checking my work tickler as soon as I get into the office in the mornings and go through my morning routine (switch on computer, fill water bottle, etc.). Unfortunately, I have a more difficult time at home, as it's not part of my morning routine, nor do I really have an evening routine (too many different activities in different evenings).

    When do you all check your tickler? How do you remember to do it every day? What do you tie it to?

  • #2
    Originally posted by Brent View Post
    When do you all check your tickler? How do you remember to do it every day? What do you tie it to?
    I am working on that habit myself. I have no work tickler, work is home. I was checking it at night, which meant I missed a few things. What I am trying to do is I leave the file drawer with the tickler in it open at night and when I sit with my coffee and read forums, and respond to e-mail in the morning I check it out. The I close the drawer. This will work in winter when I eat and have coffee before going outside to do chores.

    Not sure how I'll handle it in summer when the first thing is chores at first light and especially during lambing when what we find at the dawn lamb check decides what we do the rest of the day. Sometimes I don't get breakfast until near noon during lambing. Then again, I know my days are totally unpredictable then and I try not to schedule any hard appointments or put anything into my tickler at that time other than optional stuff, like a movie we might try to go see or a party. If the day works out we might go, otherwise it doesn't really matter.


    • #3
      The practice of forgetting to check the tickler folders seems to be common. I still forget to check my tickler on a work day. It is easy to go to my desk and get involved in a new email or other thing that has crossed over my desk that morning. It may seem stupid, particularly because those files often include vital items, but I actually have to use a checklist. First thing on there is "tickler file."

      I could not fathom having to check a tickler file on non-work days. For non-work ticklers, I now started using my pda phone as a reminder, because it alerts me. I created a category "Tickler", which reminded me today to pay American Express. This worked extremely well.

      Happy Holidays!


      • #4
        Put it in your inbox, and reward yourself

        Of the many suggestions I've seen in threads past on how to develop the habit of checking a tickler daily, I recall two that stood out for me:

        1) Put the contents of the next day's tickler in your inbox at the end of the day. Basically, at the end of your day, grab the tickler for the following day, and just dump it into your inbox. Then that stuff is there to be processed first thing the following day. If you have a home and work tickler, this also assumes that you have a home and work inbox that is processed at least once a day.

        And to make sure that you remember to dump that tickler into your inbox every day:

        2) Reward yourself by sprinkling treats in random tickler files. $20 bills work. So do Starbucks cards. So do nice little notes to yourself. If you check it on that day and find your treat, you get to keep it. If you miss a day and there's a treat inside, you don't get to keep it, but have to do something else with it (put it in another tickler day, give it to a friend, etc.). And if you're prone to cheating, have someone else sprinkle your treats in the tickler folders. Positive reinforcement helps to create good habits.


        • #5
          But, you would have to insure you have enough time at home before heading off to work to process it.

          I've had this issue too. So if I'm hurried in the morning, which I usually am with 2 kids and getting to work early, then I bring it with me to work (the tickler file for home for the day). But then, at the office, I realize some of the home items needed support material from home.

          It's always grrrr at that point and I promise myself I'll gather the support material when I get home. But then dinner, kids, dog and husband keep me busy. Then I'm tired and go to bed. And it all repeats the next day.


          • #6
            'Check tickler' in a place you must visit

            I work from home and, when first starting GTD, I often forgot my tickler. So I put a post-it note over the power switch on my PC: 'Check Tickler'. Dumb but it worked.

            If I was working from an office, I guess I would put a card with 'Tickler' in big red letters in the small tray near the front door where I drop my house/car keys. It might work.


            • #7
              Oooh, I like the idea of the big red card. Thanks! Shall try that.


              • #8
                Just thoughts

                Try keeping something in your tickler file that you use every day without fail. Ideas:

                Car keys
                cell phone
                Toothbrush (messy - put it in a plastic bag)

                These may not be the right items for you because everyone is different. Look around--there's something that will work for you. Once it's a habit, you can stop doing it.