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  • Best Way to Reference Support Material

    Hi there,

    Here is where my project support material could be:
    - Email .pst folders
    - Physically in my filing cabinet
    - digital file folders
    - active support folder

    What is the "best practices" for referencing important project support material in my projects and/or NA lists?

    There is an example in here about recieving a letter X and then capturing the NA - @computer --- draft response to letter X. The person asked, where do you put that letter?

    I suppose I have that question in most of my projects. "I have a great idea for this project -- but where should I put it that I'll see it again?" Now, mind you, I am just starting to do my weekly reviews consistently....but I still don't like how many potential places important stuff could be.

    Does that make sense?

    Any advice?

    Thanks,

    Ryan

  • #2
    As far as referencing them, I find the best thing is to define hard edges for each of those areas. For any particular category of items, choose one place where those items go.

    For example, all my bills are kept in my A-Z reference filing system. If someone asks me where my bills are, I always know.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by roakleyca View Post
      Hi there,

      Here is where my project support material could be:
      - Email .pst folders
      - Physically in my filing cabinet
      - digital file folders
      - active support folder

      What is the "best practices" for referencing important project support material in my projects and/or NA lists?

      There is an example in here about recieving a letter X and then capturing the NA - @computer --- draft response to letter X. The person asked, where do you put that letter?
      Active digital files I keep in a folder hierarchy: focus area->project->files.

      Active paper goes in project support folders if the project is large enough, in my one action support folder if the project is small.

      Email with ongoing relevance to a project gets dropped into the same project folder as other digital documents (macs can do this- don't know about PC's). Generically, email I am done with gets moved to a folder called "Done"; I can search this if I need to.

      Reference material is tricky. I try not to keep a lot of reference paper, and mostly succeed. Stuff I have to keep goes in file drawers. I use specialized software (Papers) for relevant scientific papers, and a general purpose information collector for other stuff (Yojimbo).

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by roakleyca View Post
        What is the "best practices" for referencing important project support material in my projects and/or NA lists?
        If it was a hard copy letter it would be in my A-Z file system, filed by project name.

        If it was email, it would be filed in my "received" folder. When I used outlook, I used an add-in that would allow fast searching - outlook's searching capability is waaay to slow.

        If I think there is a chance I won't remember the location, I jot a note in the notes field of my "next action".

        "Great ideas" get filed in the project folder, typed into a text file and saved in the hard disk folder, or saved in omnifocus.

        Comment


        • #5
          a few thoughts

          It might be less important exactly where you put the item and more important that you review your system often enough. This is just a thought I had, but bear with me. It seems that as I review regularly, I come to remember what file folders I have, etc., so even though I have an email reference storage (in my email program) as well as digital reference material (in Documents folder) as well as paper A-Z Reference as well as paper Active Projects, it seems I know where to look for a given thing.

          At one point I thought it was better to have everything in one huge paper filing system and I was printing off all emails, etc. It got to be very clumsy to have active projects mixed in with reference material as well as project support.

          Unfortunately, the best-fitting solution (like the best-fitting suit) is going to be tailor-made. In order to figure out what type of 'fit' you like, you have to try out several and give it time. You can take an off-the-rack system but it likely won't fit as well.

          I'm waxing philosophical here, so let me answer your question directly with what works for me.

          If I receive a (paper) letter that warrants a response, and it will take longer than 2 minutes, then I make a file folder with the name of the sender (AT&T) or the topic (Cell phone) and toss it into my A-Z Reference stuff. I also have a file called Active Projects. I had decided that I would only put Project material in there and put my NA support in Reference. I could have just as easily have delineated "Reference materials are static and stuff in the Project drawer is in motion", which would have me storing the folder containing the letter in with the Project drawer instead.

          If I receive an email that warrants a response, for instance, I do a parallel thing on the computer. I put the email into a file folder named after the sender (or the topic) and write down the NA on my list.

          Hope this helps, anyway.
          JohnV474

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          • #6
            my two cents

            Originally posted by JohnV474 View Post
            It might be less important exactly where you put the item .....
            at my point of "research" I'm trying to reduce the different places where I could find my informations.

            Looking around me there are several places:

            my paper filing cabinet A-Z @office
            my documents A-Z@laptop
            a workgroup folder A-Z@common server office
            my documents A-Z@PC home
            my support material in outlook @office
            my support material thunderbird @home


            so sometimes it's not so direct find the information. Anyway I had a tremendous positive impact reduce the number of subfolders everywhere and introduce the A-Z filing system. I was able to introduce also at the office - and the people seems satisfied. I introduced also the system in the browser favourite an A-Z system with great satisfaction.

            ...so after these positive experience, in this period I'm evaluating the possibility to concentrate different archive. For example I could save all the support email in my A-Z documents. However today I stopped thinking that Google desktop search help me. Even if it can arrive everywhere. Where is that .....? I remember it was blue colored...

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