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Where do you keep your support materials for your Next Action list

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  • Where do you keep your support materials for your Next Action list

    I'm re-reading Getting Things Done and I realized that I make a huge mistake--I return items to my in box. I don't know why I didn't realize this when I read the book a few years ago, but I guess I was just trying to get my lists in order.

    So I realize that this is a major error and have now set up a small hanging file folder holder for support material for some of my next actions.

    For instance, I need to do some data entry so it's in a folder named @computer.

    I have to do this at work too, but most likely those items can go in their A-Z category.

    Has anyone else come up with an elegant solution for items on your next action list that you need to do the action?

  • #2
    How I work it: If it is physical, paper based support material it goes in the file active projects and the next action is @office and not @computer since I need to be where the file is. If it is digital, I either copy the stuff into the project details or save the files to an Active Projects folder (and titled subfolder) and use an addon program called ClipPath that will give me a full C:\Documents and Settings\.... on right click that I put into Project details.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by michelle1908 View Post
      Has anyone else come up with an elegant solution for items on your next action list that you need to do the action?
      To paraphrase Albert Einstein, "If you are out to [get things done], leave elegance to the tailor.



      Seriously, there have been a number of discussions in the forums recently about where to store support materials.

      For me it boils down to this. If it's paper it's filed in the A-Z system. If it's electronic and clearly part of a project it's filed in the appropriate folder on my laptop. If it's an email that it not clearly part of a project, it's in my email "received" folder where a quick search will find it.

      - Don

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      • #4
        Re-read a great option!

        Originally posted by michelle1908 View Post
        I'm re-reading Getting Things Done ....
        I did the same and it gave me an important help. When you read for the first time the book, you do, for sure several mistake...then after the practice all take a different meaning!

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        • #5
          Yeah, as I'm reading he does make mention of a "Pending" file or letter tray, so maybe I do need at least 2 trays (he says to have 3). I'm glad I decided to read it again. Thanks for the ideas guys!

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          • #6
            I agree with much of the above with one difference. To limit the number of places project support materials can be, I may print out emails and put them in that project's folder, especially if they have attachments. I find looking in a physical file, in a computer file system AND in my email archives to be a bit much many times. With file systems, I follow the KISS adage as much as possible.

            J

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            • #7
              The next actions support material that I have are not related to any particular project. I definitely agree with limiting the number of places I have to look.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by michelle1908 View Post
                The next actions support material that I have are not related to any particular project. I definitely agree with limiting the number of places I have to look.
                At home and at work I have a series of trays on my desk: "In", "Read & Review" and "Action Support". The Action Support tray holds ad-hoc support material for current next actions.

                I also have the GTD File System Folders, which contains an "Action Support" folder. I put location-neutral action support material in that folder. When I'm on the go, it goes with me. If I have a window of opportunity, I pull out the material and do the action.

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