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managing action lists and projects

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  • managing action lists and projects

    I have recently moved completely over to google mail, and google tasks, because I want one place for everything and I would like it all to be digital.

    I cannot get my head around the next action list (NA) to I create a list of next actions or do I create a list of projects?

    thx
    Darren

  • #2
    Originally posted by darrenbarker View Post
    I cannot get my head around the next action list (NA) to I create a list of next actions or do I create a list of projects?
    Both. You create a list of projects, each of which has at least one immediately doable next action.

    Katherine

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    • #3
      1. use google tasks to create projects.
      2. go threw each project list every day and create a NA.
      3. how do I manage the next action, considering I dont really want to use paper.

      currently I use gmail with labels to sort my mail, I add a blue star to the items I am waiting for someone else to sort, and a yellow star if I have to sort it.
      Google tasks has also has labels, but I dont know how to create the NA list without writing it down on paper?.

      Can anybody give me examples of how they are managing there NA list digitally.
      I would like to keep my NA list web based as I am constantly on the move, and trying to go back to a docking station to make sure I have the latest list kills me.

      thx D

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      • #4
        The tasks option in Gmail isn't very robust. But here's how I would do it:

        Create a different list for each context area, ie a list called @Calls, @Errands, @Office, etc.

        Then on that list, add each next action

        You could also have a list called PROJECTS to track all your projects. You would not put any actions on that PROJECTS list. You would put the actions on the relevant Context list.

        Take a look at zenbe.com, which integrates with gmail and also has a web list option.

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        • #5
          OK its sinking in SLOWLLLY, keep checking the projects, create NA from the things in the project lists.
          How would you suggest I handle the email, I currently mark them with a yellow star for me to deal with and a blue star when I am waiting for someone else, should I create tasks from the mail so I have it all in one place.

          thx for the input

          cheers
          Darren

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          • #6
            Originally posted by darrenbarker View Post
            How would you suggest I handle the email, I currently mark them with a yellow star for me to deal with and a blue star when I am waiting for someone else, should I create tasks from the mail so I have it all in one place.
            That's what I would do. Email is email. Task lists are task lists.

            Katherine

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            • #7
              Originally posted by kewms View Post
              Email is email. Task lists are task lists.
              Excellently put, as usual, Katherine!

              To explain in more detail: A single email can contain multiple new Projects or Actions, which can't easily be checked off from within the email. So it's more effective to manage those actions outside of the email.

              Treat each email like you'd treat a physical letter received in your physical inbox. You wouldn't try to work off the letter itself, checking off Actions and Projects as they appear in the letter; you'd create new Actions, Projects, Waiting Fors, etc. and then file the letter permanently.

              Does that make sense?

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              • #8
                thanks I get the theory, but can I give you an example.

                I need to buy a new printer for the printing company, so I create a project in my task list, and a NA on my NA list 'write needs requirement",
                First problem is that I will end up with 100's of project lists that WILL become unmanagable and a NA list that is so long you will make your eyes water.

                I can see all this heading in the same direction I always go, lots of good intentions but in the end lots of lists and no idea what to do next. then analysis paralysis.

                Can anyone give me an idea of how to stop this hapening, do I just put 6 things on that days NA list and try and get through it or what!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by darrenbarker View Post
                  I need to buy a new printer for the printing company, so I create a project in my task list, and a NA on my NA list 'write needs requirement",
                  First problem is that I will end up with 100's of project lists that WILL become unmanagable and a NA list that is so long you will make your eyes water.
                  First problem: "write needs requirement" is not an NA. It's probably a project all by itself. In order to write the needs requirement, I'm guessing you need to talk to the people who'll actually be using the printer, or maybe review what current printers can do to see where the gaps are, or at least sit down and brainstorm a bit on your own. So the NA might be "@call Mike at print shop to talk about requirements for new printer." The idea being that the NAs should be specific enough that you can just do them, without further thought.

                  Second problem: Don't confuse the finger pointing for the moon. GTD does not change the amount of work you have to do, it simply gives you a complete list of that work. So if your project and/or NA list is insanely long, that doesn't mean GTD is unworkable, it means you have (or think you have) an insane amount of work. The workload is the problem you really need to address.

                  Can you delegate stuff? Can you put stuff on hold for days/weeks/months? Can you say "no" and drop the project entirely?

                  Or, put another way, if your list is insanely long, something *will* slip. You can renegotiate your commitments proactively, up front, or you can put out the fires later on. GTD gives you the tools, but the rest is up to you.

                  Katherine

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                  • #10
                    thanks OK back to basics

                    do I scap my dream of having all this info digital or do I go back to paper, will it help.
                    I need a working example of where to start, please point me off in the right direction otherwise I can s I will head back to start.

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                    • #11
                      Do I create a project folder in my email box and in my task list called "New printer" ?

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                      • #12
                        I use a paper system, so I can't help you with digital approaches.

                        Plenty of people are successful with digital GTD.

                        However, it sounds like you are still getting up to speed on some of the basic GTD concepts. You might want to keep your system as simple as possible while you get familiar with the GTD approach. Once you have that down, it will be a lot easier to see what an ideal system might look like.

                        Katherine'

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                        • #13
                          probably right back to basics again, "if you cant do it on paper, you will never do it on a computer"

                          how do you handle your email, do you have a folder named the same as the project?

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                          • #14
                            I received an email from a vendor about the printer I am reviewing, I want to keep the contents of the mail for future reference referring to purchasing the printer what do I do with that email?

                            PS thanks for the input.

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                            • #15
                              I have folders for emails like that I want to keep - can you set up a simple system of reference type folders? Everything needs to be easy to find again!

                              PS Hello to all - my first post. Am becoming a huge fan of GTD and have a system that works for me - a combination of Thinking Rock and Outlook. My Outlook task list only has things that as somebody else put it - I can actually do! No big scary projects on my Outlook task list!
                              Last edited by Colleen; 04-20-2009, 03:58 PM.

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