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Merge @Waiting with tickler and calendar?

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  • Merge @Waiting with tickler and calendar?

    What am I supposed to do with @Waiting? It's nice to get it out of my mind, but if the other person never gets back to me, then it won't get done.

    Is the best way to make sure it gets done to pick a semi-arbitrary date I will check if it's been done and follow up with the person and poke them if it hasn't? If so, then I'd want to put that in my calendar, but does it count as hard landscape?

    Maybe it belongs in a tickler system, but I don't see how that's different from your calendar.

    Another option is to review the @Waiting for updates every morning when i do my projects review. But then i still have to think about whether it's overdue or i can wait longer, etc. so possibly write any loose deadlines alongside each @waiting item? then it turns into a calendar again.

    Sonja
    Last edited by Sonja Elen Kisa; 05-22-2009, 11:47 AM.

  • #2
    I'm managing a major event in October and met with the facility manager a few weeks ago to view meeting rooms and housing. She assured me that she would be back in touch with me within a week with a contract. Although I'd monitoring the mail, email and @Waiting for List, no contract was found in my inbasket. Today, while reviewing my lists, I noted the date I'd held the meeting and decided it was time call back and check on the progress of the contract. She informed me that she had sent it out two days after we'd met. I had not received it!

    With deadlines pressing for printing, speakers and registration, being able to track the date through my Waiting for list kept the deadline in view and saved me from a potential problem. It also helped to keep my calendar clear.

    Here's my method for tracking:

    EVENT: Meet with Dawn re Facility Review and Contract Delivery 5/1
    (date represents day I held the appointment or delegated the task)

    If a few weeks passes and I don't hear back, I can follow up effectively. Oftentimes, the person has forgotten and my call/email motivates them to finish things up, leaving us both happy.

    The Waiting for list is one of my favorite lists!

    Comment


    • #3
      So you keep @Waiting separate from calendar, and have a date attached to each item? Do you sort @Waiting by date and monitor it frequently? What habit do you use to monitor it frequently, e.g. is it part of daily or weekly review?

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      • #4
        "So you keep @Waiting separate from calendar"

        I do. Unless there is a very specific date that is close at hand, it goes to my Waiting for list.

        "and have a date attached to each item?:

        I always type the date (ex. 5/1) next to the delegation/item so I remember when I passed the action along.

        "Do you sort @Waiting by date and monitor it frequently?"

        The only date I attach is when I delegated the action. I do monitor my lists regularly (daily!) because of the number of items I have on my lists. And because I really do trust my system, I wouldn't have a clue when I delegated the action without looking.

        "What habit do you use to monitor it frequently, e.g. is it part of daily or weekly review?"

        GTD is a life habit of mine that began in 2001 when I first found the book. I would no more think of starting a day without reviewing my calendar, my action lists, and yes, even my Projects, than I would beginning my day without a shower (sorry, TMI!). I steal those little moments of time between meetings or phone calls to do quick scans, too. These lists are living documents to me and my success is very dependent on my being actively engaged with them on a frequent basis.

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        • #5
          When I delegate a task to another person, or someone promises to do something soon, I classify the Next Action as @WaitingFor. I know I will not do anything until the other person has taken some action.

          Since I don't know when - or if - the other person will act I ask myself 'When do you want to check with them for a follow up?' If there is no hard date when I need to follow up I leave the reminder in my @WaitingFor pile. Then I check the pile whenever I want to. If something in the pile is on my mind I check it, if I'm doing a weekly review I check it, or if I think too much time has passed I check it. But I don't worry about the pile.

          If however there is a hard and fast date when I must follow up, not sooner and not later, I place it in the Tickler.

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          • #6
            So the tickler system acts as a 2nd calendar to keep track of these kinds of follow-up reminders? I still don't understand why I cannot merge the tickler with the calendar then. Both would be electronic for me, so it seems easier to have them both as the same calendar. But maybe I'm overlooking something.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Sonja Elen Kisa View Post
              Another option is to review the @Waiting for updates every morning when i do my projects review.
              I don't know about a projects review but certainly this is a list which I check daily. It shouldn't fall though the cracks if you do that but if you don't trust yourself, then yeah, I guess put in a tickler. And, of course, if you're going to be waiting a month or something then I'd say definitely move it out of sight off the list and put it in a tickler.

              Tom S.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Sonja Elen Kisa View Post
                Is the best way to make sure it gets done to pick a semi-arbitrary date I will check if it's been done and follow up with the person and poke them if it hasn't? If so, then I'd want to put that in my calendar, but does it count as hard landscape?

                Maybe it belongs in a tickler system, but I don't see how that's different from your calendar.
                I don't use @Waiting For for precisely the reasons you give. I would put the reminder in my tickler.

                The tickler is different from the calendar because it's NOT hard landscape. I think of it as more like a future-dated inbox. When an item comes up in my tickler, I process it just as I would something appearing for the first time.

                In a purely electronic system, yes a tickler file can look very much like a calendar. Or, depending on your system, you might have future-dated To Do items. I find a paper tickler useful for concert tickets and other physical reminders, though, and once you have the files set up you can use them for anything you like.

                Katherine

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Sonja Elen Kisa View Post
                  What am I supposed to do with @Waiting? It's nice to get it out of my mind, but if the other person never gets back to me, then it won't get done.
                  Sonja, I believe you're overthinking the "Waiting For" list and how it works. When will you check your "Waiting For" list to make sure things won't get left out there in someone else's lap? Every week in your weekly review. There are three parts to the weekly review--getting clear, getting current and getting creative. Reviewing your "@Waiting For" list is a component of the "Get Current" part. It's at that point you look at your list and say to yourself, "Hmm, Fred hasn't gotten back to me about setting up that meeting with Joe yet. I need to email him requesting an update." You may then choose to pop open your email client and shoot off a quick note to Fred or, better yet, you'll add an item to one of your action lists to either call, email or pop by Fred's office. As DA and many others have said, the weekly review is the special sauce that holds GTD together.

                  Your tickler file is for something totally different. It's for putting reminders to yourself out into the future so you can get them off your mind. Things like "Call Jane RE wish her a happy birthday" is something you don't need to do until her birthday. So, you write it on a piece of paper and stick into the appropriate folder in your tickler file. Then, you forget about it until, one day, you check you tickler file and, boom, there it is: "Call Jane RE wish her a happy birthday."

                  Your calendar is for the hard landscape of your day. A meeting with your boss next Friday at 2:00 p.m. in his office.

                  I would encourage you to not overthink your "Waiting For" list and weave it into your weekly review.

                  Hope this helps.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I create tickler items. So I may have an item "Follow up with John about widget bug.", set to show up at a date that I feel gives John a reasonable amount of time to deal with the issue, but not so far in the future that if he forgot all about it, I'll be seriously inconvenienced.

                    So if it's urgent, I may follow up tomorrow; if it isn't, I may not follow up for a month. If I couldn't care less when it gets done and the person I'm waiting for is the person who wants the project to get done, I may not bother with a tickler - though I usually only do this after I've reminded the person two or three times.

                    I see this as different from calendar, because I don't have to deal with the Waiting item on the day that it surfaces - a couple of days later is usually just as good, so it's not hard landscape. My calendar is stuff that I _must_ deal with on the day that it pops up, so I like to keep that list as small as possible, to reduce the odds of missing anything.

                    Gardener

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                    • #11
                      I don't use @Waitng For either. I'm electronic setup. If I delegate a task to someone I would put a Task into my Outlook with Start On Date filled. That task appears on my Next Action list after that date. It means I see it and act on it. If I delegate a Project then I put it into Projects-Delegated category and followup on that at the regular scheduled meeting with that person.

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                      • #12
                        How can you put paper bill to pay into the electronic tickler file?

                        Originally posted by Sonja Elen Kisa View Post
                        I still don't understand why I cannot merge the tickler with the calendar then. Both would be electronic for me, so it seems easier to have them both as the same calendar. But maybe I'm overlooking something.
                        How can you put paper bill to pay into the electronic tickler file?

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                        • #13
                          Put pay bill in the calendar and the paper bill into action support. That is if you actually need to defer it and can't pay it there and then in 2 minutes.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Sonja Elen Kisa View Post
                            What am I supposed to do with @Waiting? It's nice to get it out of my mind, but if the other person never gets back to me, then it won't get done.
                            For these items I ask myself "When do I want to be reminded about this?" and put it into my Waiting For list, calendar, or tickler depending on the answer.

                            If it's enough to be reminded once a week, then I would just put it onto a waiting list for weekly review as if it were a project. This is because I know I will look at this list at least once a week.

                            If it's more urgent than that, then I would schedule a reminder in my calendar. For some it might be a "to do" in their task management system with a specific date on it. The basic idea regardless is to put it wherever in your system you're going to feel the most confidence that you will get your attention put onto it at the most appropriate time.

                            If it's something less immediately urgent (i.e. there's no point in reviewing it weekly), then I personally would put it into my electronic tickler. This is just a special calendar that is considered a little "softer" than my appointment calendar. I don't think putting on your calendar is a bad choice, either, if you don't use a tickler.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Linada View Post
                              Put pay bill in the calendar and the paper bill into action support. That is if you actually need to defer it and can't pay it there and then in 2 minutes.
                              Note in calendar + item in "Action Support" folder = Tickler File. Forgive me for being blunt, but I don't understand. Why would I do the two and end up with a cluttered calendar with an overstuffed, unorganized "Action Support" folder when I could have one set of folders comprising a Tickler File checked daily?

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