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  • Software for GTD that links projects and NA

    Hi,

    I am new to GTD, I have been working on implementing it in my life for about 2 months now. So far it is going pretty good. However, I notice that the biggest area of problem for me is that I have yet to find a piece of software that will allow me to link my NA to a project. I find I spend a lot of time in the weekly review manually reviewing all of my lists for ever project trying to figure out if I have already created the correct next actions. I am wondering is there a piece of software that will do this for me? allow me to link my NA to a specific project so I can immediately know what actions are linked to a project and which ones are not? Also has anybody else encountered a similar pain? Or am I just doing it wrong?

    Thanks in advance for all comments.

    Josh

  • #2
    Josh, something I have been doing is coming up with an abbreviation or acronym for each project and then adding it to the NA title. For example the project "clean the garage" might be given the abbreviation "GAR". In the project list I would list it as "(GAR) Clean the Garage". The NA "buy tool rack" would be entered on the NA list as "(GAR) buy tool rack".

    This helps me see at a glance which of the projects have NA on the list. It's a plus for me that it doesn't use software to do the linkage.

    Frank

    Comment


    • #3
      Project/NA link option

      I like the option to look at various views and filters... splitting out exactly those things that I do or don't want to see at different times... so my plan might seem like overkill to others, but it suits me...

      I use Outlook and attach 1-3 categories to each task: context (if an NA), project (if applicable), and area of focus (representing home, work, volunteering, 2nd job, etc)

      I sync between my laptop and phone (using Pocket Informant on my phone - lots of view options on that too).

      Julia

      Comment


      • #4
        MyLifeOrganized

        Hi,

        I'm using MyLifeOrganized (http://www.mylifeorganized.net). This is an application allowing you to outline your projects and NA's and apply filters to view and manage them. You can manage almost every aspect of the projects and NA's such that any filter you would like to have can be applied.

        Some may view this application as an overkill. Personally, I'm the kind who like to be in control of the details of my system and so this application fits my needs.
        If you're the kind who looks for a simplistic application, this is not the app for you.

        BTW - I'm not affiliated with this application in any way. Just a satisfied user.

        Good luck,
        Oren.

        Comment


        • #5
          Mindmanager

          Joshua,

          For me, the seamless integration between Mindmanager (www.mindjet.com) and Outlook 2007 is a well working solution to the "NA vs project"-problem.

          I have one mindmap with all my current projects as separate branches and for everyone, I make sure I have connected one NA (a task in Tasks in Outlook). If not, I find the correct task in Outlook and connect it to the appropriate project branch in Mindmanager from within Outlook, or I create a new NA in Mindmanager which automatically appears as a task in Outlook's Task-list.

          To me, that does the job.

          David

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          • #6
            I use a hybrid system: MyLifeOrganized keeps track of my projects and every action related to them. I write down approximately a weeks' worth of Next Actions in my paper system (a simple Circa-style notebook with 6 context dividers) and update both systems during my weekly review. I like it because I'm not overwhelmed by the number of next actions, because I work from the paper system mostly, but MyLifeOrganized makes sure that I don't forget anything, and that I can have a good overview of my progress on any project.

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            • #7
              Omnifocus does this linking. But you need a mac or an iphone or both!

              http://www.omnigroup.com/applications/omnifocus/

              If you are not a mac or iphone user there are still some videos you can look at to get an idea of what it does and see if you want to switch

              Michael

              Comment


              • #8
                Omnifocus off course is the awesome thing you want. If, however, you do penance for your sins (that means you are using Windows), you can use Llamagraphics LifeBalance which is also a totally awesome thing you want.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Joshua Moore View Post
                  I am wondering is there a piece of software that will do this for me? allow me to link my NA to a specific project so I can immediately know what actions are linked to a project and which ones are not? Also has anybody else encountered a similar pain?
                  I also am most comfortable with a project/action link. While I do have the occasional one off action nearly everything that makes it to a list is related to one project or another so I really need the linking as well.

                  2 SW packages that will do that sort of linking are LifeBalance and Omnifocus. I used LB first, but it failed for me with the weekly review. Now I am using OF and it's great. I'm still learning a lot of the shortcuts but I can put the results of a whole planning session for a project in at once but things will only activate as they can be done. My context lists stay pretty clean with next actions and I can see what project they are related to easily. In planning mode I can plan a project to the level I need to and edit or modify it easily.

                  My latest addition is to use the notes section of the project title to describe the outcome. That's helped me keep the goal in front of me while I plan and do all the various actions.

                  For me that is particularly critical because I have projects that span years or decades and actions that can take weeks or months. I don't want to re-think the actions each time I work on the project so I keep notes about the project in my system.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Hi Oogiem,

                    At the risk of taking this thread off-topic do you have any good sources of information on using OmniFocus? I am using t but I think there is a lot more
                    I could be doing with it.

                    Thanks - Michael

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      The forums are helpful. I've also had other GTD folks share their lists and set-up. But I feel like I am still missing lots of the power of the program. 'm going to go post a new thread for OF tips/hints

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Oogiem View Post
                        'm going to go post a new thread for OF tips/hints
                        Good idea - thanks.

                        I just noticed that Spotlight finds things which are in OmniFocus. Hadn't noticed that before.

                        Michael

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Joshua Moore View Post
                          I am wondering is there a piece of software that will do this for me? allow me to link my NA to a specific project so I can immediately know what actions are linked to a project and which ones are not?
                          http://www.Gtdagenda.com does exactly that. You can also link NAs to specific contexts, or both.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I caution against putting too much focus on this; it may lead to over-organizing. It's not necesary to link actions to projects in your system; your brain connects the dots just fine. It just doesn't do a good job remembering the dots.

                            In short, use your lists to remember things for you and your brain to make the connection between projects and current actions.

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