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How can I improve my system..

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  • How can I improve my system..

    Been using GTD for quite awhile now and its improved my productivity no end. My system is a pocket moleskine which I keep my context lists and inbox. For my mail I use Gmail with GTDInbox and calender items I use Google Calender.

    Most of my work is done using my computer however I'm having a few "issues". Its a pain to copy all my the actions generated from my emails or as im surfing the net to my @computer list or @someday/maybe. For instance say I see a web page I want to visit but not now...well its such a pain in the ass to copy say a huge URL into my moleskine that I just dont bother. I'll probably end up just visiting the page there and then...which isnt very productive.

    The only alternative I can see to the above is to keep my @computer actions on my computer...probably in gmail seeing as I already use GTDInbox. Is it a good idea tho to start having some of my context lists on paper and some digital?


    Another problem is my someday/maybe list is getting out of control. Its huge. A mix of big projects (visit the pyramids) which i may never do and tiny actions (visit www.xyz.com) which i'll probably do soon but i dont want to see them just yet. Do I need multiple S/M lists? Perhaps a @pending context or something?

    I have alot of calls to make in my work which are regarding my gmail conversations with clients. Works well as I use gmail conversational threads almost as a CRM. If I need to call someone I'll add it to my calls list inside google tasks which is linked to our gmail conversation. However the problem is I can't take these tasks out and about with me as they arn't stored in my moleskine which goes everywhere with me. Any ideas?

  • #2
    Originally posted by kingfu View Post
    For instance say I see a web page I want to visit but not now...well its such a pain in the ass to copy say a huge URL into my moleskine that I just dont bother.
    A solution I have found is to add the web page to http://del.icio.us with a readlater tag and review them in my leisure. It is like a web based surfed page inbox.

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    • #3
      Using delicious

      I use delicious the same way.

      Also, you can tag pages with a project name and share the url with others on the project. For example, I'm gathering information for a summer vacation, and my family can see he links as they accumulate here: http://delicious.com/jmgoldman/Canada_Summer_09

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      • #4
        - It would be great if you say loud any Next Action and it's automatically put into your Moleskine into the appropriate context but the reality is not that simple yet

        - You should have all your actions in one list of Next Actions to have a full overview of all the options so no way to divide it between paper and computer

        - SM could be divided into Someday for items that start somewhere in the future and Maybe for items that may not start (like visiting the Pyramids).

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Julian View Post
          I use delicious the same way.

          Also, you can tag pages with a project name and share the url with others on the project. For example, I'm gathering information for a summer vacation, and my family can see he links as they accumulate here: http://delicious.com/jmgoldman/Canada_Summer_09
          That is an awesome idea Julian! I am going to use that.

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          • #6
            Yes, I absolutely think you should split up your NA lists, if you're having a problem with them.

            I have an @Laptop context, and an @Home context. While my laptop is often at home, I have the separate context so I can do stuff on my laptop if I'm out and about. Works fine.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by igr View Post

              - You should have all your actions in one list of Next Actions to have a full overview of all the options so no way to divide it between paper and computer

              - SM could be divided into Someday for items that start somewhere in the future and Maybe for items that may not start (like visiting the Pyramids).

              This is the problem isn't it...if i start moving context lists to seperate physical locations, then doing a review or just picking the most important task based on time/energy/context is going to get alot harder.

              Yeah I definately will be seperating my someday/maybe list up...you quickly go numb to actions which will likely get done in the future, just not yet, when the list is covered in things which i'd like to do but may not.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by igr View Post
                - You should have all your actions in one list of Next Actions to have a full overview of all the options so no way to divide it between paper and computer
                I have to disagree here. Why do I need to keep all my NA lists in one physical/virtual place? Why can't I keep my @Computer list actually on my computer in some form? Then, should I have something to add to it and am not at my computer, I could collect it in some way and process/organize it onto that list the next time I'm at my computer. I've heard of more than a few GTD implementations where lists of NAs are in various places in people's lives that have worked quite effectively for them (Books to Read stored on an Amazon wishlist, an @Home list pinned to a bulletin board in the kitchen, websites to browse stored on del.icio.us, etc.). So, I would rather like to offer a rephrase to this by suggesting that all NAs for a given context should be in one list to have a full overview of all your options in that context.

                Just my 2 cents.

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                • #9
                  Lists in one place or by context

                  I agree with Jon, unless the amount of NAs and projects is so big that you need to decide how to divide your time between different contexts.

                  If you are heavily overcommitted and have a lot of backlog (like I still have...) you will need to somehow get an easy and quick overview to compare how many important / urgent tasks you have that require @computer time or @key client time or @office time or whatever and based on that decide how to schedule the contexts that you will be spending time in the next week for example.

                  I think that in such a situation it probably does make sense to keep the lists in one place & one systeme to be able to prioritize and decide quickly and frequently. But I´m hoping that after some more work on backlog and implementation I, too, will get to a point where it´s possible to use different lists and systems at home and in the office etc.

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                  • #10
                    Thanks for the input Jon/Flyer its really appreciated.

                    I think it does boil down to effeciency of adding to the next actions lists vs having a complete overview of all your next actions in order to select the appropriate next action based on time/priotity/energy.

                    Now seeing as im online a few hours every day and the speed at which things moves for me...I think moving my computing next action list onto my computer/the web may just be worth the trade off of losing some of the "overview".

                    Sadly this does make using an online GTD system with a mobile device such as the iphone more tempting. I really don't want to be "always online" but the fact my calls list is attached to my gmail emails already, my @computing list is by far the biggest of my lists plus I use google calender...looks like its going that way
                    Last edited by kingfu; 07-09-2009, 11:59 AM.

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                    • #11
                      Filters in Googlemail for Flags

                      Hi,

                      You can setup filters to either look at specific words in the subject or sent to specific email addresses (emailaddress@gmail.com+computer for example) to be automatically tagged with a specific flag (i.e. context) when the email is received.

                      You could then forward email you receive that you need to do something with to the "filtered" address which Gmail will then tag as appropriate which in practice is quite fast.

                      I also use Delicious with a Read/Review Tag for websites that I want to look at, you could, however also setup another filtered address & tab and then forward the link to sites to that address for a filter if you wanted to keep everything in Gmail.

                      Let me know if you want any further details or help with setting this up.

                      Kind Regards,

                      Ross.

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                      • #12
                        Thanks for the tips ross, i'm going to set something like this up and test it out

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