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moving action items to someday maybe

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  • moving action items to someday maybe

    If I really do a weekly review, it is fairly easy to know which next actions are associated with which project.

    If, however, I decide to clean up my next action list, moving action items to the someday maybe list, it is easy to forget what goal or project that action item will take me toward.

    So, my question -- when you move an item (project or next action) to the someday maybe list, do you change it in any way? Add additional information to it? Code it? Or is there a practice I may be overlooking that makes such additional information unnecessary?

    Thanks,
    Rob

  • #2
    I never put actions on Someday/Maybe. Only projects.

    If I really want to remember the Next Action for a project moving to Someday/Maybe, I'll scribble the NA on a piece of paper and put it in project support materials. On the other hand, I've found that by the time I pull that project out of Someday/Maybe, the old Next Action no longer applies. Too many external factors have changed.

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    • #3
      I totally agree with Brent. Only the project gets moved to Someday/Maybe. The actions are removed from the action lists.

      I'd like to add a little hack that I sometimes use to do this. It only applies to electronic planners that use categories to separate the lists. Don't bother reading on if you use paper lists.

      Instead of physically deleting a task object that you are almost certain you'll add back to an action list later, you could remove the category assignment or set it to "unfiled". That removes it from the action list and puts it in a "parking lot". From there, it's easy to add it back to a list from a mobile device by changing a category assignment instead of retyping it.

      I especially use this trick when I find an action that's not really the NEXT action, but it will be an action for sure after the prerequisite is met.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by ArcCaster View Post
        when you move an item (project or next action) to the someday maybe list, do you change it in any way? Add additional information to it? Code it? Or is there a practice I may be overlooking that makes such additional information unnecessary?
        When I put whole projects on hold that automatically puts all actions on hold so for projects I do nothing else. My action lists are automatically updated for me just by changing the project. When I reactivate a project I can re-evaluate the actions I had originally.

        I also occasionally put specific actions on hold, but it is usually only for projects that have parallel actions. The actions really change context to waiting or get a new start date. Either case I don't worry abut the project. Although for things with new start dates the next available action becomes my next action for that project.

        I'm using Omnifocus.

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        • #5
          I agree with the general sentiment that projects belong on waiting-for lists, not actions (unless the next action is the whole project).

          My system is mostly a paper system, so if I move a project to waiting for, I put a little symbol (w in a circle) next to any associated actions so that I know they aren't currently active.

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          • #6
            I, too, have been putting Projects on hold in OmniFocus and learning that all next actions are on hold, too. Nice!

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