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"Official Ways" to use Goals in Toodledo



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obscurityknocks04

Posted: Feb 03, 2009
Score: 0



I know there are different ways all of the tools here can be used, but what did the programmers have in mind with Short-Term, Long-Term, Lifetime Goals?

Are the Short-Term goals supposed to be "projects" (i.e. multi-step taks)--(although, where do sub-tasks fit within this structure?)

What are some good examples of the relationship between the three goal types, tasks, and projects?

I realize you can do any system you want, but I feel like this is already pretty well thought-out, and I wouldn't mind trying the "official" method before patching something togehter myself.

thanks in advance!
Claudio

Posted: Feb 03, 2009
Score: 1



Check out these two links:
http://www.toodledo.com/forums/ 5/4/0/getting-things-done.html
http://www.toodledo.com/info/gtd.php

According to David Allen, there are six Horizons of Focus:
1. Current tasks, or "Next Actions", which are reviewed daily.
2. Current projects (consisting of tasks) which are reviewed weekly.
3. Current responsibilities, which correspond roughly to Folders, and are reviewed monthly.
4. Short term goals, reviewed quarterly.
5. Long term goals, reviewed annually.
6. Purpose and principles, reviewed every few years.

Allen uses an airplane analogy, starting from the runway, and then gaining altitude in flight.

Here's a quote from Allen's latest book, Making It All Work:
"There is so much complexity in the human experience that it would be almost impossible for anyone to fully identify in a single sitting every detail and aspect of what has his attention. Even if he did, that very act of rigorous self-examination would change the content itself. This makes perspective a moving target. The exploration of any one level will trigger thinking and discovery on another. As you start to fully lay out a list of your projects (ten thousand feet), for instance, you will likely be reminded of a goal you might want to tweak (thirty thousand feet), another responsibility you may have with your family you hadn't thought about (twenty thousand feet), and certainly new actions you need to take (runway)."

The Goals in Toodledo offer the wider perspective.


This message was edited Feb 03, 2009.
Alisa

Posted: Feb 03, 2009
Score: 1



Not the official word but I'm using Lifetime Goals as my Goal Categories and I have the short term and long term goals linked to them. If one of my tasks is not specific to a short term or long term goal I at least assign it a Lifetime Goal. For the most part these are my routine tasks that are not associated with a specific goal.

I would also be interested in other ideas for using this feature.
obscurityknocks04

Posted: Feb 03, 2009
Score: -1



Thanks for the replies so far. They are helpful.

I did read the helpful entries regarding GTD, and am familiar with the general outlines of that process (although I haven't read the book).

I realize it's not always clean-cut, but I think some examples would help me here.

For example--where would the following hypothetical projects/goals fit in to this set-up?

1. To buy a car (in the next 4 months).

2. Moving to another city in the next 8 months.

3. Writing a book to be published next year.

4. Having a Christmas card made, and sending it out to a large group of people.

5. Preparing for a final exam in U.S. History.

All of these have lots of steps, but I'm not clear if they fall into "projects" or "goals"?

Would a project=Folder, or do Goals fit inside of Folders (Areas of Responsibility).

Within this, where does the task with multi-subtasks fit?

Hope this isn't too detailed, I just realize that time can be lost trying to try and re-try different ways of organizing this.

Thanks again to all.
Alisa

Posted: Feb 04, 2009
Score: 13



This could be one way to look at your examples. Each person will have different views and time frames of what they consider a short-term or long-term goal. I tried outlining your examples logically and threw other examples into the mix:

1. To buy a car (in the next 4 months).
Lifetime Goal - To become independent
Long-Term Goal - To buy a house
Short-Term Goal - To buy a car
Project 1 - Determine what I can afford
Task - Make appointment with dealer
Task - Check savings account balance

2. Moving to another city in the next 8 months.
Lifetime Goal - To become independent
Long-Term Goal - To buy a house
Short-Term Goal - Move to another city
Project 1 - Research city demographics
Task - Check crime rate in XXX
Project 2 - Check out job market in XXX
Task - Subscribe to local newspaper

3. Writing a book to be published next year.
Lifetime Goal - To share my knowledge of XXX with others
Long-Term Goal - Write a book
Short-Term Goal - Write first draft for book
Project 1 - Organize notes and rough draft for book
Task - Purchase a binder for my notes @Errands
Task - Transcribe handwritten notes @Computer
Project 2 - Contact publishing companies for appointment
Task - Compile a list of publishers @Online
Task - Call publisher XXX to make appointment @Phone

4. Having a Christmas card made, and sending it out to a large group of people.
Lifetime Goal - Have good relationships with the people I know
Long-Term Goal - Reconnect with family and friends
Short-Term Goal - Send Christmas cards out this year
Project 1 - Have Christmas card made
Task 1 - Design card
Task 2 - Have cards printed
Task 3 - Address envelopes
Task 3 - Mail cards out by XXX
Project 2 - Have a family photo taken to include in cards
Task 1 - Make appointment with photo studio
Task 2 - View proofs, etc.


5. Preparing for a final exam in U.S. History.
Lifetime Goal - Become established in a career as a XXX
Long-Term Goal - Obtain a Masters Degree in XXX
Long-Term Goal - Obtain a Bachelors Degree in XXX
Short-Term Goal - Complete Winter Semester
Project 1 - Register for Classes
Task 1 - Call college
Task 2 - Select courses
Project 2 - Check out financial aid options
Task 1 - Fill out FAFSA application
Task 2 - Look online for grants and scholarships
Project 3 - Pass US History Class
Task 1 - Prepare for US History Exam

ETA: I use the following structure. It takes into account the various roles that I have:

Goals = Goals
Folders = Roles
Tasks = Projects
Subtasks = Tasks
Contexts = Locations
Statuses = Status
Tags = Contacts

Good Luck!


This message was edited Feb 04, 2009.
obscurityknocks04

Posted: Feb 04, 2009
Score: 1



Alisa--My jaw fell to the floor when I saw your post this morning--totally above & beyond the call of duty! Thank you so much!!!! This is extremely helpful!

I see now that my main area of confusion was the relationship between short/long term goals and projects--your examples really help in this regard.

Again--thank you!
Proximo

Posted: Feb 06, 2009
Score: 0



Alisa is right on track with my thoughts.

Projects are any task that require multiple steps. You have more things that fall into the Projects category than you may think.

Goals to me are things you want to accomplish that does not fall in a task related structure.

Goal:
Become more organized.
Read more on American History.
Spend more time with family.
Learn to program.

Some things can be setup as goals and when you are ready to move forward with them, you may realize there is a logical order of things you need to accomplish. In this case you can convert it over to a Project.

There are many ways people can use Toodledo and GTD itself is not about a specific way to do things but a method or philosophy. GTD can be implemented slightly different by each individual.
MikeKDidIt

Posted: Feb 08, 2009
Score: 0



Posted by Alisa:


ETA: I use the following structure. It takes into account the various roles that I have:

Goals = Goals
Folders = Roles
Tasks = Projects
Subtasks = Tasks
Contexts = Locations
Statuses = Status
Tags = Contacts

Good Luck!


Alisa, I agree that your response was above and beyond. If there was a way to mark your entry as "I found this helpful", you would have my vote! I have a question about part of your response. Have you found subtasks (as implemented here in Toodledo) to work well for tasks? Have you found any downside? Just curious as I am contemplating something similar.


This message was edited Feb 08, 2009.
DJ

Posted: Mar 12, 2009
Score: 0



Alisa, I too enjoyed reading your post. Can you elaborate on Folder = Roles, please?

-- DJ


This message was edited Mar 12, 2009.
miicah

Posted: Mar 14, 2009
Score: 0



There is one downside using subtask as a task. It is really slow process to add a subtask. When you add first subtask, you always need to to drag and drop it. And when you add multipple tasks - well... I quess you got the drill.
saskia.x

Posted: Mar 17, 2009
Score: 4



Alisa did a great job of outlining a good way of using goals.

Like Claudio, I think of the goals as being roughly analogous to David Allen's higher "altitudes" in GTD. These "Horizons of Focus" map very nicely onto Toodledo:

50K ft: life: Lifetime
40K ft: 3-5 year visions: Long term
30K ft: 1-2 year goals: Short term
20K ft: areas of responsibility: Folders
10K ft: current projects: Projects (parent tasks)
Runway: current actions: Tasks (subtasks)

I tend to think of the goals as being something like:

Short term: where do I want to be in a year or so?
Long term: where do I want to be in a few years' time?
Lifetime: what do I want to have done with my life by the time I die?

Posted by DJ:
Alisa, I too enjoyed reading your post. Can you elaborate on Folder = Roles, please?


I assume Alisa was refering to Stephen Covey's concept of roles, which is actually very similar to David Allen's "areas of responsibility". So your roles might be things like "parent", "employee", "friend", "daughter", "student", "citizen" etc, and you would use these to group your tasks. Whether you conceptualise these groupings as "roles" or "areas of responsibility" the effect is the same; it helps to give you an overview of the different parts of your life and you can use it to ensure that each area gets enough attention. Combined with Toodledo's statistics (a Pro feature) you can track the effort you are putting into each area of your life. It's also just a nice logical grouping that fits well with how many people already think about their tasks.
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