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Standard GTD + Searches == Heaven



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christopher.millward

Posted: Apr 06, 2013
Score: 0



Hello!

I wanted to share how I GTD above and beyond the usual set of contexts and priorities by using searches and tags, so I wrote a way-too-long blog about it.

I'd love to hear feedback from other people in the community to see what could be made better / faster (/ stronger ?)

http://www.millwardesque.com/blogs/christopher-millward/getting-things-done-toodledo

Thanks :)
Christopher Millward
Salgud

Posted: Apr 08, 2013
Score: 0



Posted by christopher.millward:
Hello!

I wanted to share how I GTD above and beyond the usual set of contexts and priorities by using searches and tags, so I wrote a way-too-long blog about it.

I'd love to hear feedback from other people in the community to see what could be made better / faster (/ stronger ?)

http://www.millwardesque.com/blogs/christopher-millward/getting-things-done-toodledo

Thanks :)
Christopher Millward


Chris,

I tried to post the following at your blog, but couldn't convince it I was human! :) Not to worry, some of the people who've known me for years still aren't convinced I'm human.

"I've been using TD as my task manager for about two and a half years now, and would find it hard to change over. While I am not a GTDer, the above is an excellent tutorial for anyone wanting to set up a GTD system in TD. While there are lot's of ways to do this, many of which are in TD's "GTD" forum, this is a very good starting point, very well explained. Even for those who are not GTDers, this explanation would be helpful in understanding one user's application of TD from which another could learn enough to build their own.

Thanks for taking the time, Chris! "


This message was edited Apr 08, 2013.
christopher.millward

Posted: Apr 09, 2013
Score: 0



Nuts, I've been fighting with that comment form forever... Guh...

D'you mind if I copy+paste that comment into the blog, those are some kind words :)

Thanks!
Dave

Posted: Apr 09, 2013
Score: 0



Great post! Thanks for sharing. David Allen has said that he isn't a fan of priority but I like how Toodledo uses it alongside importance and it makes sense in your setup. Good idea on negative priority for your projects context.
Salgud

Posted: Apr 09, 2013
Score: 0



Posted by christopher.millward:
Nuts, I've been fighting with that comment form forever... Guh...

D'you mind if I copy+paste that comment into the blog, those are some kind words :)

Thanks!


Not at all. Go right ahead.
Business Support LLC

Posted: Apr 12, 2013
Score: 0



Chris, So I was curious why you dislike folders and instead put things under tasks and subtasks.

We have a very large project so need the 3 levels (folder, tasks, subtasks), but our other projects don't need 3 levels.

I like to group things in a folder for easier reviews.
For example:
I try not to use due dates for anything with a soft day they need to be done by, as often these dues dates just get changed a lot.
However, everything that has a soft due date, that is not part of a project, gets put in old folder as I want to review them more often to make sure I don't miss them. So that folder might be reviewed a few times a week.
Things like grocery shop, haircuts due, etc.

Another folder for habits, things I want to monitor so it happens (exercise, take vitamins, etc.). But I don't want them cluttering up my other task searches.

Now I could use a context or tag instead.

But I don't see the advantage to not using a folder.

If I want to change the bucket I am looking at, it is just a quick to change a folder as it is to change a tag/context.

So please give some more information of why you dislike using folders.
Thanks, Jane
christopher.millward

Posted: Apr 13, 2013
Score: 0



Hi Jane,

It was probably unclear in the rambly blog post, but what I meant was that I didn't like using folders for projects because of the comparatively long time it takes to create new ones versus just using sub-tasks.

Using folders in the way you described actually sounds like a good way to keep repeating and habit-building tasks out of the way of regular searches, and to loan a bit more structure to big projects.

The reasons that I usually go with tags for that sort of thing is that creating them is dead-simple and can be done while creating the task itself, and you can attach multiple to the same task so you don't have to decide between two possible folders if your project overlaps (e.g. does buying a treadmill fall under the "Run a marathon" or "Set up home gym" big project)? For the way I work, folders function like a more limited version of tags because they take longer to create and you can only assign one per project / task.

Personally, for most professional big projects, I usually have that top level of hierarchy (folder => project => task) keep elsewhere because my teammates don't use ToodleDo for project management, and for personal big projects creating a tag is usually the faster way to get it done for me.

On the other hand, I think I'll try using folders for some of the soft due-dates like getting groceries or haircuts. I keep to a pretty firm schedule for groceries and the need for a haircut usually presents itself in an obvious way, but it would feel good having those in the system somewhere.

Thanks for the tip!
Business Support LLC

Posted: Apr 13, 2013
Score: 0



OK, I understand, you are doing lots of projects, so would be creating new folders all the time. I was thinking if the folder was created, it is just as quick to move something into another folder than change the tag. I don't have that many project folders - only for the very large projects (350 tasks for my big one) and those folders rarely change. I only have about 6 and create a new one rarely - typically when re-arranging everything in a new format.

I recently became frustrated on task management not working the way I wanted, and realized one of the big things was that toodledo doesn't use goals well. You have to force it on your own setting up SMART goals, then sub goals then folders/tasks/subtasks. This makes it a lot clearer what the goals are and I think would reduce multi-tagging your items.

For example your marathon and set up home gym seem part of the same larger goal (like be fit), but maybe not, maybe you have a competitive goal because doing competition makes you happy that includes marathons, racing, etc. If the goal is the same - e.g. be fit, than your resources (time) are competing for the two tasks and one of them will prevail in priority and the treadmill would naturally fit into that one.

See the writeup I did https://www.toodledo.com/forums/3/17121/0/becoming-a-power-user.html - While it is focused on setting things up for quick effortless reviews, it talks indirectly about those goals you set up (like being fit) and each goal gets a chunk of time each day/week - since the goal gets the time (not the project/tasks under it), the projects/tasks compete for that time and a natural priority develops (e.g. what is most important to reach your goal, it gets the time or the bulk of it or maybe it is split between two, but not between 10). So the tasks like get a treadmill would naturally fall under the higher priority project/tasks.
christopher.millward

Posted: Apr 18, 2013
Score: 0



Thanks for posting your writeup, there's some great insight there I think. Goal tracking is definitely the next level to get to in my own GTD journey, so I may well start with what you've written :)

How do you deal with situations where you look at your list and decide that you'd rather have a beer and lounge in the back yard than tackle any of it? It seems like prescribed amounts of time for each goal each week would introduce a little residual guilt for willingly deciding *not* to do anything?
modum

Posted: Apr 19, 2013
Score: 0



Chris I read your blog post, and I must say there were a number of takeaways there. I played around with a few setups, and I found yours to be the most effective by far. Thanks for sharing.
christopher.millward

Posted: Apr 22, 2013
Score: 0



That's terrifically encouraging, thanks! I'm glad you found some useful bits :)
Salgud

Posted: Apr 22, 2013
Score: 1



Posted by christopher.millward:

How do you deal with situations where you look at your list and decide that you'd rather have a beer and lounge in the back yard than tackle any of it? It seems like prescribed amounts of time for each goal each week would introduce a little residual guilt for willingly deciding *not* to do anything?


I don't know about how Chris handles this, but I believe that leisure time is as much a priority as anything on your list. Without it, everything else just falls apart, and pretty quickly. Of course, you could schedule in some downtime, but I would suggest that if your life is so tightly scheduled that you have to schedule some down time, you should rethink you're whole approach. For me at least, life is too short to be confined to a task list, no matter how sophisticated.
Business Support LLC

Posted: Apr 22, 2013
Score: 0



Posted by christopher.millward:
How do you deal with situations where you look at your list and decide that you'd rather have a beer and lounge in the back yard than tackle any of it? It seems like prescribed amounts of time for each goal each week would introduce a little residual guilt for willingly deciding *not* to do anything?


Chris, there are several approaches to this. Schedule breaks/down time/exercise/family time/etc. Or schedule only a certain percentage of the day as productive time (e.g. X hours a day). Or schedule only a certain amount of tasks - time management folks say anything from schedule 1-2 larger tasks (some call them big rocks), and 2-4 smaller tasks.

I am looking at things from a tracking/managing perspective and I don't want to spent more time tracking than being productive, so I want to track only my work towards goals. So if I have a goal of exercise time, I might want to track that. But I don't want to track down time, I just want to track productive time. I am playing with scheduling X hours of productive time a day (still refining what X works best for me).

Since part of my goal is to track productive time vs non productive time, I (anyone) can at any time decide they need some down time and take those choices.
In reality, certain tasks can be done for hours straight, and others need a break every 5 minutes, it really depends on the task and how each of us individually struggle with it.
For time planning and goal progression, my main review is weekly (more often feel very unproductive and will just create those guilt feelings when things are going fine). So I look at if I am spending enough productive time to meet my goals at the rate I want to meet them, or do I need to increase my productive time or even reduce my productive time if I am not meeting my life goal of enjoying life (yup, I have one of those with subgoals and planning when it is called for - weekends away, longer trips regularly, etc.).

So same as money budgeting, too tight drives you crazy and makes life unenjoyable, but keeping to your goals which includes some splurge/fun money brings happiness - you meet your larger goals at a rate your are comfortable with while also having the fun time you are comfortable with - the specifics of how much fun time vs larger goals are specific to the person/family.


This message was edited Apr 22, 2013.
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