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GTD projects in Toodledo



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pjlewis

Posted: Sep 30, 2012
Score: 0



I've been using Toodledo for a while now as the core trusted system within my GTD setup. This is working well, with regular use of the web, iPhone and iPad interfaces with syncing from outlook as well from work.

Although my setup is fairly mature, I still struggle to hold projects in Toodledo effectively and so far have kept these listed in another system. I'd like to hold this in Toodledo in such a way that the tasks that relate to the project can be easily identified. The lack of a project field in Toodledo  is very restricting and is probably the reason I keep wasting time looking for something else.....

 For me, projects look like this "Garden: Patio Area free of broken slabs" i.e. an area of focus filled by the outcome I'm trying to achieve, written as if it has been already been completed. This really helps me understand what I'm trying to achieve and focus on that and to recognised "done". The problem is that projects get quite long. I also have lots of them (100+), divided into active, next, someday, maybe lists.

Within Toodledo, I've considered:

* Using folders for projects, but the number of projects makes this inappropriate.

* Using tags for this, but tags disappear once the last task is completed. How would I spot projects without tasks during a review?

* Using goals as projects, but the fields seem too short.

* Sub tasks are too difficult to manage and are not displayed well. Although I'm a pro user, I don't like using this feature yet.

I seem to be stuck, so thought I'd ask you guys for help, advice and inspiration! Any ideas? How are you addressing this issue?
Dave

Posted: Sep 30, 2012
Score: 0



I am in the same place you are. I wanted to use tasks for projects with sub tasks being the steps for each one, but if I enter a new task on my mobile app there isn't a way to add this to the project unless you go to the project itself to add the task. Look forward to hearing other people's advice on this.
Salgud

Posted: Oct 01, 2012
Score: 1



There is a simple way to deal with the disappearing tags issue. Create a dummy task, assign the tags you don't want to ever disappear to it. Give it a status or a priority or whatever that you don't otherwise use, so you can easily filter it out of other views.

I'd suggest you give sub-tasks another go. I find them indispensable, and taken alone, worth the price of a Pro subscription. Yes, they are a bit awkward at first, but after a some practice, become a very useful tool. Remember, you can filter for tasks w/ subtasks, and filter for tasks that have parents. This makes them very, very useful.

I understand your clever idea of naming your projects for the completion milestone as an incentive to get them done. However, it's holding you back from being able to use what you obviously consider to be the best tool for your trusted system. There is another possibility here. You could abandon that scheme and just give your projects a shorter name, knowing that the goal is. For instance, "Garden Area:Free of Broken slabs" could be "Garden:Slabs" since you already know that you want the broken slabs removed. You could even put the longer name in the Notes field, though, obviously, they wouldn't be as visible there.

TD is very flexible, but to make it work, it helps if we are flexible in applying it. The only way I know to get the exact task management app I want is to sit down and start writing code. Which would mean I'd have to stop doing most of the things currently on my task management list! :)

Best of luck with implementing your system.
Dave

Posted: Oct 02, 2012
Score: 0



Salgud, do you use TD on a smartphone? If so is it easy to manage projects using tasks/subtasks? That has been my issue with using that setup.
Salgud

Posted: Oct 02, 2012
Score: 0



Posted by Dave:
Salgud, do you use TD on a smartphone? If so is it easy to manage projects using tasks/subtasks? That has been my issue with using that setup.


Not really. Since TD for iPhone can't do Saved Searches, which is virtually all I do in TD, I don't. Also because I couldn't find a decent grocery shopping app with all the features I wanted, so I created a free TD account just for that, and access that account from my iPhone. It works like a charm, but now I miss having TD for tasks on my phone! When I did have it for tasks on my phone, I used it mostly to add tasks when I was away from my desk. So now I'm searching again for a grocery app to replace TD in that role so I can have it again, even in it's limited context.

I understand that managing subtasks from the iOS app is a bit cumbersome, but I defy anyone to show me that they waste more time per day entering new subtasks than they do daydreaming, chatting at the coffee machine, or picking their nose. I know it seems like a long time when you're in a hurry, and especially when someone is waiting for you, but I can't imagine there's anyone who can't list in a few minutes at least 10 ways they waste at least 3 times as much time in a day as they do entering tasks in TD. I'm not much for wasting hours trying to save minutes. YMMV.
Dave

Posted: Oct 02, 2012
Score: -1



Thanks for the feedback.

Two grocery apps that I dig are OurGroceries since it syncs with almost every type of phone(my wife has a Blackberry), and Listmaker is a good iOS one since it is supposed to be used with a second Toodledo account exclusivly for lists as a complement to the developer's GTD app called Action Lists. Sounds just like what you are doing.

Hope that helps.
Purveyor

Posted: Oct 02, 2012
Score: 1



Posted by pjlewis:
I seem to be stuck, so thought I'd ask you guys for help, advice and inspiration! Any ideas? How are you addressing this issue?
I think the issue here is that Toodledo is a great tool but it can't do everything.

You identify Toodledo as your "core trusted system" and that's a great way of viewing it -- it is the core of a system that includes other tools. Toodledo plays the same role in my system but I also use Gmail, Evernote, Dropbox, and various other software.

One piece of software that I like is Outliner by CarbonFin. I use it to create outlines for some of my more complex projects. There are no dates, but it offers an unlimited number of levels, it is very easy to move tasks, and it provides a nice overview of the various steps. It is available for the iPhone and iPad and it can be accessed online with a free account. Unfortunately, you can't create a link to a particular outline or to an item in an outline so that you can access it directly in Toodledo.

BTW, I like your idea of writing the Project title "as if it has been already been completed." GTD is, of course, about getting things done, but one of the challenges is identifying what "done" is. I've noticed that the more clearly defined the project outcome is, the more likely it will be completed, and the more clearly defined the Next Action is, the more likely it will get started. ;)


This message was edited Oct 03, 2012.
Salgud

Posted: Oct 03, 2012
Score: 0



Posted by Dave:
Thanks for the feedback.

Two grocery apps that I dig are OurGroceries since it syncs with almost every type of phone(my wife has a Blackberry),


And you let her live in your house?! :)

and Listmaker is a good iOS one since it is supposed to be used with a second Toodledo account exclusivly for lists as a complement to the developer's GTD app called Action Lists. Sounds just like what you are doing.

Hope that helps.


Do either of those allow for different stores for a single item? Finding that is the biggest problem for me.
mpc_janssen

Posted: Nov 05, 2012
Score: 2



In core GTD as David Allen describes it, the project list is really just a list of "stakes in the ground". Reminders of the current things you want to get finished which take more than one step.
I have found that making it more than that (a simple list) will over-complicate the system and I will resist adding multi-action outcomes on my project list (which is a bad thing).
What works for me is a simple "Project" context where I add all my projects as tasks, so I have an easy overview of all my active projects. When a project is done I check off the project task.
I don't really need a link between projects and actions, because I am fairly strict with my weekly review which I found is another essential ingredient to make GTD work.
M_ichel

Posted: Dec 05, 2012
Score: 0



Posted by Salgud:

Also because I couldn't find a decent grocery shopping app with all the features I wanted


Hi Salgud. You mean you don't know about LISTOMNI!?

Quick! Go take a look at it. You'll love it, I'm sure!

I use it for groceries, movies I want to watch, books I want to read, things to pack on trips, list of good wines, itinerary (used mostly when I had a business and had to go buy all kinds of things, supplies, etc.), etc, etc.
Salgud

Posted: Dec 06, 2012
Score: 0



Can ListOmni do multiple stores for the same item, and filter by store. That's the feature I've had the most trouble finding (some apps actually claim to have this feature, and the necessary controls to do so are there, but they don't work).
bcmyers

Posted: Dec 08, 2012
Score: 0



Posted by mpc_janssen:
I don't really need a link between projects and actions, because I am fairly strict with my weekly review which I found is another essential ingredient to make GTD work.


You beat me to the punch! Many people overcomplicate GTD and then wonder why it isn't working for them. You definitely get it. Creating links between next actions and projects often creates more stress, not less. If I have a complicated project with lots of moving parts I'll keep a separate list of subprojects and next actions. When I do my weekly review I just make sure that anything on the project that is currently do-able is in the appropriate next actions list. It doesn't need to be any fancier than that.
MILO_1355313194

Posted: Dec 11, 2012
Score: 0



Posted by mpc_janssen:
What works for me is a simple "Project" context where I add all my projects as tasks, so I have an easy overview of all my active projects. When a project is done I check off the project task.
I don't really need a link between projects and actions, because I am fairly strict with my weekly review which I found is another essential ingredient to make GTD work.


I do the same. I have a fairly long list of projects but I manage fine setting them up as contexts. So I just have 2 contexts for projects - "Projects | Work" and "Projects | Personal". I tried using goals or folders but I just find the extra clicks just aren't worth it. This way too, I just spend most of my time in the contexts view.

I remember during my m505 days I had this app called ShadowPlan that allowed you do all sorts of links and hierarchies. Totally loved the cool factor but was a bother doing all the housekeeping.

I do use another app on my ipad along with toodledo for projects brainstorming called ThinkBook. This is where I can do all indents and hierarchies but like I said, I only use it to brainstorm. Not affiliated to them at all. Awesome form factor.
pjlewis

Posted: Feb 19, 2013
Score: 0



Have been living with the following solution for a few weeks now and it's working for me.

1. I have created a number of Project Contexts. To make sure they are at the bottom of my Context lists and to appear in he order I want, I named these:
_PROJ:1-ACTIVE
_PROJ:2-NEXT
_PROJ:3-SOMEDAY
_PROJ:4-MAYBE

2. I have created a new folder named "Projects"

3. I have added my project lists into Toodledo as tasks, assigned to the Projects folder with the appropriate project context. This has enabled me to hold the lists, keep them separate from my tasks and reference materials and be easily identified during review on either the iOS or website.

4. I handle next actions as before and rely upon my head to link projects and tasks during review. Turns out I don't really need a hard link between the project list and the next actions after all - this is obvious to me during review.

5. I have the option to use notes associated with the project to hold task outlines if/when I need them. Often I just create the next actions and let projects progress naturally.


By doing this I am now keeping the project lists more current and am more mindful of the projects I have on my plate. This is a big win for me. I recently needed to discuss my workload with the boss and was able to show him the activecand next project list within the Toodledo website - 10 bonus points to me :-)

The dis-benefit of this is that Toodledo counts the projects as part of the total tasks in the all task view. This bugs me, but is of no real significance.
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