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Verbs vs. Next Action Verbs



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Claudio

Posted: Aug 26, 2009
Score: 0



Merlin Mann, at 43Folders.com, wrote an article that I think is useful for anyone using GTD.

Here's an extract:
In implementing Getting Things Done, you're wise to understand that words are powerful things. And the king of words in GTD, as in life, is the verb.

How you articulate an activity or how you choose to frame a project within the context of your larger life and work will say a lot about how successful you can be in turning all your "stuff" into atomic actions that will work in support of valuable outcomes. This starts with simple things like beginning next actions with a physical verb, but there's actually a lot more subtlety (and potential confusion) to it.
From: http://www.43folders.com/2006/11/14/project-versus-next-action

And, here are the verbs from GTD Fast booklet, ©1998-2001 David Allen & Co:

Project verbs:
Finalize
Resolve
Handle
Look into
Submit
Maximize
Organize
Design
Complete
Ensure
Roll out
Update
Install
Implement
Set-up

Next-action verbs:
Call
Organize
Review
Buy
Fill out
Find
Purge
Look into
Gather
Print
Take
Waiting for
Load
Draft
Email

Some of the distinctions seem arbitrary (eg. "Install" could be a single step, or it could a major project, and what's "Waiting for" doing there?), but the overall idea is useful, and, perhaps, vital for a successful implementation of GTD.


This message was edited Aug 26, 2009.
Proximo

Posted: Aug 26, 2009
Score: 0



Great post Claudio.

I use verbs myself, but I love this list. Picked up some good ones that I was not using.
Proximo

Posted: Sep 04, 2009
Score: 0



Claudio,

It may seem like a small thing, but this post is so powerful and I want to thank you for sharing it.

I have created a Word Document with this list of verbs and hang it on my office wall near my LCD Screens.

When I am creating a Project or Actionable Task. It makes a huge difference to pick a good verb that brings clarity to the item.

I recommend for others to due the same.

Thanks again.
Anders

Posted: Sep 04, 2009
Score: 0



Yes, I recently discovered how helpful an action verb list is for defining tasks. It has made my processing much more effective. I wasn't even doing it for projects, only actions, but this post is great. I'm not sure I will ever roll anything out, except possibly a broken down car, but other than that, most of these are very good. Thanks.
Proximo

Posted: Sep 04, 2009
Score: 0



@Anders,

You can Roll Out
- a new procedure
- Video training
- a new process
- new software

I have also added some to the list based on what I do everyday. It's a short glance at a list that reminds me to be clear.

This has also helped me identify some single task that should be small projects with several steps.
Anders

Posted: Sep 04, 2009
Score: 0



Maybe this is a bit far-fetched, but wouldn't it be awesome if Toodledo added an arrow to the end of the Title field when creating/editing a task, so you could select from a (possibly user-defined) set of action words? I think that would be a fantastic feature, and pretty unique (I know a couple of apps do this, but no web apps I am aware of, and nothing at all like Toodledo). I feel like it's the kind of thing that people would really take to as well.
Proximo

Posted: Sep 05, 2009
Score: 0



Posted by Anders:
Maybe this is a bit far-fetched, but wouldn't it be awesome if Toodledo added an arrow to the end of the Title field when creating/editing a task, so you could select from a (possibly user-defined) set of action words? I think that would be a fantastic feature, and pretty unique (I know a couple of apps do this, but no web apps I am aware of, and nothing at all like Toodledo). I feel like it's the kind of thing that people would really take to as well.


That would be an awesome feature.
lite1

Posted: Sep 06, 2009
Score: 0



Posted by Anders:
Maybe this is a bit far-fetched, but wouldn't it be awesome if Toodledo added an arrow to the end of the Title field when creating/editing a task, so you could select from a (possibly user-defined) set of action words? I think that would be a fantastic feature, and pretty unique (I know a couple of apps do this, but no web apps I am aware of, and nothing at all like Toodledo). I feel like it's the kind of thing that people would really take to as well.


I haven't tried it yet but I think this work-around might do it.

Create a Project and call it ++VERBS TO USE
At least the way I have things set for TD sorting the Project with ++ will sort this to the top.
In the Note area for this Project create your list of verb possibilities.
Toggle this Note open.

At least if one is entering a lot of tasks in same folder but NOT using the multi-task method, then this should have those verbs in view when you do entry.

Certainly not as slick as what Anders suggests/wants, but work-arounds are never as good as the real thing!
Proximo

Posted: Sep 08, 2009
Score: 0



I just have a list on my wall.

simple. :-)


This message was edited Sep 08, 2009.
Josh

Posted: Oct 14, 2009
Score: 0



"Waiting for" is in the next-action group because every project has to have a next action. Sometimes waiting is your only option. That's how I've always understood it.
Proximo

Posted: Oct 14, 2009
Score: 0



Posted by Josh:
"Waiting for" is in the next-action group because every project has to have a next action. Sometimes waiting is your only option. That's how I've always understood it.


That makes sense to me.
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