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How are you using Folders?



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jwelshjr

Posted: Mar 15, 2008
Score: 0



I have been molding my methods over time, but I'm still not fully convinced that I'm capturing/defining things in the most effective way. I'd love to hear how many folders and what kinds you are using.
tjreo

Posted: Mar 15, 2008
Score: 0



I have twelve active folders.

Folders, for me, are projects. I would like to hear from someone who has found a use for folders other than for projects.

My folders/projects have either a definite end point (Build New Fence) or an open-ended project (Health, Organize, Tech Support, Home Maintenance). The vast majority are open-ended.
Roman

Posted: Mar 16, 2008
Score: 0



i´m not using folders as projects, as it seemed somewhat unnatural to me. i only have three folders, thats job tasks, private tasks and inbox. by sorting my views by folder, i have my private and business tasks separated properly. for projects, i always set up one main task tht has all the necessary steps as subtasks.
i have my ff-plugin setup with a minimum of fields, and all tasks from the plugin go to the inbox folder, until i reviewed and organized them. i bet, david a. would really be proud of that part, wouldn´t he? ;-)


This message was edited Mar 16, 2008.
korbas

Posted: Mar 17, 2008
Score: 1



I've just gotten started here...but basically I have Home (mostly housework and repairs), Car (cleaning/paperwork/repairs) and "System Functions". SF is sort of a utilities area...run antivirus, sync the Berry, link Toodledo to a new widget, etc. Basically it's anything that helps the gears turn and keeps everything else going smoothly.

This might change over time, but it's a work in progress as I compile the big list of stuff.
jwelshjr

Posted: Mar 17, 2008
Score: 0



OMG! I can't believe I never even thought to make an Inbox folder. Smashing idea!

I think my use of folders is quite similar to yours tjreo. But where you use the term open-ended projects I consider these more as project types, categories, or classes. This is also how I keep work and personal items separated. So I have folders like Auto Maintenance, Household, Clients, Financial, Family, Correspondence, etc. I currently have 11 folders in all.

However, my folders seem to be some weird mix of projects types, what I think of as tags, and almost even contexts. I sometimes have a project or task that either A. doesn't seem to fit any of the existing folders or B. Fits both a folder and either a context or tag.

Please keep the feedback coming. I've gleaned one good idea already and this helps me to keep thinking about/refining my process!
tjreo

Posted: Mar 17, 2008
Score: 0



Posted by jwelshjr:
But where you use the term open-ended projects I consider these more as project types, categories, or classes. This is also how I keep work and personal items separated.

I have spent some time thinking about this and I would probably use folders as project categories if subtasks were easier to use.

I am usually using Toodledo from my Windows Mobile 5 device or putting stuff in via Jott and then tweaking them via the mobile interface. Maybe I've missed it but I don't see a way to manage subtasks other than drag and drop from the main, full-featured web site interface. If that is the case, they are too limited for me to use.


This message was edited Mar 17, 2008.
Roman

Posted: Mar 17, 2008
Score: 0



Posted by tjreo:

Maybe I've missed it but I don't see a way to manage subtasks other than drag and drop from the main, full-featured web site interface. If that is the case, they are too limited for me to use.

that is oh so true, the slim interface has a drawback there. that´s why i use my iphone for reading my lists, checking the tasks and capturing tasks on the go, but not for organising. for organising i prefer a somewhat more formal setup of my workspace, including my browser open on toodledo.com
Qrystal

Posted: Mar 18, 2008
Score: 0



I've got some general categories:
- Self (further separated by tags for things like health, career, education, vehicle)
- Home (really, Family and Household and Finances and PC Maintenance all wrapped into one)
- People (to contact, to show pictures to, to repay for things, etc.)

and some specific "mega-project" categories:
- THESIS (in caps because it's uber-important!)
- Teaching (with tags separating the different classes)
- Blogging (with tags separating the different blogs, and different categories of actions)

The main ideas behind separating them out like this:
- I must take time for my Self and my Home
- I like to see at a glance where I stand with other People
- I really need to make sure to encourage focus on my THESIS
- Teaching is basically my "Work" category, but I hate calling it "Work" because I do enjoy it
- and Blogging .. well, there were just too many things in that category for it to be absorbed into the Self, and it kinda had to do with other People too ... so it got a class of its own.

The whole idea is so that I can get a grasp of things easily for a Weekly Review (which I plan to do, someday, maybe -- GTD joke, haha!) And it looks like this will be a useful division for use in the Scheduler too.

Keep this discussion going! I like hearing more ideas!!
In particular, I like the INBOX idea. Thanks muchly, Roman!!! I think I've been using my "No Folder" folder in that way, though ... I'm just going to enforce that from now on, and cut out a step in quickly adding tasks. Yay!


This message was edited Mar 18, 2008.
Roman

Posted: Mar 20, 2008
Score: 0



Posted by Qrystal:

In particular, I like the INBOX idea. Thanks muchly, Roman!!! I think I've been using my "No Folder" folder in that way, though ... I'm just going to enforce that from now on, and cut out a step in quickly adding tasks. Yay!


that is an excelent idea, it solves one drawback: you can´t have a default folder via the plugin. so i now manually choose my inbox folder, slowing down my capture process. i think, i might switch to your idea.
Qrystal

Posted: Mar 26, 2008
Score: 0



I thought for a moment that you could set a default folder in the Folders setup area .... but no, you can't!

You could your default CONTEXT to "Inbox", and then use that as your place to check for things needing processing....

But then again, I realized something else about my method: I'm actually using BOTH "No Folder" and "No Context" as my Inbox, and any way I use to quickly add tasks (Jott, Firefox plugin, Twitter...) I simply never set either of those fields, and presto! The task is in my Inbox! :P

The benefit: when I log into Toodledo, no matter which section I look at first (Folders or Contexts) I will see that my "No ______" section has some tasks in it. (For those who can't see the number of tasks in each tab but want to, turn on "Show Tab Counts" in Account Settings -- I LOVE that feature!)

Then to process a task, I make sure to set a Context and a Folder and a Tag ... well, I set everything I can, actually. And presto! Processed, and out of my Inbox! :)


This message was edited Mar 26, 2008.
will.sargent

Posted: Mar 27, 2008
Score: 0



Inbasket
Action
Someday
Waiting
Blue Sky
polymer247

Posted: Mar 29, 2008
Score: 0



I am a Home teacher with a part-
time job on weekends. So my list categories are simple.

I have the following lists;

Goal keeping - (assigned as daily for learning Adobe, Powerpoint, Spanish, Bible, making one contact with people I've forgotten or are far away and maintaining an up to date address book completed with birthdays and Anniversaries)

Errands to Run
Things to buy
Calls to make
School
Community Events
Housecleaning Light
Housecleaning Deep
Garden/Landscaping
Work
jwelshjr

Posted: Mar 30, 2008
Score: 0



Posted by Qrystal:
I thought for a moment that you could set a default folder in the Folders setup area .... but no, you can't!

You could your default CONTEXT to "Inbox", and then use that as your place to check for things needing processing....

But then again, I realized something else about my method: I'm actually using BOTH "No Folder" and "No Context" as my Inbox


I was trying to figure out a way to set defaults as well. My gripe with "No Folder" is that it is always at the bottom of the page and cannot be moved to the top like other folders.

I'm also still trying to figure out a better Project management method. I feel like my lists continue to devolve into the infamous "amorphous blob of undoability." Using folders for projects just isn't practical for me when entering items via my Blackberry since there is no way to add folders.

@will.sargent - hmmmm... There is a certain beauty in that simplicity. I'll have too mull that over a bit. ;)
will.sargent

Posted: Apr 01, 2008
Score: 0



@jwelshjr I typically use 'View By Folder' and then 'Filter by Context' which cuts down to only the stuff in front of me.

I typically use goals for projects, along with some judicious use of subtasks.

I find goals kinda kludgy (seriously, I have over 100 long term, medium and short term goals) but if I do the two previous steps and then 'sort by goals' then I can work it out.
Snapper57

Posted: Apr 01, 2008
Score: 0



I use goals for the big picture like 'BA Graphic Design' or 'Get a job'.
A folder within that goal for each individual project including 'Exhibitions', 'Final Major Project', or 'Dissertation'.

I use the project view to keep track of which task belongs to which folder (project) but I also name each task with a three letter prefix (e.g. EXH, FMP) which shows up no matter what view you use e.g. 'EXH-Send work off to printers', shows me that the task is part of the Exhibitions folder as opposed to my Final Major Project - works really well for me.

I use Contexts to categorise what, how and where i will do the work - ie;

. Read&Notes (Can be any book, done anywhere)
. CompApp (Mostly Photoshop, Illustrator or Word, can be a computer at uni or at home)
. Tel (Telephoning)
. TaskAway (task away from desk at uni or home)
. Meet1-1 (meeting one-to-one)
. Meet1-Many
. GoTo (Visit somewhere)
. BStorming (Brainstorming)
. Select (Selecting work)
. Photo (photographing work)

Tags
I use these to label the part of the development process the task belongs to e.g:

Inspiration
Clarification
Evaluation
Distillation
Incubation
Perspiration

I also use them to describe the general theme of the task:

MockUps
Printers
Portfolio
Analysis
etc . . .

Hope this helps.
Snapper57

Posted: Apr 01, 2008
Score: 0



Oh, one other thing I find really helpful is keeping all tasks at Priority 2 or under and only elevating them to 3 the night before I plan to start the task. That way I can filter on priority and better control the list of current tasks.
John

Posted: Apr 21, 2008
Score: 0



Hey guys,

I am using Folders as all of the BIG projects I have. Then, for any sub-projects, I have created a context called "Project" (as DA says, you can't do projects, so they really don't have contexts) So I create subtasks with their own context, and if they need to be sequenced, I put numbers in front of the tasks--at least I just learned that today on another post.
jwelshjr

Posted: Jun 01, 2008
Score: 0



Taking cues from a few of you, I have significantly reduced my folder list. I'm considering consolidating further, but I'm still debating. My current folder list is:

Work, Personal, People, Review, Someday, and Leisure.

Leisure and People are the two I'm considering consolidating. I broke out Leisure only because I have a tendency to make commitments to do things but while it is important to me to keep commitments, these items aren't as important as others. This allows me to separate them so I don't let them jump in front of more important tasks. The People folder (I used to call it FF - for Friends and Family - but I liked Qrystal's name and stole it!) is separate for a different, nearly opposite reason. I want to make a point to specifically remember the individual people that I have some commitment to. Keep the list separate allows me to highlight them and attribute special importance to them.

But, in addition to reducing the folder "buckets" and thereby the number of places to look for tasks, I think that the idea helping me the most so far was creating a context for Project (thanks, John!). I now use one task with the .project context as a main project entry and add all requisite subtasks to it with appropriate data. (Using .project keeps it at the top of the list.) It is very easy to see all the projects under context and very easy to see the individual tasks as I need to. I can manage due dates, priority, etc by either the entire project or each subtask.

My only gripe is handling sub-tasks on the Blackberry while mobile. Neither the slim version (in Opera) nor the HTML one works great, just so-so. Why can't the "Add Subtask" button be available for any task instead of just those that already have subtasks?

I realize that there are a few projects that I do on a periodic basis that have a specific set of subtasks which I would love to be able to memorize as a "group" and schedule regularly. One instance of this would be my yard tractor maintenance which includes oil change, blade sharpening, lubrication, etc. It sucks having to re-create the Top-level item (with .project context) and then each of the subtasks. Having the option to memorize the group of tasks and schedule that would be GREAT!

Also, in this setup, it would be nice if the main task (project) was automatically marked complete when all subtasks are completed.
John

Posted: Jun 02, 2008
Score: 0



Glad to help!

Posted by jwelshjr:
Taking cues from a few of you, I have significantly reduced my folder list. I'm considering consolidating further, but I'm still debating. My current folder list is:

Work, Personal, People, Review, Someday, and Leisure.

Leisure and People are the two I'm considering consolidating. I broke out Leisure only because I have a tendency to make commitments to do things but while it is important to me to keep commitments, these items aren't as important as others. This allows me to separate them so I don't let them jump in front of more important tasks. The People folder (I used to call it FF - for Friends and Family - but I liked Qrystal's name and stole it!) is separate for a different, nearly opposite reason. I want to make a point to specifically remember the individual people that I have some commitment to. Keep the list separate allows me to highlight them and attribute special importance to them.

But, in addition to reducing the folder "buckets" and thereby the number of places to look for tasks, I think that the idea helping me the most so far was creating a context for Project (thanks, John!). I now use one task with the .project context as a main project entry and add all requisite subtasks to it with appropriate data. (Using .project keeps it at the top of the list.) It is very easy to see all the projects under context and very easy to see the individual tasks as I need to. I can manage due dates, priority, etc by either the entire project or each subtask.

My only gripe is handling sub-tasks on the Blackberry while mobile. Neither the slim version (in Opera) nor the HTML one works great, just so-so. Why can't the "Add Subtask" button be available for any task instead of just those that already have subtasks?

I realize that there are a few projects that I do on a periodic basis that have a specific set of subtasks which I would love to be able to memorize as a "group" and schedule regularly. One instance of this would be my yard tractor maintenance which includes oil change, blade sharpening, lubrication, etc. It sucks having to re-create the Top-level item (with .project context) and then each of the subtasks. Having the option to memorize the group of tasks and schedule that would be GREAT!

Also, in this setup, it would be nice if the main task (project) was automatically marked complete when all subtasks are completed.
Darius_1296933579

Posted: Jun 02, 2008
Score: 0



Posted by jwelshjr:

I realize that there are a few projects that I do on a periodic basis that have a specific set of subtasks which I would love to be able to memorize as a "group" and schedule regularly. One instance of this would be my yard tractor maintenance which includes oil change, blade sharpening, lubrication, etc. It sucks having to re-create the Top-level item (with .project context) and then each of the subtasks. Having the option to memorize the group of tasks and schedule that would be GREAT!


You can totally do this - just make each of the subtasks repeating items. Marking off the main task as complete makes all the subtasks go bye-bye I think, so just don't mark the main task off. If you need to mark it as complete for tracking purposes, as a workaround you can just create a new task with the same name and mark it as complete. This is what I do - minus the workaround because I only care about the recurring subtasks.

Hope this helps.
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