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Big KC

Posted: Jul 29, 2009
From Topic: GTD Flowchart



Cool. I think this is a nice view of how the parts of GTD fit together, as a refresher for those who've been living it. It's really a 1-page visual outline of both "Getting Things Done" and "Making it all Work".

But personally, I think it's too much for a day-to-day workflow reference. Also, I think it could scare away a GTD novice, because it looks a lot more complicated than it really is. (If you are considering GTD, don't let this scare you away!)


This message was edited Jul 29, 2009.
Big KC

Posted: Jul 25, 2009



Yeah, I guess it's hard to please everyone given the differences in how we all use the same fields. The PI inbox used to work the way you suggest; but it drove me absolutely nuts because for me, every task that I process out of the inbox gets a context, but only some get projects/folders. So my inbox was always full of things I considered processed. Now that they've changed it, it works perfectly for me.
Big KC

Posted: Jul 24, 2009



Personally, I like the way the Pocket Informant iPhone app Inbox works. The inbox tasks are those with no project, no folder, no status, etc.

I replicate it in Toodledo with a saved search called "inbox".

Tasks that match "all" the following criteria:
Context is No Context
and Folder is No Folder
and Start Date is before tomorrow
and checked off is no


This message was edited Jul 24, 2009.
Big KC

Posted: Jul 24, 2009



I have a pro account but haven't used subtasks because I sync with Pocket Informant for the iPhone, which doesn't support them (yet).

I just have my weekly review checklist in the comments of my weekly review calendar entry. I can't check them off one at a time, but I'm ok with that. I have a few tasks that I've done the same thing. eg. on my kids' chore list, under "clean bathroom", the comment field reads: 1. wash mirror, 2. wash sink, etc.

I don't keep reference lists in Toodledo...I reserve that for Next Actions, projects, someday/maybe and waiting...the things its good at. Reference lists (music to download, books to read, books I own, etc.) I keep in Evernote for now. I'm waiting on somebody to create a cloud-based list manager with unlimited nesting. Then I might consider a switch.
Big KC

Posted: Jul 10, 2009
From Topic: Starting GTD



Lance, I think jpropper actually carries the pen "in hand" for a portion of the day...beyond just having the pen available in a pocket or purse, for example. That way, the pen becomes a physical reminder to capture ideas. (Is that right, jpropper?)

Still, I don't see why it's impractical. In fact, I think it's important to devote some time explicitly to the capturing phase. Maybe not every day...but at least during your weekly review. But doing it daily sounds like a great way to help form a capturing habit for a new GTDer. I think your GTD instincts are good.
Big KC

Posted: Jun 26, 2009



@Lance, thanks. I've considered using goals in Toodledo to support my larger horizons of focus. But I haven't gotten around to it yet...still on my someday/maybe list. With this head start, I might give it a try soon.
Big KC

Posted: Jun 25, 2009



I do the same thing. Projects can be nouns...the desired outcome of the project. But I always try to start my tasks with a verb. I think it works great in forcing me to make a decision on the next concrete action I can take.
Big KC

Posted: Jun 25, 2009



I don't bother with the folder view or the context view, for the reason you've stated. I just stay on the Main view, and sort by folder or context. Then I collapse the folders and just reopen them as needed. I think this is very close to how it would work if the tabs were vertical instead of horizontal.

If you sort by folder then click "Toggle Dividers", does this give you the view you need?
Big KC

Posted: Jun 25, 2009



I think David Allen would be the first to say that there aren't hard requirements around context in GTD. The premise of context is that it helps you to focus in on just the tasks that you are able to perform right now, so you don't always need to scan 150+ actions to decide what to do. But the way to accomplish that focus may differ vastly by person.

D.A. uses an @phone context because he travels a lot, and often can't make calls (e.g. if he's on an airplane, or in a remote location with a weak signal). I only fly a few times per year, on the other hand. I'm rarely unable to use my phone. Thus, @phone would not make any sense as a context for me. I think to use it would go against the spirit of GTD.

I use an @home and @work context. I work from home, so technically I don't need both of them. But it helps me to keep some kind of mental boundary between the two--important for maintaining some work/life balance.

I have @boss and @wife contexts so I can make the best use of my time with those important people.

I also have an @errands context for all the stuff that requires me to leave my house. Since I work from home, I sometimes go days at a time without leaving. Seeing the errands pile up gives me an incentive to get out for a while.

There are some tasks I can only do on my home computer. I have limited access to it since the kids are often on it. So I've created an @home computer context. When I get my turn, I can pull up all those tasks quickly. I haven't used it as much since I got my iPod Touch. I may get rid of that for simplicity.

There are three other contexts that everyone in my house uses: @morning chores; @dinnertime chores; and @bedtime chores. I've created our family chore schedule in Toodledo using repeating tasks assigned to these contexts. Since we have agreed to times for completing chores, this works well as a context for us...especially for the kids.

Finally, I have an @anywhere context, which I've been using sort of like Edward's "Zapp" folder. Quick items that I can do anywhere, whenever I have just a short time to spare. I might change the name to @zapp. I like that.

So, to net it out, I use the following:
@home
@work
@wife
@boss
@errands
@anywhere (soon to become @zapp)
@home computer (might get rid of this)
@morning chores
@dinnertime chores
@bedtime chores

I assign one of these contexts to everything that I consider a "Next Action". I don't use the status field. If it has one of these contexts, it's a Next Action. If it doesn't it's not.

I also have the following two contexts that are not really contexts in the GTD sense:
zSomeday
zWaiting
This way, I can maintain maintain my someday/maybe list and my waiting list without using the Status field. It saves some trouble for data entry.

I use context pretty consistently. In fact, since I don't use the status field, the only way I can access my Next Actions is to look at my contexts.

That said, I don't think the other viewpoints in this string are contrary to GTD. If you've found a way to focus in (more or less) on the tasks that you can actually do in your current situation, then you are following the spirit of GTD contexts whether you use the context field or not. On the other hand, if you are using the context field in a way that doesn't help you narrow your action list in a useful way, then you are not following the spirit of GTD contexts.
Big KC

Posted: Jun 16, 2009
From Topic: Folder Views



I second Claudio's recommendation.

I use the "Main" view almost exclusively. 90% of the time I have it sorted by context. But I sort by folder when I do my weekly review of the folder contents.

It takes just two clicks to get what you want:
1.) Click on the "Folder" column header to sort by folder.
2.) Click "Toggle Dividers". All the folders will collapse, and you can open just the ones you want to look at.

That's a lot fewer clicks than anything I could figure out in the "Folder" view.


This message was edited Jun 16, 2009.
Big KC

Posted: Jun 13, 2009
From Topic: Simplicity



I think simplicity is key. You have about the same number of fields as I do; but a different set. I've skipped status, priority and subtasks, and added start date, repeat and star.

I use folders and context; but I think I use them differently. I use folders for projects. And all of my Next Actions have a context.

The options to customize are great, aren't they?


This message was edited Jun 13, 2009.
Big KC

Posted: Jun 13, 2009



Love the dividers. (I wish I could set them to be collapsed by default...but no biggie.)
Big KC

Posted: Jun 10, 2009



I think there's some confusion here regarding priorities in GTD. The "everything equal" rule doesn't apply to tasks. It applies to the raw "stuff" in your inboxes that have not yet turned into tasks. When you are clearing your inbox, deciding what the Next Action is for the item (or whether it needs to go into a reference file, or be turned into a project, or put in the trash, etc.) you should treat each item equally. But once processing is complete, and you are deciding which Next Action to perform, there is definitely a place for priorities.

However, GTD does not rely on having a static "priority" field on each task. The weekly review process, where you look through your projects and longer term goals in more detail, is supposed to give you a strong sense of your priorities so that you can choose the highest-priority task on the fly, based on your gut feel. It's supposed to be a more effective way of responding to the continuously shifting landscape we face in our daily lives. If you can scan your list (by context) and quickly judge the highest-priority action, you don't need to go through the effort of categorizing everything by priority level, then updating those categories as priorities change.

In other words, in GTD there is a very important place for priorities...but not really a place for fixed ABC priority fields. The time spent managing the priority field is probably better spent thinking through your goals and principles on a regular basis so that you can trust your intuitive prioritization at each moment. (I haven't read all of Making Things Work yet; but that seems to be a big theme in the book. The concept was already sketched out in GTD, though).

That said, I do use the priority field to a limited extent. I want the really urgent tasks to stand out on my lists. This is especially important on mobile devices, where you can't see your whole task list at once. I've been using the High Priority label just on these urgent tasks. I don't bother labelling any other priorities. (I might switch to the Star to do this in Toodledo). It gives me a comfort level that I'm not accidentally skipping an urgent item just because of the limitations of the tiny screen on my phone or iPod.


This message was edited Jun 10, 2009.
Big KC

Posted: Jun 08, 2009
From Topic: Who are you?



I live in Pittsburgh, PA, where I work as a pricing strategist for a really big corporation. I follow a few people on twitter, but rarely tweet. I enjoy Facebook.
Big KC

Posted: Jun 06, 2009



A word of warning. The workflow I created has stopped working for no apparent reason. First, the notes would make it to EN, but the follow-on email to TD would fail. Now it's not even making it to EN. I didn't change the workflow. Tarpipe support seems rather limited at the moment.

While I still think this is a great concept, I don't think it has matured enough to be part of a trusted system. If they leave Beta and announce a stable product, I'll let you know.
Big KC

Posted: Jun 05, 2009



Posted by Proximo:
I like the idea of just tagging the low energy task and not bother with medium and high. This will allow me to filter low energy task quickly.

You know, the more I think of it, the more I like it too. I just might try it some time. I think I'll use "Easy" as my tag. The filter will be like the Staples Easy button.
Big KC

Posted: Jun 05, 2009



I just do it intuitively. As I scan the tasks (by context) I mentally skip over those that I don't feel I have the energy for.

I generally don't have the energy to maintain extra fields to filter my Next Actions by more than context or project. :-)

If I was going to manage energy levels in some more formal way, I would probably just tag the low-energy tasks, so I could hone in on them easily when my energy is too low to scan for them. If I'm feeling energetic, I would not bother filtering on energy, because I'd have the energy for a more complete scan. In that case, I'd rather choose based on importance than based on required energy.

Typically, when my energy is too low to scan my task list I just put it aside and hang out with my kids. Or if I'm still at work, I just plow through my reading pile.


This message was edited Jun 05, 2009.
Big KC

Posted: Jun 04, 2009



LOL. I used a post-it once. It's still on my wall, right beside me, with a phone number I've long since memorized. I guess I should take it down. Seriously, how sad is that?
Big KC

Posted: Jun 03, 2009



Posted by Anders:

LOL
Don't forget a pick, and a song in your heart :)

Technically, I don't need the pick. I can play a little fingerstyle. :). But the song...I can't forget the song!

I agree this could get out of hand, but I think it is what tagging is all about, and it could be as simple as you want to make it, or you could not use it at all. That's one of the things I love about Toodledo. They give you a bunch of options, and you can combine them in a number of different ways picking and choosing what works for your situation.

~Anders
The tag field does seem a logical place to do this. But the novel aspect of cyounkins' suggestion is the search technique. Pull all tasks that have some combination of the tags I'm searching, and no other tags. It's an intriguing way to look at it. I think it really is a more accurate description of the reasoning behind the use of contexts, even if I think it's less practical.


This message was edited Jun 03, 2009.
Big KC

Posted: Jun 03, 2009



I've read that with the Google Chrome browser you can log in to two accounts in different tabs by placing one of the tabs in incognito mode. I've never tried it, but it caused a bit of excitement among people who wanted to log into multiple gmail accounts simultaneously.
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