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GTD Components
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Posted: Apr 16, 2009
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I am struggling with the best system for GTD today and while Toodledo seems to be a good fit, I need some help defining the specific needs of a perfect GTD system.

What specific 'COMPONENTS' would it have if it were perfect?

Posted: Apr 16, 2009
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Possible components of perfect system
- multi-context (items can be part of more than one context)
- areas of focus (i.e. work, home, or 'both?')
- multi-project (items can be part of more than one project)
- stared items (I like starring my top two items of the day each day - a Tim Ferris 4hr Work Week suggestion)
- good calendar (tickler and daily)

Basic structure of GTD.
I THINK these are all the pieces?
-Tickler Calendar
-Daily Calendar
-Waiting For
-Read/Review (oh boy!, difficult to define for me, really grappling with this one)
-Waiting For
-Someday Maybe

Current TOODLEDO pieces

This message was edited Apr 16, 2009.
Vin Thomas

Posted: Apr 18, 2009
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Here is how I use Toodledo to cover more of the GTD pieces:

- Inbox = No Folder (use as brain dump)
- Projects = Parent Tasks (need pro account)
- Waiting For = Star (anything that I am waiting for, I star)
- Someday/Maybe = tagged "someday"
Vin Thomas

Posted: Apr 18, 2009
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Also, for your someday/maybe list you can set the task to -1 priority. This will hide it from your main list unless specified.

Posted: Apr 18, 2009
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Why not just use the "waiting" and "someday" status settings, and hide them with the deferred filter?
Vin Thomas

Posted: Apr 20, 2009
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That's a great suggestion. I try to keep my fields to a minimum so my system stays as simple as possible. Personally, I created a list called "???" and put all my someday/maybe tasks there. That way I can easily review them weekly without them cluttering my daily workflow. If an item needs to be moved out at my weekly review, I can just move it to another list.

And since I don't have tons of items I use "waiting for" with, I just use the star. I don't use the star for anything else, so I might as well put it to use.

Maybe my way is a little unorthodox, but to me TD is all about making a system that works for you. And it does!

Posted: May 25, 2009
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[Deleted for cross posting in over a dozen topics. Please stay on topic and don't spam.]

This message was edited May 25, 2009.

Posted: May 31, 2009
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Here's my setup:

1.Inbox = a task with no context and a start date of today or earlier (or no start date at all).
2.Tickler file = A task with no context, and a future start date.
3.Calendar = Google Calendar
4.Projects = Folders
5.Someday/Maybe = "Someday/Maybe" context.
6.Waiting = "Waiting" context.
7.Next Actions = all the other contexts I've defined.

I assign every task to a context. Technically, the "waiting" and "someday" contexts aren't really contexts in GTD. I originally used the waiting and someday status settings, as Anders suggests. It worked ok in Toodledo; but I sync with Pocket Informant on the iPhone, which was purposely overriding the status at times. I switched to my current setup as a workaround in PI, but now I like it better. I get the same result as before, with one less field (ie less data entry).

I haven't bothered with a read/review list in Toodledo. I think the physical item itself is the best reminder for that category. I have a read/review folder in my email system, another in Evernote for web clippings, and a physical read/review stack for hardcopy.

As for the "perfect" system, everyone's a bit different. I think assigning a task to multiple projects is overcomplicated. Multiple contexts might be nice; but not necessary for me. Areas of focus are not something I track. I have a list of areas of focus that I scan through to make sure I've identified all my projects. But I would never assign my tasks to an area of focus in my system. It's too much maintenance. And anyway, when I look at a task it's apparent what area of focus it's in.

To me, Toodledo has everthing I need as a GTD task system. Two things could bring it much closer to perfection: better capture tools (e.g. integration with Evernote) to make it easier to get items into the system to begin with; and better non-task list management for things like shopping lists, etc.

Posted: Jun 04, 2009
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Here is my way of breaking it down.

Inbox (mind dump)
Action List (Task that you need to take action on)
- Next Actions (The action you are currently working)
- Active Task (List of actions to do asap)
- List of all projects
- All task related to a project (also listed in Action List)
Waiting for (delegated task/projects)
Someday/Maybe (sounds nice, but not sure if I can do it)
Reference (Anything useful that has info. I may need)
- List of task with due dates
- Tickler items. (ie. do my weekly review)

This is how I would structure the main page of a GTD Site like Toodledo. I am just not smart enough to pull it off on my own. lol

Posted: Jun 08, 2009
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Still fighting with this, but I found a nice solution to no dedicated inbox. I created an "Inbox" context and set it to be the default context for new items. I like being able to dump items in the inbox and go back later and process. If I have to stop and think about where things should go, I tend to put off entering them and they get lost. When it time to process, I select the inbox context from the context tabs and start sorting.

Now if I could only figure out what to do about projects....


Posted: Jun 09, 2009
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Posted by tavman:
Still fighting with this, but I found a nice solution to no dedicated inbox. ...

Now if I could only figure out what to do about projects....


You might consider using the TD built-in folder that is called "No Folder" for your brain dump as alternative to tagging.

Do searchon "projects" in GTD as well as Tips & Tricks or in ?s and you will find tons of discussion of how people are using TD for handling Projects both in the David Allen definition of it as well as for other meanings of that word.
Vin Thomas

Posted: Jun 09, 2009
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I also use my "No Folder" as my inbox. I like to assign every task to a folder. I use folders for "Areas of Focus" (i.e. Work, Study, Commerce, etc.) so each task has a place to go. Since I add a lot of tasks via twitter and Dial2Do I find it easiest to just send in the task name, then enter the details when I am in front of the app.

I used to use a folder called "inbox" and set that as my default - but I found that wasn't working 100% with the different methods of submitting a task. No Folder works all the time.

Posted: Jun 10, 2009
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I'm liking using an inbox context rather than No Folder because I'm using Folders as projects for now. I tend not to do a lot of "Areas of Focus" - just home and work. I'm not a pro user yet, so I don't have any experience with subtasks. That might be the piece I'm missing with managing GTD-style projects...guess I should pony up the $15 and find out...
Vin Thomas

Posted: Jun 10, 2009
Score: 1 Reference
I resisted going pro for a long time and tried to find workarounds. But once I broke down and paid the whopping $15 ;) I was amazed at how much simpler it made my system. I would recommend giving it a try.

Posted: Jun 12, 2009
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I did and it does!
Vin Thomas

Posted: Jun 12, 2009
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Posted: Jun 27, 2009
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Some interesting stuff here guys. For interest - here is my system in TD:

The biggest driver for me is that I set it up so that I can see what I want on my iPhone, which is a lot less flexible than the desktop version. I want to be able to see my next actions for work, and my next actions for personal quickly and separately.

I use the following folders:

@next actions - personal
@next actions - work
Non-urgent - personal (this allows me to 'defer' less urgent next actions and allow me focus my time)
Non-urgent - work
Project - personal
Project - work
Research to do (I like finding stuff out so keep this separate)
Waiting for

I also have an 'inbox' folder which is the default entry for new to-dos.

I use contexts only where it gives me another option:

Agenda - boss
Agenda - wife

This allows me to check what I need when I'm in the shops, what calls I need to make if stuck waiting for a plane etc.

Projects have sub-tasks, but only tasks that are next actions.

What do you think?! Seems to work for me - not perfect but best way I can get it to work on computer and iPhone.
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