ForumsGetting Things Done®Overwhelming Toodledo list in trying to implement GTD
Overwhelming Toodledo list in trying to implement GTD
I've been using Toodledo for several years. I've also being trying to implement some form of GTD for several years. Things I like and do reasonably well (or at least well enough):
Being able to think through what needs to be accomplished on a project and capture all the steps.
Being able to sort different tasks by where they fall in my life (marketing, inventory, staffing, household, personal, etc) (I own a small business, lots of hats)
Being able to keep track of repeating to-do items and including due dates for them.
Capturing long term ideas so that they don't disappear - and being able to review them to see if anything can float upward.
But the challenges I am having are outweighing the benefits and I find that I am not using Toodledo or GTD effectively - to the point of failing to look at Toodledo for days and missing deadlines.
1. The list is too big. I bring it up on my screen and I am overwhelmed. Even with things identified as Next Action, or Top Priority.
2. I can't rank items by a pure priority (1-2-3 etc) and often find myself going down a rabbit hole of adjusting Next Actions (things change, this is now waiting, that is now Next Action) or top priority or starring on and off. That can suck up a huge amount of time without payoff. Or to do that, I write down the top 10 items I need to do....and now I have an incomplete paper list
3. I can't quickly add items to my list when I am not at my laptop. So I write them down...and now I have an incomplete paper list.
4. Estimating time for each item is really useful - I've always done it. But seems to take me a lot of time to do it on TD.
5. My universe moves fast and changes on a dime. Priorities can change multiple times in an hour. That makes sorting and searching more challenging because to make those changes, I am back to problem 2.
I really don't want to go back to paper - too much to keep track of. But I am at a loss. Can someone give me some pointers as to how to manage some of my challenges? I am 100% aware that I am not all in on GTD. I am a work in progress. I've looked at MYN, but my to-dos aren't as email-centric at MYN expects, and I found it to be non-intuitive.
Posted by info_1395434132:
I've looked at MYN, but my to-dos aren't as email-centric at MYN expects, and I found it to be non-intuitive.
I'm a bit confused by this part. I use MYN and none of my tasks come from email.
I use toodledo & things 3 (I am on mac).
Everything that is out there, like deadlines, dates, occasions is in TD
Stuff that I am actually doing or going to do is in Things.
Things is simple and quick. TD is meaty and cumbersome.
Things is what I am doing. TD is what everyone else or everything else is doing.
I just leave the house each morning with my list of todos in things on my apple watch..... I work through my day.
It seems to me that you might find using contexts will make a big difference to your problems.
If you are looking at your list and it is overwhelming then you need to be able to break it down into smaller chunks so you are only looking at a few tasks at once, not all of them. Contexts might be a location or some equipment that you need for a task, this will probably mean that most things are @computer. If that is the case then you can break it down by either time available, energy level or some other basis.
This will mean that if, for example, you are at your computer will a 15 minute gap then you just bring up those tasks which fit with "@computer under 15 mins". This will be a much shorter list than looking at everything which is overwhelming. You then prioritise in the moment because, as you say, priorities change all the time so trying to prioritise in advance won't work.
The key is to use enough contexts so that you are looking at a list of up to about 20 tasks which is short enough to glance through and make a choice. If your contexts still give you a list of lots of items then making a choice becomes too hard and time consuming. This should help with 1,2 & 5 from your list.
I'm not sure how you are adding the time. If you go to your 'Profile & Settings' and then 'Fields/Functions used' you can choose to always have 'Length' come up when you add a new task so it should be quick to do.
Your other point is about adding tasks when not at your laptop, have you tried the app on your phone? I use that for adding tasks as they occur to me, wherever I am.
Hope that helps - good luck!
I rather like b.hughes suggestions but just to add a small item to them. If you're not already using Location, it can be used for Task areas such as you mention: marketing, inventory, staffing, household, personal and what would be most useful is Inbox. For items you jot down very quickly which you can flesh out when you get back to the office. As when you list view on location, you can quickly view those items only in Inbox.
I also create 'folders' for each project. That way when viewing each folder, all the tasks associated with the project are quickly visible from one location as well as being visible according to date views or any other criteria you may add within searches.
And yes the Toodledo's phone app is pretty useful. I don't seem to be able to view attachments, I don't think that's possible but I know you can most certainly receive reminders from it as well as quickly update items.
I'm still learning but I hope this also helps.
This message was edited Oct 28, 2017.
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