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Bonsai Users -- do you have ONE outline and everything in it?

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  • Bonsai Users -- do you have ONE outline and everything in it?

    including your INBOX, Waiting fors, Next Actions and their respective Projects and just link to ToDo app and Datebook on your Palm? (or Datebook5 in my case). I am asking because this is what I do -- it is easy to convert an item in the INBOX to a Next Action or anything else.

    Share some of your own "rules" or procedures re: using Bonsai as your main GTD tool if that's what you are doing.

    I decided some time ago to do everything in ONE location -- my Palm and I don't have the Desktop component anymore for either Datebook (the Palm Desktop version) or Bonsai. Therefore, I don't sync anything to my computer anymore. It is double-work in my opinion; I just do daily backups to the memory card (well, it's auto-done by the Palm itself every morning).

    The Palms have gotten so good in providing a pretty rich view of anything in one screen -- I usually have 16-18 lines of text in most programs using regular fonts (well, the Tungsten3 fonts). I do use GraffitiAnywhere, so I don't see the Graffiti area hardly anymore -- it's auto-enabled (by me) in many apps (including Bonsai and Datebk5). I work with Full screen pretty much 90% of the time.
    Last edited by alsa; 07-01-2005, 07:47 PM.

  • #2

    I used to use Bonsai as my GTD system (although I have since moved to a paper based system using preprinted cards - I found them much easier to quickly add tasks with and reorganize and review than pulling out the Palm and dealing with its small screen and slower input of information - while I could deal easier with the Bonsai desktop software, of course I cannot walk around with my desktop in my pocket like a can with a deck of nextactioncards).

    I used two outlines - one for work/business and one for personal, and was able to use their Keywords to pretty much sort via GTD however I wanted, although its been a few months so I don't recall exactly how I did it.



    • #3
      I have gradually eased back in to Bonsai after several months of non-use. I originally deleted it from my palm because I thought it was a lot of work to maintain. The truth was, I just had a LOT of stuff to track and no matter what system I used the amount of stuff was still the same. I love Bonsai because I tend to think and brainstorm in outline form and I can easily dump the contents of my brain into an outline. I find that I also tend to be more detailed with my projects and more specific with my next actions when using an outliner.

      I have everything in one outline:
      Level 1: Role
      Level 2: Areas of Focus
      Level 3: Goals
      Level 4: Projects
      Level 5: Next Actions

      I use category color coding and also outline coloring during review time.

      I use Bonsai mainly for weekly reviews, but I do check in with it every couple of days to update outlines and a few high priority projects. I setup some filters to make these mini-reviews easier to manage.

      Everything from level 3 on down (since levels 1 and 2 have no time frame involved) to Datebk5 and use the datebk5 list view to manage the runway stuff and to check on due dates of projects and goals. I can also weigh the due dates against my calendar and see if I am spreading myself too thin. The two apps work seamlessly together. My categories are roles and my next actions start with a keyword to note their context. I also use the Bonsai tags in the notes of the tasks for easy jumping back and forth between the two apps.

      I have dabbled with lots of 'methods' of doing GTD and I am finally nailing things down. I wish I had stayed with Bonsai when I first purchased it. It has really helped me to connect the runway with the big picture. Finding things in my outline is really simple because it flows. There are still a few rough edges, but it is getting better and better. Like I said - I eased back into it - one project at a time and built it back up slowly, weaning off my other system (pigpog). The transition over the last several weeks has gone well and I should have everything converted by this weekend. I can tell that this is the way I want to keep it because the more I work with it, the MORE I find I need to add to it. I thought my GTD system was complete, but I am discovering many cracks in the system and finding there were a lot of S/M items and other projects I hadn't even listed! Some of that stuff has been hanging around for years even. The more I empty my head, the more thoughts I have that need to get into the system. The flood of information I am writing down now is amazing. I think I may actually be approaching the mind like water stage - at a very rapid pace.