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Many non-project next actions

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  • Many non-project next actions

    I´ve read somwhere that David says there´s three kinds of work: predefined work; work to do as it appears; and definig work to be done.

    In my case –I´m a journalist–, I have few predefined work (just one repetitive monthly project) and a lot of work to be done as it appears. There are many 2 minutes actions and there are many "context" actions (mostly @call and @computer), but normaly I have to do them "today". I mean that are actions with a due date, never longer than today or tomorrow. I think there are about 30 actions like these a day.

    If I use the Palm to write down every action, I loose a lot of time writing and a lot of time looking for. It isn´t efective. But if I write them down in a paper-planner with separate pages or in folders for contexts/projects I loose a lot of time skimming through pages.

    At the same time, I do use a lot my Palm for my personal stuff!!

    My question is:

    - how could I handle my tons of work next actions? I supose the best choice is a paper-based system, but it will be a weight to carry if I replicate all the folders (in box+reference+next action by context+waiting+agendas+...) in a binder. In the other hand, I don´t want to duplicate the system and the reminder.

    I think I know the theory of GTD method, but I can not bring it to my hectic work life!!

    I will appreciate any suggestions.


  • #2
    In what form do tasks generally come to you? Are people handing you a bunch of little notes during the day (phone message slips, etc)? Do tasks tend to show up in e-mail messages?

    I think the decision as to whether to go with paper or a Palm has to a great deal with how things show up. If it's coming to you digitally, you need a good digital system. That way, you drag the e-mail message over the task icon (in Outlook), assign a category, and go on. If you are being handed message slips all day, then I think you need a good paper-based system to organize that paper by context.


    • #3
      Thanks Frank:

      Asking your questions:

      In what form do tasks generally come to you?

      - requestings from my boss (could you do X, could you call Y, could you look for info about Z…)

      Are people handing you a bunch of little notes during the day (phone message slips, etc)?

      - there are, mostly, things that they say me. After, I write them down.

      Do tasks tend to show up in e-mail messages?

      - some times, no always

      There are a lot of notes that I take afeter a meeting or a simple conversation about thing to do.

      Another trouble:
      If I use a paper planner, do I have to stablish all the folders and sections?

      thanks again


      • #4
        I would try this first:

        Start your day with a number of blank sheets of paper, 8 1/2 x 11 is fine. Put your common context headings at the top of each one. As you are asked to do things, jot them down on the appropriate sheet of paper. As you complete items, cross them off. At the end of the day enter any that are not completed onto your Palm. After doing this for a few days, evaluate what is working and what is not.

        I find that when I am trying to figure out how to make a system work, it is best to go back to paper and then figure out how you want the process to work before trying to transfer it to your Palm.

        There is no need to be completely digital or completely paper based. There is no reason why you can't have your calendar, notes, and personal tasks on the Palm and have your work tasks on paper. Whatever works for you.


        PS. are you writing them directly into your Palm, or entering them on your PC and syncing? When I am at work I enter at the PC, which is much faster.