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Monthly Lists

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  • Monthly Lists

    I have been strugling with some issues lately.

    One of them is that my SomeDay Maybe is getting too long that is even unconfortable to check.

    Thinking about this I identify many items that are in there because is not time to be active projects yet (for example Taxes) therefore I was thinking if is worth to create a Monthly Lists, that I can review at the beggining of each month and add to the system What I need.

    Doing this I can do kind of an electronic Tickler file, for example taxes are in my SM list but I will not act until march, summer cleaning until june, palm update until may.

    Does somebody has something like that, or an idea how to implement something that avoid getting an homungus SM list???


  • #2
    Your "someday/maybe" list is for projects you may or may not do. (I hope taxes is not really in that category!) These projects, essentially by definition, do not have any next actions. You are talking about projects that definitely do have next actions; the next actions are just deferred. A tickler file, electronic or paper, is perfect for these.

    The next action for your taxes may be (it isn't for me, but I'm always behind) "fill out form 1040." This assumes you have collected and collated your receipts, medical bills, and charitable contributions; recieved all your W-2s and 1099s and other necessary documents; actually gotten the forms you are to fill out; ... all in all, lots of other potential NAs, but assume your NA is "fill out form 1040." This NA certainly can't happen until year's end, and probably not until you've gotten the documents from your bank and investment firm and employer and everyone else.

    You want this out of your head and into a trusted system. Put the form 1040 itself in your paper tickler file for February 15 (or whenever you want to get going on it ... maybe April 14th). Or make an electronic reminder on your pda for the date you want to start thinking about this again. There's no use thinking about taxes until you have all the items you'll need; that's what the tickler is for.

    A someday/maybe project is more like "develop a system to collect receipts so tax time is less, uh, taxing." You may do it some day when you have time; you may never do it. It is just a good idea you don't want to waste and that you want to periodically reconsider.

    S/M lists are not for projects that need to be done, but rather for those that you might choose to do some day.


    • #3
      RE: Monthly Lists

      I do exactly what you are suggesting. I have a "Date Tickler" list where I list Projects and @Next Actions that I need to be reminded of in a particular month. ie: File Taxes, Conduct Employee Reviews, Renew Auto Insurance, @Call Mom on Jan 15 to wish her happy birthday, etc. At the beginning of each month I review this list and slot the items into my Projects and @Next Actions lists.

      To set this up I created a category in Outlook Notes synced with Palm Memos called "Date Tickler". Under the category I have a separate note for each month ie. 01/2005, 02/2005, etc. Once I have processed on the 01/2005 list I change the note heading to 01/2006.

      Hope this helps.



      • #4
        Deadlines fan.

        Since I am "dealines fan" I would assign a date to taxes' Next Action and put it in my tickler/calendar/reminder system (in my case Nokia 6670 smartphone is an electronic reminder system for such things).

        For me taxes, summer cleaning etc. are not Someday/Maybes because you have decided to activate them as deferred projects with more or less determined date of reactivation! They are rather in the Waiting For (the date) category.



        • #5
          Some form of tickler, either paper or electronic, will work for all of the items you mentioned. I keep my Someday/Maybe list easy to review by using the priority function to designate how often I review the item. Priority 1 means I will review it at every weekly review (the priority stands only for how often I will review an item, not for how important that item is). This saves me from having to review "Travel to Europe" every week even though I do not plan to travel there anytime in the near future. I also use the due date function for some tasks/projects to electronically tickle them to my attention at a future date (e.g., taxes are tickled for January, at which time I add @waiting for W-2s and 1099s). I don't have to review any Someday/Maybe items to which I have assigned a future date in the tickler.

          Some of the items you mentioned could also be routines that you put in checklists to be reviewed periodically. I have next actions that pop up at the appropriate time to remind me to review a particular checklist.