• If you are new to these Forums, please take a moment to register using the fields above.


No announcement yet.

How to put a Project's future NA's in order!

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • How to put a Project's future NA's in order!

    Ok, I had a brainwave when trying to figure out how to organise my not-NA's for Projects using Outlook and the GTD Add-in.

    I wanted to be able to create tasks that are not NA's, but will be in future, and put them in a Project category.

    BUT, I didn't want to have to sort through a huge list of non-NA's to figure out which would logically come next.

    Would the following work?...

    View your tasks by Project. If you've been adding not-NA's in as tasks because they will soon become NA's, you'll have a list of tasks in alphabetical order under each project.

    AHA! Alphabetical order!

    That means that if I put 1.0 at the front of the task name (Eg. 1.0 Gather information about rhino beetles) then that task goes to the top of my list. If I have another task that is not a NA because it depends on 1.0 Gather info, then I can put 2.0 in front of the task name.

    If I generate a not-NA that comes between 1.0 and 2.0 - I just put 1.5 before the task name.

    Everytime I complete a NA, the logical NA appears at the top of the list, and you can see everything you need to do step by step in order, and you have the flexibility of adding things you hadn't thought of between numbers because of the large increments you use.

    Ok, here's another example (Promise not to use rhino beetles here!):

    I've decided to start a new project. I'll call the project 'Design Website'.

    First, I might be inclined to create an Overview Task (PigPog method, see

    So, I'd name my Overview task "0.0 Overview Design Website". Heck, I might even create a fake action called @overview to organise these rogue non-actions in the "Active Tasks by Action" view.

    In the notes section of the Overview task I'd follow PigPog and use this template:





    Ok, that's my overview out of the way.

    Now, I've got some actions swimming around in my head that need to be written down somewhere:

    ~Find HTML reference book

    ~Figure out the site structure using Word

    ~Collect copy for website text

    ~Add a subscription form for eZine

    So where do I put all these actions?

    I enter them as tasks under my Design Website Project. I then give them all a number to put them in order, so what needs to be done first is obvious.

    In this case:

    0.0 Overview...

    1.0 Figure out site map...

    2.0 Collect copy...

    3.0 Find HTML reference book

    5.0 Add a subscription form...

    Then it pops into my head that I'll need to upgrade to the latest version of Dreamweaver. No worries, I can stick that between 3.0 and 5.0 - and I intentionally left extra room there because I predict a lot of tasks will need to happen before I can add a subscription form.

    So I add 4.0 Go to Dreamweaver website - latest upgrade info

    Ok. Good. It's all automatically in order again.

    Now, what about the @actions for each of these tasks? Won't this whole concept fall to pieces when I'm viewing by @action and I have all these tasks from multiple projects, and I don't know which is the REAL NA?

    Ok, here's my idea. Only the real NA gets an @action. The future NA's get a fake @action while they're waiting in line. I suggest something like @future. If you have two or more possible NA's that have no prerequisite tasks, then feel free to give them all a real @action (eg. @call) because you can freely do both with no ill effects, right?

    Ok, all you experienced GTD'ers can now tell me why this idea (which I haven't implemented yet because it only just came to me) WILL or WON'T work.

    What fatal errors/assumptions have I made?

    Will this work in practice?

    Have I made any sense whatsoever? :P



  • #2

    I think you are on to something. Although I don't use Outlook, I can see your logic and method. thank you for taking the time to write it out with such care.