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Organizing Moving Pieces & Support Material

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  • Organizing Moving Pieces & Support Material

    In short, GTD only tracks my actions; not the things I need to perform those actions.

    GTD helps me track every single open loop that I have outstanding via the Projects Lists. GTD helps me track the progress on every single Project (Moving Piece) via the next action list. The next action list is organized by context (physical/logical) so I can move my projects forward whenever I am in that context.

    The problem I am having is tracking the project support materials and bringing them w/ me whenever I travel to another context.

    For example, I am at home and have to go to the bank. I realize I will be standing in line for 15 minutes. I am confident I will have something to do b/c I have organized my NAs by context. I get to the bank, look at my @Anywhere list and see "Read GTD", only I did not bring the book. I read down the list and see "Work on Club Arcadia", only I did not bring the Arcadia folder (filed in my filing cabinet) or any support materials.

    GTD tells me what I can do at any given moment, but it does not tell me what I need to accomplish that task. So I need to retain in my head all the information on what support materials are needed for each task, so as I scan down the NA list I can take these materials w/ me as I travel.

    What methods have others used to overcome this limitation?

  • #2
    I have separate contexts for Actions that require support materials. True Anywhere items require no special preparation and no materials other than the stuff I normally carry with me. Read/Review items can generally be done anywhere, but only if I plan ahead and take the item with me.



    • #3
      Bert Webb posted a good blog entry yesterday on this topic.

      Keeping Important Reference Material Close at Hand

      Hope this helps.


      • #4
        You need to think about this in terms of true NAs, I think.

        For instance, when I enter "READ GTD BOOK" under "ANYWHERE," I immediately (a) put the book in my briefcase or, (b) if I'm intending to "READ GTD BOOK" sometime next week (perhaps I'm going to be at the doctor's office on Thursday), on WEDNESDAY'S calendar I input "PACK GTD BOOK IN BRIEFCASE."

        David Allen's suggestion you have permanent files in your briefcase has helped me a lot with this, too. I keep a "READ/REVIEW" file in my briefcase for that purpose, and a "TO DRAFT" file, too.