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Help with structuring various lists

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  • Help with structuring various lists

    Hi, All,

    Need some advice on how you structure various lists. I'm implicitly assuming a palm-based system to enforce a 15 category limit in both memos and to-dos.

    Here's the situation. Let's say you have the usual next-action lists (5-7 or more), the project list, and the someday/maybe list. (So there isn't just gobs of available space for new lists, right?) The question is where would you put each of these examples?

    1. "Negotiate sale of airplanes to country X" (or, "Open new market in country X"). Natural subprojects include "coordinate w/ US govt", "Analyze customer need", "Prepare proposal", "Negotiate contract", etc. This example is meant to represent a mombo project that would last well over a year (probably 2+ years) and includes multiple pretty big subprojects as well. Where would you put "Negotiate sale"? Project list? Separate "larger" goals/objectives list?

    2. Achieve (or maintain) optimum fitness. Example is meant to be an ongoing goal. Could also fit in the above context, in that separate projects could arise over time (prepare for 10K, earn black belt, whatever). But there's always that over-arching goal of optimum fitness.

    3. Delegated projects in which you must participate frequently. Could be supervising graduate student research, being the first-line supervisor to the negotiator in #1 above. Whatever.


  • #2
    Hi Bryan,
    It sounds like you might benefit from an "Areas of Focus" or "Areas of Responsibility" list.

    On the Palm ToDo app, I keep all of my Next Action lists (9 in all), my Waiting for list, my Someday/Maybe list, and my Projects-Home and Projects-Work lists.

    Recently, I had an Aha (or really a Duh!) about using the Memo application of Palm. That's where I play the altitude game. Assuming the ToDo lists comprise my runway and 10,000 ft. view, I pick up from there on the Memo app. with a few in-between 15,000 ft. areas. These are things that I consider more discrete than an "area of focus", but larger than a "project". For instance, I have 15K-Caselist, which is a list of all of my cases (I'm an attorney). Within the memo for each case, I enter information I might want to have at hand. I also have a 15K-STS (Sharpen the Saw) from my Covey days. These are things I review at each of my weekly reviews, even though they're slightly above the Project level.

    Then I have a memo category for my 20,000 ft. stuff: 20K-Focus Areas and 20K-Roles. Then 30K-ST [short term] Goals, and 30K-LT Goals.

    It sounds to me that your interaction with Country X and fitness reside up above the Project level. Similarly, "supervision of X subordinate" also sounds like an area of focus.

    So play with the memo app. The bottom line is just making sure you have these reminders where you need to see them when you need to see them. I keep a weekly appt. on my Palm for "Weekly Review" and the attached note lists everything I need to look at during the Review. That way I don't have to worry about forgetting something I have stashed in the Memo app. I don't need to see it more often than the weekly review, and I've given myself an automatic reminder to look there during each review.

    Hope this helps.


    • #3
      The first querey kind of baffles me but my instincts say "time line"--I'm very visual and kinasthetic, so making a time line while referring back and forth to calendar might be part of the method--being a echno-ignormas I only know how to do this with big pieces of paper or a writing board. The second two, say calendar loudly to me because certain things will have to happen at certain times-- you just can't increase mileage faster than a certain amount a week without injury, and you can predict when to replace your shoes, etc., you might want to emphasize cross-training 6 weeks before the run but not the week before (I'm just guessing). As to third, yes, absolutlycalendar--you will need to make these one-action day or time specific appointments in my opnion--some folks to whom you delegate will need reminders for partial deadlines (e.g. two weeks before deadline " On Monday,2/24 at 9:00 meeting ask Dale for his outline to be on my desk by Fridayat 9:00, 9:00 2/28 call Dale re outline whether I get it or not " and final deadlines, and there are surely points where you must actively particpate with them--if you miss those times and those mice will play!I get the feeling this won't be the answer you want but I hope it helps.