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Syncing projects and NAs on a plain list system

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  • Syncing projects and NAs on a plain list system

    I have decided to use a plain-text system on a pda, and using the calendar as the calendar, the voice recorder as the inbox (and a few other programs, like contacts for reference materials). So far I dont have any real problems with it, the only optimization I want to make is to some how easily/quickly associate NAs with projects so I know when I finish one NA, i would automatically know what project it is associated and think of the next action for the project.

  • #2
    Forum: reply to post

    I have found a tag to be helpful referencing the next actions to a project. Rather than the whole project name, I just put one word or the abbreviation that makes sense to me, in order to have enough to remember which project I'm working on. It also helps to put it at the beginning of the task so when you sort a list, the related tasks group together for each project.


    • #3
      I use an acronym for each project based on the project title:

      "Bulbs Replaced in Xander's Room [BRXR]"

      Then the na looks like this

      "Get replacement bulbs [BRXR]"

      If two projects have the same 4 letter acronym, I just add a number to the 2nd one.


      • #4
        I'm now keeping my projects in the ToDo application, category ^Projects.

        Entering Next Actions usually happens on the desktop, rather than on the Palm itself. The mechanics I use are:

        1) copy and paste the project, so I now have two copies in the list
        2) edit one copy, and put the Next Action in the subject, in front of the project title. Separate the NA subject from the project title with " ^".
        3) change the category to the correct context

        Now the NA entry includes the project name in the subject, so when I check it off as done, I know what project it came from.

        When working on the palm, I can only copy the title of the project when creating a new ToDo entry, rather than the entire entry, but that's enough to get the project title into the NA.


        Improve my use of GTD

        read current posts on DACo Forums ^Improve my use of GTD


        • #5
          Hi Slaie,

          I'm going to give you a slightly different perspective on how to handle this - don't link them!

          Remember what Einstein said about simplicity, "Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler." I believe that rule is at the core of what David is trying to accomplish with the GTD system.

          Your project list isn't intended to be your project plan. Rather, it's just a stake in the ground reminding you that you have a commitment related to X, and X has more than one action associated to it.

          I honestly don't see what linking them in some artificial fashion accomplishes other than helping one to "trust" that their system is complete... and IMHO that is exactly what the Weekly Review is for. During your Weekly Review, you'll evaluate X, and in doing so come up with a next action that gets parked on a list in some context.

          I feel that if you're diligent with your Weekly Reviews, you don't really need to link your projects and next actions. Spare yourself the grief of trying to link every single NA to a project within the context of your lists...

          Just my $.02

          Last edited by jkgrossi; 03-29-2006, 08:18 AM.


          • #6
            As someone who's wasted A LOT OF TIME and some money trying to find the " ultimate organizing solution " I definitely agree ..don't link them .

            A weekly review , even a daily " mini-review " solves this issue .

            I'm finding even the linking offered in the GTD add-in to be overkill .


            • #7
              For some items, I do find it simplest to include a simple tag with the project name. Something like: "NEWSLETTER: Edit hard copy." If I have three or four NEWSLETTER NAs, they all go together on my list so I can crunch through them. It's not a true context, but it's sort of a mini "when I feel like dealing with the newsletter" context.

              Much more important to sort NAs by context, but for some projects it's useful to have a simple project tag also.

              Agree that the bulk of the "linking" is done in your weekly review. I don't find it helpful to have a hard system that requires me to link the NA to a project. (For one thing, not every NA is associated with a project. Sometimes an NA is just an NA.)