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Project, Next Action, or ???

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  • Project, Next Action, or ???

    I work with many clients in my business (mortgages) When I start with a client all my todos/next actions are about the same, i.e. take application, collect needed items, set up appr., set up closing.... I also track the progress throughout (is this ordered? have we collected this or that? Is the approval back etc.

    Currently, when I start with a client I set them up as a project and add many items as next actions(application, locked rate, etc) I also have a today catergory in outlook that I move things to the day I want to complete them. So long story short.... I have next actions that might look like the following:

    Project: Joe Blow
    Next Actions: take application, order VOE, order appr, etc
    Catergories that each might be in: Joe Blow, @ calls, @ computer, @today

    So in this case each next action may have 3-4 catergories. Am I in over kill mode? Are they Projects?, Next Actions?, or what?
    Anyone else deal with this type of repetitive next action scenerio? Suggestions please!

  • #2


    Also being in the mortgage business I have struggled with the same problem. I finally found a way to organize the loan processing action items that is working well for us. We are using the activity scheduler in ACT!. Once we take an application we enter it into ACT! and start the activity schedule. The schedule is pre-programmed based on day 1 do these items, day 2 do these items, etc. ACT! automatically calculates the date and puts it on the task list so when my assistant comes in each day she knows what needs done or followed up on with every loan we have in the pipleline. I use GTD to manage my day but found ACT! is the most efficient tracking system to make sure nothing falls between the cracks. Another advantage is I keep the basic loan information in the ACT! record so I can see it on my computer or Palm if I'm talking to the customer and don't have access to the file.

    I know this is off the GTD topic but it works for me! Good luck


    • #3
      As an attorney, I've faced a similar situation. Each of my clients represents more than a "project" (DA's 10,000 foot level), as each one's case consists of a great number of true projects. However, I wouldn't consider each client to be broad enough to constitute an "area of focus/responsibility" (DA's 20,000 foot level).

      I've tried to deal with this by creating what I call a 15, 000 foot level. On my Palm Memo App., I have a category titled 15K-Caselist, which is a list of all of my clients. Within the memo for each client, I've entered revelent information that I might want to have handy.

      Then my Project list is reserved for the projects on each file (i.e., serve discovery in Jones case, get expert review for Smith file, etc.).

      I have a reminder to "review 15K-Caselist" for each weekly review, so I don't lose anything.