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Suggestions on arranging someday-maybes

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  • Suggestions on arranging someday-maybes

    I'm fairly new to GTD (since Feb this year). On my 'GTD development' project , the NA is
    'sort someday-maybe lists - post research query', so here goes..

    I run my GTD in excel. Pre GTD, I had an excel ToDo list, also I had a list called 'future possibles' - slightly like a someday maybe, but more a dump off list to
    where I could prune out tasks not likely to get done.
    Well now I have a mish-mash for my someday-maybes in excel:

    An excel tab renamed from 'future possibles' to 'someday-maybe' with the old stuff & some
    new stuff in, with some sections in that spreadsheet for DIY tasks, some for things to read, and
    various other tasks. 269 rows in excel (but this includes some duplicates).
    Also I have separate worksheets 'someday maybe reading' & 'someday maybe places to visit'.

    Maybe I should mention, I'm not overly worried about missing out on doing what's in there.
    In fact , I find it relaxes me to be able to say 'yes OK not gonna do that one, no problem' as I
    shift it over to the someday-maybe list.
    Also, these lists don't get weekly reviewed. In general my weekly review seems to be OK at present.

    So... a mish-mash for the someday-maybes.

    OK: time to sort it.

    Well one option is to do nothing. But in that case am I not progressing my GTD skills?
    Another is to take a deep breath & delete the lot.

    Third option is to sort whats there.
    Some steps are obvious - remove duplicates, delete any no longer of interest.

    From reading on this forum, seems there are two general ways to organise someday-maybes

    1) by review period : 'review weekly' 'monthly' 'quarterly'
    2) by theme: DIY, reading, places to see, etc.

    But I'm certainly open to view on any additional ways.
    (Maybe one spreadsheet with an item per row, also a category (eg places to visit) along side it then a review-period cell next to it, so can sort it both ways - or is that over-complicating things?)

    So... any thoughts / suggestions / experiences ?

  • #2
    My Someday/Maybe list is just one big list (literally a text file), divided into Projects, books, and CDs. Always worked for me, but then, I'm just me.


    • #3
      have tested different methods


      First, please don't only consider this post self-promotional. But I want to tell you I created a website specifically for organizing my someday maybes (which I call backburner things).

      I tried making an Excel doc that had time across the top, categories and sub categories across the left. It was more onerous than fun so I wasn't updating it a lot. Although I have seen one simple list of "100 things" where this system worked well.

      For several years I used Yahoo Notepad and chunked things by "before I'm xyz age". This worked pretty well for a very simple list.

      Anyway I like using web based tools and created for myself and anyone else who wants to organize what they want to do and catalog what they have done.

      I am making no money from it (unintentionally but want people to benefit from using it. I would love any feedback if you try it to organize your goals.

      I hope it is OK that I am suggesting this. I read GTD last month and was like "oh wow I can help people do this!" So know my intentions are genuine!



      • #4
        Cool! Neat site.


        • #5
          Thanks! I appreciate it. To explain how I organize my list.

          -Each goal can be prioritized high-low in terms of importance
          -The full list can be ranked. I put the things I know I want to do in the near future toward the top of the list.
          -For some if I'm feeling very organized I assigned due dates.

          Backburner goals (which are not shown on my public profile) -Things I have thought of in the past but have grown out of - but that I want to remember at one time they were goals.

          I also have many private/hidden goals that I don't want other people to see.

          It's interesting, someone else I spoke to wanted to put all of his "someday maybes" on the backburner.

          There are a few screenshots here:



          • #6
            Originally posted by Treetops
            Third option is to sort whats there.
            Some steps are obvious - remove duplicates, delete any no longer of interest.
            I would go with the third option. In fact I would put the whole lot into your inbox so you could process each item properly (using the GTD philosophy). It sounds to me like you've got stuff in there you can trash, and you would probably find that there's stuff that can be developed right now rather than someday. It's tempting to put something into the someday/maybe list rather than forget it completely, but all this does is clogs up the list which, remember, you have to review fairly regularly. Life is all about giving up on some of the infinite possibilities.

            I don't organise the someday/ maybe list other than alphabetically, but I could see there may be value in doing that. I don't want to spend too much time on it because it is only someday/ maybe. Having said that I maybe need to cut it down somewhat as it's getting rather long to review weekly!


            • #7
              Thanks for the responses. Have now sorted the someday-maybe. I went with treelikes suggestion & pulled it all into one place before processing it.