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Off the action lists and onto @lists?

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  • Off the action lists and onto @lists?

    I have been trying to figure out why I am allergic to my context lists and I had the insight that I have been putting way too many things on them because I am including things that are not next actions, many are "if I happen to there, I would be open to....(buying a certain object, asking a certain person about a certain thing, etc). Some of these things will become projects if I don't take advantage of certain opportunities when they come my way. For example, I saw an ad that the Home Depot has a certain size of part for something I will probably be using this summer. If I need it in August, I might have to go to several stores to find it but I would not go there now just for that, but if I was near by, I would want to cue myself to go in and get it. I would like to have it on hand if it is convenient for me to get it. Or, I liked a pen I saw at someone's office so I wrote down the brand and model on my @errands list. But, now I realize it possibly belongs on @lists because it is something I would look for while I am at the office supply but I would not go there just for that item. If someone asked me what they could buy me for a gift, I would also want to be able to identify this kind of pen. These examples are trivial in themselves but they raise the issue of what kinds of "generic" questions to ask myself about these little things that have caught my attention? Similarly, if you encounter a little bit of information that you would only use if you decide to develop a SDMB into a project, what do you do with it? And, does it differ if you do not have the SDMB on your list yet?

  • #2
    I use the solution Mr. Merlin Man is offering on his GTD-Site:

    When this lists get older I just archive them. Since this is all text files earching the archive is super-fast via the OS find function.


    • #3
      My system is completely digital as I use Outlook and a Blackberry. So, all my lists and actions are tasks in Outlook. For my errands, I create a task for each type of store and I add things to the list. So, in my @errands category I have a task titles Hardware Store, and inside that task I list everything I need from the hardware store.

      If it is something that I might buy someday but won't necessarily get right away, then I do indeed but it on a @checklist. For example, I have a @checklist called "gift ideas" and I list gift ideas that I have for friends and family.


      • #4
        I think if you see a pen you'd like to have you should put it on Shopping Check List instead of @Action List because this "action" doesn't take you closer to compleation of any of your projects. I prefer to have actionable items on the list that close open loops. And @Action List assumes you are not in a rush with any of them (it has no deadline). If you saw an ad that assumes to stop after August then it should go on your Calendar as a deadline and shopping list.




        • #5
          If it's not moving me toward a specific goal or project completion, I would probably put it on a checklist.. For example, while I'm reading magazines I often find things I may want to buy or checkout the next time I'm, say, somewhere that sells make-up. I have a make-up checklist that contains all my standard favorite make-up items (foundation color, mascara brand, etc.). I would probably put a new make-up item at the bottom of that checklist and write "check-out Brand X new product name".

          Then, if I get to the point where I need to go shopping for make-up, I would probably put on my @Errands:
          Go to Sephora (or wherever it may be). I'd then pull out my checklist once I get there and go over it.

          Sometimes I also put items I really need in the notes part of the action list, but I always check my checklists to be sure I get everything at one time.

          I'm not a big shopper so I like to get in, get what I need and want, and get out as quickly as possible.



          • #6
            David Allen actually has an article about the lists he keeps. If you go to "Tips & Tools" from the DavidCo home page there is a list of articles - I think it's called "Cool Lists" and it includes ideas like "Might wanna buy...".

            I'm thinking of buying an iPod but it's on my maybe buy list, not my NA list. As someone already mentioned - your action lists are placeholders/steps for outcomes. You could set yourself "own my entire wishlist" as a goal, but that would propably create more problems than it solves



            • #7
              I keep my "maybe buy" lists near, but separate from, the lists relevant to that context. So things that I would only buy online go on a separate page near my @Online list, things I might buy at stores go near my @Errands list, and so forth.

              Some lists are seasonal, such as lists of gift ideas for people's birthdays or Christmas. These go with my Someday/Maybe lists until it is time to activate them.

              Information relevant to Someday/Maybe projects is handled like any other project support information, except that it's filed in an "inactive" section of my notebook.