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Stickler tickler questions

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  • Stickler tickler questions

    I just implemented a tickler file after reading about how people use it in here and I realized it would solve one of my problems. I cannot, however like some, put the paperwork in my inbox since I process the paperwork throughout the day and I'm not the best inbox processor.

    These may seem like really nit-picky questions, but do I move the current day tickler file immediately to the back or can I do it the next morning? Do some put the current tickler file out on the desk so that its visible throughout the day? Basically, how do people process tickler files and when do they move the folder?

    Am I making a mountain out of a mole hill?

  • #2
    I process it right out of the folder. There usually are not more than 2-3 items, occasionally 6-8. If I get interrupted, the folder stays out or goes into the inbox - folder & all. As soon as I've processed, the folder goes to the back.


    • #3
      Try different stuff until something works.

      Personally, I pull out the tickler folder with one hand, pull out its contents with the other, and re-insert the folder in the back in one motion. I then take the contents and shuffle through it immediately.
      • If I've already resolved the issue in a tickler, I immediately trash it or re-insert it for a later date (I have some recurring ticklers).
      • If it's an article to re-read, I put it in my to-read pile.
      • Otherwise, I either put it in my inbox or I put it on the floor in a highly visible place.

      Does that help?


      • #4
        One approach is to pull the day's paper and process it right away. You could put it in your inbox, but by definition it's stuff that needs attention that day, and you may not want to depend on processing your entire inbox that morning.

        As Brent wrote, use GTD to process each one. Most of the time this processing will be simpler that when the item was "new" - you should have already decided action, which will be clear from looking at the item itself, or at a note you've made on it (directly written or sticky note).

        If the item is paper you need to take action, and you can't do it in two minutes right then, make a note to do it *today*, and put the paper in either your Action Support folder, or the project for it.

        Alternatively, you can put a brief reminder in the tickler (not the paper itself), and pull the paper from one of the above two places when acting.

        Hope that helps!


        • #5
          I just started the tickler file this past week and its already great - and its only Tuesday. The main reason I began it was to follow up on complex project processing. I print out summary sheets for which I'm waiting for some type of action from others on a particular day. These usually come in throughout the day. If I don't hear about a particular project I then begin contacting the people to find out why. Once I get some type of response, I will then create a next action or put it in the next tickler date. A special W/F, if you will. If I put these on my regular w/f list, it will be too long and unclear. (I can't use a computerized tickler list, since I need the printout for a quick overview.)

          I really appreciate your answers! I will take what's in the tickler file and empty it. I created a folder on my desk for the stuff that's coming in during the day, which I then have to do something with before the end of the day. I think that'll work.


          • #6
            sdann, those Waiting For Summary Sheets are a fantastic idea. Thank you. I'm thinking now about how I could use those myself.