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outlook vs. outlook with GTD plugin

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  • outlook vs. outlook with GTD plugin


    I am just starting out, and decided to use Outlook to magage my lists. I (purchased) downloaded the whitepaper from davidco and followed the directions. So I am using my "Tasks" in outlook to manage my NA lists and my projects.

    Then I decided to check out the GTD plugin, and am trying to get my mind around some conceptual issues. In the manual there are references to "tasks" that seem sort of general or interchangeable with NAs. There are also "projects." Is this a new type of item within outlook created by the plugin? Or is a project really a task underneath?

    As a practical matter, can I convert all of the projects I entered as tasks to "projects."

    As an aside, I cant imagine how anyone could implement this system in two days! Getting the document on setting up Outlook in and of itself gave me a much strong perspective on what GTD is on a nuts and bolts level (in comparison to just the book). I am just delving in to the plugin, scanning through the manual. I think I see a bit more of how this works. There are projects with lists of actions attached to them. The plugin helps organize this.

    I have been wondering about how to handle a list of actions conected with a project. Let's say my project is clean the basement. As I create it, I automatically think a bunch of actions: buy cleaning supplies
    rent shop vac
    call friends for help
    call city for old appliance pickup tag

    Obviously these cant all be NA by definition. Does it make sense just to "stage" them in the project to be picked from for the NA. Or should they all go onto the various context lists as NAs?

    Anyhow, I combined some conceptual questions with some practical questions about the Outlook plugin. I hope my meaning is clears.

    If anyone can stear me straight it will be much appreciated.

    You all seem so nice here!


  • #2
    Outlook David-Style vs. Outlook Plug-In

    I implemented GTD in Outlook in exactly the same way you have--David's whitepaper, then the Plug in. The big pickup with using the plug in is that actions are tied to projects now.

    This being said, yes, it's very tempting to list the actions while in the Project View, which generates multiple tasks. I did that for awhile, then my context lists got unweildy. You COULD do that, and just have the context of each next action that isn't really the NEXT action be "Deferred". I think, though, that there is a tendancy to use the Plug In as a "project plan" where you may find that using another type of document works better for you. In my case, I use MindManager to do a detailed project plan, and the only "next actions" that I put on my context lists are those that I want and expect to get done before the next weekly review. Keeping my next actions lists tight helps keep me from getting numb to them and I learned this philosophy on this Forum.

    It's a matter of personal choice, of course. Just passing on my personal experience. I do think you'll love the add-in, though.


    • #3
      Barb, thanks a lot for the reply.

      I'm still a little confused on something. Using the approach from the white paper I set up several categories for different types of projects (i.e. home projects, studio projects, web projects, archive projects). Then I entered all of my projects and categorized them.

      With the plug in, it seems like when you create a new "project" it creates an "outlook task" that has the category "Projects." This category is not in the Outlook Master Category list. I added "Projects" to the master category list, and then recategorized some of my already entered projects as such. But they did not show up in the GTD Plugin "projects."

      Oy, the terminology looks confusing! I must be missing something.



      • #4

        I don't remember having any issues with the Project part, but my project list was already set up as a category..and each project was a task under that. I do know that, with the Add-In, you have to assign the category in the upper RIGHT corner of the task frame, not the bottom left as you always did in Outlook. Try that and see if it makes a difference.