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Palm question/my GTD mistakes

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  • Palm question/my GTD mistakes

    My mistake: When I first set up GTD I did not appreciate the real difference between Active Projects and SDMB, so anything that I felt I could, should or wanted to do, I put out an N/A for on a list and if I discovered an N/A in the course of proeccsing and I thought it could be better handled in the context of a project, I created a project (usually SDMB). I guess I had a mental block against parking projects to which I felt obligated. And, I also wanted to capture my thoughts about better ways to do things as I discovered them. I did not trust that I would come back to them, so I wanted to keep wearing them like a medevil monk's hair shirt.

    So I generated more N/As than any human could do unless he or she had a team of skilled elves. These are distributed among 12 categories (contexts) in Memo. I have several hundred. I was putting them in Memo (which sorts A to Z) because I was processing huge amounts of stuff, and I wanted to be able to check for redundancy easily, and I did not realize the power of Palm's global search.

    At the same time, I put a my projects in Tasks, dividing them by areas of focus and responsbility and tried to use the priority numbers (1-5) as a way of defining subprojects. You can see why I would want to do this but also why this would not work very well. So, after awhile, I started building a flat projects list in Memo as well.

    Now to make things worse, I had a crash and then a recovery and in the process some categories got scrambled around.

    So now I want to rescue myself.

    The outcome I want is:

    I want to put Projects in Memo by areas of responsbility. I can use numbers to associate sub-projects ad infinitum.

    I want to put the N/As in Tasks using the categories for contexts.

    I want to do this because I want to quickly move up the ones that are in fact related to active projects and demote the rest until I am ready to look at them at weekly review.
    Palm question: how to move a lot of entries from Memo to Tasks and vice versa?

    Can anyone tell me how to do this?

    Maybe I could just:

    1. Move all the projects from Tasks to a single Memo category. Most have a meaningful pre-fix so they would stay in some kind of order. This would free up the Tasks categories and I can start re-building my system in thedesired way as I process and wrok.

    2. Go through each category on Memo and just put an A in front of the currently active until they are done.

  • #2
    I've been using a Palm for 7 years, long before I even heard of GTD specifically. Here is what I do:

    1. I did purchase Datebk5 (now Datebk6) because it has the functions of repeating Tasks.

    2. With Datebk6, you can set up categories and assign icons to it. My categories are: computer, calls, home, errands, financial, meals, personal. Since reading about GTD, I have added a "followup" and "someday" categories.

    3. Datebk6 lets you create views, where your main page shows the schedule at the top and the tasks at the bottom (you have options - this is how I like mine). I have my Palm Desktop not show completed tasks, but on my Palm, I do keep them. However, I go through it regularly and delete the minor tasks that are completed and only keep the ones that I want to (such as when I called someone, mailed something if I am waiting for a reply, specific things I feel I may want to check back on). Another option you can do with Datebk6 is create a Journal entry and each task that is checked off will automatically move to that day's Journal entry, and it puts the time of completion there as well.

    4. Now, I sit at the computer (usually) and do my major planning and reminders and assign the category if it is obvious, such as calls or errands, and recently use "someday" if it is in the future. Before I read GTD, I would just date it for a future date and give it the priority # based on how important it was to get done that day. But a lot of times my tasks roll over and over to other days.

    Since I set up the Someday category, I set up my default category and priority for new Tasks to Someday 3 and don't give it a specific date. I check that list every few days and see what I can reassign to a specific date and move up the priority to a 1 or 2.

    5. With Datebk6, I have different views saved. This associates with the cateogory/icon. When I get ready to do financial things, I look at the Financial view and it only shows me those items. When I'm running errands, I change the view to Errands and only see that. When I am meal-planning, I set up the view to Meals.

    6. The rest of the time, I have it on Today with schedule at the top and tasks I must do today at the bottom. I assign them a 1 or 2 for priority, very occasionally a 3 with a set date.

    I don't use Memo pad at all for this. Also, I have many repeating Tasks, such as "oil change" with a "repeat 90 days after checkoff" so that when I check it off, it rolls forward 3 months to remind me. Things I do weekly or monthly, I set up with either a repeat so many days after checkoff, or specific like "3rd Thursday of the month" or "every other week" on a set day. With Datebk6, when I check it off, it rolls forward to the next date it is set up to go to.

    I even use this as an alarm clock, and have it set up for a different time to get up M-F (repeats weekly and check each of those days) and a separate one for Sunday when I get up at a different time, setting it to repeat weekly on Sunday.

    One other thing I do is set up a daily focus, and that is a #1 priority repeating weekly, such as Financial on Thursdays, Errands on Monday, etc.

    Hope that helps!


    • #3

      Your desired setup sounds pretty similar to the system I'm using. What model Palm do you have AND what desktop? IE. Palm or Outlook? I don't know of anything that can do an easy batch transfer back or forth between Memos and Tasks, but I can think of some tricks and tools that could ease the move.



      • #4
        I would do the following:
        1. set each Task to priority 5.
        2. set up the first project of your new era: processing prio-5 tasks into system.
        3. clean the memo mess aka start the new system.

        Some remarks to other points:

        1. At least since version 5 the PalmOS ' Task can be recurring, repeating and whatnot.

        2. In my palm-days I relied heavily on the freeware tools "progect" (an outliner which syncs to Tasks) and "macnotetaker" (a better memopad with categories and sub-categories, syncs to memos and wor processor on desktop pc).


        • #5
          my current versions

          yes-maybe for the future I need to use another program and I have heard about Datebook6 postively.

          Meanwhile, I have to clean up the results of my error in thinking without getting so bogged down in it that it is coutner productive.

          I have a Palm Zire71 and the OS is 5.2.1. My desktop 4.1.4 running on Windows XP.


          • #6
            If you have memos (or parts of memos) that you want to convert to Tasks, a great way to do it is with ToDo DA. A "DA" is special applet that pops up over your current app.

            You hi-lite some text, trigger ToDoDA and a simple Task form pops up over the memo. The first line of your hi-lited text is copied into the Task description and the rest is copied into the task note. You can also set a category, priority and date. BTW, ToDoDA works anywhere with text (not just memos) except in the Tasks app itself.

            The trick is you need a DA Launcher. PetitLaunch is a nice freeware alternative. I use (and highly recommend) EasyLaunch5 ($15USD) which can do a whole lot more.

            There is also a DA called "daMemopad" which does the same thing with memos. (hi-lite some text, and then create a new memo)

            I keep projects in Memos with a list of next actions in the memo body. I use ToDoDA daily to quickly copy the next action over to Tasks.

            Hope that helps.


            • #7
              MemoLeaf and InBox

              Hi, you should take a look at MemoLeaf from It will allow you to create a project memo, list next actions and their context in the body of the memo, and then search on context tag and see all the activities for a particular contetxt in a list, so you know what needs to be done.

              Build Cat House
              @errands: buy wood and nails
              @calls: order design from pet store
              @home: build cathouse in backyard

              You can then search for @calls and you will get a list of all lines with @Calls in the body. If you want to use Memo for projects, it works great. Just put a space in between or eliminate the @ sign for any context actions you don't want to have show up yet.

              As for InBox, it allows you to use your Memo app as a capture tool and then dump your notes into any of the four basic apps.

              Best Wishes