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Incubate vs someday/maybe

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  • Incubate vs someday/maybe

    Hey everyone, so I'm a little unclear about one aspect of GTD (I've read Getting Things Done twice). Is there a difference between an "Incubate" list and a "Someday/maybe" list?

    I have come to believe that a Someday/Maybe list includes projects that you want to accomplish, but at a later date ("Take a trip to Japan", "write my first novel", "get married "enter a hotdog eating contest" etc.). I feel like these are future projects that require extensive planning, effort, and are more dreams then anything else.

    And Incubate involves projects that you will accomplish at an undetermined date, and haven't really sat down and planned when or how yet (ex. "Design a healthy eating and daily exercise regimen" or "Buy a new book and start reading everyday") Almost like projects designated in incubate are undeveloped, and "on deck", waiting to enter my actionable project list.

    Am I splitting hairs here? Is there a better way to categorize your someday/maybe list?


  • #2
    Incubate someday

    My understanding of the intention of the Someday/Maybe or Incubate list; Covey calls it a Grasscatcher list, is to provide a dumping ground for something, anything you might want to do in the future that for whatever reason you are not starting now.

    It took me a while but I learned that having something on a someday/maybe list does not necessairly mean that I have a lack of clarity about a 'desired outcome'. Things are on my SD/M list through a concisous choice that I will not start that particular project right now. One of the keys for me is to make sure the Someday/Maybe's are reviewed as part of my weekly review to see if they still hold interest, if not they get dumped, quite uncerimouniously!

    The only furher categorization I make is to make the distinction between Professional and Personal someday items.



    • #3
      Someday-Maybe and Project Incubate

      I debated this to (original post)
      I use palm os and have both lists.
      1) Someday-Maybe list on my memo section and a
      2) Project incubation list on my task list section.
      The someday-maybe has things such as books to read, books to buy,
      things to do with the kids, restaurants to try, etc.
      The Project Incubation list is my parking spot for the true projects I probably will want to do in the near future, but am not ready to start planning rigorously yet such as: Plan the upcoming beach trip that is 6 months away; organize all my digital photos, etc. The beauty of having (at least for palm) is that you can easily switch the project incubation list to the active list with just one click.


      • #4
        Not For Me

        I think the key is your comfort level.

        Do you want to see things split that way and can you easily distinguish the two as you process and organize? I read Jamie's comment and it's clear he gets value from doing that.

        Me, no way.

        I don't distinguish between the two. But that's my preference so I'd say try it both ways and just run with the easiest.

        - Mark


        • #5
          Agreed with Mark.

          Personally, I have all of my future projects in my Someday/Maybe list. I see no value in splitting them out; I'm going to review them all every week no matter what. But that's just me.


          • #6
            I use Someday/Maybe for all deferred projects, regardless of the reason behind their deferral. A separate Incubate category would be just another list to track. Unless I wanted to have a subcategory of Somedays that I didn't feel the need to track every single week, I wouldn't want to give one set of weekly-reviewed items lesser attention.


            • #7
              Just the one list for me

              I'd go with those who are saying one list only. Given that you'll be looking at the Someday/Maybe list every week in your review, that keeps it fresh enough that you'll plan when you need to.


              • #8
                Only one for me, too.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by propynyl View Post
                  Am I splitting hairs here? Is there a better way to categorize your someday/maybe list? Thanks!

                  I don't distinguish between someday/maybe and incubate, but I have been playing around with my someday/maybe lists by subdividing them.

                  Right now I have "someday, not this week", reviewed weekly, "someday, not this month", reviewed monthly, "someday, not this year" reviewed yearly.

                  I also have a "someday, on the web" because I just had too many web tasks, and I wanted a way to get them out of my face , but easily review to add back as needed.

                  - Don