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Classes - projects by themselves?

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  • Classes - projects by themselves?

    Okay, I am new to GTD and a horrible procrastinator/disorganized, etc. (but this has already started to change with GTD! Here is my question, one of the major things on my plate is that I am a FT student at Liberty University - I take 2 classes every 8 weeks and there is about 15 total hours of work each week. I am beginning to understand how to utilize Outlook and OneNote to work through my system; however, would be be good to simply list @school as and action (which I did) and then have each CLASS as a project and then simply have the actionable items and tasks listed under each class (as a project)? I see how this would work with basic day to day homework and studies and such, but what about projects within those classes that span the entire 8 weeks. Should I have THOSE projects as their own separate project under @school. For instance:

    - Projects
    - CLASS A
    - task
    - task
    - task
    - CLASS B
    - task
    - task

    - CLASS A 8-week project

    Is this a good way to handle this or should I do it a different way?



  • #2
    Hi Mike,

    A context refers to the physical place you must be at in order to complete a task. Individual actions ("Next actions") have contexts; projects do not have contexts.

    In GTD, @School does not refer to every school-related project, but rather, any task that you MUST be *at* school to complete (i.e. pick up an essay packet from the school bookstore).

    "School" is really just an area of responsibility. There's no need to separate school projects from other projects.

    Instead of making each class one project, I'd suggest a hybrid approach. Say you're taking American History, and you have to complete readings after each class and write two papers. "American History Readings" would be one project, broken down into tasks ("Read Chapter 1" "Read Chapter 2"). "American Histor Paper #1" would be a second project, again broken down ("Brainstorm Topic" "Choose Topic" "Draft Outline" "Edit Outline" "Write Thesis"). Then "American History Paper #3" would be a third project.

    Again, you assign contexts to individual tasks, not to entire projects. @School would only apply to a task you must do while physically at school; in my experience, while you can do many things at school, very few *must* be done there.

    Good luck!


    • #3
      Mostly agree, but I prefer Class=Project

      It comes down to preference and how the class is structured, but I have found that making each class a project with as many n/a's as there are current assignments works best for me.

      Depending on the class I either create a section in Onenote as project support to keep all the misc details I need for that class, or just put the information in the note on the Outlook task that represents the project. This would be things like the class syllabus, grading, prof name, login information for anything that class has online, etc. Class schedule goes on the calender including (especially!) the exceptions (like holiday/no class, and when the midterm and final are).


      • #4
        I would probably have each class as a focus area. If you are only taking 2 at a time, you're not going to forget what they are, so you could just have "Classes" as a focus area, and list your classes in a note. The syllabus et cetera for each class goes into project support. Due dates on the calendar. I'd make each major assignment a project, along with preparing for major exams, giving yourself the win for finishing each one. I teach college classes, so my perspective is a little different, but I have found class=project doesn't work for me. Lecture prep is calendar-based, preparing a syllabus or an exam is a project. Knowing how you want and/or need to study is key. Just write down what you need to do where, and keep at it. If you just move everything along in a timely manner, I think you'll do fine.


        • #5
          Thanks for the responses. I failed to mention that now all my classes are Distance Learning/Online courses, so I am not really bound by any weekly schedule other than due dates and such. Though I am trying to implement a schedule on my own at home that is a set time and day each week to work on homework (more like a traditional college schedule).

          I have not gotten the book yet, so I have no idea what n/a is. But I will look it up! I think that I have the general idea of what I need to do and cannot expect it to be a simply perfect transition immediately. I am sure there will need to be some tweaking as I go. I have just avoided other systems like this simply because they seemed to take more time than the benefit of extra time was gained. However, I feel differently about this system as it seems to fit my personality so much better. I can't wait to actually get the book and I will have to then put that on my new to-do list!