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Use GTD *and* Project Server (as a PM)??

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  • Use GTD *and* Project Server (as a PM)??

    I'm new here. I'm a business analyst who is part BA and part PM and I'm actually rather disorganized (go figure). Our company currenly uses Project Server (Project 2007 + Server) where ALL of our projects that we run must go. I, of course, have a few tasks of my own in these projects I manage.

    SO I'd love to start using GTD for *myself* - I've already started setting up my Outlook and I'm partway through the GTD book. HOWEVER...

    HOW in the heck am I going to manage my Outlook GTD-oriented tasks and categories, emails-as-tasks, etc, AND have my separate Project tasks? I have to go in weekly to a website to record progress on my Project Server tasks. Has anybody found a sensible way to not have to double-record or double-track the "stuff they're Getting Done", while using Project?

    And no, I'm not using the Outlook add-in that turns project tasks into Outlook ones - it's buggy according to some folks and I'm not even sure how Project-style tasks would fit into GTD.

    Help a newbie! Please!

  • #2
    I hear you!


    I can't offer you advice but I will say that I recently qualified as a PM at night school and I am hoping that this GTD knowledge will help me. At the moment I do feel a little bit of a hypocrite applying for PM roles knowing that I can barely manage my own bedroom let alone a million-dollar project!



    • #3
      I've got some good news. You don't have to duplicate what you have in your project management (PM) software. Everything in that software is support material. Here's what you really need to track in your GTD system:
      • The reminder of the project itself (Complete R12345 - VB to J2EE Migration of Online Product Inventory System).
      • The very next physical action(s) that you need to take to move the project forward. Think of these as bookmarks, not "To-Dos". When you walk away from the project, these bookmarks will help you to kickstart progress when you return. (Example: Call project sponsor re: project scope)
      Your project schedules, plans, gantt charts, etc. stay in your PM software as support material. Use them to track your progress and define your next actions, but don't double-enter these items in your GTD system unless you really feel the need. For example, you might put the deadline of a deliverable or milestone on your calendar as a day-specific reminder.

      Some extra tips on working with a project focus:

      If you've committed to working on a specific project, record a new next action on a piece of paper each time you finish an existing next action. Cross it off if you complete it right away, define a new one and repeat. I've spent entire days doing this without ever touching my GTD lists after doing one next action from them.

      When you need to walk away from the project, toss that piece of paper into your inbox. The next time you process the inbox, the action will get onto your lists. If you forget to do this (and you will in the heat of battle and switching gears), a regular review of your projects list (usually during the weekly review) is your safety net to prevent projects from becoming orphaned (stagnated due to no next actions defined for them).

      Best of luck!