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Discussion in 'PUBLIC: Discuss Tools & Software for GTD' started by David Chang, Sep 10, 2017.

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  1. David Chang

    David Chang Registered

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    Hello GTD community,

    My name is David and I wanted to introduce myself to this GTD community. I recently finished Getting Things Done and am incredibly excited to master the GTD technique! I've recommended this book to several of my friends and colleagues and while they make their way through it, I thought I'd also reach out to the online GTD community to learn from all of you :)

    After evaluating a few tools, I ultimately landed on Things 3 as I own several Apple products (Work MacBook Pro, Home MacBook Pro, iPad, iPhone) and the cloud syncing feature was just too attractive to pass up. I also use PCs both at work and home so it would be great if Cultured Code could come up with some sort of cloud solution as well but I shouldn't complain :p

    Huge thanks to mcogilvie for writing a comprehensive review on Things 3!
    http://forum.gettingthingsdone.com/threads/things-3-and-gtd.13356/

    While the tool isn't a perfect fit for GTD, its usability is unparalleled to other "to-do" type applications I've seen in the past (I'm an ex-Reminders app user). Having the app open and simply typing, triggers a search on all your content: "Areas", "Projects", "Tasks", and "Tags"

    I currently have it set up as the app intended using "Areas" and "Projects" to hierarchically structure how I compartmentalize my life, "Tasks" as action items, and "Tags" for GTD contexts:
    - Areas: Work, Home, Paintball, Tennis, Wedding
    - Projects: "Build Ordering as a Service", "Organize garage", "Rebuild website", "Plan trip to US Open", "Frame wedding posters"
    - Tasks: "Have OaaS discussion with Zone Leads", "Install storage rails", "Research web frameworks", "Buy tickets to US Open", "Measure poster sizes"
    - Tags: "Desk", "Calendar", "Errand", "Pending"

    I'm not completely sold on organizing my "Areas" and "Projects" in the way I currently have them so I'd love to hear any suggestions if you have them. Restrictions to know about:
    - "Areas" can have multiple "Projects" but "Projects" can only be assigned to one "Area"
    - "Projects" can have multiple "Tasks" but "Tasks" can only be assigned to one "Project"
    - "Tags" can be put on any "Projects" and "Tasks"
    - "Tasks" can optionally be sub-divided into multiple "Steps" (ie. you might have a "Task" that says "Bake a cake" with "Steps" that read "Pre-heat oven to 425", "Mix ingredients", "...")

    I haven't gotten to be completely disciplined about putting EVERYTHING on my mind into this tool and complete my Weekly Review consistently (it's like getting used to a healthier diet - you know it's going to be good for you, but it's hard to change your existing habits), but thankfully, I do believe that I AM making progress towards getting better and achieving "mind like water". If anyone has any tips/suggestions, I'd very much like to hear from you about how I can help improve my system.

    Thank you!
    David
     
  2. Oogiem

    Oogiem Registered

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    I don't use Things so my info is not specific to that tool. My only suggestion is not to bother trying to make every project fit into a single area. Invariably you will eventually have projects that serve more than one Area of Focus and then it gets complicated to handle the system. I tried to shoehorn all projects into a single area for years and things got progressively worse and harder to manage. I got some coaching from David Co. and the coach recommended separating them. I was very skeptical at first but figured I'd try it. She was right, having a separate list I review periodically of my Areas of Focus and not trying to keep all projects within that rigid hierarchy made a huge difference in my system. I would give that a try as well and then pick whatever resonates with you going forward.
     
  3. Longstreet

    Longstreet Registered

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    Good advice form @Oogiem! One thing I would like to point out is that I would not consider "Wedding" as an Area of Focus. This is a project, albeit a large one! I am certain it will have numerous sub-projects. Nevertheless, think of Areas of Focus as Areas of Accountability or Responsibility. It does not have an ending date unless a particular area is no longer relevant.
     
  4. TesTeq

    TesTeq Registered

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    Cultured Code has a long history of NOT supporting non-Apple platforms. Don't count on it. On the other hand Nozbe supports MacOS, iOS, Windows, Linux, Android via applications and provides web browser access to your GTD system stored safely on-line.
    Most of them: yes. But for example learning Chinese may be assigned to both: personal development and work.
    Active Project can have one or more Next Actions. You can also define some subsequent actions if you like.
    You use tags for contexts. It rarely makes sense to assign context to a Project. You are not doing Projects, you are doing Next Actions.
    There are no tasks or subtasks or steps in GTD. There are only Next Actions that you do to achieve the Successful Outcome of the Project.
     
  5. David Chang

    David Chang Registered

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    Appreciate the responses!

    It sounds like the hierarchical structure of Things 3 may be adding more of a distraction than a benefit to the GTD methodology - especially in the way I currently have it set up.

    In the thread I link to above, @photodiva suggested the following:
    I might give this a try!
     

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