Next Actions and checklists

Discussion in 'PUBLIC: Discuss the GTD Methodology' started by Greyone, Aug 10, 2017.

  1. Greyone

    Greyone Registered

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    I'm getting the hang of putting my next actions on my lists and creating checklists where appropriate instead of a multitude of projects. But how to checklists relate to my next actions. Do any actions from my checklists that need to be done go on the appropriate list of next actions.

    Can someone explain how I manage completing my checklists in terms of my next actions lists?


    Thx
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2017
  2. RS356

    RS356 Registered

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    My checklists and Next Action lists are two discrete parts of my system. Next Actions are what is needed to move a project or goal forward; checklists support how those actions are done (for example, how to pack for a trip, submit a report, prepare for a presentation). As a general rule, I treat checklists as reference items.
     
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  3. Greyone

    Greyone Registered

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    That sounds like just the thing for me - thank you.
     
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  4. Oogiem

    Oogiem Registered

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    I treat checklists as recipes for repeating projects that are irregular in nature. Repeating projects that repeat on a predictable schedule are just projects that have start again dates appropriate to their schedule and live in my normal system all the time. My checklists are things that I know I will have to do again but I am not sure exactly when the next instance will be. So packing for a trip, for example, I know I will be doing that at some point in the future but I don't know exactly when. SO I have a packing checklist. When a trip is planned I make a copy of that checklist in my active system make that a project and then work the actions. I've already thought out what and how I need to do it I just need to start an instance of that project.

    I have checklists for lots of irregular repeating things and lots of regularly scheduled repeating projects as well.
     
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  5. Greyone

    Greyone Registered

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    OK, thanks. I find your way quite doable. So you checklist becomes a list of next actions.
     
  6. bcmyers2112

    bcmyers2112 Registered

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    Actions are things you need or want to do. Checklists are reference lists that may help you accomplish actions, steer projects or determine what actions or projects you need to have.

    One example of a checklist is a list of items to pack when you travel. It's pretty simple and something you only refer to when you're packing.

    As Oogie has already described, you can also use checklists to help you manage projects that tend to recur and have the same sequence of steps, targets to hit or what have you.

    Regardless of how you manage your AOFs and higher level horizons of focus, these are ultimately just checklists you review periodically to for ideas about projects or actions you might need to undertake.

    Checklists can also be kept on hand to help with fun things. For example, you can keep lists of things to do when you're in a certain place, wines you like to buy, or movies you may want to see when the opportunity arises.

    There is no one set way you need to manage checklists, but in my system I like to keep them managed separately from projects, actions and the like. Even though checklists can help with actions and projects, they're not the same and I try not to treat them as such. But they're yet another tool to help you keep things off your mind.
     
  7. Greyone

    Greyone Registered

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    I think both descriptions above are correct in their own way. A checklist such as what to pack for a holiday is just a list and used for reference. A checklist such as a list of actions, one of mine consists of the steps I do each month to audit my finances which are of course a list of next actions.

    Thx to all to the views
     
  8. bcmyers2112

    bcmyers2112 Registered

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    Absolutely. A checklist can contain a list of actions to take. No argument there. My point is I wouldn't recommend blurring the distinction between checklists and NA lists (at least not if you intend to adopt GTD "by the book"). If "audit finances" is something you can do in one sitting, I'd put that in the appropriate context list and then pull out the checklist as your guide. If you want the feeling of checking off each item and you are using software doesn't provide that capability, you could print a copy of the checklist and cross off each item as you complete it.

    If the actions on the checklist can't be completed in one sitting, I'd suggest adding them to the appropriate NA lists.
     
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  9. Greyone

    Greyone Registered

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    Now you're talking. And that sound sensible as well.
     
  10. Oogiem

    Oogiem Registered

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    I keep a folder of my checklists in my list manager but they are all inactive, I make a copy to actually run a checklist. The original is a template I can re-use the real one is renamed to the instance I need to do now.
     
  11. Oogiem

    Oogiem Registered

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    For me those are someday/maybe project support and while they are lists they are not checklists in my mind.

    I keep those as basic text files in a portable reference tool. I use DEVONThink but Evernote would be similar.
     
  12. Greyone

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    Hi Oogiem - thanks for he advice as always. DEVONThink's a new one on me. I've got a new W10 lappy so i'm going to think of tools when i'm sure i wont break it. The points i've learnt about checklists are important i know.

    Rgds
     

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