Jan Ernest

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Hi there!

I have been using GTD Method with Evernote for months now, and I am still struggling to find my way hacking the GTD Method for my day to day living. One of the things I have noticed is the use of appropriate Verbs in determining the Next Physical Visible Actions, which is a significant game changer in answering "What's the Next Action?"

Do we have here a list of Verbs that define or describe Physical, and Visible Actions, and are best for using with GTD Methodology?

Thanks and appreciate all the help!
 

mcogilvie

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Here's one version of a list of suggested verbs. Many people like to pit the verb at the end of a project, as in "Client database updated", but at the beginning of a next action, as in "Find database manual".

Project verbs

Finalize Resolve Handle
Look into Submit Maximize
Organize Design Complete
Ensure Roll out Update
Install Implement Set-up

Next-action verbs

Call Organize Review
Buy Fill out Find
Purge Look into (Web) Gather
Print Take Waiting for
Load Draft Email
 

Jan Ernest

Registered
Here's one version of a list of suggested verbs. Many people like to pit the verb at the end of a project, as in "Client database updated", but at the beginning of a next action, as in "Find database manual".

Project verbs

Finalize Resolve Handle
Look into Submit Maximize
Organize Design Complete
Ensure Roll out Update
Install Implement Set-up

Next-action verbs

Call Organize Review
Buy Fill out Find
Purge Look into (Web) Gather
Print Take Waiting for
Load Draft Email
Thank you for your reply Mcogilvie.

May I ask why are there two kinds of Verb Groups in GTD Method (Project Verbs and Nex Action)?

It was mentioned and I also have read in the book that the task is to be made actionable and a Next Physical, and Visible Action. Example of which is Project Verb "Setup" - Setup can further be drilled down to - Call Mr. XYZ (For Project Setting up a Birthday Party)

Please enlighten me. Thank you and apprciat the help.
 

mcogilvie

Registered
Thank you for your reply Mcogilvie.

May I ask why are there two kinds of Verb Groups in GTD Method (Project Verbs and Nex Action)?

It was mentioned and I also have read in the book that the task is to be made actionable and a Next Physical, and Visible Action. Example of which is Project Verb "Setup" - Setup can further be drilled down to - Call Mr. XYZ (For Project Setting up a Birthday Party)

Please enlighten me. Thank you and apprciat the help.
There are two groups of verbs because projects are different from next actions: the goal is clear ("software installed") but the steps are not. Next actions are discrete actions (“read manual"). You shouldn't take this list as the final word, and it might usages specific to modern English.
 

Jan Ernest

Registered
There are two groups of verbs because projects are different from next actions: the goal is clear ("software installed") but the steps are not. Next actions are discrete actions (“read manual"). You shouldn't take this list as the final word, and it might usages specific to modern English.
Thank you. Do you mean to say that these Project Verbs are only used for the purpose pf clarifying Project Lists, then further drilled down to specific, physical and visible verbs?

For example. Project - "Install/ Implement Setup" so the Project Verb here is Install/Setup

But in order to move this project, you will then need to identify exactly what is the next action. Because Installing/Implementing as a Project Verb is still vague by itself so in order to move this, the nxt action could be 1) Canvass Software for Installation/Implementation 2) Review Specification of Canvassed Software 3) Call Retailer of Canvassed Software 4) Go to Retailer, and purchase Software, and so on and so forth.

In this example, is this where and how you use Projct Verbs, vis a vis Next Action Verbs?
 

TesTeq

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Project verbs are for Project Outcomes (desired end state of the universe ;-) ) while Next Action verbs describe a physical action to be done.
 

Jan Ernest

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Project verbs are for Project Outcomes (desired end state of the universe ;-) ) while Next Action verbs describe a physical action to be done.
Can you please give me a concrete example for this one? The example I mentioned is incorrect?
 
Thank you Ms. Kelstarring - Does it mean that Project Verbs are typically the name of the Project?
They are included in the name of the project, at the front or back end. For example:

Paint the house
or
House painted

Either way works. This project verb is important because it tells you what will be true when you are done, so you know when to mark it off as done and acknowledge the completion.
 

Gardener

Registered
Jan, maybe it would help for you to expand on what you're feeling fuzzy about? Is this an issue of how to "size" projects versus actions? Or what the definition of a project versus an action is? I realize that you're only asking about verbs and verb lists, but maybe the question would benefit from some expansion?
 

TesTeq

Registered
Can you please give me a concrete example for this one? The example I mentioned is incorrect?
Project: Room painted.
NA: Determine the color @MyWife
NA: Buy paint and tools. @Errands
NA: Paint a northern wall. @Home
NA: Paint a eastern wall. @Home
NA: Paint a southern wall. @Home
NA: Paint a western wall. @Home

or

Project: Room painted.
NA: Delegate painting @MyWife ;-)
NA: Room painted by my wife? @WaitingFor
 

Jan Ernest

Registered
Jan, maybe it would help for you to expand on what you're feeling fuzzy about? Is this an issue of how to "size" projects versus actions? Or what the definition of a project versus an action is? I realize that you're only asking about verbs and verb lists, but maybe the question would benefit from some expansion?
Hi Gardener. Well I am just a bit confuse on why use Project Verbs, when all materials I read about GTD would want us to concentrate on "Physical and Visible Actions". The way I understand now is that anything that would need to be moved through multiple "next actions" are Projects, and do we title these projects through the use of "Project Verbs" or do we title these through "Project Outcomes"?
 

Jan Ernest

Registered
Project: Room painted.
NA: Determine the color @MyWife
NA: Buy paint and tools. @Errands
NA: Paint a northern wall. @Home
NA: Paint a eastern wall. @Home
NA: Paint a southern wall. @Home
NA: Paint a western wall. @Home

or

Project: Room painted.
NA: Delegate painting @MyWife ;-)
NA: Room painted by my wife? @WaitingFor
Thank you TesTeq - This only means that Project Verbs are used as Project Titles/Name - If broken down would show multiple Next Actions (NA). Thank you Sir for clarifying this one. :D
 
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Jan Ernest

Registered
They are included in the name of the project, at the front or back end. For example:

Paint the house
or
House painted

Either way works. This project verb is important because it tells you what will be true when you are done, so you know when to mark it off as done and acknowledge the completion.
Thank you Ms. Kelstarrising. I appreciate the help. :D
 

Oogiem

Registered
Well I am just a bit confuse on why use Project Verbs, when all materials I read about GTD would want us to concentrate on "Physical and Visible Actions". The way I understand now is that anything that would need to be moved through multiple "next actions" are Projects, and do we title these projects through the use of "Project Verbs" or do we title these through "Project Outcomes"?
Yes ;-) The outcome is a verb.

Here's an example from my world:
Project: Evaluate 2017 Lambs with EBVs and rank them
Action: Weigh all 2017 lambs for weaning weights Context: Outside with help
Action: Update NSIP Spreadsheet with ID, Sire and Dam, birth and weaning weights for all 2017 lambs Context: LibreOffice
Action: Create formatted file to send to LambPlan for data analysis of entire flock Context: LibreOffice
Action: Email sheep data to Australia Context: Computer Internet
Action: Waiting for EBV data to come back from Australia Context: Waiting For
Action: Import latest EBV data on entire flock into LambTracker Context: LambTracker
Action: Run first report on 2017 lambs and rank according to the Self Replacing Carcass Index Context: LambTracker
Action: Mark obvious culls of 2017 lambs and older sheep as for slaughter Context: LambTracker
So the project has a verb of Evaluate and the steps also have action verbs on what exactly I need to do to get the EBV data in so I can do the project.
 

Jan Ernest

Registered
Yes ;-) The outcome is a verb.

Here's an example from my world:
Project: Evaluate 2017 Lambs with EBVs and rank them
Action: Weigh all 2017 lambs for weaning weights Context: Outside with help
Action: Update NSIP Spreadsheet with ID, Sire and Dam, birth and weaning weights for all 2017 lambs Context: LibreOffice
Action: Create formatted file to send to LambPlan for data analysis of entire flock Context: LibreOffice
Action: Email sheep data to Australia Context: Computer Internet
Action: Waiting for EBV data to come back from Australia Context: Waiting For
Action: Import latest EBV data on entire flock into LambTracker Context: LambTracker
Action: Run first report on 2017 lambs and rank according to the Self Replacing Carcass Index Context: LambTracker
Action: Mark obvious culls of 2017 lambs and older sheep as for slaughter Context: LambTracker
So the project has a verb of Evaluate and the steps also have action verbs on what exactly I need to do to get the EBV data in so I can do the project.
Explicitly defined. Thank you!!!
 

bcmyers2112

Registered
Thank you. Do you mean to say that these Project Verbs are only used for the purpose pf clarifying Project Lists, then further drilled down to specific, physical and visible verbs?

For example. Project - "Install/ Implement Setup" so the Project Verb here is Install/Setup

But in order to move this project, you will then need to identify exactly what is the next action. Because Installing/Implementing as a Project Verb is still vague by itself so in order to move this, the nxt action could be 1) Canvass Software for Installation/Implementation 2) Review Specification of Canvassed Software 3) Call Retailer of Canvassed Software 4) Go to Retailer, and purchase Software, and so on and so forth.

In this example, is this where and how you use Projct Verbs, vis a vis Next Action Verbs?
@Jan Ernest, I think you pretty much get it. A project is an outcome that will take more than one action to achieve. A next action is a physical, visible activity that will move you toward that outcome.

This is being picky, but I'd call the project in your example "Implement new software." That would give me a clear vision of what I'd want to have true at the completion of the project.

This is also being picky, but I wouldn't personally express a next action is "canvass software" unless I knew exactly what that meant. Instead I'd express the next action in more concrete terms, like "do web research for new software" or "review brochures about software options."

But the rest of the next actions sound dead on to me: making a call and going somewhere are very specific, physical, visible actions you can take.

The list of verbs (which if I am not mistaken is also available in the book Getting Things Done) is just a list of examples. Don't sweat the details. The point is that the name of the project should clearly express a desired outcome and a next action should clearly describe a physical activity. As long as you keep those things in mind I'm sure you'll do fine.
 

Jan Ernest

Registered
@Jan Ernest, I think you pretty much get it. A project is an outcome that will take more than one action to achieve. A next action is a physical, visible activity that will move you toward that outcome.

This is being picky, but I'd call the project in your example "Implement new software." That would give me a clear vision of what I'd want to have true at the completion of the project.

This is also being picky, but I wouldn't personally express a next action is "canvass software" unless I knew exactly what that meant. Instead I'd express the next action in more concrete terms, like "do web research for new software" or "review brochures about software options."

But the rest of the next actions sound dead on to me: making a call and going somewhere are very specific, physical, visible actions you can take.

The list of verbs (which if I am not mistaken is also available in the book Getting Things Done) is just a list of examples. Don't sweat the details. The point is that the name of the project should clearly express a desired outcome and a next action should clearly describe a physical activity. As long as you keep those things in mind I'm sure you'll do fine.
Thank you bcmyers2112 for having this further clarified. I will take these suggestions, and have it applied in my current system. What I did before was simple indicate the Note Title/ Project Title as outcome, "Without" the Project Verb. I think you're right when you said "That would give me a clear vision of what I'd want to have true at the completion of the project.".

Appreciate it man! Thank you! :D
 
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