How to handle an Anywhere list?

Discussion in 'PUBLIC: Discuss the GTD Methodology' started by KW7, Mar 29, 2018.

  1. KW7

    KW7 Registered

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    At the moment, I don't have an Anywhere list and I'm considering starting one. Most things that would go on that list would be tasks I can do on my smartphone or tablet when I'm at kids basketball practice, etc. My hesitation for starting the list is I'm afraid I may put something on that list, specifically for work, that I could also do @Work_Computer and it might not get done or may fall through the cracks if I don't use the @Anywhere list in a given week. Theoretically a task could be on two lists at once to potentially solve the problem of missing something but that seems like a bad idea too.

    Anyone have any experience with this issue or other thoughts about how to consider this?

    Thanks to all of you for your help these past few weeks. I feel like I'm very close to "making the turn" with GTD and depending on it.
     
  2. TesTeq

    TesTeq Registered

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    So maybe call this list @basketball?
    Some applications (for example Nozbe) allow to add more than one context to any Next Action.
     
  3. kelstarrising

    kelstarrising Kelly Forrister / GTD Coach / GTD Connect Trainer

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    I've broken up with and gotten back together with the @Anywhere list more times than I can count. I don't currently have one because I am finding that it's so rare that I would just be anywhere to do something and that @Home or @Computer is usually the actual list where it will get done.
     
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  4. vaughan76

    vaughan76 Registered

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    hah, i'm still playing around with an @anywhere list as well and have the same reservations. At the moment, I'm pretty much just putting reading I need to do on it because I can take the book anywhere. To get myself in the habit of checking the list, I am flagging everything in the list for now to make sure it doesn't fall through the cracks...
     
  5. mcogilvie

    mcogilvie Registered

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    The danger is that your mind will learn to ignore the anywhere list because everything on it is flagged, and may then proceed to ignoring all flagged items. Also, reading a book isn’t anywhere if you don’t take the book everywhere.
     
  6. vaughan76

    vaughan76 Registered

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    This is exactly my issue with this. What I described is something I’m playing with but, as you describe, it’s imperfect.

    I seem to remember you are a professor...? how do you handle the fact that you might have a book at home but might need to take it elsewhere to read?
     
  7. mcogilvie

    mcogilvie Registered

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    A lot of what I read is electronic, and I typically read it on my iPad. I have a context now called Anywhere/iPad. It's not necessarily iPad reading, but my rule is that I want to have at least that tool with me. I have another category Email/Web for stuff that requires a network connection. That's fairly ubiquitous these days, but doing email at the airport on a smart phone is not so good. Either of these activities could be done at my desk, either at home or work, so I have solved to some degree the problem of nested contexts in both Things 3 and Omnifocus 2 (I'm currently using Things).

    The paper books I read these days are primarily review copies for book reviews I have agreed to do (the latest is "Quantum Field Theory and Condensed Matter"- can't wait to see how it ends). I bring these home and only look at them there. I'm just too busy at work. I do carry a small amount of paper back and forth, usually of immediate relevance for projects and next actions. I had a back problem several years ago that sensitized me to carrying too much weight around daily. That's when I switched to Circa for my class notes, which has worked well. I know people who always have a physical book in their briefcase which is their current read, but not many these days.

    Of course, everybody has more to read now than they can possibly handle. I have some specialized lists of things I want to read in principle, but I should probably prune the lists more vigorously.
     
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  8. Gardener

    Gardener Registered

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    I would think of this as a more general problem of time-sensitive tasks potentially being lost due to their context.

    Maybe only use Anywhere for tasks that are low urgency? But of course that eliminates the possibility that you'll make extra progress on those more urgent tasks, the ones where you'd especially like to make extra progress. Plus, it adds an "urgency" element to Context, and I don't think that's what Contexts are for.

    Or, alternatively, a daily repeater to check Anywhere?

    Or a tickler for the truly urgent tasks?
     
  9. bcmyers2112

    bcmyers2112 Registered

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    Wow. This cleared up a big roadblock for me. I was keeping some version of the "anywhere" list for things I could do on my phone or tablet but found it was repelling me. The "why" wasn't clicking with me until I read this. Then I realized something: for me, my phone and tablet generally aren't where I do tasks that require "heavy lifting." For me, they're best deployed as "two-minute action tools." By which I mean taking/receiving calls, firing off quick replies to emails, etc.

    Thanks for the insight.
     
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  10. KW7

    KW7 Registered

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    Status update: I've been using an "Anywhere" tag (in Evernote) for the last few weeks and this has been helpful. For now, I have no work related items using this tag. It has come in handy in a few spots, like the 20-30 minutes before my son's football game. Most of these tasks are 10-15 minutes tops and are things like reviewing info on the Internet using my phone and making a phone call or two. I don't want an actual list for Anywhere though as I want to make sure everything stays in its current context -- makes me feel like I'm less likely to miss something.
     
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  11. John Ismyname

    John Ismyname Registered

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    This thread is a great example of why the contexts of a "Next Action" item are not mutually exclusive. In using GTD on the MS-Outlook platform, the most logical way to notate @ context is Outlook's "Category" function. As a result, my list of Next-Action items by @ context contains many duplicate Outlook-tasks. If I mark such a task complete, it automatically disappears from all of the @ context lists it is on.
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2018
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  12. TruthWK

    TruthWK Registered

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    I have considered some of these things as well and tried an Anywhere list before. What I stumbled upon eventually in the GTD books is that David uses context as the best place, tool, energy level, time required etc for a particular next action. He doesn't see context as the set of all places or tools in which something could be done. So where or when should I do this not where or when could I? My impression is that it's not about knowing everything I could possibly do at any time or place as much as knowing the list of next actions I could do effectively at any time or place.

    David also seems to shy away from multiple contexts because it creates additional complexity that often times is not worth it. From personal experience, putting things in every context possible for them creates that feeling of overwhelm for me that sometimes causes me to stay away. If something isn't urgent having an upcoming due date, I would much rather put it in a context where I could do it with the least friction.

    David also mentions that he sees the phone and tablet as tools for reflection on things (aka consumption tools) rather than tools for input. I would agree that I feel much better typing something out on a desktop or laptop and would rather put anything that requires input on an @Computer list rather than Anywhere because it will be much more friction-less that way. If you're someone who has to be away from a computer for most of your time and would struggle to finish what you need to without a phone or tablet then that becomes your best context and you can adjust accordingly. Summing up, the Anywhere list is for things that you feel most comfortable and effective doing on paper, a phone or tablet that you will generally have with you.
     
  13. Geeko

    Geeko GTD since 2017

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    I use my "anywhere" list mainly for stuff that I just have to think about. A nice example is "flesh out higher horizons". I put actions there for which I don't need any devices or any support material that is not already in my paper planner.

    Cheers,
    Tristan
     
  14. John Ismyname

    John Ismyname Registered

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    This is a great example! It's more efficient to 'do' email on a desktop or laptop with a keyboard and a robust application. However, if one is "@ anywhere" with smartphone, one can process this inbox and/or go through "email to read". Paradoxically, one is being productive yet inefficient by doing this.
     

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