How to Manage Learning Projects, Work, Personal & Reference

Discussion in 'PUBLIC: Discuss the GTD Methodology' started by JulesOps, Aug 18, 2019.

  1. JulesOps

    JulesOps Guest

    New to GTD.

    I have a lot of topics i'm learning about and want to use GTD to organize them. I dig the idea of your reference folder acts the same as your local library. But seem hung up on the organization part of it so i'm seeking any comments and advice.

    My thoughts are having 3 physical folders stored in my "reference" cabinet
    • left tabbed folder holds deliverables such as checklists, action plans, compressed knowledge, etc
    • middle tabbed folder holds notes taken from the...
    • right tabbed folder, which holds raw resources such as printed ebooks, articles, raw notes from audio/video stuff, lectures, etc
    I think of all this stuff as reference material.

    This setup would allow me to visually see if there are deliverables or notes related to the topic and keep things uniform. Since this is a general reference it would also share folders such as "takeout menus" or "places to visit" or something.

    I would have a separate section of the cabinet to store single learning project folders that would hold all the learning project planning stuff. I suppose support materials like random notes and ideas or books to read, courses to take would go here, including versioned deliverables. A duplicate of the deliverable will be stored in the reference library.

    Now for non-learning projects... Personal and Work related projects.

    Project folder is used the same way as the learning project folder. Reference material needed for these types of projects will already be in reference library or will be added once received. Deliverables treated the same way with versioned deliverables stored in project folder, and copies stored in Master File System. Master System holds Personal and Work related stuff.

    Digital storage would mirror this setup.

    What potential drawbacks am i not seeing now that could crop up later? Suggestions for improving this?

    Thanks!
     
  2. CJSullivan

    CJSullivan Registered

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    I may not be fully visualising your set-up, but it sounds like you might have reminder/action information mixed in with your reference material, which can be an issue...

    As long as you have your projects and next actions captured separately (in a list manager or separate ACTION—not reference—folders) it sounds like it would work?!
     
  3. bproffitt1010

    bproffitt1010 Registered

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  4. JulesOps

    JulesOps Guest

    Project Support Material and Next Actions would be within the Project Folder and Lists. The Project Folders and Lists are kept separately from Reference Material.
     
  5. CJSullivan

    CJSullivan Registered

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    In your original post you refer to the left-tabbed folder as having checklists, action plans and “compressed knowledge.” Two additional clarifications:
    • Do you keep lists of the next visible, doable action by context? Or are these action plans more like project plans?
    • What do you mean by compressed knowledge?
    It sounds like you may not have your next actions lists (the “horizontal view across all your projects, etc.) set up? If you haven’t read “Getting Things Done” yet, you might want to before you go much further!
     
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  6. Sarahsuccess

    Sarahsuccess Registered

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    Sounds like you have
    -Reference material
    -Project support material
    -Project plans

    David Allen does not recommend keeping next actions for each project stored in the projects plans folder.

    David Allen recommends a Next Actions list, that contains your very next actions for all projects (separate from future action plans for each project).

    Do you have this Next Action list with the very next doable action(s) for each project?

    I apologize if I’m redundant to cj sullivan. I second the motion to read the book. In Getting Things Done, the 2001 edition, I recommend pages 38-41 and page 159 “you don’t want to use the support material as your primary reminders of what to do - that should be relegated to your action lists.” This is from chapter 7, Organizing:Setting Up the Right Buckets.

    Doing GTD also involves making a Project List. This is a master list of all your projects. The Projects List does not contain next actions or plans. It can act as a trigger for you to decide what the next action for each project would be, and helps track if you have next actions for rach project.
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2019
  7. bproffitt1010

    bproffitt1010 Registered

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    Hello again............ you mentioned, " I dig the idea of your reference folder acts the same as your local library." I've not heard of this suggestion in the GTD setup. Can someone please direct me to where David talks about this and how it is used?
     
  8. Sarahsuccess

    Sarahsuccess Registered

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    Lynda.com has a good series of videos of David Allen explaining GTD.

    With the library card that I have (from the public library of the city I live in) I can access Lynda.com at no cost. Otherwise you get one month as a free trial and then 29.99 monthly or 19.99 a month annually.

    Go to Lynda.com and search for “getting things done”. The first link should be the classes by David Allen. Some of them you can try for free.

    I think those videos explain GTD very well.

    - Sarah
     
  9. Jared Caron

    Jared Caron Registered

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    It might be helpful to understand what you are considering a "learning project"? The tricky part with GTD is that it is an extremely flexible system, so there is rarely one way to do something, just best practices to apply.

    One core element that another poster mentioned is the context lists. I personally think that this is the heart of GTD, keeping the current actionable steps separate from the rest.

    So what you might be describing is project support... so having notes and future plans related to that project in a folder is fine. What you don't want to do is hide your next actions (the stuff you can do right now) away in a folder with the rest of your project material.

    Feel free to reach out for clarification, GTD can be a weird thing to get used to but it's game-changing.
     

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