Incubate vs Calendar

Danica

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Hi all! I'm having a hard time understanding the difference between deferring (calendar) and incubate.

How do you distinguish the two?
 

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Danica

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Ok so I bought the kindle version of GTD and this is what the book says on page 305:

"incubate—To allow something to remain within a system without a commitment to take action yet, but to be reassessed at a later time. Reminders are usually held within Someday/Maybe lists, tickler files, or triggered-for-later calendar items."

I'm using Things 3 so this would go in Someday / Maybe. Hope this helps somebody who has the same question!
 

Gardener

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Hi all! I'm having a hard time understanding the difference between deferring (calendar) and incubate.

How do you distinguish the two?

I see it as the difference between Someday and Maybe.

I'm definitely going to plant some new herb beds in a specific place when the rainy season starts. (Defer/Someday.) Not every little detail is determined, but the project itself is pretty definite.

I'm thinking about what to do and whether to do anything, at roughly the same time, with the empty parts of my mostly-ornamental rows. (Incubate/Maybe.) I have yet to figure out even the basic parameters of what I want to do.

I could have that wrong.
 

mcogilvie

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Ok so I bought the kindle version of GTD and this is what the book says on page 305:

"incubate—To allow something to remain within a system without a commitment to take action yet, but to be reassessed at a later time. Reminders are usually held within Someday/Maybe lists, tickler files, or triggered-for-later calendar items."

I'm using Things 3 so this would go in Someday / Maybe. Hope this helps somebody who has the same question!
I use Things too, so maybe I can give you a more complete idea of the possibilities you have using it for GTD. Things has both die dates (deadlines) and start dates (when) for both actions and projects. A start date in the future makes an item disappear from views of current actions and projects, but it does appear in other views, particularly Upcoming. This can used to defer something for the future. However, you can also use this feature to tickle a possible action, which I usually formulate as a question. Suppose in January I have a revelation that my garage needs cleaning. This is a project, but I don’t want to do it in the winter- it’s too cold. So I put a project titled “Clean garage?” with a start date of March 1st. I don’t get to it this spring, and I don’t want to do it this summer, so I reschedule the start date to September 1st, except now I’m a little smarter: I change the entry to “Clean garage while weather good?” There is nothing wrong with using Someday for this, as long as you are reviewing it regularly. I tend to use Someday for things I might do, and start dates for things I want to at Least consider at a definite future time. The question to ask is usually “When and where do I want to be reminded of this?”
 

Danica

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There is nothing wrong with using Someday for this, as long as you are reviewing it regularly. I tend to use Someday for things I might do, and start dates for things I want to at Least consider at a definite future time. The question to ask is usually “When and where do I want to be reminded of this?”
Thank you
 

larea

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When you incubate an item it becomes a new inbox item on the date you incubated it to that needs to be processed like any other item. You should only calendar an item if you are dedicating a time to work on something. It may be true that you are doing something with the incubated item that day (processing it) but you typically would not put every in item to be processed on your calendar. An example would be a flyer about an event far in the future. (a play you might be interested in, summer camp, a conference) There is nothing you can do about it now since registration hasn't opened yet and you may not be ready now to decide whether to make this a project or not. Rather than setting up a project now or an action to "decide whether to do this in 5 months" which would clutter up your system, you could toss it into an incubate file with an appropriate timing that will allow you to do the thing if you want to. Next time you see it, you will be better situated to either toss it in the trash or set up an appropriate project/task(s) to implement it. Which doesn't mean you necessarily need to take other action that day.
 
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