[Someday/Maybe] Create task for an entry or write down entry in a normal text list?


Hey friends,

I have a software-independent question concerning Someday/Maybe entries that concerns really anyone who uses some sort of software for GTD: Do you create a new "task" in the software you use for each Someday/Maybe OR do you write them down in a simple text/word file or program capable of word processing (e.g. Evernote)?

I have quite a few things I want to do someday or maybe so there are many entries. And I'm not sure I want to create a task for each one in the program I use (ToodleDO + Ultimate To-Do List).

The way I see it: the advantage of a simple text Someday/Maybe list (using word, notepad, Evernote, OneNote or other programm capable of word processing) is speed, you can simply jot them down one after one and there isn't much resistance to adding a new Someday/Maybe entry. On the other hand, if you do it that way, you already are using 2 programs: your GTD software + some word processing software.

The advantage of already creating a new "task" for every Someday/Maybe entry in your GTD program is..the entry is already in the program if you want to actually make the entry real. Disadvantage: for most goal managers / GTD programs out there, creating a new task is at least a tiny bit more work compared to just jotting it down as simple text. Also, depending on the GTD software, these tasks will shop up in your search and day-to-day GTD work.

How do you see it, and do you all go about it?


I do not keep these "maybes" anywhere else but in my app ... but I do tend to make liberal use of the app's hierarchical capabilities in order to group these possibilities and to stash the less likely ones deeper down.

The most likely and promising "maybes" I keep as proper tasks or projects at the "top", with tags and everything applied, all ready to go, but less and less so the deeper down I go. At the lowest level the "maybes" are often just lines of notes within a task - even if the "maybe" as such would have needed to be represented as a whole project or area or goal in the event that I had decided to go ahead with it.


I capture things I want to someday (maybe) do as tasks in a Someday/Maybe project. The application I use (Doit) allows me to convert a task to a project later, so I capture them as tasks at the project level. In theory, I could add subtasks (really just a checklist in the task) that the app would convert to tasks in the new project, but I seldom give them that much thought during their early ideation point. Once a month, I have a thirty-minute block on my calendar to review Someday/Maybe items in the folder. I couldn't tell you the last time I actually converted one -- if I have an interest in doing it in the foreseeable future, chances are better that I'll just create a project out of it from the start.


I create tasks within a context of Someday/Maybe. But this is so easy to do, there is no resistance at all. Ctrl-K brings up a new task in Outlook and voila - done. My personal system is in evernote - I just put the note in the Someday/Maybe folder and done. I do group some things as text within a note. For example, database changes to consider, books to read or movies to watch, or things to do on vacation. Anything that is a list of similar things can be grouped that way. But I really don't worry too much about it - it's Someday/Maybe. I review my lists regularly and it works just fine.


I tend to find straight-up GTD apps more work than they're worth, so I don't use them. Instead I use broad tools that I can set up to my GTD workflow the way I like it. I use Trello, and have a Someday/Maybe board with lists for the different types of Someday/Maybe items I have (such as Waiting for Someone, Waiting for Date, Someday To Do, Maybe To Do, etc.). So, I always stick things in my task app, not a word-processing software. Trello's as simple as typing + Return Key, typing + Return Key, etc. so input is fast and easy. I can't use any apps that make me jump through hoops to input tasks.


ablaze said:
How do you see it, and do you all go about it?

RIght now I have all my someday/maybe ideas as projects in my SW tool. But I am considering putting them into lists in part to reduce the drag on reviewing those lists even though I set review dates to be variable depending on when I want to see them.

My problem with it the way it is is how many inactive projects there are (over 800).
My problem with putting them into text or other files (I'd use DEVONThink for that myself) is how inaccessible they may become.


jdavidcarr said:
I capture things I want to someday (maybe) do as tasks in a Someday/Maybe project.
That's a really interesting idea!

I have some groups of projects (knitting things to make or weaving or sewing projects) that might really lend themselves to that approach. I may try that and see how that works for me.

Thanks for the idea!


ablaze said:
...I have a software-independent question concerning Someday/Maybe entries...

I think this question is very much software dependent! I'm definitely in the "task" group. A major requirement for my software is task creation has to be as friction-less as possible, and that holds true for Someday/Maybe as well. I have previous experience with Toodledo and one of the best features is the complete control you have over the number of fields you use. Maybe you need to reduce the "friction" of task creation by eliminating some fields, or your number of "required" fields.

A few reasons I use the task model:

1) I don't have to "process" on capture, everything goes into the same format
2) I often include some quick notes/ideas about a Someday/Maybe to help clarify things when I review. Doable in a text file, but not as clean, imho.
3) Once processed, it's easy to convert back and forth as my active workload changes.
4) The ability to globally search for active and s/m in a single tool is an absolute requirement for me.