Someday-Maybe vs Incubate

Discussion in 'PUBLIC: Discuss Tools & Software for GTD' started by AFG, Sep 14, 2018.

  1. AFG

    AFG Registered

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    Q: is "Someday Maybe" the same as "Incubate"?

    Specifically, is the "Someday Maybe" list the same as the "Incubate" list?

    I am familiar with "Someday Maybe" from my first encounters with GTD circa 1st edition (in the 200Xs). Sticks in my head, like the country song.

    I encountered "Incubate" recently when I started listening to some GTD podcasts, from folks at David Allen's company. Also, in the GTD setup guides for various SW tools, some of which seem to say that SomedayMaybe=Incubate.

    But the GTD Workflow Map says

    Is it actionable?
    YES...
    NO: Trash/Reference/Incubate
    Incubate =>
    Someday Maybe
    OR Date-specific Triggers

    I.e. Incubate is a superset of someday/maybe. SomedayMaybe is the incubate stuff that you don't create date specific triggers for, put in a tickler file.

    I may have forgotten the term "Incubate" from my first few readings, years ago.

    Not a big difference, but I like understanding. If only to create useful notes and folder names.
     
  2. Oogiem

    Oogiem Registered

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    I tend to use the terms interchangeably at times but when I stop to think, Someday/Maybe are things I may or may not do and incubate are things that I need to revisit at some point in the future.

    So I incubate a project that I can't work on until next spring but know I am going to do but I put in Someday/Maybe a project that I am not sure if I will ever do.

    However, since I keep both on hold/incubate/future projects and the just maybe possibley do but not for sure projects in teh same tooland on the same lists the lines are really blurred for me.
     
  3. Gardener

    Gardener Registered

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    Hmm. I consider Someday/Maybe to be separate from ticklers. That doesn't mean that they don't interact at all--I might have a tickler to remind me to go dredge up a Someday/Maybe project. But I still regard them as separate.

    To me, Someday/Maybe is stuff that I'm not doing now or very very soon, but that I might do.

    Some of it is stuff that I'm definitely going to do. So I might have a Someday/Maybe project for Buy Seeds For Spring/Summer Garden, and I might have project support material where I jot seed ideas. And there might be a tickler to remind me to go do that project before all the good stuff is sold out.

    Some of it is projects that serve as steps for larger continuing projects--I don't like my active lists being cluttered up with the whole big project. So the Perennial Blitz (the ongoing effort where I'm converting much of my large vegetable garden to perennial edibles) may include projects like Plant Tea Hedge and Plant Rugosa Hedge and Improve Soil in Rows 1-5 and Reseed Lawn. But I don't have time to make progress on more than one of those at once, so all but one will be in Someday/Maybe.

    Some of those may, again, have a tickler--I don't want to fail to notice when the next opportunity for Reseed Lawn comes along. (Huh. I just realized that my chance to do that is just about now. Dang. Should have had a tickler to choose and order seed.)

    I don't regard any of those as Incubate. To me, Incubate means that I am definitely not ready to take action, with an added implication that I'm thinking over the idea. That's apparently not what it means in GTD--my vibe is that in GTD it does mean anything that you're not doing now but don't want to forget. But I'm pretty stuck on my own definition.

    So, the Perennial Blitz isn't Incubate by my definition of Incubate--it's fairly well-understood. Parts of it are active and parts of it are simple Someday/Maybe. I may change my mind a dozen times on exactly how to do it, but it's not an area of mystery for me.

    On the other hand, the vague notion of someday selling the products of the big vegetable garden, or of expanding the shed at the garden (it's a few blocks away from my house) to a workroom with a sink and a bathroom, are big future things with a lot of mystery.

    I'm writing one novel now--that's an active project. In not too long I hope to have the first draft finished, and I plan to put the novel aside for about eight weeks and work on the first draft of a middle-grade novel. That's a well-understood Someday/Maybe.

    I have another idea for a distinctly surreal novel that would be created by combining two other ideas plus some bits that I removed from the middle-grade idea when I changed it from an adult novel to middle grade. There's a whole lot of mystery there, so to me, that's Incubate.
     
  4. AFG

    AFG Registered

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    Thanks, @Oogiem and @Gardener.

    Prior to GTD, I used the term "Incubate" for projects that I thought might someday be able to pull together, but were missing a few good ideas and inventions. Some technologies need several different inventions to work together, and they might not all have been invented yet. Or, some inventions might not be viable products until market conditions change. E.g. I have several ideas for SW that will take advantage of head-mounted displays - but there won't be a market for this until HMDs with a reasonable pixel count (megapixel) are affordable. (Which may be soon now - every few years I survey HMDs, and try to extrapolate when the price threshold is crossed.)

    Sometimes I will try to invent things on demand. But it helps to wait until the stuff I can't easily invent or enable is already there, so I only need to invent the stuff I am good at.
     

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