Sorting voice recordings to fit the system

Discussion in 'PUBLIC: Discuss Tools & Software for GTD' started by Uli Ganz, Nov 5, 2019.

  1. Uli Ganz

    Uli Ganz Registered

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    I record tasks with my voice recorder. Currently I have a set of folders with subfolders like

    • Calendar
    • Urgent
    • Making Money
      • Online
        • Idea 1
        • Idea 2
        • ...
      • Offline
    I view them in an windows-explorer tree-like fashion, similar to what it looks like here.

    I want to use the GTD system with this.

    The problem is, how do I use the recursive system of gtd with this?

    What I mean is that to solve bigger tasks, you separate them into smaller ones. Then you either delegate or chunk them further into units you can solve in 2 minutes or less. Or you need another context.

    Now let's say I have a folder Idea 1 like above. I reorganize the whole structure into

    • Calendar
    • Urgent
    • 2 Minutes max
    • Bigger projects
      • Making Money
        • Online
          • Idea 1
    Then I would have to add below Idea 1

    • ...
    • Idea 1
      • Subtask 1
      • Subtask 2
        • Urgent
        • 2 Minutes max
    So I would have to have the urgent part repeated. It is just too easy to lose track. Also, the gtd is not supposed for micro managing.

    I thought about automatically adding "Urgent" and "2 Minutes max" to each subtask and then searching through all folders containing "Urgent" or "2 Minutes max" and listing them collectively under the main "Urgent" or "2 Minutes max".
    But then I think, having established all of this, is it even a useful system this way? Why, why not?
     
  2. mcogilvie

    mcogilvie Registered

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    I think you should work through a good introduction to GTD. For example, the two-minute rule is for doing things right away, not for recording them for later. “Making money” is not a project with a defined goal, but an ongoing need for most people. In gtd, that would probably be an area of focus for you. Most importantly, next actions are sorted by context, with no double entry. People who use voice recordings with gtd usually transcribe them into a paper or digital system so they are easy to access.
     
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  3. Uli Ganz

    Uli Ganz Registered

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    You didn't grasp my post.
     
  4. John Ismyname

    John Ismyname Registered

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    Hello Uli; I have used a hand-held recording device since 1984. Back in the analog dayz, I had a separate micro-cassette for different uses - lectures / meetings, phone calls, each writing project. Each day, I'd do either a full transcription or at least get the jist of what I recorded and take my bulk eraser to the cassettes.

    While this process is easier on a modern digital hand-held recorder, it is basically the same - on a daily basis, I process my mico-recorder. I don't need multiple directories because, in the GTD methodology, my recorder is just another inbox and each mp3 on it is just another item to be processed.
     
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  5. TesTeq

    TesTeq Registered

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    You didn't grasp @mcogilvie's answer either. You can have a system as complex as you like but don't call it GTD. There's no list in GTD for 2-minute actions since they are done right away.
     
  6. Uli Ganz

    Uli Ganz Registered

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    How is that important for the recursive issue? Do you know what recursion is?

    Troll.
     
  7. John Ismyname

    John Ismyname Registered

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    It was example of how to use a voice recorder with GTD.
    The pot is calling the kettle black :)

    I will ignore future posts from you.
     
  8. mcogilvie

    mcogilvie Registered

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    There is no need for insults and name calling. I’m a physics professor with a lot of experience in computation, so yes, I do know what recursion is. However, outlines are not really recursion. They are data structures, trees, to which you want to add extra pointers. This is not the approach GTD takes in organizing projects and next actions, although It can be done in some apps used for GTD. I think the problem we have is that whatever you want to do isn’t familiar to us, and looks hard to maintain. Perhaps you can explain more what it is you want to do and why?
     
  9. Oogiem

    Oogiem Registered

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    I'm confused here. What you show as your outline would for me, be an inbox of snippets I have recorded. I would process those into my GTD system. I would not use the voice recordings as a task manager itself. They are ideas, as yet undefined and unprocessed and therefore not really an action item yet.

    IMO GTD is not recursive in the programming sense. At least I don't use it in any recursive way at all. If I process something it's either a project, an action or a someday/maybe item. If it's an action that can be done in 2 minutes then it gets done, those never make it onto my task manager lists. Your categories like "Make more Money" would be areas of focus for me and are not really in my task manager. I keep that sort of info in another tool, the same one I keep my reference material and project support in.

    This is where I think you've lost me and perhaps others. There is nothing in the GTD system that says you have to get everything down to a 2 minute or less task and there is nothing about needing to separate tasks into smaller ones at all. I personally have had individual actions that took many days to complete. What is important is that a next action is a discrete item that can actually be done.

    Contexts to me are separate from the time it takes to do a task because I work better that way. I do know some folks who create contexts for certain amounts of time, or energy, but to me those are already handled in the GTD system where you look at things first by context then add in time and energy and priority on the fly to decide what to tackle next.

    The standard David Allen Example is you capture something like Jane's Birthday party. That isn't an action, it's far to nebulous. But call Jane to see if she is available for a part on Saturday is an action.

    In my world right now I had an item sitting in my inbox that was "Breeders Assistant". That turned into a series of projects. One project was to "Get a virtual machine running that I can install Breeder's Assistance on" Now my project is to "Compare Breeders' Assistant with the current design of LambTracker pedigree functions and verify I can replicate all that functionality in my new LambTracker Design". The actual next action on what that project will be is going to be "Install Breeders Assistant Trial on the VM". Because of the limits on the trial I know that once I install it I have to have enough time to actually use it and do the comparison so right now that next action is set to only become available after Thanksgiving as I'll have time between Thanksgiving and Christmas to tackle that. I know that the install will take much more than 2 minutes but it's still the next concrete action for that project.
     
  10. davidcoforum

    davidcoforum Administrator Staff Member

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    We will keep this thread open to preserve the replies from excellent GTD practitioners. However, we will not tolerate rudeness and name calling, particularly when gratitude for assistance in learning the basics of GTD would have been the appropriate response. We have banned the original poster.
     
  11. John Forrister

    John Forrister Moderator Staff Member

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    That's a first -- TesTeq getting called a troll.

    On to recursion. In my opinion, clarifying an inbox to zero is recursive. I look to see if the inbox is at zero. If it's not, I clarify the first item so that it is removed. I recheck to see if the inbox is at zero. If it's not, repeat by clarifying the next item. At some point there's nothing left, and that ends the routine.

    (In practice, I don't always go through the items in order. At a glance, I delete spam first. Then I handle anything that, based on the subject, appears timely. Then I tend to look at emails from David Allen and other colleagues.)

    What do you think? Am I calling this recursion when it's not?

    You can call me a troll. Just don't call me Shirley or call me late to dinner.
     
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  12. John Forrister

    John Forrister Moderator Staff Member

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    And, to mcoglvie, TesTeq, John Ismyname, and Oogiem, thank you for your intelligent answers, and your patience. I am inspired by your genuine desire to help others learn GTD.
     
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  13. mcogilvie

    mcogilvie Registered

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    I think strictly speaking from a computer science point of view processing your inbox is iterative, like a programming do loop: for i = first message to last message, process message i. Recursion can be thought of as a subroutine or procedure calling itself: before I can schedule vacation, I have to schedule a meeting with my boss about annual raises, so before that I have to schedule performance reviews. But you can generally rewrite recursion as iteration and vice versa, so you're good.
     
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  14. John Forrister

    John Forrister Moderator Staff Member

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    Thanks for that helpful distinction. And now back to my inbox, which != 0.
     
  15. TesTeq

    TesTeq Registered

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    Yes, I think that inbox processing should be iterative. If we used recursion, we would easily overflow our stacks. ;) @John Forrister
     
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  16. Longstreet

    Longstreet Registered

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    :D:D
     
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  17. Oogiem

    Oogiem Registered

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    Yep, that's my interpretation too.

    Ditto for what recursion is. And at least for me, recursive routines nearly always run into issues. For me they are hard to get to work properly compared to a well crafted iteration. An example I am working on right now is I need to build a pedigree. I look up a sheep and get the parents, and then so on. It's easy to create an infinite loop if I structure it incorrectly. A more defined version that goes up the pedigree tree is easier to debug.
     
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  18. Sarahsuccess

    Sarahsuccess Registered

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    The original post makes several assumptions about GTD. I’d like to take a look at what is correct and what is not correct about gtd in the original post.
    (I feel safe doing that now, thanks)


    In GTD, to complete bigger tasks you do not necessarily separate them into smaller ones, rather you define the next action(s). The length of time of the next action does not matter, as long as you can clearly define what you would be doing. (I’m a little confused by the term “solve” a task. In gtd we try to complete tasks, and this does not necessarily mean to solve anything)


    True that one possibility could be to then delegate. Not true that it is gtd to chunk actions into units that can be done in 2 minutes or less. However, if you determine an action will take 2 minutes or less, it is gtd to do it right away and not to put it on a list at all. DA says it would take longer to assign it to a list and track it then to just do it. His clients report tremendous increase in productivity from this one habit. (Again i’m confused by the term “solve”. In gtd we predict how long it will take to complete a task. Not all tasks are problems to be solved)

    You would not change context based on how long a task takes. @phone is still a phone call, @computer remains a computer task, @errand remains an errand etc. Tasks can be tagged by how long they take (and in Nirvana this is easy), but length of time to complete a task does not change the context.

    Unless perhaps you want to make time based contexts like @full day actions @hour or less actions etc, but I think they are better used as tags. Is it good gtd practice to have time based contexts?

    Also, it’s my understanding that “urgent” is not a context, although sometimes it is necessary to note the “must do today” tasks. I think tasks can be tagged as urgent, but urgent is not a context. How do you classify and handle urgent tasks?

    Also, I appreciate the discussion that processing an inbox is iterative. I have amateur programming skills, but I’d like to see an app that walks users through the process and then counts the completed cycles. For example
    For each item in inbox:
    If inbox >0
    “What is it”
    “Is it actionable”
    If no trash, incubate, or file
    If yes
    If < 2 min do
    Else delegate or put on next action list.
    Program would show count: x items trashed, y items filed, z items < 2 min done etc.


    I’d appreciate feedback on this reply.

    Sarah
     
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