Still struggling on the difference between TICKLER and SOMEDAY MAYBE...

jimmyleo

Registered
...For both they are possibly future projects or ideas that you want to be reminded of. So why make the distinction? Thanks
 

John Ismyname

Registered
Hello Jimmy; I never liked the someday and maybe combined. While I take a broad interpretation of GTD, it comes down to whatever works best for you !

Maybe - Your wish list so dream big :) If it's a "maybe" then one neither has commitment nor intent.

Someday - For lotsa people, this is their 'code speak' for "maybe" - but not us type-A, over-achievers! For me, a "someday" is something I want to do (but am not necessarily committed) but do not have a date to re-consider it on. My somedays are things that I usually when I get something else finished first (pre-requisite task activated) but it could be date activated or date reminded.

Tickler - a date activation tool. The GTD classic example is the 43 manilla files (one for each date of the month 1-31 and 12 for each calendar month.) A software ap could also be used as a tickler. I use both.

For example, I bought a home study course on DVD that I sequenced to start when after I finished another course. I want to start this new course on May 1st so I put the physical DVD in my tickler folder for April 26th - the last Sunday in April. To me, this is a "someday" item. On this date, I will re-evaluate when I might have the first course completed and when I might start the new one.

You could move or copy things from your Maybe to your tickler as to when you want to think about it again.

Someday and Maybe are about INTENTION - IF you are going to do something and WHEN might you do it. . Tickler is a PROCESS .
 

TesTeq

Registered
...For both they are possibly future projects or ideas that you want to be reminded of. So why make the distinction? Thanks
No, I don't want to be reminded about Someday/Maybe Projects. I may activate them during my Weekly Review. On the other hand Tickler File items self activate on a given date. Someday/Maybe items are passive, Tickler File items are active.
 

bcmyers2112

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The first difference lies in when you'll review them. Your someday/maybe list is one you'll typically review during the weekly review to evaluate items for possible promotion to actionable status. Ticklers on the other hand are things you designate to review on a specific date that doesn't have to coincide with your weekly review; it could be three days from now or days, weeks or even months in the future.

The second difference is in the types of things they comprise. Someday/maybe as defined in the book Getting Things Done is a list of projects and actions you might want to do in the future. The tickler can include these things but can also include things like:
  • A reminder on your calendar that your taxes are due in a month (that's an example from the GTD book)
  • Airplane tickets, hotel reservations, car rental documents and anything else you'll need for a trip socked away in a tickler file ordered by date (I use the 43 folders system described by DA in the GTD book)
  • A note to remind me to follow up with a sales prospect who asked me to give her at least two weeks before contacting her about the next step
These are just a few off-hand examples; there are plenty of creative ways to use the tickler file. For example a friend gave me the gift of a workbook with exercises to help me orient my thinking more positively. I do one a day, and then sock the book into my tickler folder for the next day (it's a relatively small book) to remind me to do another exercise first thing in the morning. I would bet there are as many useful ways to use a tickler system as there are people who practice GTD.
 

mcogilvie

Registered
These are all good answers, but let me give some examples:

April 1st: Taxes done? Tickler
Trip to the Galapagos? Someday/maybe
Make restaurant reservations before play next weekend? Tickler
Order N95 masks in case there’s a pandemic? Someday/maybe
Grab birthday present for Dad off top shelf and wrap? Tickler
Buy $4000 bottle of scotch? Someday/Maybe

Ticklers are things you want to know, do, or consider at a definite timepoint.
They may be part of a project or associated with an event.
Someday/Maybe‘s carry no commitment, except to maybe consider them
someday if they maybe catch your eye during a weekly review. Almost by definition,
they cannot be considered crucial by you at the time you recorded them.
 

OF user

Registered
I saw an add for a Tickler file app ad on Google which struck me as funny. Wonder if it digitally represents 43 folders? Anybody ever try one?
 

jimmyleo

Registered
I used Wunderlist - now Microsoft ‘do it’ - and just had a reminders folder (that linked with a calendar) about things coming up on certain dates. I also date things to remind me to just think about something on/by a certain date. I then have a ticker folder that I just scan because I think the entries MIGHT come up soon. I scan those weekly and then think, ‘right, I need to start thinking about that now’, and maybe turn it into a project and or/reminder. Someday maybe is something I don't perceive as coming up soon (but ‘soon’ can be arbitrary). I don't really do the 43 file thing (mainly as I’m doing all this digitally) but I wonder if I'm missing out on not making my process more efficient..?
 

PeterByrom

Registered
Tickler = a specific date in the future when you want something to pop up to remind or trigger you about something. E.g. “September 14th 2020: review whether to start project X”?

Someday Maybe = no dates assumed. Anything on this list just sits there, and you look at these options in your weekly review, asking yourself “do I want to start any of these”?

So, the former is for when you want a reminder about this incubating item to pop up (usually on a calendar) and “get in your face”; the latter just sits there quietly, week in and week out, on a list.
 

gtdstudente

Registered
These are all good answers, but let me give some examples:

April 1st: Taxes done? Tickler
Trip to the Galapagos? Someday/maybe
Make restaurant reservations before play next weekend? Tickler
Order N95 masks in case there’s a pandemic? Someday/maybe
Grab birthday present for Dad off top shelf and wrap? Tickler
Buy $4000 bottle of scotch? Someday/Maybe

Ticklers are things you want to know, do, or consider at a definite timepoint.
They may be part of a project or associated with an event.
Someday/Maybe‘s carry no commitment, except to maybe consider them
someday if they maybe catch your eye during a weekly review. Almost by definition,
they cannot be considered crucial by you at the time you recorded them.
Impressive!
 

gtdstudente

Registered
Tickler = a specific date in the future when you want something to pop up to remind or trigger you about something. E.g. “September 14th 2020: review whether to start project X”?

Someday Maybe = no dates assumed. Anything on this list just sits there, and you look at these options in your weekly review, asking yourself “do I want to start any of these”?

So, the former is for when you want a reminder about this incubating item to pop up (usually on a calendar) and “get in your face”; the latter just sits there quietly, week in and week out, on a list.
"Small" concerns, hard edges, and under control . . . i like it . . . thank you!
 

Hasan Bjaili

Registered
Tickler = a specific date in the future when you want something to pop up to remind or trigger you about something. E.g. “September 14th 2020: review whether to start project X”?

Someday Maybe = no dates assumed. Anything on this list just sits there, and you look at these options in your weekly review, asking yourself “do I want to start any of these”?

So, the former is for when you want a reminder about this incubating item to pop up (usually on a calendar) and “get in your face”; the latter just sits there quietly, week in and week out, on a list.
How about calendar? I am talking about the digital age not real Tickler. I sometimes, get stuck between Calendar-Tickeler-Someday/Maybe. I feel that Tickler is in middle between the Calendar and Someday/Maybe. Can you elaborate?
 

mbusillo

Certified wine geek
Because I like to protect my calendar from becoming visually crowded, I keep my tickler items (tasks or projects I am committed to doing but cannot or choose not to move on yet) in a Tickler list in my task manager. Each one gets a reminder date and is moved to its appropriate NA context list on the specified date. It is also where I keep some repeating tasks that I don’t want cluttering my next actions lists. Date-specific information & reminders (my “need to knows”) go on my calendar. Some examples from my current system:

Tickler items:
Book hotel room for A’s wedding (7/13)
Implement MS Teams upon sales team’s return to work (8/3)
Email P re: scheduling follow-up meeting (8/5)
Weekly Review (Sundays, weekly, w/ a link to my checklist in Notes)
Financial Review (Fridays, weekly, w/ a link to my checklist in Notes)

Date-specific calendar info:
Sales Team return to work
’Hamilton’ streaming on Disney+!
C’s article posts on Medium
Car payment due
Birthdays

Someday/Maybe:
Enroll in WSET Diploma program
Return trip to Rome
Take a pasta making class
Dinner at the French Laundry
Order stupidly expensive skin care products
 
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gtdstudente

Registered
GTD ramble: Perhaps "Someday/Maybe" can also be understood as an external Inventory of Uncommitted Possibilities, while the Tickler-File is a daily commitment and anything one would also like to commit to ONLY seeing/reviewing "ONCE" until that date [day]. Thus, as Mr. MBuillo above has me thinking; Tickler-File keeps/serves our Calendar, Contexts, Projects, Someday/Maybe lists to be more welcoming and less numbness/overwhelming to maintain a clean attractiveness and easier review for a crispier "external brain". Thoughts welcomed. Thank you!
 
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Oogiem

Registered
How about calendar? I am talking about the digital age not real Tickler. I sometimes, get stuck between Calendar-Tickeler-Someday/Maybe. I feel that Tickler is in middle between the Calendar and Someday/Maybe. Can you elaborate?
Calendar for me is ONLY for 2 things, my history of what I actually did and the specific day/time appointments coming up. I fill out my calendar with what I did during the day so I have a historical record off what I worked on. Calendar is also a place for time and day specific items that cannot be rescheduled easily. A doctor's apt. for example or a slaughter date for the sheep. One key for me is that things in the future on my calendar are both Day and Time specific. For example the sheep have to be at the processing facility at 7:00am.

Tickler is for things that I need to either do or re-evaluate on a specific day but has no time slot defined.

Someday/Maybe is for all the things I may want to do sometime, things I cannot do now due to the season or other resource missing (time $ etc.) and things I want absolutely will do eventually but just not now.
 

Hydro

Registered
Someday/Maybe is for all the things I may want to do sometime, things I cannot do now due to the season or other resource missing (time $ etc.) and things I want absolutely will do eventually but just not now.
If we take season as example, why not on tickler until good season ? That's way you don't have to review it during WR.
 

Oogiem

Registered
If we take season as example, why not on tickler until good season ? That's way you don't have to review it during WR.
I don't always review all someday/maybe lists in every weekly review. I keep Someday/Maybe separate from my task manager specifically because it's much faster for me to read straight text and many of those lists do not need to be reviewed weekly. I just timed myself and if I read all 70 separate S/M lists with the roughly 1600 items on those lists it takes me about 10 minutes. It took me 12 but I found some thigns that I had already finished so I deleted them as I was reading and I thought of a few tings that I had to add so I did.

Examples: I have 9 separate book reading lists, separated by category or author. Until I'm ready to read a new book I have no need to look at them. I have 6 separate travel lists or next time in type of lists. With COVID-19 I'm not going anywhere so no need to look at them either.

I don't use a tickler for seasonal things because when I had those things in my task manager it became unwieldy and hard to update. I already typically have 250-300 projects active at once I don't want to add more things to that list when I don't need to. I much prefer to review each season at my quarterly reviews, add those things we actually plan to do in that season and leave the rest that could be done in that season outside my task manager.
 

gtdstudente

Registered
I don't always review all someday/maybe lists in every weekly review. I keep Someday/Maybe separate from my task manager specifically because it's much faster for me to read straight text and many of those lists do not need to be reviewed weekly. I just timed myself and if I read all 70 separate S/M lists with the roughly 1600 items on those lists it takes me about 10 minutes. It took me 12 but I found some thigns that I had already finished so I deleted them as I was reading and I thought of a few tings that I had to add so I did.

Examples: I have 9 separate book reading lists, separated by category or author. Until I'm ready to read a new book I have no need to look at them. I have 6 separate travel lists or next time in type of lists. With COVID-19 I'm not going anywhere so no need to look at them either.

I don't use a tickler for seasonal things because when I had those things in my task manager it became unwieldy and hard to update. I already typically have 250-300 projects active at once I don't want to add more things to that list when I don't need to. I much prefer to review each season at my quarterly reviews, add those things we actually plan to do in that season and leave the rest that could be done in that season outside my task manager.
Would "Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer" files in Tickler be worthy?
 

Oogiem

Registered
Would "Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer" files in Tickler be worthy?
Not for me. Tickler is much more absolutely sure that it needs to get looked at on a specific day. It's much more finely grained with specific days to check things. Seasonal things really only need to get looked at during my quarterly reviews at the solstices and equinoxes.

I also have realized that I use the tickler for things that are going to end up on my calendar once I review them and decide to do them. I tickle things that need a specific decision on a specific day and the event or item or action that is tickled will have to be done on a specific day.

Someday/Maybe ends up in my task manager as projects. They are often only can be started on in a particular season but since I may or may not do them that season and since they will be treated as normal projects with action items to be done in context as I can they are not tickler type things. For me there is a clear separation between what goes in the tickler and what goes in someday/maybe projects.

I guess in one sense you could call my quarterly reviews a "tickler" of all my projects but it doesn't feel the same as looking in my tickler file to me.
 
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