Tickler file as described by DA

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spring

Guest
Tickler suggestings

While reading the paper, if you see a play or a movie or something else you might like to do over the weekend, tear out the article or ad and put it in your tickler for the appropriate Friday. When Friday comes, you can schedule the event in or toss the ad, depending on what else is going on that weekend.

To remind me to check my tickler file the next morning, in the evening I stick a Post-It note saying "Tickler" on my PDA case. Once, I've checked my tickler, I move the Post-It to my monitor to remind me to put it on my PDA again that night.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Maybe I'm a bit slow, or maybe it's just late, but. . .

Let's say it's March 8, and I have a plane ticket for March 29. I put it in the "29" file. Got it.

Let's say it's March 8, and I have a plane ticket for June 29. Do I just put it in the June file? So on June 1, I'm dumping the entire June file, and RE-filing everything for June? Or would it be May 2, the day that I move the "1" file to June, that I dump the "June" file?

What am I missing?
 

Ambar

Registered
I haven't got the book handy, but I'm pretty sure that what David recommends is that on the first of each month, you file whatever's tickled for that month into an appropriate day slot.
 
K

ko

Guest
I've been placing the item in the appropriate month file, then refiling those items on the first of the month.

For some things, if the appropriate date to file it under isn't immediately evident, I add a post-it note for the appropriate date. Re-filing each month takes only a few seconds, at most.
 

TesTeq

Registered
Start of month re-filing danger

There is an embedded danger in re-filing the whole month on the last day of the prevoius month. You can be taken by surprise by the Next Action scheduled on the first day of the month. Thanks to GTD you don't have to remember the Next Actions so you can be really surprised.
I wonder what tactics do you apply for such situations. Wouldn't it be better to re-file the next 4 weeks on each weekly review?
Regards,
TesTeq
 
K

ko

Guest
Isn't the purpose of the tickler file to incubate something until you need to think about it? I'm not sure that "being surprised" is really an issue. None of the items in my tickler file would really catch me off guard when they show up. Can you give an example of what you're thinking, TesTeq?
 

TesTeq

Registered
NA surprise example

Example (virtual):
I live in Poland. I will attend David Allen seminar on June, 2nd in Los Angeles. I bought airline ticket for June, 1st. I put seminar reservation and ticket in my tickler file (June folder) - so everything was prepared and I did not have to remember it. On May, 31 evening I will re-file the tickler file and will see that I must pack in a hurry for the next day trip to America - what a surprise!
Of course I can put the early warning NA in my tickler file at the end of May but it is awkward for me. In my opinion the problem with tickler file is that it treats time in non-continuous way.
Regards,
TesTeq
 

Ambar

Registered
If I have an airline ticket for 1 June, you bet your bippy it's on my calendar as a hard landscape object. Otherwise, I might* schedule an overlapping trip. The tickler file is just a handy place to put the ticket -- the ticket is NOT the primary reminder!

That's my little world, anyway. YMMV. :)

*Been there, done that. Oops.
 
K

ko

Guest
I agree with Ambar - the item would also be on my calendar. If I really thought I would forget the upcoming trip, I would also add reminders a couple days out (or whatever is necessary).

Also, if the item is on your calendar, and if reviewing upcoming events is part of your weekly review, as it is mine, you'll be reminded then. At which point you would say, "oh - I need to pack for that trip" and add an appropriate NA.

I use reminders in my tickler file for other things, as well, and I find it really helps me to stop thinking about something until it is necessary. One example is birthdays - for each person I buy a birthday gift for, I have a reminder a week before their birthday that it's coming up. If I haven't thought of it yet, this is enough lead time for me to purchase a gift.
 

moises

Registered
Today is Thursday. I have to work at a Trade Show this weekend. The Trade Show requires an ID badge. I put the badge in my Tickler File folder for Friday so that I will bring it home that night. I also put a reminder in my Outlook Calendar reminding me to bring the badge home. It's redundant. But this way I have an electronic reminder that is searchable.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
electronic tickler file

I am a newbie, but I just wanted to tell you all that since I do a lot by e-mail, and am also a macintosh user (who does NOT use entourage as the primary e-mail/calendar tool), what I have done is set up an e-mail tickler file.

Let me explain. I happen to have an IMAP connection (which would be the best for this system). I simply set up a set of folders: 1-31 and Jan-Dec as folders into which I sort incoming e-mail based on when I should be getting a response to them.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
I have very few physical items that could go into a tickler, so rather than setting up the full folder system, here is what I do:

Use a desk tray; put a post-it note with the target date on each item, put the item in the pile in chronological order; look at the pile each day - if the top item is today, pick it up & do something with it.

Right now my tickler pile has one item it it. It has never had more than five. I think this system perfectly follows the GTD philosophy. It is the simplest device needed to get the job done for me.
 
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reinout

Guest
Anonymous said:
I have very few physical items that could go into a tickler....

.....Use a desk tray; put a post-it note with the target date on each item, put the item in the pile in chronological order; look at the pile each day

I also don't have many items, but I'm using a different system. I'm using the folder system, but only with 12 folders, one for each month. That's about the right level of granularity for me. Just look at it on the 1st of the month.

When there really is something for a specific day I'll put a note in my agenda where to find it.

Reinout
 

Gameboy70

Registered
I don't think the primary value of the tickler file is for reminders -- that could be done just as easily be a desk calendar checked daily. For me the value is twofold: (1) to put all material associated with a project or action in a single place, and (2) to psychologically "wall off" today's projects and actions from yesterday's and tomorrow's.

A good example would be taxes. Instead of trying to motivate yourself to do them "as soon as possible" (highly subjective), you just stick your receipts, W-2 forms, 1040/1099 forms and booklets into the February 15 file. If you're smart and followed the two-minute rule, you immediately filled out the name/address blanks on the forms, and filled out a stamped envelope with the shipping and return addresses before you filed anything. So everything's in one place, and you don't have to think about it until that date.

My minor objection to simply having a chronological stack is being able to see material for other days. This is one of those subtle differences in perception, like the difference between typeset folder labels vs. handwritten ones. For me, seeing material for other days turns that material into a "virtual" open loop instead of being deliberately out of sight/out of mind. I hope this makes sense.
 
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spectecGTD

Guest
Just a random observation on the tickler file today (Friday) at the end of the day.

Next to empty inboxes and the 2-min rule, this has become one of the most productive changes I have made since implementing GTD about 9 weeks back. The level of organization and ability it gives me to forget important things knowing they will come back up at the appropriate time is fantastic. My system is partly virtual and partly paper, and the tickler file now controls the paper part in a way I trust completely.

I will add that the ONLY WAY ithe tickler file will do its job properly is to work it meticulously, but the productivity payoff is tremendous.
 
M

mreynolds

Guest
Tickler file as described by DA

I will add that the ONLY WAY ithe tickler file will do its job properly is to work it meticulously, but the productivity payoff is tremendous.
I can certain attest to the above statement. I tried the 1-31 files but found that I kept forgetting to look in them and most of the time they were bulging with files and my drawer wouldn't close properly. Now I pulled out the 1-31 files and am working with the Jan-Dec tickler instead.

I am about half way implementing GTD. I read the book cover to cover in almost one sitting with the goal to go back and implement after I was done. Then I encouraged my husband to read it and it's sitting on his desk. I've snuck in a re-read about setting up the filing system and that's as far as I got.

I really want the tickler to work for me. Having work in a law firm I know what a life-support system it can really be. Any tricks for becoming routine in checking it??

Mavis
 
M

mreynolds

Guest
Tickler file as described by DA

oops!

My first time using 'quote' and I made a mistake. The first part was obviously the quote. The second part marked 'quote' was me.

So sorry.
Mavis
 
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spectecGTD

Guest
Mavis:

Here's the 6:00 am entry on my Outlook Calendar. It is a daily recurring entry. The reminder pops up on my computer screen at the beginning of the day and forces me to deal with it.

CHECK TICKLER FILE - Transfer into In-Basket

In practice, I usually do this the evening before for the upcoming day, but the reminder is there just in case I forgot or get lazy.
 
M

mreynolds

Guest
Tickler file as described by DA

I'm still finding my way with tools. I've tried Outlook but really favour the paper planner. We don't use Outlook for email because of the security risks associated with it so I have only used it for the tasks & appts. I have no choice in the software choices. We're using Eudora for email. It's fine except I can't fully implement David's suggestions and others I've heard about tricks with Outlook.

A friend gave me her older PDA and I couldn't relate to it all. I guess I could put a post-it note in my planner and keep moving it from day to day.

At the law firm the tickler system was so simple! Pull these files on day x and give them to lawyer for review or review them myself. In my business it's way more diverse than that and I am still struggling to find a system that suits me. I'm no where near "mind like water" - more like "mind like swamp". I know it will work -- I just need to do it!

Since I've only half implemented GTD I can see the benefits on the horizon but I've got to get the system functioning...while juggling all the other balls in the air. David's idea of Christmas Eve or vacation is a good plan if you want to be in your office those days.

I have a newspaper that we publish on a contract basis. For that contract I have a whole separate filing system with advertiser files which get reviewed every month. I have an advertiser database that tracks who advertises for which months. I have a separate tickler file (monthly) for the clients that need calls in these months. Then of course I have other admin. files and various and sundry other project files (like fundraising, privacy policy, merger possibilities) which aren't in my tickler. They are on my desk (because they are frequently accessed) in a standup file holder.

I also have all the billing, accounting, tax stuff that I do for the non-profit that we are under contract to. All of that is cyclical and I've got checklists in place monthly and a monthly tickler for things like pay commission to salesmen, invoices to post current month, accounting to post, etc.

I really need to re-read the implementation phase. I've got my buckets set up and the architecture of the system set up. Now I just need some focused time to work it.

Did anyone else have these struggles in implementing? Any hints or suggestions you can offer?

Mavis
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
post-tickling processing vs. post-processing tickling

As a matter of pure theory, where do people stand on placing unprocessed items in the tickler file? I.e., "Process later, on this date, not now." Isn't this the equivalent of returning the item to "In"? If too much processing is deferred, then the tickler becomes a multi-layered in-box.

I am uncomfortable with transferring Tickler items into both In and Next Actions. The Tickler is then a mix of dated next actions and deferred processing.

This issue is giving me problems as I try to plan an efficient tickler file--please offer advice!

Thanks
 
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