Tip for presenting much information easy

Discussion in 'PUBLIC: Discuss Tools & Software for GTD' started by MartinJ, Sep 4, 2019.

  1. MartinJ

    MartinJ Registered

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    Hello all,

    I have some set of rules for my GTD system and my reference system. I have these rules written in Excel. The problem I have is that the information gets very hard to present to myself because it is rules in different categories and so on. It is quite alot of information to take in.
    Is there a tool, method or similiar for presenting much information in an "easy to read" way?
     
  2. RS356

    RS356 Practicing GTD since 2005

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    I keep my standard operating procedures, checklists, and instructions to my future self in standard word processor files. I use Word for this purpose, but any writing program or digital notetaking software would work equally well.
     
  3. Oogiem

    Oogiem Registered

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    What are these rules like? Can you give some examples?

    I keep checklists that I reuse frequently as on-hold projects in my list manager, Omnifocus. I make a copy when I need to use one, like a constantly refreshed pad of paper with a printed checklist on it.

    For basic information like procedures on how to handle specific bills I put those in the notes for that project or action in OF as well

    For longer lists and things. Stuff like the first 30 day emergency list or the sheep document that we update quarterly with emergency info for running the farm I l keep those in Scrivener and print out both PDF and paper copies and place in our emergency notebook.

    Packing lists are in SplashShopper.
     
  4. MartinJ

    MartinJ Registered

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    All my rules for my GTD and reference system are now in Excel, under different tabs (see "capture 1").

    Then under these tabs there are many different headlines to sort the rules in the right context, see "capture 2".

    All is in swedish but I think you get an idea how messy everything gets.
     

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  5. mcogilvie

    mcogilvie Registered

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    Lots of people know how to use excel, so it gets used for a lot of things it was not intended for.
    Depending on the tech tools you use, I would recommend something that produces a structured document.
    MS Word can do this, but I would probably use a Markdown editor or an outliner.
     
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  6. PanPiotrS

    PanPiotrS Registered

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    Miro, if you want to try full blown visual style. Or Dynalist for zoomable and toggable outlines. I personally use Notion for longer notes with all kinds of data and to store stuff, it has "Toggle" block that gives some of outliner's capabilities.
     
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  7. Oogiem

    Oogiem Registered

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    I can certainly see the issue. Personally I think you're trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. And the peg is about 6 times larger than the hole to boot.

    My suggestion is to look for a new GTD tool. One that handles the tagging or contexts in a more intuitive way. I do not think graphically, so I prefer text based tools. If I had to do a graphical version my best approximation with what I know would be using Scrivener with each context a separate scrivener chapter and yet operate with it in the corkboard mode. Or I would try to adapt a pure reference system with robust tagging like DEVONThink.

    I would Not try to mix both actionable lists and pure reference. I might use the same tool for both but I do not try to mix them.

    I prefer much more GTD specific software and separate my action and projects lists into Omnifocus (Mac only) My small reference material and Someday/Maybe Lists into DEVONThink (also Mac only) and other longer electronic reference into PDF or LibreOffice files.

    What computer ecosystem are you in? That will affect your selection of available tools. Give us some more info and I'm sure someone will have more concrete suggestions.
     
  8. Gardener

    Gardener Registered

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    Do you mean "rules", or do you perhaps mean projects or actions? It's the word rules that's confusing me.
     
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  9. MartinJ

    MartinJ Registered

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    I think you misunderstood. What I mean by rules is my standards that I am trying to follow for each unhandled object. For instance if an inbox object is supposed to go into my reference system (Evernote) then I go to my rules to see where this object should be placed in Evernote. If it is a reminder it should follow some rules and if it is a note for project support, it follows other rules.

    Thank you for your replies by the way! :)
     
  10. MartinJ

    MartinJ Registered

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    I can understand the confusion. What I mean by rules is my standards for handling inbox objects. For instance if it turns out the object should be placed in my reference system (Evernote) then I go to my Evernote standards (or rules) to see where in Evernote the object should be placed.
     
  11. PanPiotrS

    PanPiotrS Registered

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    So you want to have a map of your workflow, something similar to https://store.gettingthingsdone.com/GTD-Workflow-Map-p/40131.htm but more granular (what kind of data goes to which notebook etc.)? I think Miro should work best for that. Free account has 3 unlimited in size boards, that's more than enough, you need only one board to sketch such map in whatever way you want, one huge thing or separate collections of rules with links to quickly jump between them. They rebranded recently to Miro from RealTimeBoard, you can find more tutorials/inspirations in youtube or web by looking by their previous name.
     
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  12. MartinJ

    MartinJ Registered

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    Sounds very interesting. Will try it. Thanks!
     
  13. Oogiem

    Oogiem Registered

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    Are your rules that complex?

    I'm very confused. Why do you need specific rules to follow for how to handle a note for project support? Shouldn't it just automatically be filed in a container for that project? Why do you have rules for reminders? Do you mean tickler items, things you want to be reminded of at some date in the future? Why aren't they just things that you put in a paper tickler folder or in a digital equivalent and then handle them as part of your normal daily processing of your inbox? Why is there a special procedure for handling project support. Don't you just want it handy for when you are working on that project? So just put it there?

    For me I have very few basic rules or standards in the way you describe. I've never bothered to write them down because they are ingrained in my handling of inbox items but I'll make an attempt at a few examples. The biggest ones are that I have standard places where I file certain types of things and a standard way of naming those things so they sort properly in computer systems.

    Small bits of digital reference, emails etc are filed in my DEVONThink Database in the folder under the Active_Projects Folder that corresponds to the project that it refers to. For example, my emailed hotel reservations, a note I wrote with ideas for my presentation on Balancing Improvement and Biodiversity and my flight reservations for the Livestock Conservancy Conference I will attend are all DT in a folder 2019_Livestock_Conservancy_Meeting.

    Larger digital items are on my computer in a structure that is the same. A folder of Active_Projects that contains folders for active projects. So the start of my presentation slides in LibreOffice and some reference materials are in the folder 2019_Livestock_Conservancy_Meeting in the folder Active_Projects.

    Paper items are in paper folders labeled the same way.

    All strictly reference materials are in folders called either Reference (in DT) or Filing_Cabinet (Mac) By default they will sort out alphabetically so I have no need to tell myself where they will be filed as it's built in once I name the item.

    I have a standard way of creating filenames for digital reference. Lots of detail on that in posts here but basically for dated items dates are YYY-MM-DD_file_name I never use spaces in a filename.

    All Active projects are in Omnifocus, All Someday/Maybe projects are in DEVONThink.

    Writing projects are in Scrivener until I have to create printed copy.

    Dated items are in my calendar.

    Spreadsheets and Presentations are in LibreOffice

    I do compartmentalize what goes where so that it is quick and easy to locate something because I only have 1 place where that type of thing is going to be.

    So I'm still not understanding what you need the rules you have created for.
     
  14. MartinJ

    MartinJ Registered

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    I will list some of my rules / Standards.

    In my Evernote system I have some standards and some type of tags that I am using:

    #tag is what a note is. Like an article.
    !tag is describing what the note contains. Lets say that the article from above is about food than it would the get the !tag, !food.

    So, in Evernote I can have the following standards:

    * Every note that is an explanation of a word or something similar ends up in the !tag, !Lexicon/Dictionary.
    * Every note that is a reminder of something goes into the !tag, !Reminders.

    I think you get the idea here. There are some other rules as well. For instance how the title of a notebook should be expressed.

    I realize now that maybe it is not rules but more like explanations on what goes where.
     

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