"Trusted System(s)"

gtdstudente

Registered
I think I've been kidding myself for too long in regards to having a "Trusted-System(s)". Therefore, I humbly ask, one-&-all GTDers, what does a "Trusted-System(s)" really mean to you and what does you "Trusted-System(s)" look like and how does it operate? Thank you!
 
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mcogilvie

Registered
I suppose a trusted system is one where you are not concerned by the possibility of unrecoverable problems. If you have a paper planner with your whole life in it, are prone to leaving it behind at random places, and are terrible at remembering where you’ve been and what you‘ve been up to, then it would be unwise to place your full trust in that paper planner. If you carry around a single sheet of paper every day with the day’s calendar and next actions, and throw it away the next day after you update whatever else you use, then losing that piece of paper may not be so terrible. Keeping crucial files on an old computer with no back-ups is a bad idea. But having back-up software and hardware and not using it is no better. So it’s the functionality of the system for your purposes combined with your faithful use of it that makes it trusted.

For my calendar, I use Apple Calendar. It works well enough with Google Calendar and Exchange. It‘s accessible in a variety of ways, including via web browser. I use Things 3 for projects and next actions; it is very reliable. I have multiple devices which I can use to access my lists. My files are backed up locally, and over the Internet. I‘m not particularly concerned with software or hardware failure except as an annoyance. I think my tools are pretty simple to use, and I’m pretty good at using them. I have recently pushed some processing and some reading into specialized subsystems rather than have them flow through my calendar and lists. This is at least partly in response to the challenges that Covid-19 has brought. I’m doing this with Apple’s Mail, Reminders and web browser Safari, which are robust and available to me in many ways. I try to stay away from software and systems that are fragile, device-dependent, or requires a lot of work to maintain. Hope this is useful!
 

mbusillo

Pro wine geek
@mcogilvie - curious about how you’ve incorporated Apple Mail, Reminders and Safari into your system for processing & reading. I, like you, use Apple Calendar (iCloud for personal, Exchange for work) and Things 3 for all projects/NA’s. I’ve recently started doubling down on Safari’s Reading List to store all reading material without a due date or that is not mission-critical to a project, and have added a “clean up Safari Reading List” task to my Weekly Review to avoid bottlenecking. Would love to hear how these tools have become part of your workflow, too.
 

Oogiem

Registered
what does a "Trusted-System(s)" really mean to you and what does you "Trusted-System(s)" look like and how does it operate?
Trusted system to me means that I know where to look for information I have saved, that I can find and prioritize everything I need to do, want to do, could do or should do. I can capture stray thoughts both profound and mundane no matter where I am. Those scribbles can be appropriately added to my basket of possibilities in ways I can use and find later. I know what I am NOT doing s well as what I AM doing 90% of the time.

In practice I use Omnifocus for active projects, checklists for recurring projects that have start or due dates and repeat, usually yearly, but I also have weekly and monthly ones. I use DEVONThink for my digital reference system neatly sorted into logical databases, one for active small or short notebook items, one indexed finder folder, one for archived stuff from my active notebook, one for all archived email and then 2 for LambTracker, 1 is cleaned working queries tied into my GIT system and one is for in-work programming notes and ideas. My email is in Apple mail and I archive messages over 1 year into DEVONThink. My Calendar is Apple calendar and I also archive those by printing PDFs and them importing them into DT and then deleting the items off the calendar program. I use Scrivener as my notebook for longer writing and to track blogs and articles I write. I have several scrivener documents for that purpose basically one for myself and one for each of the organizations where I am an officer. I use Aeon Timeline as a simple project manger tool for things that have milestones and deadlines. I am in the process of adding GoodNotes on both iPad and Mac for handwritten notes and to write up PDF files that I have as templates. I am investigating using MindeNode as a Mind Mapping tool because I ahve run off the end of what I can do in Scapple and I need to collaborate on some projects that could benefit from a mind map approach. Google docs is used to share info with a few people as the common denominator that works across operating systems. I am generally cloud adverse but I do use Dropbox to collaborate on a Scrivener document with some people and to have my scrivener notebooks available to me on all my devices.
 

mcogilvie

Registered
@mcogilvie - curious about how you’ve incorporated Apple Mail, Reminders and Safari into your system for processing & reading. I, like you, use Apple Calendar (iCloud for personal, Exchange for work) and Things 3 for all projects/NA’s. I’ve recently started doubling down on Safari’s Reading List to store all reading material without a due date or that is not mission-critical to a project, and have added a “clean up Safari Reading List” task to my Weekly Review to avoid bottlenecking. Would love to hear how these tools have become part of your workflow, too.
I am using Safari’s reading list in the same way you are. It‘s all optional stuff. If somehow the list was lost, no big deal. Often the workflow is email to web browser to reading list. I don’t schedule or remind myself to look at it. I hit the reading list when I have or need a little downtime, read it and decide where to go from there. I‘ve tried Pocket and Instapaper, and they are too much trouble.

I‘ve moved several lists of things I might want to buy out of Things into Reminders. These are book lists, music lists, someday-maybe shopping. Again, no pressure to look at them unless I want to. While Reminders is not really a great tool for GTD, it’s more than adequate for this. I do not put serious someday/maybe here: Visit the Galapagos is still in my Travel Someday/Maybe in Things. It’s a project, and I’m serious about it, just not now.

One tip I would like to mention about Reminders and Apple Watch. In addition to our own grocery shopping, I am also buying groceries for my quite old but still spry mother in law. I put both lists into a combined list in Reminders before I shop. I use my watch to check off items, and I use it to pay at the checkout. When I return home, the watch gets washed along with my hands. My wallet, phone and keys never leave my pants pocket until I return home.

My email load has become pretty bad. I looked for ways to triage it, preferably before it got out of the Inbox. I’ve settled on flags. Apple mail on all devices allows different colored flags. They are easy to set, and they sync. Given unread email in my inbox, there are three things to do with it: delete it, act on it if under 2 minutes, or flag it. The flags I use are: red- must handle ASAP; orange- handle; yellow- waiting for; blue- calendar item; green- reading. If I handle only the red and blue flags on a given day then the world will be ok. Blue flags let me batch and make sure I don’t FIFO my way into a calendar jam. Yellow saves me the trouble of noting rapid email conversation waiting-fors in Things. Green-flagged items often link to web pages, which may or may not go on the Safari reading list. It’s working well. I see it as widget processing, with the added benefit of some info-snacking.
 
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