What is the purpose of tracking Dates along with Notes in the inbox apart from just having record?

Discussion in 'PUBLIC: Discuss the GTD Methodology' started by Goutam Hegde, Mar 9, 2019.

  1. Goutam Hegde

    Goutam Hegde Registered

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    Is there any Underlying psychology behind Tracking the date while collecting notes in the physical gathering stage.

    Is there any advantage of tracking the time along with date?

    Is there any advantage of following the same practice in Mind Sweep Stage?
    If yes, Which is beneficial Recording the date and time when the notes was created
    or the time when the idea of some action or project came into the mind, if we remember?
     
  2. Oogiem

    Oogiem Registered

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    The only times I care about the date or time when collecting is if I am collecting data on a sheep that will eventually be added into the LambTracker program.

    Otherwise for me collecting dates and times is a waste of time.
     
  3. David Parker

    David Parker GTD Connect

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    It's only worth tracking dates and times if they're important or might be.

    I rarely record a date or a time unless it's needed for the Calendar though at the moment I'm researching the history of a subject and I'm recording the dates and times when things happened but that's nothing to do with my GTD system.

    So, I think the only dates and times you need to record are Due Dates (and times if relevant), Waiting Fors (when they were created) and possibly Goals etc in your higher Horizons.

    The only underlying psychology I can think of is the standard one of recording it to get it off your mind by putting it into your system. I have, over the years with GTD, developed a habit of capturing every important thought (usually on a scrap of paper or Post It) and putting it in my In Tray and that would include anything that had a date or time that was significant.
     
  4. Geeko

    Geeko GTD since 2017

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    I usually date every note I take. For notes during phone calls I also put down the time. That makes it easier to refer to something or see if a note is already obsolete. I got myself a date stamp which really helps with that.
    I think the benefit of these few times you really need that date is far more worth than these 5 seconds you need to write it down. But of course you have to decide for yourself.

    Cheers,
    Tristan
     
  5. AFG

    AFG Registered

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    Manually collecting dates is a hassle, and often a waste of time.

    Automatically collecting dates - eg if your computer capture tool does that for you - helps a lot. I probably would not capture dates if my tool did not do so automatically.

    Back when I did most of my capture by hand in paper “Inventor’s Notebooks” I diligently added the date, and often the time. Note “Inventor’s Notebook”. In the pre-Berne “first to invent” it was important to be able to show a chain of dates if you wanted to prove priority. Less important now. This applies even to tracking tasks - even if you just looked at a task in weekly review and EE-deferred it, that could be useful in proving “diligence in reducing to practice”. Even back in the old first to invent days, if you invented something 10 years before everyone else, but then left it in your someday folder, you lose your rights. Whereas if you could prove that you reviewed it periodically, you might maintain them.

    Accountants and workers on government contracts often need to track time for billing. It can be convenient to have date and time tracked ... not necessarily in your GTD system, but when you fall into the habit...



    Most of these things don’t apply so much to GTD for GTD’s sake.

    I mainly use dates because my preferred capture mechanism is to use a date ordered log. And then copy or link into GTD folder/lists. Sometimes helps me find some things that I can’t think of the name for.

    In fact, I was about to post complaining that various of the capture tools I use - eg iOS Reminders, the Drafts app, or Just Press Record - often Lise day information when I transfer info to OneNote. Making my logs messy.

    Shorter scale, I accidentally deleted a month’s with of GTD items. If they had not been dated I would have had a lot of pain recovering them, separating them from the stuff that I did not want to delete.

    I confess that I often fall behind in my regular reviews - weekly or monthly. Sometimes I sort by date, and move everything older than a threshold into a Someday list. With a low priority project to sort that list,

    Sure, if you stay on top of things you don’t need to do this. But I’m not perfect. And I can’t afford to restart GTD from scratch every time I fall behind. I find that knowing that I am on top of everything less than N months old helps ease my mind, even if there is older stuff that I am not so sure about. But I am still sure that I can find the older stuff if I need it.
     
  6. AFG

    AFG Registered

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    I was reminded of another reason that (automatically) capturing dates is useful:

    Many of my captures occur while I am walking in the woods listening to computer security podcasts and the like.

    If the date is automatically captured I can say “try the XXX recommended by the must recent podcast”. If date not automatically recorded, must manually record, or must make a longer note.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2019

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