View Full Version : Where do you keep your projects list (and others)?
09-08-2007, 12:08 PM
I am new to GTD and working on implementing it in my life. I got a two drawer file cabinet, manilla folders, and a dymo labeler. I'm going sans hanging folders and I've been able to organize much of my paper into this general reference cabinet so far which feels good. But now I am a little stuck as to where to keep my projects list.
I want to go paper or possibly, possibly plain text computer files. So if you do paper, where do you physically store your projects list?
Do I put it in my general reference cabinet, filed alphabetically under "Projects"? Do I put it at the very front of the cabinet to emphasize it's special importance? Do I have it sitting on my desk? In a binder on my desk? In a portable format that I take with me?
Same question for the Someday/Maybe list.
09-08-2007, 01:40 PM
I keep both my projects list and my someday/maybe list electronically on both my laptop and palm, so they are accessible any time I have access to either device.
Since you need both for your weekly review, I'd suggest that you keep both on them in a place where you can easily access them as often as you need to: probably weekly for the someday/maybe list, and maybe more often for the projects list.
09-08-2007, 03:17 PM
Keep your lists with you...
For me, that means a BlackBerry provided by my work. If I didn't have that, I would probably use a paper day planner.
09-08-2007, 03:44 PM
Thanks for your replies. The impression I got from the book is that you work from your next action lists and reference your projects list only during your review time, which would make me think that you wouldn't keep your projects list with you. But I see in the case of PDAs how having the lists with you makes total sense because it's just as easy to have it with you as to not since it's digital.
09-08-2007, 03:52 PM
You reference your project list whenever you need to, not necessarily just at review time. So it should be almost as accessible as your NA list.
I keep mine in a Circa notebook.
09-08-2007, 04:29 PM
I use a vanilla paper-based planner - I think it's a DayTimer - with calendar and tabs for actions, W/F, and projects. It's not necessary to have projects with me, but it's sometimes handy to do a "mini-review" or to add to the list when something comes up. Mainly, though, it's crucial to have all lists in one place. Then I can do all my work without gathering multiple tools...
09-09-2007, 04:13 AM
My list of Projects is digital, but if I were to go paper, I'd keep it in the pack of index cards that I carry with me everywhere.
09-09-2007, 06:38 AM
I'm digital based so all the lists are either Outlook tasks, Excel or Word documents.
But I do use a portable expanding file folder, that carries current action support materials, current project folders, read review paperwork etc.
If I were fully paper based, the lists would be just A4/letter size sheets kept in that folder too.
When travelling light, rather than the full expanding folder, it'd just be the next action lists, project lists etc, basic action support items in a smaller single pocket plastic folder/wallet.
In a nutshell though, I'd try to keep them at hand, just as much as my next action lists.
09-09-2007, 04:14 PM
I use paper.
I make a Word document of my projects and keep it in a binder. New projects get written on the paper and typed in when I next print it.
My NAs are in the binder as well - but as they change more often, they are all hand-written.
S/M are also in the binder.
Each section has its own tab. It's a thin binder.
09-09-2007, 06:48 PM
Bottleblue I was thinking about a similar arrangement. I like the combination of printed files and handwritten items.
I'm doing my initial mind sweep now and I'm just capturing everything into a text file on my computer. Then I'm thinking I'll process this collection mainly into either my projects list or my someday/maybe list, both computer text files. Then I'll print out the projects list and keep it with me (handwriting on it as necessary). From this list, I'll hand write my next actions. My calendar is currently in a 5 1/2" x 8 1/2" three ring binder so I'll just keep my lists in that (although I'm not sure what the best way to fit my letter size print-outs in this will be).
On the other hand, I am interested in the hipster PDA idea. Especially for on the go capture and next actions. It's not convenient to have binder with me at all times. What if I'm in a store and I have an idea that I want to capture?
09-09-2007, 07:29 PM
I'm not quite so cool as to have a hipster PDA - but I do carry a pack of index cards with a hairband wrapped around it. :mrgreen:
That's what I use for capture during the day.
I usually bring my calendar, my binder and a notepad for meetings with me in the car each day - but the index cards go in with me (in my purse) wherever I go.
It's working well.
09-10-2007, 05:34 AM
Another reason to have your project list with the system you carry with you is so you can add a new one if it gets assigned or realized while you are away from your office.
09-11-2007, 11:32 PM
Okay so the general consensus seems to be keep your projects list with you.
What about keeping your someday/maybe list(s) with you? Is that important/necessary?
09-12-2007, 08:48 AM
I don't need to refer to my Someday/Maybe list throughout the week. It's also 102 items long, so I wouldn't want to haul that around unless I used a day timer.
09-12-2007, 09:15 AM
I rarely carry my project list with me. Really only if I am going to be away from the office for several days, or if I am headed for a coffee shop to do my weekly review.
But then, I don't usually carry my NA list, either. Just a capture tool and maybe the @Errands sheet. Again, the exception is if I am going somewhere for the purpose of working.
I can't see why a Project List is absolutely necessary to carry around with you. The NA's are enough, I reckon. Carry a notepad if you want to record a new project or an idea for a project while you're out and about, tho.
If you want to go paper, keep it simple to begin with. Like your 43 folders, set up some Project folders or binders - one per project. Keep your list of all projects in a plastic sleeve somewhere (or stuck on your wall), and keep your list of possible NA's and all of your ideas and notes for that project in its own folder or binder (at the front).
09-13-2007, 07:38 AM
Oh, you certainly don't need to keep your Projects list with you. But it can be very helpful to pull it up and remind myself of my goals.
09-13-2007, 08:37 AM
I have a binder that I keep at work and a binder at home. I don't carry them with me. If I think of something to add while I'm on the go, I either write it on an index card or send myself an SMS or voicemail.
09-14-2007, 03:30 PM
"Each section has its own tab. It's a thin binder."
What sections do you have in your folder?
I have the 8 sections David recommends (in, cal, na, project lists, agendas, project support materials, reference, rolodex).
I'm confused about where to put 2 types of lists:
checklist (daily, weekly, monthly)
a meeting agenda that I will add items to each week
The agenda I compile is as a secretary, not things to discuss with people, so I'm compiling the list of items into a template each week. Where does that go in my paper organiser?
09-14-2007, 07:33 PM
Here's my Tab Directory in my binder:
Next Actions Lists
Ideas and Things
09-15-2007, 05:00 AM
My binder only has the following:
I have all of my support materials at home.
If I'm currently working on something and out and about, I carry that folder with me (usually I put the stuff in a clear closeable folder so stuff won't fall out).
I'd either stick the agenda template in a section of it's own with the current one in front and the blanks behind it - or keep the agenda at home and write entries on the index cards I carry with me and add them later.
You can always try something and then tweak it later if it's not working as you had hoped!
09-15-2007, 05:20 PM
My binder only has the following:
I have all of my support materials at home.
I like that idea.
It makes sense because you usually know what context you'll be in when you go out (work, Church, errands) so you can take any projects with you that you will be working on. It doesn't make sense to take all my work projects to Church just because they are support materials. I remember the old Microsoft Windows 98 had a 'Briefcase' type option on the desk top. It worked like synching your laptop with your desktop computer to take those things that you needed at that time. I like the idea of manually synching a paper organiser with a paper HDD at home.