View Full Version : Findings must be captured as next action or be lost?
09-18-2007, 08:16 AM
Sometimes I discover things that really resonate.
For example, today I was listening to David's talk with Arianna Huffington, a prodigious writer. She dictates all her first drafts, then edits them later. Furthermore, she dictates them to a person, allowing the reactions of that person to influence whether she goes deeper, explains more, moves on, whatever. What a great methodology for any writer!
Must I translate that accidental incidental resonance into an action item? Or is there something in the GTD system that allows me to just capture and 'compost' an idea until a later more appropriate time to convert it into something actionable?
09-18-2007, 08:29 AM
The latter. Note it on a tickler and throw it in for a month from now.
I do this often with my notes from nonfiction books.
You can also create a checklist and put it in your project support materials.
09-18-2007, 08:30 AM
I think this is what DA is referring to when he talks about 'incubating'.
My suggestion... Create a folder named 'incubating', throw this kind of stuff into it, and review it quarterly-ish. Eventually, you'll either (a) figure out what to do with it, or (b) decide it no longer resonates.
09-18-2007, 09:20 AM
What jknecht said. Lots of creative people keep some kind of idea file for odd bits of things that resonate but haven't attached themselves to a particular project yet. My filing for this kind of stuff treats it more like reference material than like a GTD-style Action or Project. The important thing is that you review the file at some semi-regular interval, rather than having it be a black hole from which nothing ever escapes.
09-19-2007, 05:00 AM
I agree with all of the thoughts above and would only add tha committing to a regular (not necessarily frequent, just regular) review of these incubator notes is the key. Quarterly is too infrequent for me. I tend to review the Ideas category in my junk drawer app and paper notebook no less frequently than once a month and more often (every other week) if time permits.
My reasoning is that the work I do evolves quickly and that I tend to collect with relative abandon. So I try to be pretty ruthless in my pruning if something I've tossed into one of the capture points is no longer relevant.
As I don't have someone to dictate to, I tend to work in reverse mode to what Ms. Huffington describes. I dictate into my Tablet PC and then listen (w/o looking at the screen) to what I've written by having the computer read back to me after I've taken an appropriate (to the project time line) break. For a weighty blog post, that might be an hour later. For an essay or book chapter or white paper with a longer time line, I'll usually wait at least a day or two.
09-19-2007, 07:55 AM
Great tips! Marc's is esp. important - have a scheme to review.
I use a plain text file (http://ideamatt.blogspot.com/2005/08/my-big-arse-text-file-poor-mans.html) with macros to separate "items," grab URLs and titles, and tag items (e.g., BlackberryClientToolIdea).
For review, I don't have anything regular yet and tend to do it opportunistically. If I run across a need, I search for a tag or keyword and notice other hits. I also use the "blog to recall" approach - I tag ideas to blog about (1500 at last count), and when considering my (mostly weekly) post I review them (not all, alas) searching for one that resonates. While writing it, I search for relevant info elsewhere in the big file, which also motivates a review.
Great topic! Hope that helps.
09-19-2007, 10:02 AM
Great replies -- thanks.
Marc, sounds like you are using some kind of speech recognition software. Care to comment on how accurate and usable such things are?