View Full Version : New GTDer questions
01-17-2008, 11:56 PM
Hello all, I am new to GTD, and have 2 questions concerning projects (I think)?
1. Continuous/lifelong projects: I have a Family Tree project that must be continually updated (births, deaths, new ancestor found, etc...), but I may not have any next action for months at a time. Does this project stay in Current Projects forever ?
2. Recurring projects: I take care of web hosting, where once a year I have to renew the different services. Does this project go to references when finished then come out again each year one my calendar reminder tells me to ? Or does this stay as a current project ?
I really want to get this right so I don't get bad habits due to misunderstanding.
Thanks for your feedback.
01-18-2008, 01:04 AM
Both things are not current projects all year long.
1. Continuous/lifelong projects: I have a Family Tree project that must be continually updated (births, deaths, new ancestor found, etc...), but I may not have any next action for months at a time. Does this project stay in Current Projects forever ? No, deal with this as an area of focus or responsibility. When you get new input for it, this new item becomes a current project.
2. Recurring projects: I take care of web hosting, where once a year I have to renew the different services. Does this project go to references when finished then come out again each year one my calendar reminder tells me to ? Yes.
Or does this stay as a current project ?No.
01-18-2008, 06:18 AM
Thank you Rainer.
Very clear answers.
01-18-2008, 07:58 AM
I agree with the answers given.
I would add that I use my Tickler file instead of my calendar for such things. I create manilla project folders, and drop them into a future date. I can then add things as they come up (drop them in the folder), but I don't have to deal with them until the project folder appears on my desk when that day in the Tickler file is reached. If there is nothing to do, I can then plan it forward another month.
I suspect you want to keep it as a Project on your list so that you don't forget to think about it, and so you don't have to keep that reminder in your head. The manilla folder in the Tickler file does this very well. It shows up every month or so, depending on how far out you plan it forward, but you don't have to be reminded of it every Weekly Review. It'll show up when it is supposed to.
This works great for regular meetings as well. Put the folder in the meeting date in the Tickler file, and drop agenda items in as they show up. On the day of the meeting, you have all your ideas and discussion points collected.
01-18-2008, 03:47 PM
I'm going to throw a couple of different ideas out there --- if for no other reason than to just spice things up a bit! :-D
Regarding your family tree project, I agree with the others -- keep it "active" as this is probably something important to you. When you do your reviews, ponder the project and see if a Next Action comes up for it from out of the blue.
Regarding your web hosting billing, I have the same situation. And, my answer is "No!" I do not keep open projects for these. Why do such? They just clutter up the list and create an "open loop" that doesn't need to be there. Calendar it, then forget it! i.e., less stress! Or, what I do is I have my accounting software remind me to bill them - thus keeping it even off the calendar.
Now, as a side note, if you need to be tickling these clients to possibly get more work out of them, then, yes, keep the project open and plan such next actions when you do your review.
Finally, regarding your "I really want to get this right," comment -- you just even trying is "right." Relax about it -- this stuff is more of an "art" than a "science" and you will get frustrated and give up if you try to treat it as a "science." Give something a try, live with it for awhile -- then, if you need to, tweak it.
01-18-2008, 10:13 PM
If I were inputting those two things into my system...
I have a Weekly Review checklist of all the areas I need to collect from (i.e. clean purse, clean off fridge, clean out Inbox). I'd add "Does family tree need updating?" to this checklist, and add a Next Action as appropriate. I don't think updates require their own project if they're one-shot items and infrequent.
I'd put the recurring web hosting dates into my Google Calendar Tickler (I don't use physical folders) with an email reminder 1 day before on each one. When I got the email, I'd add a Next Action to send them a bill, or whatever it is you do. (Or you could setup automatic billing through accounting software, as suggested earlier.)
If your family tree is updated once a month or less, you could also add "Does family tree need updating?" as a monthly recurring task in Google Calendar with an email alert. Each time you get the email, you delete it if you don't have updates, or input the updates as Next Actions.
Ultimately, with anything, you want to interact with it only when you really need to. Automatic email reminders mean you never have to think about either one until you get an email.
01-21-2008, 12:46 AM
Thank you all very much.
I love all of the feedback. It is great being in such an active forum.
I hope to be able to help people soon, instead of doing the asking.
Have a great day all, and thanks again,