Project planning and GTD
I have been using GTD for a number of years. I still don't take full advantage of the methodology, and like many people am "good" for a while and then go through periods of not being diligent.
Here is an issue that I've never felt that I do well.
How do I best integrate project planning with GTD? For example, I may have a project plan done in a spreadsheet that contains a large number of tasks, contingencies, due dates, responsibilities of others, etc.
How do folks integrate this into their gtd systems?
If I am not providing enough detail in this post, I am happy to provide more. However, this is probably the biggest issue from fully using gtd. Consequently, I often live between systems and then I wing it a bit.
Project Support Material
For me project plans are nothing more than project support material.
I have a "Project Information Sheet" for each project and in there I list things the project outcome, any future actions I may have brainstormed, random notes, and then specific notes on project history (e.g. actions I took that I want to record for some reason). I have a subsection in this PIS that I call "reference" and there I link to any project support material folders (e.g. a spreadsheet) or systems (e.g. Asana) that are related to the project. I then keep next actions I need to park (aka defer) on my action lists.
I don't make it granular - I keep it as simple as possible. If for instance there are 8 @Computer tasks in the project plan that are all next actions, I'll add just one @Computer action in my list manager and refer to the project plan or a specific list view so I can look them up individually.
I played project and programme management roles for several years using this method and it's worked really well for me.
Use the project plan to define atomic, do-able next actions on your action lists during reviews. You only need to have one physical action on your list related to that project to keep it moving forward. Don't put any physical actions on your action lists that have dependencies on other actions or outcomes that haven't happened yet. Only put actions that you can do right now with available context, time and energy on your active lists. Leave everything else in the plan or project support material.
A GTD system isn't rigid or complex. In fact, the simpler the system the better. You can "wing it" as often as you like. Sometimes I find myself "in the zone" working towards a particular outcome and don't even look at my lists. When I decide to stop, however, I need to make sure that I know what I'm going to do when I want to pick up that work again. That's when I define a next action and park the reminder in the appropriate place. If for some reason I don't do it then, I clean up that residue during my weekly review.
I suppose the first question is "What is your job?" In particular, is a significant part of your job project planning, and are you responsible for supervising the execution of that plan? I ask in part because most of the professional managers I know of who do GTD use project planning software that is separate from their personal systems. For them, GTD provides meta-control over the project management process.
Originally Posted by RickA