I have a great resistance to separating my project support materials from my GTD/MS Outlook system because I'd like those support materials to be portable, accessible, contained, editable, and somewhat catagorized. By support materials I mean the Word docs, PDF's, excel files, mindmaps, weblinks, and simple text I've pirated (I mean borrowed) from the internet. Outlook is good at combining all of these items into one page for housing all notes for a project. I'm not yet using any add-ins by the way.
My separation anxiety is probably a trust issue stemming from occasionally losing data due to broken organizational systems in my past, as well as other "psychological obstacles" [A term I learned from Julie Morgenstern - Man, I just love Julie]
Anyway, I'm not exactly "on the road" but I do toggle between a home office and a shared work office and, therefore, two different PC's - until I determine which laptop to go for Because of this I prefer to have my digital reference files at hand, and some hardcopies/workbooks of most current projects. Dragging 4-drawer file cabinets to work and back isn't really an option - what with the price of gas these days.
I keep Outlook with me in both environments by updating to Briefcase and putting it onto a jump drive. Currently, all of my "Project Support Materials" go with me in one shot - contained within Outlook, but separated from the rest of GTD by use of a task item based folder which I call "Project Support".
I've ingeniously utilized different fields and views [rubs hands together and shifts beady little eyes back and forth] so's not to confuse the next actions catagories segment of my regular tasks folder - I kept those as suggested; (@Computer, @Phone, @Waiting for, @Machine shop, @Crack house…) Wish I could show you a screenshot. Maybe I'll try to work that out.
And, as you can imagine I am giving in to the temptation to use this "Project Support Materials" list in collapsed view as a simple projects list.
My concern is that it may become too confusing or overwhelming during the weekly review, and or, not specific enough during the higher elevated views of quarterly and such - and make me go blind, as they say.
This quote from Ellabograne on one of the previous threads on this forum says it so eloquently.
Regardless of the complexity of the project, your GTD system should contain only the outcome on your Projects list and the very next actions that you can take in your context lists. Project plans (including milestones and sub-projects) belong with your project support materials, which you review once a week (during the weekly review) or as often as you need to generate new next actions to keep the project moving forward. I strongly suggest (with some exceptions) that you avoid adding sub-projects related to master projects on your Projects list because it causes the Projects list to become cluttered. You want to keep that list clean and uncluttered otherwise you won't want to look at it and you'll resist implementing the most important habit in GTD: The Weekly Review. http://www.davidco.com/forum/showthread.php?t=8335
So far it's ok but I'm new and haven't quite gotten around to 30K ft level and up yet. And I'm really only a month or so into utilizing GTD.
How do you all manage and maintain support files?
Crankin up my overcomplication machine,