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omnibob 2008-12-07 09:30 AM

Template and (instance) Projects using Perspectives
I've found it useful to create template Projects for some things, like 'Travel'. Additionally, after duplicating a template Project for use as an actual project, I create a Perspective with the name of the active Project (e.g., "Trip to LA December 2008"), focus on both the Project and the template, and then snapshot the Perspective. Since I have my template Projects set to a start date of 1/1/2030 (to keep them from being 'available'), I set to the Projects filter to "Remaining" ("All Projects" would work as well). Since my templates are near the bottom of my Projects list, the template appears below the project I'm working on, which helps keep it out of my way. Since the text formatting is different for the template (all default grey), it additionally aids in letting me know which part (template or active) I'm editing.

The reason I add in the template, is that I often find myself editing parts of the active Project in ways that benefit updating the template. Since the template is right there, it makes applying changes to the template easier. I delete the Perspective when the active project is complete.


otter 2008-12-08 06:40 PM


I also find templates to be extremely useful. They are ideal for frequent projects that occur a-periodically (or have a-periodic components, such as the food shopping I describe below ... ). The first one I made was, just like yours, for packing the night before a trip. Where I'm really finding templates useful though is for errands, especially for food shopping.

In order to do this, I created a series of template projects in a template folder. One is for basic errands (bank, post office, ATM, etc). Others are for frequent recipes that I cook (I have about 20 templates created for these). The tasks in the template project are all assigned to my 'temp' context, which is a dummy context that I never actually look at. (I tried having no context, but this cause some problems.)

Before I go out to shop, I look at my list of recipes and pick two or three. For each one, I use the duplicate command to 'instantiate' the recipe project, which I rename from 'Pasta temp' (or whatever) to 'Pasta 12/8/2008', and then move the newly created project to another folder. Each of the tasks in the Pasta project is an ingredient -- I then scroll down this list -- changing the context for those items I need to buy from 'temp' to 'errands'. I tend to cook about 3 meals per week (and eat lots of leftovers), so I will repeat this instantiation process for two other recipes, as well as for a 'Staples Food' project.

At this point the list of task in my errands context is likely something like ("bank", "post office", "bread", "milk", "tomato paste", "olive oil", "dish soap", ...). I then sync my desktop, sync my iphone, and go shopping from the errands context on the iPhone. (I definitely prefer working from one a single context, rather than jumping around from context to context when I'm out doing errands -- it's incredibly simple if all you have to do bang, bang, check things off the list.) When I get home and resync, the instantiated projects all are empty of tasks (hopefully), and I mark the project complete (and execute an archive to get rid of the extra layer of deadwood ..).

I'm finding this process works beautifully for this kind of ordinary (but not precisely 'every' day) type of thing.

- Art

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