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-   -   "Temporary" Single-Action Lists? (http://forums.omnigroup.com/showthread.php?t=15919)

scrounger 2010-04-10 10:40 AM

"Temporary" Single-Action Lists?
 
OF newbie here. The basic thing I'm trying to do is manage lots of small unrelated non-project-ish tasks. I understand that Single Action Lists are the orthodox method for those. But one problem I foresee is this:

[B]On the one hand[/B], there are always new non-project-ish items being created, so I'd want my SAL to pretty much live forever. It may occasionally (rarely) become empty, but it would soon fill up again.

[B]On the other hand[/B], although I guess there's no fundamental problem with such an "immortal" SAL, it irks me. In the same way that I like the feeling of completing a Project, I also like the feeling of getting some "blob" of single actions done, dusted, gone.

So, any thoughts on the following method?

Each month, I'd create a brand new "dated" SAL. So I'd have "March 2010" and "April 2010" etc. Then, any non-project item that I create in March would go into the "March 2010" SAL; any non-project item created in April would go into the "April 2010" SAL. And so on. Note that items go into the dated SAL according to when I *create* them, and not when they are due to be done or started or whatever.

Then the crucial thing then is this. I'd keep any given dated SAL alive until its last item was handled (done, dropped, whatever), but I'd consider it closed for *new* items, once the month had moved on. So, once May (say) arrives, no more new items could be added the April (or previous) SALs. Any given dated SAL is closed once it becomes empty (i.e. all its items have been handled) *and* the date has now moved on to a new month.

So that always gives me an obvious SAL into which I drop any given non-project-ish item, but it also lets me get the satisfaction of "completing a blob" of (non-project-ish) items. And it has the side benefit of showing me (because the dated SAL in question would remain visible to me) if I have any very old non-project-ish items that I'm just not dealing with, even if the items themselves are undated.

Am I missing any kind of obvious functionality in OF that would achieve the above but with less messing about?

P.S. In practice, I'd probably have several of these "dated" SALs for each month -- one per folder, where my folders represent the broad areas of my work: "Sales", "Engineering", "Finance" and so on. But I don't think that affects my basic question.

scrounger 2010-04-10 11:10 AM

[QUOTE=scrounger;75733]
So, any thoughts on the following method?

Each month, I'd create a brand new "dated" SAL. ...
Then the crucial thing then is this. I'd keep any given dated SAL alive until its last item was handled (done, dropped, whatever), but I'd consider it closed for *new* items, once the month had moved on.[/QUOTE]

Sigh, I can already see a problem. Many of these non-project-ish activities are recurring. That won't work with the method I'm considering since the recurrence would mean the dated SAL would *never* become empty and so could never be removed :(

There must be a better way already there and waiting within the whole focus/perspective/view/GTD-review/etc shebang?

sfkeydel 2010-04-10 07:52 PM

I know this isn't the answer you're looking for, but just let the one SAL live. Think of it as a kind of sourdough starter that represents continuity in your work.

mmb32 2010-04-11 01:17 AM

Me too, I am wondering if it is worth having various SALs, isn't that the purpose of 'Miscellaneous' ?

The problem is that there are too many items that dont fit into a standard project and so they end up in Misc, not ideal when I do a review and it takes forever to sort out the Misc items and decide if I need to refile them.

I have to be more discerning with each item, the initial placement should be though out carefully, so much for the 2 minute quick action ;-)


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