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brianogilvie 2007-10-03 09:28 AM

[QUOTE=sprugman;22103]Normally I don't. I was thinking about using start dates to hide those things that I want to be on my radar this week, but don't want to work on today. Switching to remaining would be a way to see them, but it doesn't work for the other reasons I outlined.[/QUOTE]

What about switching to remaining and grouping by start date (in context mode)? If you use start date to defer actions or projects, that will give you a list of actions to start today, tomorrow, within the next week, etc.

sprugman 2007-10-03 10:21 AM

Hmm... in some ways I like that. But I loose the ability to hide the rest of a sequential project unless I get very fiddly with the start dates -- e.g. defer everything but the current task, and then go into planning mode every time I complete something to see if I want to move any of those deferred tasks up.

This would all be solved if instead of a binary flag, we had three levels of flagginess. (I know, I know, priorities aren't cononical GTD, and that would probably add other complications, but....)

dhm2006 2007-10-04 04:19 AM

[QUOTE=sprugman;22150]This would all be solved if instead of a binary flag, we had three levels of flagginess.[/QUOTE]

Actually Ken Case offered up something similar for discussion in July. I don't know what ever happened to the idea.

[QUOTE=Ken Case;17722](Maybe an easier path would be to just give people more flagging options, so you can flag something as "high" or "low" priority rather than just "a" priority?)[/QUOTE]


avernet 2007-10-04 03:56 PM

Yes: today, this week, later; instead of context
Fascinating discussion. I have encountered the same problems some of you are talking about in this thread. We definitely need a concept of "today, this week, later", and I think this is much more powerful the traditional concept of context.

I elaborated somewhat on this here:



jasong 2007-10-04 05:33 PM

Alex, care to discuss your blog post here? I'm curious about the idea of "contexts" being time-based as well as place- or tool-based.

My concern is that I don't know *when* I might want to do something, and putting something into "today", "next week" and "later" contexts is not very specific to when you *can* do something, as opposed to when you *might* do something.

Saying I *can* do this with a cellphone handy is very different from I *might* do this next week.

When I say "next week", I still don't know under what circumstances I can do it. If I have my "today context" list with me at the supermarket on errands, seeing "do system backup" doesn't help me.

If you only have a "computer" context, surely there's a further breakdown you can make based on applications or behavior you do at the computer? Email, Research, Maintainence.... Instead of thinking "I do everything in front of my computer", think "what tools or mindset do I need to be in when in front of my computer".

Frosty Crunch 2007-10-04 06:51 PM

[QUOTE]I create a couple "artificial" contexts that include specific applications (e.g. our bug-filing tool; anytime I have a bug to file, it goes into that context)[/QUOTE]

How is this "artificial"? In GTD a context can be a place, a time, a tool, a person, whatever. You could have a context of "distracted, brain not fully engaged" for routine tasks.

jasong 2007-10-04 10:48 PM

Thus the quotes around artificial. The reason I stated it that way is because many people tend to think of contexts as places you can be ("home", "computer", "grocery store"), not things you need ("Photoshop", "Internet access"), although DA does say "tools" are valuable contexts.

I'm not sure I agree with "distracted, brain not fully engaged", only 'cause I don't think that's very limiting: can I do it while sitting on a train without a network connection? while watching TV at home? possibly, but it's not clear enough. Of course, contexts are personal, so if it works and is clear when you dump stuff into it, then it's a good context!

sprugman 2007-10-05 12:15 AM

I called such contexts "artificial" because they aren't based on any actual physical limitations. If I decide that I'm going to be in my Photoshop context for a while, that's fine, but it doesn't actually take me out of any of my other computer (or home or office) contexts. And personally, if I'm working on a project in photoshop, I'm not too likely to switch to another project just because I happen to have that program open.

In general, switching gears between projects is much more jarring to me than switching applications. The way I tend to define things, a particular action may take any number of tools on my computer to complete....

pvonk 2007-10-05 02:16 AM

[QUOTE=avernet;22263]We definitely need a concept of "today, this week, later", and I think this is much more powerful the traditional concept of context. [/QUOTE]

I would think the start date could be used to indicate when an action needs to be brought to my attention.

If I have something in "today" and I don't get around to it, then I'd have to move it to "this week" if I don't think I'll get around to it for a few days. When I next review and find the action in "this week" and think I might do it today, do I then move it to "today"? Also, if today advances to tomorrow, do I then check "this week" to see if anything needs to be moved to "today"?

It seems to me that this system is just a "to-do" list with three categories.

sprugman 2007-10-05 08:54 AM

[QUOTE]It seems to me that this system is just a "to-do" list with three categories.[/QUOTE]

I see them as more like priority flags than categories. I'm not suggesting getting rid of contexts, but as I said in the OP, contexts alone aren't really enough for me because my actual physical (and mental) contexts don't usually filter out enough actions for me.

If I flag something as Today, but don't get it done, then tomorrow, it will still be flagged as Today, which is fine, because it's today again. I don't have to do any moving. If I decide I'm not going to do it today, but still want to keep it on the This Week list, then, yes, I might want to change the flag, but that's fairly efficient -- I just change the flag for that action. (It's also the reason I want Today/Soon/This Week/Later, rather than just Today/This Week/Later, as avernet suggested above.) Doing that bit of meta-work once per day would almost certainly be better than trying to do it in my head, with glazing eyes, numerous times per day, looking at a big list of actions, which is what I'm dealing with right now.

If I use start dates, but get behind, then I have to manually move everything forward in order to keep them hidden. The flagging that I'm wishing for corresponds directly with my daily/weekly/monthly review system.

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