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Project: on hold/wait vs. Context: wait Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
I'm just getting started with OF and I'm new to GTD. I've tried to wait until I had a better fleshed out question, but I'm going to just throw out this general one.

How do you use Project: on hold (status) vs. Context: wait?

Many of my actions are single actions. I've been a FC user in the past so I really thought I needed prioritization but I'm starting to see that the ways that I've tweaked my planning in the past is very GTD and I always WAS using contexts more as much as priorities.

I've tried other programs/lists on the computer and I've always gone back to paper and pencil. I find that paper and pencil allows me to get more of my little actions done and my big things and future don't get looked at like they should. So I'm trying to get big things and future things etc. into OF. But I don't want them always in my face. So rather than re-invent the wheel, what do others do?

I've searched etc. but the info I found on this seems older and I don't know what features have changed. I'm using the sneaky peek because I'm working towards seeing if this will work for me on mac and iphone.
 
I use a Waiting context for items where I'm waiting for another person or some event. I put projects on-hold if they are someday/maybe ideas--that is, things I'm not yet committed to doing. I set future start dates on actions and projects if I'm committed to doing them, but won't have time to work on them for awhile.

There isn't currently a way to put individual actions on-hold. Some people create on-hold single action lists for such on-hold single actions. I haven't needed on-hold single-action lists. Instead I just create a new, on-hold project. Perhaps when I get around to committing to the action, I'll realize that it has multiple steps. If so, I'm set. If not, then I can just drag the project onto an active single-action list and I'm ready to go.
__________________
Cheers,

Curt
 
I make extensive use of start dates to hide things I don't want to see at the moment, coupled with a "tickler" perspective that accomplishes the same general flow as a "tickler file" as described by David Allen. The tickler perspective is a view in context mode, grouped by start date, available actions, all durations and all flag states. I look at this every morning to see what new things are available to work on, and refer back to it frequently throughout the day.

As for assigning start dates, putting things on hold, waiting contexts, etc. I'll typically put a start date on an action or project that I don't want to see for some predictable period of time. For example, I expect to get a notice from the DMV about the registration for the car needing to be renewed in early summer, so I'll put in a start date of June 1 for the project to renew the registration. I know when I buy a 4-pack of orange juice cartons at Costco, that it will take about 4 weeks before I need to buy some more, so the repeating reminder to buy orange juice will get a start date about 23 days out from the date of the last purchase.

Projects that are conceptually "on hold" (I haven't decided to drop it, but I don't really know when I'll ever get back to it) get put On Hold. I know, I know, this is a brilliant idea :-) I make limited use of "waiting" contexts. I've got a general Waiting context, with nested contexts for email, mail, and people (the latter created on an as needed basis), all marked On Hold. The auto registration project mentioned above has "mail from DMV with registration paperwork" as an action in the Waiting For : Mail context, which blocks the actions beyond it until I've
gotten that piece of paper, without my needing to assign start dates. I've also got a "Looking For" context on hold to track various misplaced items that are obstructing progress on something. Whenever I'm going to do some cleaning or organizing that might turn up some of those long-lost items, I'll have a look at the list to refresh my memory so if I come across it I'll know to set it aside and allow that stalled project to move closer to completion.

When using the contexts and projects marked "on hold" it is important to look at Stalled projects in the sidebar as part of the review process, as those projects and actions won't show up in the normal tickler view (they aren't available). For the projects I've put on hold, I'll typically have a monthly review frequency set, just to get them some occasional consideration.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by curt.clifton View Post
I use a Waiting context for items where I'm waiting for another person or some event. I put projects on-hold if they are someday/maybe ideas--that is, things I'm not yet committed to doing. I set future start dates on actions and projects if I'm committed to doing them, but won't have time to work on them for awhile.
Curt, if memory serves me, you don't put your Waiting context(s) on hold, do I understand correctly? Did you ever try it the other way? I've always had mine on hold, but this part of my workflow doesn't give me the same warm and fuzzy "this is obviously the way it should be, there could be nothing better" feeling.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by whpalmer4 View Post
Curt, if memory serves me, you don't put your Waiting context(s) on hold, do I understand correctly? Did you ever try it the other way? I've always had mine on hold, but this part of my workflow doesn't give me the same warm and fuzzy "this is obviously the way it should be, there could be nothing better" feeling.
Right, I leave my Waiting context active. I tried putting it on-hold, but didn't like the feel of that. I guess my main issue was this: When an awaited event occurs, I want to check off the action immediately so as to enable the subsequent action(s) on my part.

So, my Waiting context is active, but I don't necessary have it selected in every context-mode perspective.
__________________
Cheers,

Curt
 
Thanks.
 
I generally only use my "Waiting" context for those things that are routine/reliable enough that I don't usually need to further action or follow-up on them...

For instance, I'll clip order confirmation e-mails into the "Waiting" context so I can have a quick reference of tracking numbers and so forth, but I can generally expect that unless something unusual happens, the item is going to show up at the expected time and can be checked off in my regular review.

Likewise, I'll tend to drop in any "Waiting" items for projects that other people are responsible for managing/driving forward. In other words, if the ball and responsibility for the project is completely in the other person's court, it goes into a waiting context, as if they don't get back to me, it's really not my problem (perhaps they decided to drop the project and just didn't inform me, for instance).

On the other hand, if I'm dealing with things I need to follow-up on or take some action on later, I'll leave them in the appropriate context and just tack a start date onto them. This could be a person-based context (for regular project team members), or just a more general context like "Calls" or "Office" If the start date passes and I'm still waiting, that's my tickler to actually follow-up with the person, as the item will appear back on my radar on that date and time.

When things I'm waiting for do come to fruition before they've landed back on my radar, I generally just flip over the project mode and check them off from there, since that frequently involves some modification or at least review to the project tasks anyway.

I rarely put projects "On-Hold" ... I prefer to use start dates instead... I use this to represent either the actual start date of the project, or the date that I should follow-up to see if it's on-target to start. I suppose Someday/Maybe projects may eventually be useful to put on hold, but I don't have enough of those yet that it's really a problem with clutter.

I also have another context that I call "Simmering Pot" -- I use this to store actions that require some further thought to move forward... Usually ideas that occur to me that need further flushing out. These may become projects, or they may simply be checked off as non-viable, but ultimately I felt I needed a separate context that I could call up whenever I'm in "brainstorming" mode.
 
I like the 'simmering pot' idea. There are things I don't want to leave in my inbox and I don't want to think about enough to assign them to anywhere specific. I think I'll adopt that.
 
 


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