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Making a fresh start with a messy document Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Just wondering if anyone else has any experience with this situation that they could share, and if perhaps a similar thread has arisen.

I'm a postgrad student and spend most of my time working from home. On top of various work commitments, minor music projects, I seem to spend half my time sorting out the junk in my apartment. Having lived by myself for several years now I've got boxes from previous places, messes of paperwork..various repairs to work on. I never seem to get past the weekend tidy up on the surface, if that.

I've been using OF on and off for about a year now- initially I was looking for something to manage my todo lists and saw how much success a friend was having with this. I went on to read most of GTD and that changed lots of things for me. For a while there was light at the end of the tunnel!

I guess the main problem is that when I first started using the software I saw it as a great way to take notes for university as well, so I would put anything and everything in there. Alongside sorting out regular stuff - shopping lists that I would have put in on a whim, badly organised projects, I have all these little fragments. Half-relevant ideas for essays that refer to old drafts. Going through and deciding which to delete or assigning contexts in general feels a bit overwhelming.

Now that I've got a couple of clear weeks in the summer I'd really like to try and tackle the apartment and I think cleaning up my OF document and getting back to the GTD philosophy is the best way to start. Frankly I'm a little scared to open the book until I have some idea of how to get back to something I can work with on the computer.

The most logical way to do this seems to be to open a second document and move stuff into it until I can set a day aside to really tackle this stuff as an isolated project. I know this isn't supported officially but I have been able to open a backup file and am considering wiping it to move the notes into. So far I haven't run into any problems, am mostly concerned about sync (am I right in thinking that the backup file won't sync to the server as I am editing it?)

What I do with the notes themselves is another question...I haven't really found anything that I find as easy to use as OF...perhaps something else by omnigroup to use in the future?

Any other ideas? Would be great to hear any suggestions...really just sitting down and writing this is starting to make it feel less daunting.
 
Try to stick to the philosophy of "touch it only once". In other words, don't dump todo items or notes from one folder in OF to a temporary storage with the thought ... "oh, I'll just put it here until I know otherwise where I really want to put it ...". Rather, first decide what you want to design for your organizational scheme, then put the scattered pieces where they should belong in that scheme.

You could start with a blank OF database, design it as you want, and copy the desired tasks to it. This would be an alternative to shuffling things around. Here is a thread about it ... http://forums.omnigroup.com/showthread.php?t=16803

In the meantime, you might also consider apps such as Notebook (Circus Ponies), Curio (Zengobi), or one of the other OmniXXX apps to store your document notes. That would get them out of OF because (as you noted) it is not the best storage option for them.

HTH

--
JJW
 
You might consider exporting to either taskpaper or HTML format, so you can search it for your notes, plus OF backup format, and then delete everything from OF. When you go back to it, you might want to try only putting in the things that you are going to do.

You might want to start with your house tomorrow. I think if you're doing what DA says, take everything and either file it, put it in OF to do, or throw it away.
 
 


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