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Project Hierarchy and Organization Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
I'm having a hard time figuring out the best way to organize my projects and contexts.

As an example:

I have 2 companies. Art Gallery and Commercial Photography. Each one has a website and other sub projects involved.

Should I keep main project folders of:
Art Gallery
Commercial Photography

or

Websites
Prints
Shoots

I'm not quite sure. Should I keep a main folder of Bills with sub projects for each company?

Has anyone addressed this according to omnifocus? Any examples?
 
It depends on whether you, for example, pay all your bills, for everything, together or if you pay for them separately and at separate times.

If you only do Art Gallery stuff at a different time/location/whatever from doing Commercial Photography stuff, separate them out.

The benefit of using folders for distinct items is the ability to focus on a folder and only see the actions associated with that folder's projects.

That said, I worry less about how the projects are organized, and more about keeping my contexts straight. After all, contexts is where you actually do the stuff that needs to be done. Those should be as clear and distinct as needed.
 
I just keep one alphabetical list of all my projects, which is what is suggested in GTD. I'd considered dividing them into "work" and "personal", but so far I've resisted doing that because (due to the nature of my job) I do a lot of work at home/on weekends and putting that subdivision into place for me would mean I might miss things. I'd agree with Jason that having the contexts right is probably more important.
 
The context view organizes things into where they need to be done in tidy lists, and the planning outline is equally malleable. That gives us the freedom to organize our sidebar in whatever way we want. Here's what I do.

Context View = "Runway", Current Actions
Planning View Outline = 10,000 ft, Current Projects
Planning View Sidebar = 20,000 ft, Areas of Responsibility

Here is how I arrange my sidebar, my Areas of Responsibility:

Inbox
Library
- Personal
- Business
- - Strategy
- - Management
- - Supporting Processes
- - Clients
- - - Major Client A
- - - Major Client B
- - - Major Client C
- - - Minor Clients

I'm also toying with the idea of separating my someday/maybe lists they're not spread out while I'm Planning.

OF's ability to focus is what makes it special. We get a great Current Projects list which can be arranged alphabetically by due date or for review, along with a great way to identify and plan within our Areas of Responsibility.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikulla View Post
I'm having a hard time figuring out the best way to organize my projects and contexts.

As an example:

I have 2 companies. Art Gallery and Commercial Photography. Each one has a website and other sub projects involved.

Should I keep main project folders of:
Art Gallery
Commercial Photography

or

Websites
Prints
Shoots
I would probably make two folders, Art Gallery
and Commercial Photography, as you mention above. Each of these would have various projects, like so:

Art Gallery
o redesign website
- action 1a
- action 1b
- action 1c

o pay the bills
- action 2a
- action 2b
- action 2c

Commercial Photography
o redesign website
- action 3a
- action 3b
- action 3c

o pay the bills
- action 4a
- action 4b
- action 4c

Each of the actions would have an associated context. So, lets say that the context for all the actions in "redesign website" (for for Art Gallery and Commercial Photography) had a context of Online. Then, in context mode, you would see

Online:
- action 1a
- action 1b
- action 1c
- action 3a
- action 3b
- action 3c

Is this what you mean? Planning mode is basically a list of your projects with all their associated actions, organised however you fell is best. Context mode is again a list of you actions, but now organised according to what "mode" you are working on.

Each of your projects, for example, might have actions that required you to call someone. Then, when viewing the projects in Planning mode, you would see the calls you have to make for that project only. In context mode, if you have a context named "Calls" then if you viewed that context, you would see all the calls you have to make for all your projects.

When you're actually doing stuff, it is (usually) better to look at things in context mode. When planning things out, then Planning Mode is a better fit.

Quote:
Should I keep a main folder of Bills with sub projects for each company?
I would probably put the bills with each project since that is where they belong. Now, if you usually pay all your bills together, you could give each bill-related task a context of "Bill Paying". In context mode, you could then get a list of all your bills for all your projects.

Is this the sort of thing you are asking?
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikulla View Post
I'm having a hard time figuring out the best way to organize my projects and contexts.

As an example:

I have 2 companies. Art Gallery and Commercial Photography. Each one has a website and other sub projects involved.

Should I keep main project folders of:
Art Gallery
Commercial Photography

or

Websites
Prints
Shoots

I'm not quite sure. Should I keep a main folder of Bills with sub projects for each company?

Has anyone addressed this according to omnifocus? Any examples?
In your example, I would make main folders for Art Gallery and Commercial Photography. As jasong and djbell said, that allows you to focus on one of those at a time--for those times when one needs your undivided attention.

Within each, you might create folders for Websites, Prints, and Shoots, if you have a lot of projects for each and want to distinguish them. Or you could just keep all your projects at the same level.

Contexts are places or tools that you need to do your work, regardless of the project or folder it's in, as several posters have said.

As an example, here's my current setup. I'm a university professor with a major administrative job in my department, but not a full-time administrator.

Planning view (active projects shown)
Inbox
Library
--GPD (Graduate Program Director, the major job)
----18 projects and 1 single action bucket
--Scholarship (i.e. research and keeping up with the literature in my field)
----14 projects and 1 single action bucket
--Book reviews
----4 projects
--Teaching (courses, advising, and preparation)
----7 projects and 1 single action bucket
--Service (committee work, etc.)
----4 projects and 1 single action bucket
--Home (keeping my castle in decent shape)
----1 project and 1 single action bucket
--Organizing (errands and miscellaneous tasks)
----2 single action buckets

This setup, in which each folder represents an area of responsibility, allows me to focus on one of them, which is useful when I decide I really need to spend half a day working on my research lest it get way behind. Some of my responsibilities could take up a 40-hour week if I let them, so the ability to focus is crucial.

My context view (available contexts shown):
No Context
Contexts
--Reflection (stuff I need to think about, anywhere)
--Reading (a conceptual context because I shuttle books around)
--Agendas
----8 subcontexts for key people or offices
--Computer
----Internet
----Email
----Offline
--Errands
--Home
--Library
--Office
--Phone
--Study
--Waiting (stuff delegated or for which I need a response)

At some point I need to enter an action to rethink my contexts (which would obviously go in the Reflection context!).

By selecting one or several contexts, I get a list of everything I can do where I happen to be. If I also focus, I can trim my list of 158 available actions to a small number that doesn't overwhelm me when I look at it!
 
Thanks Brian, your detailed layout is of great help in assessing other implementations of GTD
 
 


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