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I often face the following questions and so please let me know how you handle that:

I already think ahead of the current project and want to write down steps/tasks that need to be completed in the immediate followup project.

Concrete example: You want to plant flowers in your garden (project: plant flowers), but you first have to finish planting grass (project: plant grass).

Now you have several options:

1) You make one super-scope project (project: improve yard) and both subprojects are part of this project.

2) You make both independent projects and put the second one on hold for some time until you finish the first one.

Option 1 is not good, because followup project appear as you go and the super-scope projects end up with only intangible results (what does 'improve yard' mean).

Option 2 is not good either, because you loose the relationship information among projects and you end up with millions projects of which are dead because you don't want to follow up or which are just floating around. (I know there's the review, but you still loose the relationship information among projects).

My current option is to simply rename projects as I transit from one project to the followup project. It's simple and has served me well so far (only on rare occasions does one project trigger multiple followup projects). *But*, renaming looses information as well, so I put a task in there "Renamed project to: XY" which I immediately check off.

So let me ask you: how do you solve this?


I use both options 1 and 2 depending on the kind of project.

I use Option 1 for big projects that have a clear final goal. For example, I have a project Build Workshop that will take about 3 years to complete. The first major sub-project is Build Garden Shed. Other sub-projects include rewiring my garage and building some interior walls.

I tend to use Option 2 for miscellaneous projects that seem to be perpetual. Using your example, I might create a Beautify and Maintain Our Yard folder. It would end up containing a lot of on-hold projects, but that's OK. My solution to the dependency problem is to add a task to the end of the Plant Grass project that says, "Activate Plant Flowers project".

To make the on-hold projects manageable, I use Review Dates. Instead of reviewing all of my on-hold projects, I only review those that are due for review. I have an On-hold Project Review perspective that shows all on-hold projects grouped by review date. In my weekly review I review on-hold projects due for review in the next week. I set long review intervals for some projects to minimize the number of on-hold projects that I review each week.

Hope that helps.

I generally handle stuff like this with a folder (Improve Yard) and then use option 2 within that folder. Keeps the thematic connection, and if I decide to bag the whole affair, I just set the folder to "Dropped".

Even if any projects within that folder are active, they're hidden from view.
Or maybe it's all one project.

Step 1: Buy grass, sod

Step 2: Plant it

Step 3: Water the heck out of the new sod

Step 4: Wait for the grass to take root

Step 5: Buy flowers


Keeps you on track for the next action.
I also tend to use folders for areas of responsibility. I would create two separate projects with the second one being on hold. One thing that I haven't done, but seems like a good idea is to have the last task of the first project be: "activate plant flower project." You can even have a link to that project in the note field.

From the second project use the contextual menu and "copy link" and then post into the first project in the chain.

Last edited by steve; 2008-06-26 at 11:37 AM.. Reason: premature submit
I have folders for areas of responsibility, but I don't put projects in there if they are on hold.

All of the projects in my area folders are on the 1,000 feet level. They are all active projects. Below my area folders, I have an "entering runway" folder where I put projects that are on hold that I should be able to get to very soon. Below that, I do the same with 1-2 year goals, 3-5 year goals, and life.

So it would basically look like this:

Work Folder
School Folder
Personal Folder
> Plant grass in yard
Entering Runway
> Plant flowers in yard (on hold)
1-2 Year Goals
3-5 Year Goals
It's also important to have perspectives setup that help you see that info quickly. One of my perspectives shows all projects and actions, with all of the folders open. I just press a button on my toolbar and see everything that's about to enter the runway.

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