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Using the GTD verbiage, I have a "20,000 feet" structure of Folders for my Planning view. It's perfect for me, and it seems like OF was meant to work this way, but in addition to my projects about each area of responsibility I have, I need a Single Action bucket in almost every folder as well.

It's fine, but it seems redundant to have the nice folder structure and then create buckets called Maintenance or Errands or whatever for each one. I'm wondering how other people deal with this, or if someone has a better suggestion for how to Plan?

Thanks!
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by djbell View Post
Using the GTD verbiage, I have a "20,000 feet" structure of Folders for my Planning view. It's perfect for me, and it seems like OF was meant to work this way, but in addition to my projects about each area of responsibility I have, I need a Single Action bucket in almost every folder as well.

It's fine, but it seems redundant to have the nice folder structure and then create buckets called Maintenance or Errands or whatever for each one. I'm wondering how other people deal with this, or if someone has a better suggestion for how to Plan?
Opinions vary on this. I do what you do, for the same reason; in most of my folders I have a Miscellany single action bucket. In a couple of folders I don't, because anything that goes in those folders is, by nature, a project. (One is a folder for book reviews that I'm writing; each book gets a distinct project.)

Others think that single actions shouldn't be in project view at all, because they don't need planning, just doing. Still others think that single actions and projects should exist on the same hierarchical level, and that the current distinction between folders, projects, action groups, and action groups should be collapsed. I prefer the current setup because it allows me to focus on areas of responsibility (which the first approach would render more difficult) and to maintain a conceptual distinction between commitments that will require a series of concrete actions to complete (projects) and those that can be accomplished in one concrete actions (single actions).

From an operational standpoint, I find it's very easy, when processing my inbox or using quick entry, to type a few letters from the folder name and then "misc" to quickly file single actions in the appropriate button. In that regard, the current setup suits me well.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by brianogilvie View Post
From an operational standpoint, I find it's very easy, when processing my inbox or using quick entry, to type a few letters from the folder name and then "misc" to quickly file single actions in the appropriate button. In that regard, the current setup suits me well.
I'm curious if you find, using this setup, that your "misc" items get put off or if the bucket becomes a place for incompletely processed projects? I ask because that was what was happening with me for the first few days of having the single action bucket. I've had to become more diligent reviewing them and ensuring they're not actually projects-in-disguise.

(I have, of course, found *several* of these in my reviews, and making them "real" projects has been troublesome, because all to often I'm in Context mode when I realize, "oh, crap, I can't do this because I have to do this other thing first".

E.g. I had a single action "file bug against ____", and when it came up to do, I realized I need to test against a later version of the OS first. I created a new action ("test _____ in _____ first"), but couldn't put it anywhere useful in Contexts. So I switched to project mode, went to my single action bucket, and moved the item under the "file bug against _____" item.

Back in Contexts, my new action showed up under the right context, but with a "project" of "single actions". D'oh! It *should* have shown a project of "file bug against _____" but because it wasn't a "project" but an "action group"....

I had to move the "single action that's now a project" out of the single action bucket and into the projects list.

Frustrating and time consuming.)
 
It's easiest if you switch to Project view before adding the action. Try this process instead.
  • Select the "file bug against" action in context mode.
  • Click the Switch button (you'll need to add it to your toolbar), which takes you to project mode with the action selected.
  • Press Cmd-} to add a child to the action (or shift-G to add a parent).
  • Edit the action group to reflect the first step or two of your new project.
  • Select the parent action of your new action group.
  • Press Cmd-[ to promote the action group, making it a project.
__________________
Cheers,

Curt
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jasong View Post
I'm curious if you find, using this setup, that your "misc" items get put off or if the bucket becomes a place for incompletely processed projects? I ask because that was what was happening with me for the first few days of having the single action bucket. I've had to become more diligent reviewing them and ensuring they're not actually projects-in-disguise.

(I have, of course, found *several* of these in my reviews, and making them "real" projects has been troublesome, because all to often I'm in Context mode when I realize, "oh, crap, I can't do this because I have to do this other thing first".

E.g. I had a single action "file bug against ____", and when it came up to do, I realized I need to test against a later version of the OS first. I created a new action ("test _____ in _____ first"), but couldn't put it anywhere useful in Contexts. So I switched to project mode, went to my single action bucket, and moved the item under the "file bug against _____" item.

Back in Contexts, my new action showed up under the right context, but with a "project" of "single actions". D'oh! It *should* have shown a project of "file bug against _____" but because it wasn't a "project" but an "action group"....

I had to move the "single action that's now a project" out of the single action bucket and into the projects list.

Frustrating and time consuming.)
I frequently keep the next action for unspecified projects on my single actions list. For example, I often record an evolving project as a singleton action and keep adding singleton actions as I progress, as I described here.

I also record simple projects that way when I know all the steps in advance, for example, buying groceries or returning library books. As al_f said on a previous thread, sometimes some things "can't be sensibly broken down into smaller component parts."

What I would do with the "project in disguise" (I like the imagery of that description BTW) in your example is just to change the description of the action from "file bug against ____" to "test _____ in _____ " rather than to create a new action or a new project (I would also move the action to a different context, if appropriate). Doing that saves me time since I wouldn't yet know whether I was going to "file bug" at all until "test" is completed.

If the project in disguise is more complex or more important (or I just want to for some reason), I would then take the time to set up a project or put a note in the inbox to do so.

Last edited by dhm2006; 2007-09-14 at 04:03 AM.. Reason: Typo/Grammer Edit
 
 


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