Sunday, October 10, 2010

A GTD/ToodleDo Modification

So, over the past few weeks it seems like I have been a lot busier than normal.  Some of this is attributable to my new boss at work.  He is very proactive in his attempts to improve our organization and this has resulted in a corresponding increase in tasks to attend to.  Likewise, with a few things behind me, I've been able to get more aggressive in addressing some areas where I'd like to see some changes.  Soccer season is in full swing and I've taken on a couple new projects for church.  Fortunately (or maybe, unfortunately) there has been a corresponding drop-off in my activity with the Tar Heel MINI Motoring Club.

Bottom line is that I seem to have a lot more tasks that I am trying to juggle.  If I took the time, I'm sure I could go back through the archives and find some info that I posted about a new framework I had implemented to get GTD into ToodleDo and my iPhone app, ToDo.  It involved setting up folders for Actions, Projects, Someday, etc.  The contexts correspond to things like work, thmmc, bsc, church, and personal.  I've also implemented a specific format for naming tasks, especially those connected to projects.  Overall, it was a vast improvement over my previous implementation of GTD.

However, I have noticed a few cracks starting to appear.  While I feel good that everything is getting captured in the system (giving me some peace of mind - part of the GTD goals), the list of Next Actions that needs to be addressed has been getting kind of hard to manage.  The biggest issue seems to be an inability to distinguish between those next actions that need to have a higher priority (e.g. something that needs to be done in the next couple days vs within a couple weeks).  I'd been trying to use a combination of the stars available in ToodleDo combined with the priority setting and some calendaring (this last part mainly in an effort to force the system to present the list in an order based on urgency).

I decided tonight to make a change and introduced a new folder: Actions - Urgent.  This is modeled on something I read over the weekend on a GTD mailing list I'm on from someone who was having similar challenges.  Another person posted about implementation of a concept from the Master Your Workday Now! system (hmm - maybe I need to add reading that to my Someday/Maybe list?).  Apparently Lineberger uses a concept based on identifying tasks to be completed within a couple weeks.  My timeframe is a lot shorter - I'm looking at those things that need to be completed in about 2-3 days.

So in ToodleDo, I added the new context and now only items on that list get a star (which makes me think I could have just used the stars for this instead of an entirely separate folder) except for a couple items in the Project list.  Below is a screenshot of Toodledo after I went through and made changes:

New ToodleDo after mod

This may force me to have to do my weekly review on a more frequent basis.  Like I say, maybe some redundancy that I've introduced as well that is really needed.  I'll see how it works this week.

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