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    • Projects = Your outcomes that require more than one action step.
    • Next Actions = Your next physical, visible action steps. Some are project-related, some are not.
    • Question:

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    • Projects tie all our tasks together into some sort of meaningful action, providing objectives towards which those tasks are directed. While not every task is part of a project, for most of us the majority will tend to be – especially as we sort out our work to privilege the meaningful.
    • Allen defines a project quite simply: any objective that takes more than two steps to accomplish. Though I’m trying to keep as close to Allen’s system as possible, this is a little simplistic for me. Implicit in his concept are two other things, I think: intentionality and time.
    • That is, to merit treating a collection of tasks as a project, the tasks need to be “held together” by a goal that has some meaning, and they need to be spread out over a significant piece of time.

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      [24 May 2009 | Comments Off | ]

      Are you avid firefox user? If yes then you will definitely like this hack. With this hack, you can open GTDify in firefox sidebar so that it will be accessible all the time while browsing. No need to open another tab just to check next action for a project in office context.
       Here are the steps for this hack:
       1. First, drag and drop GTDify link to your bookmark toolbar
       2. Now right-click on this bookmark and select ‘Properties’
       3. Check the ‘Load this bookmark in the sidebar’ option and then click Save Changes.


      Now …

    • The application allows users to create projects, add tasks to the project, set up contexts where and when the tasks should be done, and determine what tasks are considered “next actions”.
    • When you add a new task to the inbox you can give the task a description, define what project it is for, define the context, and then provide any details you may need to remember to get it done. You can also schedule the start and due date of the task.
    • Shuffle is reliant on understanding the idea of projects, assigning tasks to the projects, and then identifying and completing the tasks in certain contexts that you identify.

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    • Tracks is not just another version of my aforementioned examples, it adds some very nice functionality and is much more advanced than anything I’ve seen previously. Open source and running on Ruby on Rails, it includes its own web server for use on any Windows, Linux or Mac PC.
    • You can create several different categories and create your own set of tasks for each. In the screenshot below, you can see that this example includes Office, Email, Errand and Internet. Each with their own set of tasks, which are then displayed in a completed section at the bottom. Re-organization and customization has limitless possibilities as well.

    • Along with a simple tasks view, you also have project sections that may include their own set of tasks along with them. One ongoing project that almost all of us experience, is maintaining our car, like the example below shows us.

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    • GTD is a productivity philosophy created by David Allen which basically says that in order to maximize your productivity, you need to empty your mind of the tasks on hand and focus on one task a a time.

      GTD apps do this by doing a “brain dump” of everything on your mind, giving you the peace of mind that you won’t forget anything yet allow you to work on one project at a time. In today’s fast paced, multitasking world many people (including myself) have found this to be a refreshing take on things, allowing us to “get things done” in the most efficient way possible.

    • What Is Nirvana?

      getting things done

    • The one thing that sets Nirvana apart from other GTD apps is its strict adherence to the basic tenets of Getting Things Done. Many apps I’ve seen have gone feature crazy and the end result is an overbloated, complicated mess of a task manager. Toodledo has been my go-to app for managing my ever growing task list, and it has been great to me. However I think Nirvana’s brilliance is in its simplicity.

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    • capture all the things that need to get done into a logical and trusted system outside of your head and off your mind
    • disciplining yourself to make decisions about all the inputs you let into your life, so that you will always have a plan for next actions that you can implement or renegotiate at any moment
      • Outcomes & Actions

        1. describe in a single sentence the intended successful outcome for the problem or situation 
        2. write down the very next physical action required to move the situation forward

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  • Jan 21, 11

    David Allen says that if you are not doing your weekly review, you are not doing GTD. I agree completely, and I’d like to add to that: if you are not reviewing your goals weekly, you are not focused on achieving your goals.

    • In GTD, you capture everything, and process it, and use context lists for your next-actions … but things still slip through the cracks. The weekly review catches all those things that slip through, and empties your head of the “stuff” that keeps your brain working overtime.
    • Often, even if we’re good at processing our inboxes and checking our context lists on a daily basis, we still forget to check our project lists. This means that there might be projects that don’t have next-actions on your context lists, or maybe you’ve forgotten to add a project or check it off as done. Or maybe the project’s stalled and you need to jump start it.
    • Without the weekly review, the system begins to atrophy over time, until you no longer can be sure that it is complete or even working at all. Then you stop trusting it, and soon you’re not using it at all, really.

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  • Jan 21, 11

    It’s one of the reasons we put off GTD’s Weekly Review: because it can take so darn long. Many of my reviews have come in at 2-3 hours, and if I get interrupted a number of times, even longer.

    • It’s one of the reasons we put off GTD’s Weekly Review: because it can take so darn long. Many of my reviews have come in at 2-3 hours, and if I get interrupted a number of times, even longer.
    • Process your inbox daily, and review your next-action lists daily. Try to get your inbox down to zero by the end of each day — you don’t have to do everything in the inbox, but you should go through it and for each item, trash, delegate, file, or put it on a to-do list (see 3 Steps To a Permanently Clear Desk). You should also review your next-action lists at least once a day, checking off completed items, adding new things, deleting unnecessary things. Try to get into this daily habit if possible. If you neglect this step, do not stop – it will just make the review a little longer, but you can still do it in under an hour.
    • Before your review (either that morning, or the day before) make sure your inbox is down to zero. If you haven’t been keeping it empty all week, well at least do it this once, right before the review. It will save a lot of time during the actual review. This includes your email inbox, btw. (See Email Zen: Clear Out Your Inbox)

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    • First, take everything on your desk and in your drawers, and put them in one big pile. Put it in your “in basket” (if it doesn’t fit, pile it next to your desk or something). From now on, everything that comes in must go in your in basket, and you process everything as below.
    • Process this pile from the top down. Never re-sort, never skip a single piece of paper, never put a piece of paper back on the pile. Do what needs to be done with that paper, and then move on to the next in the pile. The options: trash it, delegate it, file it, do it, or put it on a list to do later. In that order of preference. Do it if it takes 2 minutes or less to complete. If it takes more, and you can’t trash, delegate or file it, then put it on a list of to-dos (more on your to-do list in another post).


    • Repeat at least once daily to keep desk clear. The end of the day is best, but I tend to process and tidy up as I go through the day. Once you’ve processed your pile, your desk is clear. You’ve trashed or filed or somehow put everything where it belongs (not on top of your desk or stashed in a drawer). Keep it that way. You must follow the system above: put everything in your inbox, then take action on each piece of paper in the inbox with one of the steps listed. If an item is on your to-do list, you can keep the paper associated with it in an “Action” folder. But you must regularly (daily or weekly) go through this folder to ensure that everything is purged.
    • One big effect of this is that you often wind up with a pretty big pile of stuff, particularly right after you do a “brain dump” and get all of the stuff you’re supposed to do out of your head. Some of that stuff is a straightforward “next action,” but some of it isn’t.
    • What do you do with the stuff that isn’t obviously a “next action”? You analyze it and figure out what the next action is in that idea that you have
    • In other words, if there’s some vague thing you need to do, you usually just need to think about it for a moment to figure out what the next action step is. Then, add that next action step to your list.


      Quite often (in fact, almost always), that next action step leads you down a sequence of actions that leads you to complete that vague thing you’ve been putting off.

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    • Allen concludes the book with three short chapters discussing the power of various aspects of the GTD system. This first one focuses on how powerful the collection habit really is.
    • page 225:


      When people with whom you interact notice that without fail you receive, process, and organize in an airtight manner the exchanges and agreements they have with you, they begin to trust you in a unique way. Such is the power of capturing placeholders for anything that is incomplete and unprocessed in your life. It noticeably enhances your mental well-being and improves the quality of your communications and relationships, both personally and professionally.

    • if your system is reliable, you become reliable, and if you become reliable, you’ll become more confident of your abilities, other people will notice your increased reliability, and you’ll become more valuable in everything you do.

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