Talk:ToDo.txt

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Here's my sticky wicket... I have an equal amount of things to do at home as I do at work, and their contexts rarely overlap, but sometimes the time frames need to (I may be sitting at work and get a phone call that our water was mistakenly shut off at the house... a sub-two-minute phone call to complain, but not appropriate for me to do at work; Or, I a friend calls my cell and says "lets have a drink tomorrow night at 8").

My HPDA has become instrumental in keeping better tabs on these sorts of situations and my Gmail GTD setup is too, but it means I must make it a point to get on the computer to check my mail or flip through my HPDA to see if I have any cards in there that tell me I have to be somewhere. Right now, my big GTD weakness is appointments. Electronic calendars are a pain to maintain when you live everywhere and paper calendars are massive and don't ping my ADHD brain with reminders.

Anyone have any ideas about how I might hack my todo's and appointments?

Well, right now it sounds like you have two systems for keeping track of appointments (the HPDA and the GMail GTD Cards(?) thing). It's important to get all of your scheduling info in one spot rather than spread out. Being spread out in two systems is no better than being spread out in 2 dozen, you have to get it down to one. I don't like paper calendars much because they're harder to modify and less portable than electronic ones. If I didn't have a Palm PDA, I would use my computer's calendaring software as my primary datastore for appointments and other calendared info. Then when I needed to take that info with me, I'd print it out as needed. Print out one week or one month or whatever and carry it with you. If you use a program like remind, it's pretty easy to create attractive and usable printed calendars. I'm sure there are options available for other calendaring apps as well.
When you're in a situation where you have to add something to your calendar while you're away from your computer, use a notebook, or better yet, write it on the back of the paper calendar you printed. Then just get in the habit of always checking the back of the calendar when you get back to your PC. If there's anything written on the back of it, process it and put it in the electronic calendar. The next time you print it out, it will be up to date. Think of it as an extra inbox specifically for new appointments. If you want reminders to beep at you, just set your watch to beep every hour. Every time you hear it, check your calendar to see if there's something that needs to be done. (on second thought, maybe that's not the best idea what with the constant interruptions that would cause... think about it)
Maybe that's not the most elegant suggestion, but it's what I think I would try. Use a software calendar and then print what you need to carry around (you probably don't need to carry the whole year around all the time) and stick it in the HPDA. That way, you have one place where appointments are stored (the software) and you can access that information multiple ways (through the software or in the printouts or maybe even other options I haven't thought of yet).
As far as todos go, be more flexible. Don't treat todos as written in stone. The calendar is where your "hard landscape" belongs, the things you can't reschedule or at least not easily. Your todos should be things you can do when you have discretionary time. If someone calls at work with an emergency that happened at home, context kind of goes out the window. It's an emergency, not something you planned. Emergencies probably don't need to go into a todo list so much as they need to be dealt with right away. If that's not possible and you're afraid of forgetting it, put a big yellow note someplace prominent where you think you'll be able to deal with it. But when these things happen, try to deal with them right away rather than wait at all. The idea of GTD is to make your day efficient enough that you can have more discretionary time for free time, but it also allows you to be more flexible when the unexpected pops up and has to be dealt with right away. If you haven't accomplished that, then it's not working yet for you. Try adapting your system a little bit. Keep tweaking things until they wind up with the results you need.
--ThePolack 14:00, 5 Apr 2005 (EDT)

[edit] Usage section

The "Usage" section on Todo.txt as it stands right now seems kind of inappropriate. I don't think that the use of Notes.txt as described really fits the idea of what this page is about (next action lists and todos). Notes.txt might be a good example of an inbox maybe, and maybe that contribution should be moved there rather than here. I'm thinking of doing that but I don't want to step on any toes. Vote yay or nay? Any admins, what do you think? --ThePolack 14:04, 5 Apr 2005 (EDT)

  • I think the Notes.txt paragraph is fine as is. However, the Advantages section seems to coincide with/belong on the Plain text page. What do you think? --RobertDaeley 14:29, 5 Apr 2005 (EDT)
    • I can dig it. I was kind of on the fence on that decision anyway when I put it here. It probably would fit better there. It might need a slight rewrite though since the Plan Text page already has some advantages listed. I could rewrite it all later, or if you want, you could go ahead and move/edit if you like. I won't be able to really get back to the wiki for a few more hours yet. --ThePolack 15:11, 5 Apr 2005 (EDT)
      • I'll go ahead and move/edit it, but check back later and make sure it's copasetic with ya. --RobertDaeley 15:15, 5 Apr 2005 (EDT)
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