Noisy Deadlines

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Inspired by these thoughts, I’ve been testing a Todoist setup in which the main principle is not linking next actions to projects. I’ve used Todoist before using a lot of filters, having lots of projects, priority flags, etc. It became too complicated to manage for me.

You see, linking next actions to projects is not required to have a good system. The basic components of the GTD list organization are:

  • Inbox
  • Next Action List
  • Projects List
  • Waiting-for List
  • Someday Maybe List
  • Calendar

They can be simple lists which makes the system easy enough to implement on paper. Thinking about these building blocks, I wanted to try a simpler setup in Todoist. At least, simpler than what I have tried before. I’m an accomplished overcomplicator 😎.

This is what I came up with.

Lists

I have my typical GTD Dashboard list with links to other parts of my system, like Areas of Focus, Goals and Objectives, Dashboard, Purpose and Principles, etc.

I left a Read/Review list mostly for articles I want to read online. It could be a context (using a label) but I just wanted to test it out as separate list.

I have 2 major action-oriented lists: WORK and PERSONAL. I like to have these two major areas separate, as always. And inside each of these areas I have the same set of folders:

  • Agendas: this one could be a context, but I put it as a separate list to be more visible and easily accessible.
  • Recurring: for all routines, repeating actions.
  • Projects List: using one task per project, separated in a Kanban board style for status.
  • Next Actions: all actions go here, labeled with a context.
  • On Hold: actions that are blocked for the moment.
  • Waiting/Follow-Up: delegated actions, things I’m waiting on.
  • Someday: all someday/maybe items.

Contexts

I’m using labels to indicate contexts.

Filters

I’m trying to use the minimal number of filters, so I have filters for Work and Personal Next Actions and some Focus this Week filters.

The “Focus – This Week” filters only show actions that are overdue, due today and with priority flag P1.

The “All Next Actions” filters show all next actions, grouped by label using the “View/Sort By” option in Todoist :

My Thoughts

I’ve been using this setup for about a week now. I’m taking full advantage of Todoist’s quick add keyboard shortcut. It’s very pleasant to use and easy to capture and process things. The inbox is great!

Some of the features I thought I was needing the most like file attachments and reminders don’t seem that important now, I don’t think I’ve used them that much.

I love the option to have a Kanban style view for the projects list:

There are a few things that still bothers me:

  • I can’t manually rearrange the order in which the tasks show in the next actions list. The only way is to use priority flags and set it to sort by priority. It’s just because in Nirvana I was used to manually reordering my actions, especially in the Focus lists.
  • Not linking next actions to projects: It gives a degree of freedom and simplicity, I understand that. Right now, I don’t have too many projects going on at once. But I envision that particularly at work, when things pick up rhythm again, I’m not sure I will like it. I’ve seen it happen before: busy season with lots of projects: I run to Nirvana to help me manage the chaos. So that’s probably a lesson learned. I understand the advantages of not linking actions to projects, but I really prefer them linked. It kinda feels unstructured to me if they are not. It’s all about preference.
  • No start dates: all dates in Todoist are due dates. I could use some “due dates” to indicate a future date when I want to look at certain item, but it will create confusion in my brain. Again, I’m used to Nirvana’s “Scheduled” actions feature.
  • Because Todoist is so focused on scheduling tasks and due dates everywhere, I feel like it blurs the edges between Calendar and Next Actions. I know I could just ignore this feature, but it’s so tempting to add due dates for everything!

Anyway, I will test it for a couple more days and see how I feel about it.

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By Noisy Deadlines Minimalist in progress, nerdy, introvert, skeptic. I don't leave without my e-reader.

I’ve encountered the minimalism movement back in 2013 and since then I’ve been rethinking my lifestyle, my possessions, my habits, the tools I use, etc. I’ve come a long way. I started a huge life declutter in the year before moving to Canada (2016) and that completely changed my relationship with stuff and my life.

Today I have a clearer idea of what I want to bring into my life, be it objects or responsibilities. I’m happy and content with what I have. My home has just the right number of things, I plan and rethink my purchases to make sure they are truly needed. I carefully consider new projects and responsibilities, and I’ve learned to say “no” more often. Saying no to new purchases, saying no to people, saying no to social invites. Minimalism has been a great tool for me.

So why I’m talking about minimalism?

I’m thinking about minimalism in my productivity tools/system. I tend to overcomplicate things, and right now I feel like I’m trapped in my own GTD system. I’ve been thinking about it for a while now, but I could never pinpoint the issue.

These are my thoughts right now:

  • I want it to be stupid simple and easy to add any type of item to my Inbox, both on mobile and on desktop. I want zero friction.
  • I want to be able to easily capture digital items into my Inbox in its entirety. More apps integrations (I’m mostly thinking about mobile and web browser here).
  • I wish my to-do app could handle more information, so that I wouldn’t need to manually add a link to an external drive, for example. I have lots of external stuff I use with my tasks.
  • I wish I had more flexibility in creating folders and buckets. I never bothered about that too much in the past, but now I want some degree of freedom.
  • I wish I could have more notes options for my projects/tasks, so that I didn’t need a separate file to track these notes (and consequently having to manually add links).
  • I want to be reminded of things and I want them to be synchronised both in mobile and desktop.
  • I want to be able to send a Rocketbook scan image to my to-do Inbox.
  • I want the option to organize Projects in Kanban style.

Considering all those points above, it was clear to me that the app Todoist is a suitable candidate, because:

  • It has excellent Inbox features, capture is easy and accessible in any device, including the universal keyboard shortcut in the desktop. I love it!
  • Has email to Inbox option.
  • Has space for notes in markdown, with the possibility to attach files and images.
  • Has excellent reminders and recurring tasks options.
  • Has integration with the Rocketbook (which I’m using a lot!)
  • It is visually pleasing and easy to use.

Simplifying my Todoist setup

So, I’ve tried Todoist before and it didn’t work out that well. But now I realize why it didn't went well: I was overcomplicating the setup.

I’m going back to basics, thinking about the building blocks of GTD and I’ve changed my mind about one crucial thing: I will stop linking next actions to projects. That alone is a huge simplification! And that was creating most of my issues with Todoist: I never liked the way that projects are nested and shown. Also, having too many filters creates a lot of complexity! But what if I simplify this whole thing? That’s what I’m on this week.

I’m letting go of over-organization in favor of ease of use. Sometimes simplicity comes from how stupid easy it is to use something and still being enjoyable.

—-

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By Noisy Deadlines Minimalist in progress, nerdy, introvert, skeptic. I don't leave without my e-reader.

This is a walkthrough on how I currently have my Nirvana setup.

Nirvana is a to-do app built for the Getting Things Done® methodology. I’ve been using it for years now. I’ve written a lot about switching back and forth to Nirvana, but I don’t think I’ve ever published a full setup post. So here it is!

Nirvana comes with these predefined sections, and they cannot change:

  • CAPTURE
  • ACTIONS
  • FOCUS
  • PROJECTS
  • REFERENCE
  • TAGS

The “Later” folder inside “ACTIONS” is an optional feature in the app (we can toggle it on or off in the settings). I leave it enabled to park actions that are blocked, actions that I started but had to put on hold or that I want to look at again in a couple of weeks (but that don’t fit in “Someday/Maybe” anymore).

Read more...

This week I decided I had some time and headspace available to experiment with Todoist for my GTD (Getting Things Done) system. Why??

Back in 2019-2020, I had used Todoist and enjoyed it. But then there was a big update that altered some features and screwed up my existing setup. As a result, I explored other tools, eventually discovering NirvanaHQ (which is my current tool of choice).

I’ve tried Todoist before throughout the years, and I could never get it quite right. I know Todoist development is continually active, and I thought I could give it a go again because… well, maybe this time they’ve changed things that could work for me now? 🤷‍♀️ Also because I felt I could spend some time tinkering with the tool, which I usually enjoy.

So, I tried setting it up again. I took a look at the GTD Official Guide, sat down with my pen and paper and started to think:

  • Do I want to link projects to next actions? => Yes!
  • Ok, so I will use projects as projects and labels as contexts.
  • I want to have projects separated between Work and Personal. Ok.
  • I will have Someday-Maybe folders separate for Work and Personal. Ok.
  • I will use labels as contexts to organize my next actions. Ok.
  • I want to make sure that I don’t see actions that are in Someday-Maybe showing up in my next action lists. Ok, so I will use filters to be able to exclude items that are inactive in Someday-Maybe.
  • This is something crucial to me, because sometimes I have a project started, with labeled next actions, which then is postponed or put on hold. I want to be able to move the project to Someday-Maybe so that all of it is removed from next actions. I know I could un-label the actions, but I don’t like doing that (then when it’s active again I would have to re-label everything... not my jam).
  • I will have a “Routines” project for all recurring actions (daily. monthly checklists and reviews). Ok.

So, I set up the basic folders. I added initial labels (the typical @computer, @home, @errands, @agendas, @calls). Now it was time to set up the filters. That's when I got frustrated. I know I could set it up the way I wanted it, but the process was not as fun as I've initially imagined 😐.

I had to tweak the filters to exclude incompletable tasks and exclude subtasks from showing by themselves without their parent task (because subtasks can have their own labels in Todoist), to separate work and personal, and on and on.

I had initially thought I would incorporate the priority flags with the context’s filters (something like, P1 is priority, P2 is next, P3 is later, etc...) but THAT was me overcomplicating things! I scratched that idea.

And then I thought about a moment in the future when I wanted to add a new context, and create a filter for it, and all the hassle to have it done. Too complicated! I imagined future me wondering why the hell did I complicate things this much?

Long story short…

…the energy and disposition I thought I had to set up Todoist wasn't there anymore. I'd rather spend that time reading a book.

And when I went back to my normal day, using Nirvana as usual, I just felt this peace and calm, seeing everything organized in its place. I recognized I already have a system that JUST WORKS as it is. Is it perfect? Hell, no! But it works for me! 😊

I was also altering a previous Todoist setup I had in my account, so maybe that was the wrong approach. I should have deleted everything and started 100% from scratch. But now I don’t really want to try Todoist anymore. I am happy with what I currently have.

So that's the story of my failed experiment. I could have pushed through and had all the context filter issues sorted out? Yes, I'm sure I could have. It's not Todoist's fault. It's a great app. But just not for me at this moment in my life.

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By Noisy Deadlines Minimalist in progress, nerdy, introvert, skeptic. I don't leave without my e-reader.

So, when I started Rethinking My To Do list this week, I was feeling disconnected. I was craving for something different. I’m not sure why, but I was bored. And I didn’t want to look at my to-do list. So, avoiding it only intensified my disconnection. I thought I needed a new to-do list.

I wanted to get a better app and test other things. And I did test a few! Only to realize that the tool itself wasn’t the problem. I was just feeding the distraction dragon, searching for novelty.

But I wanted to see it for myself, stubborn that I am.

So, I looked at TickTick. It is an amazing to-do list! It has lots of features, calendar, pomodoro timer, timeline views, routine tracker, cross-platform, etc. It’s highly customizable: I saw I could set it up however I wanted to fit my needs. And then came the realization that I would have to spend several hours tweaking it. Creating lists, and folders and custom filters. And moving everything I have in Nirvana to TickTick. Moreover, I was not able to install the desktop app on my work computer, so that was a clear hint that my employer doesn’t approve of this software. Another detail I didn’t like: I couldn’t find a way to set up a shortcut key to add tasks to the Inbox. The “add task” shortcut will add the task to whatever folder/list is open in the app.

Then I looked back at Todoist. I’ve used it for a couple of years. Very flexible, cross-platform, super easy and fast at collecting and organizing things. But the new interface now has “hashtags” symbols to represent folders/projects instead of the old circles, which I think makes it more visually polluted. And then I remembered the entire process of creating the folder’s structure and the custom filters to use it with GTD the way I like it. I didn’t want to go into that rabbit hole again.

Lastly, I revisited Microsoft To Do. It’s a cute app, fast and simple and integrates well with my work system. But… there is something that always gets me out of it: projects management. I like linking projects to next actions, and things get very messy in MS To Do if I want to do that with hashtags, while using lists as my GTD contexts. I told myself I would use it for 90 days to see how it goes. But I changed my mind. Last time I used it for 60 days and abandoned it to get back to Nirvana. I remembered things that I don’t like about it: the Inbox situation (which is a list called “Tasks”), there is no direct “email to inbox” feature (I must send an email to Outlook, and then flag it: too many steps for capturing), I prefer Nirvana’s way of dealing with recurring tasks and organizing projects.

So basically, everything I wrote in January when I was Testing Microsoft To Do and saying goodbye still holds true. I will let it go this time. For real, let it go!

In the end the effectiveness of my GTD system depends on my commitment to maintaining and working my lists in an app that I’m familiar with. I still can use Nirvana at work (I can even install the desktop app on my work laptop) It synchronises on all my devices, it’s fast and reliable.

The issue wasn’t the tool itself but rather my quest for novelty. I can see clearly now.

I’ve decided to stick with Nirvana, which strikes the right balance between meeting my needs and minimizing frustrations.

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By Noisy Deadlines Minimalist in progress, nerdy, introvert, skeptic. I don't leave without my e-reader.

There’s something going on with how I’m engaging with my To Do list (currently using Nirvana). I’ve been craving for something more interesting. I’ve had this feeling before, and when that happened, I tried out Microsoft To Do but it never stuck with me.

I’ve decided to do some exploration. I don’t want to be in a place where I’m compulsively looking out for new apps, but I want to use my curiosity to experiment with some options.

I will take a look at TickTick. I’ve never really used it and I’m curious to know how it works. I will also go back to good old Todoist, which has been my to do app for a couple of years and I remember I liked it because of all the colors, reminders, and super quick capturing and processing features.

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By Noisy Deadlines Minimalist in progress, nerdy, introvert, skeptic. I don't leave without my e-reader.

Every year I review my digital tools to see if there is anything I want to change. One thing that often catches my attention is my tasks tool. So I did a little experiment the past few weeks and tried out Microsoft To Do. I basically set it up and ran it parallel with my current app (Nirvana) for a couple of days.

The verdict is that I still like Nirvana, but I wanted to register this experiment and how was the setup for future reference. I will completely delete the setup after writing this.

The thing about my MS To Do setup is that I had to work with 2 accounts: work and personal. My work environment is all around Microsoft, so technically I could use my work account for all my areas of my life. BUT, I'm not comfortable leaving personal information on my company's servers, since they manage and have control of that work account.

The other possibility would be to have everything in my personal account, but then I would loose all the integrations between Outlook and MS To Do from my work account. Also, I would need to have my personal Microsoft login in my work phone to make it work (not a fan!). Ultimately, I like to have these two areas separate anyway, so the 2 accounts setup made more sense to me.

Just for the record, this was my personal account setup:

  • Overview, Next Actions Contexts and Projects List:

  • Someday/Maybe and References/Recurring/Lists

My Work account had a similar setup, but with less items on Someday/Maybe and also less contexts, since it was all work related.

Why it didn't stick with me?

  • I still don't like that I have to use a bucket called “Tasks” as my Inbox. It creates a small cognitive dissonance in my brain. It's not a big deal, but sometimes it bothers me.
  • I don't like having 2 separate “Inboxes”. If I'm at work and want to add something to my personal inbox, I'd have to send myself an email to my personal account, or switch accounts on desktop app or log in to my personal account. On the mobile, I could use Braintoss to capture items in either of my accounts by email. And then the captured item would land on the email inbox where I could “flag” it to be turned into a task. These are all valid options, but it created a lot of friction for me to capture anything, so it was not ideal.
  • I not a fan of how MS To Do deals with recurring tasks. I notice there are less options to set up a recurrence period. I prefer Nirvana for that.
  • Managing projects and next actions with tags: so I used tags to create a link between projects and next actions and it always get messy after some time. I constantly create variations of the tag, and I end up having more than one tag for the same project. Very confusing! It required me to pay extra attention when tagging: not ideal!

🏠 So, in the end, Nirvana's still my go-to. It clicks with my brain better, offers more options that I enjoy: project linking to next actions, recurring tasks flexibility and start dates, and it just feels like home🏠.

Previous Setups:

GTD Journey: Back to Microsoft To Do with 2 accounts — June 2023

GTD Journey: Moving from Nirvana to Microsoft To Do — June 2022

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By Noisy Deadlines Minimalist in progress, nerdy, introvert, skeptic. I don't leave without my e-reader.

I came up with some questions yesterday about my GTD system when I was bored. I will jot down some notes about the first one:

What do I wish my system to do to support me?

That's a good question because a productivity system should be there to support me. It's how I got into GTD in the first place: I was searching for a way to be more organized and less stressed. I needed a framework on how to deal with all my life inputs and dreams.

So, how exactly can it help me?

Here are some of the elements that I wish my system should do to support me:

  1. Ease of use: I want it to be simple to use. I don't want to spend too much time or energy on managing my system, but rather on doing the things that matter. A good thought experiment is imagining a day when I'm sick: will I be able to use my system then? Will it be easy enough to use it when I'm not feeling 100%? A simple system is more resilient and adaptable to different situations and moods.

  2. Digital and multi-platform: It should be digital, multi platform and sync between my devices (mainly laptop and mobile). I want to be able to access my system from anywhere and anytime, without worrying about losing or forgetting anything.

  3. Reminder system: It should be able to remind me of things. On days when I'm most distracted having a reminder pop-up on my devices really help me not forget important things. Sometimes I need a gentle nudge to get started on a task or to follow up on something. Reminders also help me keep track of deadlines, appointments, events, etc. that I don't want to miss.

  4. Punch list: It should be easy to narrow down next actions into a “punch list” so that I can plan which tasks I will work on each day. One of the key concepts of GTD is breaking down projects into actionable steps that can be done in one sitting. This helps me avoid procrastination and overwhelm by focusing on the next thing I can do. Having a punch list of these next actions also helps me prioritize and schedule my day according to my energy, context and goals

  5. Aesthetically pleasing: It should be fun to use and visually appealing. I think having a system that I enjoy using makes a big difference in my motivation and mood. I like to customize my system with colors and emojis and also it is rewarding to hear a sound when an action is completed. These little things make me happy and keep me engaged with my system.

Of course, there is no one-size-fits-all solution, but after reflecting on this question, I'm rethinking some of the tools I use. I knew that the visual appeal was important to me, and I feel that lately it has become even more important.

Here is a quick diagnostic of the tools I currently use:

  • Calendar/Email => Outlook: I see no issues here. It's easy to use. I use the web version of Outlook in both my work and personal accounts. I like how it looks, it sends me reminders, it's available on all my devices. I can sync my personal and work calendars to see whole picture.
  • Task Manager => NirvanaHQ: It's relatively easy to add things to the Inbox. If compared to other tools, processing stuff is not that easy because there are drop downs menus and selections to go through each time. Aesthetically speaking it is not my favorite. Adding emojis to it make it less boring. I like it for its neat organizational buckets and multi platform sync. I can make a punch list using the Star feature.
  • Reference system => OneDrive/Standard Notes/One Note: I enjoy using all these tools. They are multiplatform and accessible in all my devices. I enjoy their user interface; I see no issues. I don't need reminders in these tools.

🧐 So, I am looking at you, NirvanaHQ! I will give it some thought. More later.

—-

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By Noisy Deadlines Minimalist in progress, nerdy, introvert, skeptic. I don't leave without my e-reader.

For the surprise of absolutely no one, I'm back with the Nirvana app for my tasks and projects. 😏

I lasted roughly 2 months with my 2-accounts setup in Microsoft To Do. All the integration features offered by MS To Do that I thought were detrimental to my daily setup ended up not being that important.

Drawbacks of Microsoft To Do

Over the past two months, I've found myself utilizing the file attachment feature only once.

Although the option to flag emails in Outlook and synchronize them with Microsoft To Do seemed promising, it didn't significantly impact my workflow.

The handling of recurring tasks also posed a challenge – the lack of separate copies meant that altering the due date by a day affected the entire task series.

While Microsoft To Do serves me well during less hectic periods, I've noticed a pattern: when faced with complex projects at work, I tend to feel overwhelmed. This is where I remember the effectiveness of the Nirvana app to deal with it all. Nirvana just makes more sense with how I compartmentalize multiple projects and next actions.

This brings to mind the classic GTD (Getting Things Done) discussion about linking projects to next actions.

The truth is: there is no right or wrong way to do it.

The fundamental principle is: maintain a a list of current projects to review weekly and assign one next action to each project to move them forward. That's it. But for some people (like me) it is beneficial to group next actions by project. Occasionally, the project itself defines my entire focus for the day.

Microsoft To Do attempted to facilitate this organizational aspect with hashtags, but it felt somewhat loosely structured for my taste. Without a centralized list of hashtags, I found myself typing various versions of the same hashtag for a single project, leading to confusion.

Also, the pop-up hashtag list that appears when adding a new task doesn't work when editing a task post-insertion, requiring me to recall the correct hashtag or go search for it.

The 2-accounts setup also was a bit cumbersome, because in my head I didn't have one unified Inbox. I prefer having no friction at all for capturing things. Capturing tasks should be effortless and instinctive, without any unnecessary cognitive load. However, I often found myself contemplating whether a task belonged to my work or personal account, disrupting the capture momentum.

It took time and experimentation to determine what truly suits me. Through trial and error – as you can see documented in my GTD Journey blog posts – I've gained clarity (finally!). Microsoft To Do is undeniably a great simple app, yet Nirvana resonates more closely with the natural functioning of my mind.

All that being said...

The little things that make me come back to Nirvana:

  • Nirvana guides me towards a more disciplined GTD approach by neatly categorizing everything into predefined sections. This alignment with GTD principles removes the need to invest excessive time in personalizing settings (a big win, especially for someone like me who can get lost in endless customization choices!).
  • Nirvana handles recurring tasks better than many tools, since it doesn't bother me with them until the start date. This clever approach involves creating new instances of tasks for their upcoming occurrences. I can even adjust individual due dates without disrupting the original sequence. Also, I appreciate the option to set deadlines and determine how many days in advance tasks appear in the “Focus” section (I use that a lot!).
  • The way Nirvana integrates next-actions with projects is amazing.
  • It has Start Dates (very hard to see in other apps).
  • I love how Scheduling works by keeping a next action hidden until they are ready to appear in the “Focus” section.

After years of back and forth I've come to this conclusion: Nirvana aligns closely with my personal work style and preferences, making it my preferred choice over Microsoft To Do or any other task managers.

At the end of the day it's all about trusting the system and regularly reviewing my lists (weekly reviews!). Consistency is key – the more consistently I engage with my system, the more reliable it becomes, reinforcing my confidence in it.

I feel that I completely trust Nirvana right now👍.

So, I’ll renew my promise: I will stick with it for at least a year and re-evaluate.

#GTD #productivity #MSTodo #Nirvana #apps

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By Noisy Deadlines Minimalist in progress, nerdy, introvert, skeptic. I don't leave without my e-reader.

I changed my task list manager again! 😆

I know I promised I would wait a year before rethinking my use of Nirvana but… I got some more pressure from the company I work for, where everything is becoming Microsoft 365. Considering that I use Outlook 365 for work every day and I also have a personal account, I decided to switch back to Microsoft To Do.

Here is why:

  • Integration: my work teams started assigning tasks to people and they are showing up in MS To Do. I didn’t want to have to copy tasks to another app, and then loose track or get confused about what was on my plate. In this case the integration makes things consolidated in one tool, making my life easier. Also, there are work periods when I deal with a lot of back and forth emails, where I’m waiting for something and/or have to follow up. The Outlook integration here makes things less confusing. (previously I had to forward the email to Nirvana, and manually add a link to the message so that I could find it later… some things fell through the cracks on a couple occasions, so the process was not reliable).
  • Having multiple accounts on iOS: Now we can switch between multiple accounts on iPhones. Just until recently this was only possible on Android phones. This solves one of my earlier issues with MS To Do, where I couldn’t access my work lists using my personal phone and vice versa. I know I could solve this by having everything in one account then sharing the lists, but I prefer to have them separate.
  • The looks 😍: I really LOVE Microsoft To Do aesthetic. I love using emojis and honestly I missed some colours in my daily tasks.
  • My Day: This functionality is great to manage my attention/focus deficit! And because it resets everyday, it forces me to select the focus of the day.

Now, the setup!

I follow the GTD Methodology Official Guide and my system didn’t change much from last time. I have similar setups on both my personal and work accounts. Here is my personal setup overview:

Lists without groups:

  • 📥INBOX (Shared): I created this as a shared point between my personal and work accounts so that I can move things I captured on one account to the other. The idea here is that when I’m capturing it doesn’t matter which phone or account I have on my hands, it has to be quick and easy to capture something. I’ll deal with it later.
  • 🎯My GTD Dashboard: This list is a quick reference link to documents that are outside the task manager, like my dashboard spreadsheet (used for planning), my system overview (a description of my system) and master project lists. These master project lists are long time records of my projects that I update once a month or so.

Groups of Lists:

  • P R O J E C T S: I separate them between active projects “Projects-Personal” and “Projects-Inactive”. Inactive projects are the ones that I started but for some reason were put on hold, or I am waiting for something, so they are not active. I revise this list during my weekly review.

* N E X T A C T I O N S📌: each list is a different context, classic GTD

  • L A T E R 🔒: I created this “LATER” list for actions that I don’t want to engage just yet, but soon (next week, maybe). It’s a middle ground parking lot between Someday-Maybe and Next.
  • S O M E D A Y: Lists to group different topics for all Someday/Maybe’s.

  • Noisy Deadlines: I capture ideas for blog posts and have links to my archives folder where I store images, file references, etc.
  • Recurring: All of my recurring tasks, including Daily Reviews, My Routines and GTD Reviews.
  • References: various lists that are non actionable items.
  • Checklists: Travel and GTD Checklists.

Using hashtags to identify Projects

I’m still using hashtags as a way to search similar items. So for example, in my projects list I have a keyword to identify that project and so I can use that same hashtag on my next actions. Clicking on a hashtag will show all related items with it.

Shared Lists

I shared some lists between my personal and work accounts so that if I update one the changes will be reflected in both accounts:

  • INBOX
  • My GTD Dashboard
  • Recurring
  • Vacation Dates
  • Checklists

Final thoughts…

I’m getting used to this new system which feels to me a bit more focused on executing (via next actions by contexts). In Nirvana I tended to let things parked in my next actions list longer and it wasn’t as engaging for me to act on them. It seems now that capturing and processing is faster.

I’m exploring the integrations available between Teams/Outlook/MS To Do to start using them to my advantage, including the “Flagged email” list.

Also, I really like “My Day”!

So, I’ll renew my promise: I will stick with this system for at least a year, unless it becomes unbearable. 🙋‍♀️

#GTD #productivity #MSTodo #apps

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By Noisy Deadlines Minimalist in progress, nerdy, introvert, skeptic. I don't leave without my e-reader.