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Working GTD (Getting Things Done) Methodology

ian.sharman says:
Don't see a similar post on here, so thought a thread on how we all operate the GTD methodology using RTM on the iPhone.

What do you use for contexts - tags or location? A combination of the two?

How do you brainstorm quickly to the inbox? How do you review tasks most effectively?

How do you see which are 'active' tasks? How do you represent projects in RTM?

In other words, how do you overcome the parts of RTM which are more challenging for a GTD practitioner?

Might be really useful for us all to share our common experience, strengths and hopes for RTM! :)

Posted at 1:05pm on November 29, 2008
chrisgurney says:
Hi Ian,

For contexts I'm using tags, which right now consist of @computer, @errands, @home, @phone, and some others I use as filters for some projects (e.g., "christmas").

I haven't touched Location yet, particularly because I'm using an iPod touch (no GPS). I'm also considering buying a BlackBerry (*gasp*!) for my business, so I'm wary as to exactly what task information will sync with that device.

Brainstorming to the Inbox? Depends on my context, or what's convenient, I guess. I've used email (and email import from Notes on the iPod/iPhone), Twitter (Twitterrific), or the iGoogle gadget when on my Mac/PC (see below). To be honest I haven't been using the Inbox *that* much yet -- I tend to file my tasks directly in the appropriate lists, as necessary; if I'm in a rush they get dropped in the Inbox.

I've been slack on my Weekly Reviews as of late, but I seem to do this on the subway, when I'm in transit. I'll review my Inbox and categorize to the appropriate lists from there, and tag if I remember. I haven't been using tags/contexts as much as I used to, and have really been relying on my Next Actions list (and due dates).

Speaking of which, my lists are broken down as follows: Next Actions (for active tasks), Projects, Someday/Maybe, and Waiting For. (Or, rather, shorter versions of these names so they all fit cross-wise in the RTM web UI.)

I'd be interested in hearing about how you've been doing things.

As an aside, if you use Firefox, I open the RTM iGoogle app in a Firefox sidebar, which keeps my tasklist up while I work all over the web. This works wonderfully in Gmail, which no longer requires me to install the plugin, or use that tiny-tiny gadget.


Posted 12 years ago
(closed account) says:
Here's a GTD related blog post from May 2008:
Posted 12 years ago
ian.sharman says:
boxhead, thanks for the link - useful.

Chris, I ask the question because I'm finding myself becoming loose on GTD with RTM too, whereas the structure of Omnifocus kept me more disciplined.

It's interesting what you say about locations, because this is where I'm having difficulty - I too have tags set up as @contexts but then also have locations - this is because we live in two distinct locations and actions can often only be done in one or the other (and it is useful to remind me to take items from one to the other!).

The problem is that the overlap between locations and contexts (tags) causes me to mis-file (and thus I'm going to tags, locations AND lists to ensure that I've not missed anything). This is even more confused because I use 'Lists' to give an idea of what the action broadly relates to.

The lists you set up are covered currently in my tags as @someday, etc. I like your idea though so may revisit that.

So I ask about RTM from a position of inexperience rather than expertise! I'd like to sharpen this up so...

I'm off to follow the link boxhead gave :) ! Cheers, Ian
Posted 12 years ago
ian.sharman says:
By the way Chris, thanks for the link - love that interface too.
Posted 12 years ago
jhollington says:
chrisgurney: Just wondering what you're using to open the iGoogle gadget in a Firefox sidebar? I tried the iGoogle sidebar gadget, but I found it to be a bit ugly, as I wasn't able to filter things down to *just* the RTM iGoogle gadget.... I was getting the iGoogle navigation column and other information, and there didn't seem to be a way in the options to turn that off.

I'm already using the gadget on my Google Apps start page, and it works great, but I like the idea of keeping it open in a sidebar.

ian.sharman: I use locations and tags for the same purpose, but do not overlap them... Basically, locations are *physical* contexts, while tags represent conceptual contexts (frame of mind, work mode, etc). There are a few exceptions to this rule for me, since I use the geo-location features on the iPhone.... Firstly, I use a tag for "Home" rather than a location. I don't need geo-location to tell me when I'm near home and/or what I have to do there, so it's best kept out of the mix (lest I see "nearby" tasks like "Take out garbage" when I'm out shopping in my own neighbourhood).

The key, however, is that I almost *never* look at location or tags directly.... I wrap the whole thing up in smart lists for each "Context" ... so my tags and locations are an *indication* of my context, but my Smart Lists are my "doing" lists, while filter on tags and/or locations and due dates (or lack thereof).

Posted 12 years ago
This topic has now been closed automatically due to a lack of responses in the past 90 days.