43 Folders

Back to Work

Merlin’s weekly podcast with Dan Benjamin. We talk about creativity, independence, and making things you love.

Join us via RSS, iTunes, or at 5by5.tv.

”What’s 43 Folders?”
43Folders.com is Merlin Mann’s website about finding the time and attention to do your best creative work.

A 'Next actions' question -GTD newbie question

Hi all ,
After reading most of the "getting things done " book , there is one thing that I don't really understand as far as Next actions are concerned.

Let's say that I have a project which is to mail some books to a friend of mine .So first I need to get her adress :this contains of an action of emailing her ,then waiting for her reply.
Then there's the action of packing the books [@home ] and then there's an "errands" type of action of going to the post office and mailing it.

What I can't figure out ,is whether I should have all those listed as next actions in their separate contexts ,for the same project ,at the same time -ort should I enter the first action,then complete it ,and only then add the next action to it's context? I mean ,in most cases there are numerous and dependent actions in a project ,which belong to different contexts,right?

I'm using the "nextaction" tracking tool for managing my next actions,and there's no way of defining dependency there -but the mail question is ,how is this supposed to work,the real-GTD way?

Thanks :)

a11en's picture

This thread touches on exactly...

This thread touches on exactly what one of my earlier questions was... and that was the concept of linked tasks. I completely agree with you here, and I think this may be one of the small downfalls of the system(s) for gtd out there.

It's obvious that GTD is important in terms of lowering our brain load... but there does appear to still be a bit of load in that I have to remember a few task lists back what was dependent on what. The solution to this is some sort of parent-child-sibling situation that's smart enough to tell you if you *can* do the next task or not. I don't know if D.Allen just assumes you'll catch the actions you can't do, and go down to the next one or not, but it wasn't readily apparent to me.

I think I confused the problem by talking about a simplified Gantt project view coupled with a to-do-list. But, you boiled it down- what about dependent projects That's exactly my problem. It's brother needs to be completed before it can be completed... and often these types of tasks are in different action lists.

Good post!!




An Oblique Strategy:
Honor thy error as a hidden intention


Subscribe with Google Reader

Subscribe on Netvibes

Add to Technorati Favorites

Subscribe on Pageflakes

Add RSS feed

The Podcast Feed


Merlin used to crank. He’s not cranking any more.

This is an essay about family, priorities, and Shakey’s Pizza, and it’s probably the best thing he’s written. »

Scared Shitless

Merlin’s scared. You’re scared. Everybody is scared.

This is the video of Merlin’s keynote at Webstock 2011. The one where he cried. You should watch it. »