[chandler-users] Chandler + GTD

Poojan Wagh poojanwagh at gmail.com
Wed Dec 12 10:20:00 PST 2007


I've been doing some brainstorming about using Chandler for a GTD system*. I
decided to share my thoughts with the lists:

--Setup--
1. Create a collection for each context (Home, Work, etc.).
2. Create a collection for projects that need to be managed ("Get rearview
mirror fixed", "Finance home improvements", etc.). Note that projects here
just means an effort that requires multiple steps.

At home, you can choose to have only certain collections appear in your
dashboard (the Home collection for example). At work, you can have the Work
collection appear in your dashboard. This way, your dashboard only contains
things that are actionable where you are (it is always the local context).
Someday/Maybe projects need not appear in the dashboard nor in a context
collection. (Maybe a Someday/Maybe collection?)

--Practice--
"Next" actions are entered as "NOW" items.
Incubating or Waiting For actions can be triaged to Later, and optionally an
alarm is used as a tickler (for follow-up, or when it needs to be
re-assessed).

When you're ready to work, you just look at the "NOW" items in your
dashboard and start doing them.
When you're ready to review your projects, you look at each project
collection and ask the question of whether a "NOW" (next action) item
exists. If not, figure out what's next, and make it a "NOW" item.

--Improvements--
A few features in Chandler would make this system more tractable:

   1. *I'd like a secondary sort *(triage status being the primary sort).
   I can prefix my sequential items' titles with numbers, and then sort by
   name. This way, I can keep NOW/Later/Done separate, but sort within each
   section by what's next.
   2. *Printing.* If you're going to take the show on the road, sometimes
   you don't have Chandler available.*
   *
   3. Quick creation of collections. It would be nice to select a bunch
   of items and assign then to a collection. This would be useful for creating
   a new project after analyzing task(s).
   4. Sub-collections. (This one is lower priority.) It would be nice to
   have some collections contain other collections. For example, I might have a
   project collection for "Get organized", and then have a sub-project for
   "Install chandler hub", which then contains multiple discrete tasks.


--Benefits--
One of the *greatest benefits* I see from Chandler is that it *integrates
mail, calendar, and tasks*. Most other systems address only one or two of
these. For example, I can use Google Calendar for "hard deadlines", but it
doesn't give me the ability to execute simple tasks that just need to get
done without a deadline. Having it all in one place is nice.

Footnotes
* I realize that Chandler can be more broad than GTD, and there are other
ways of working other than GTD. I am using David Allen's GTD because it
essentially has a user's manual and therefore requires less effort.
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