[chandler-users] Chandler + GTD
poojanwagh at gmail.com
Tue Nov 27 21:54:57 PST 2007
Here's a wild idea: why not allow the creation of these ad-hoc
"clusters" using a wiki-like method? In the notes field, the user
simply enters some designator ([[task1]] for example). This designator
immediately becomes a new item in the collection with some sort of
"link" or "tag" back to the original item. (Alternatively, a new
collection can be made for the master item on the fly, with the newly
created designator being an item in the collection.)
The way I see it, there are (at least) two methods to implement this
"break down a project into next items" issue:
1. Hierarchical: where there is a parent-child relationship.
2. Flat: where new items are created ad-hoc at the same level as the
master. (For this to be useful, some sort of linking facility might be
Now that I think of it, the ad-hoc generation of items through a
deisgnator would probably work with either method. It's just
implemented as a flat database in Wiki systems.
On Nov 27, 2007 12:19 PM, Mimi Yin <mimi at osafoundation.org> wrote:
> Hi Poojan,
> This is a good, but hard question to answer. I know there are other
> GTD practitioners on the list, so please pipe up with your own
> In my experience, Chandler Collections are too heavyweight for GTD
> projects, which are intended to be bite-size and are therefore too
> numerous to really fit in the sidebar.
> The short answer is that Chandler's version of GTD 'projects' is:
> 1. Create an item for the project and mark it as a Task.
> 2. Jot down next actions and related thoughts in the Notes field of
> the Task item.
> 3. Cycle the Task item between NOW and LATER as your make progress on
> the project.
> I even go so far as to track Done and Un-Done 'sub-tasks' in the
> Notes field.
> This is clearly a hack. But one thing to note is that David Allen
> himself advises people *against* spelling out the list of sub-tasks.
> Just write down the Next Action.
> Nevertheless, as sub-tasks emerge from projects, there's no question
> that there's a real need to be able to group and order items together
> into "something more than an item, but less than a collection". In
> past design discussions, we've called this grouping a *cluster*. It's
> something akin to an email thread, but more flexible in that clusters
> are *not* limited to just email, members of the cluster can be
> members of multiple clusters, and users should be able to add/remove
> items from a cluster.
> You can read more about clusters under "Lightweight Organization, aka
> Project Management, aka Clusters" on this page: http://
> > Once I do item #1 I want item #2 to appear on my "Now" list. Is
> > this function possible?
> I'm not sure there is a 1:1 mapping between Triage Status (NOW,
> LATER, DONE) and whether a task is blocked versus not blocked.
> Meaning, just because #1 is DONE and #2 is up-next, doesn't
> necessarily mean NOW is a good time to address #2.
> For example, if I have a GTD project around attending a wedding
> scheduled for 6 months from Today. I may need to send in the RSVP for
> the wedding next week, but don't really need to or want to worry
> about the wedding gift for another 4-5 months. (Actually, isn't the
> acceptable timeframe for wedding gifts, up-to-1 year after the wedding?)
> Another thought is that sub-tasks aren't always linear. In fact, more
> often than not, they aren't. If you're at the bank, but haven't made
> the call to schedule a time with the mechanic, you might go ahead and
> transfer the money anyway, just because then it'd be done and you
> wouldn't have to worry about it. Arrange drop-off and pick-up might
> or might not be the same person, depending on the kindness and
> availability of your friends ;)
> Anyhow, the long and short of it is, Today, there is a way to model
> GTD projects as individual Task items in Chandler today. Longer term,
> we're looking at Clusters as a way to flesh out the project tracking
> workflows you're describing.
> Anybody else have personal experiences that might lend some insight
> on this topic?
> On Nov 17, 2007, at 1:36 PM, Poojan Wagh wrote:
> > Hi, Users.
> > I was wondering how things in GTD map to Chandler, and I was wondering
> > if any of the other users have a workflow in Chandler that seems to
> > work
> > well. I have a few specific questions about how Chandler works with
> > the
> > typical GTD scheme.
> > For example, let's suppose I create a project "Get car fixed" in
> > Chandler (as a collection). I then have the following actions: 1. Call
> > mechanic for an estimate & appointment 2. Transfer cash to checking
> > account 3. Arrange for a drop-off ride 4. Arrange for a pick up ride
> > Is there an easy way in Chandler to designate one of these actionable,
> > and defer the others? Once I do item #1 I want item #2 to appear on my
> > "Now" list. Is this function possible? Is this capability planned?
> > Can I
> > do it without looking through all my deferred actions and re-assigning
> > an order?
> > I have more questions, but I will save them for later.
> > --
> > Poojan
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