In my previous post I discusses the inbox zero side of my current gtd setup.. Basically processing all my email down to zero.

The trick here is not that I’m completing everything in my email, it’s that I’m cleansing and moving it to a single trusted place. That means that no matter what, I have one single location to go to where all my incoming tasks and projects will be processed.

Of course I was just talking about email previously.. the trick is that I can do this with all types of input.  Email, snail mail, meeting notes, random thoughts, shopping lists, long term goals, etc.

Every thought gets funneled into the same location where I can process, filter, assign, itemize, plan, etc.

The key is to get the stuff to toodledo with a clear action in mind.

It doesn’t help if I just forward an email with a subject like “re: fountains, what a pain!”.

If that ends up in my toodledo inbox I’ll have to re-read the email and figure out what the heck to do about it.  As long as I’ve already made up my mind that I DO need to do something about this (otherwise, why would I be forwarding it to toodledo?), I should phrase the subject as a task that I can physically do, or a clearly defined outcome to a project.

For example, let’s say that what’s hidden in the heart of this email is the fact that there are 15 different kinds of fountains for sale by this company I’m interested in purchasing from, and I need to determine what kind of fountain to get.

Then I’ll forward the email and change the subject to be something like “Choose which fountain I want”.

That way when I look at my toodledo inbox I know that this email is about picking a fountain, and there’s probably information in there for me to look at.

One of the great things about a pro account at toodledo is that I can make sub-tasks for my todos.  So I can break this down even further!

I can create a few very simple subtasks that allow me to really define what’s involved with picking the fountain:

  • create a list of fountain names
  • find images of each fountain
  • put images and names into a google doc
  • send google doc to wife
  • set aside 15 minutes to discuss options
  • etc..

Then, I’ll make each of those a sub-task and add whatever other information is necessary. .for example, add a link to the actual google doc I’m using, etc.

This is where the GTD stuff comes in real handy.  Each of those things are small physical bite-sized chunks of the big project “choose a fountain” that I can easily manage.  Now this project isn’t so daunting!

To be continued..

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