I’m Chanpory, and this is my site on how to live and work better as a designer.

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whack a mole

GTD’s Weekly Review is all well and good in theory, but in practice I run out of steam doing high-order planning and brainstorming after 30 15 minutes. I mean it; I need to take a nap.

And I’ve got tasks for 19! projects in my handy Toodledo account right now. (And I’m not even that orthodox about creating projects every time I’m supposed to.) Giving each of them their mental due in one lazy Saturday afternoon is simply out of the question. So I decided to break it up.

I’ve been relying on Memo to Me for easy to set, reliable email and SMS reminders for tasks that aren’t events: brush the dog’s teeth, etc. So I added a new daily task: Project Check-in.

Most of my projects are individual books to be published within the next year or two. In the notes field for Project Check-in, I’m reminding myself to:

  • Check the schedule and confirm that all upcoming due dates are “in the system”
  • Check on publicity status
  • Check on marketing status
  • Print out latest numbers (print runs, sales, etc.) for the to-go folder (what I grab for any impromptu meetings related to the book)
For different kinds of projects, different checks are called for, but you’re basically trying to sew up all the open loops and think ahead, as well as create a folder with up-to-date refresher info for when you get called into a meeting on Project X.

With almost 20, I can check 3 a day and cover each one at least weekly. I keep a note in my Netvibes dashboard indicating which projects I most recently checked, and I proceed in alphabetical order.

Have your own method for staying on top of an array of projects? Share it in the comments.

Photo by sakura.

2 Comments

  • DanGTD

    gravatarApr 6, 2008
    5:34 am

    I have an application for this, http://www.gtdagenda.com

    You can use it for almost all the tasks described in the article.

    Hope you like it.

  • Dan

    gravatarMay 20, 2008
    8:02 am

    As with the last update, now Gtdagenda has full Someday/Maybe functionality, you can easily move your tasks and projects between “Active”, “Someday/Maybe” and “Archive”. This will clear your mind, and will boost your productivity.