One of the GTD things I’ve struggled with, and from what I"ve read, lots of other folks too, is how to link your Next Action items to the relevant project. And how you track what items have been completed and what remain to be done.
Well and good. But I still like having a list of projects to look at and think about. I pretty much keep all my GTD stuff on my palm (Tungsten|C). So I really want something that will allow me to:
- Create a project
- List next action items for that project
- Nests next actions items, if needed
- Tie, when needed, the next action items to my datebook or todo list
ShadowPlan pretty much does all this for me, and then some. I can define projects by context (work, house, car, adoption, etc…) and I can dial it in even tighter by defining contexts for the next action items within each project. So, I may have a project called "Wash The Car" which is in the "car" category/context. The next action I may need to take is to buy some new car wax at the store. I can tie my next action to my ToDo list in the "@store" category. Next time I’m at the store, I review the "@store" next action list and I see that I need the wax in order to move the "Wash Car" project forward to completion.
When each action is completed, you can check it off and it’ll draw a line through it, but keep it in the list of actions, so you can see what you’ve done. Or you can opt to hide completed actions.
I know everyone’s got their system, and lord knows I tweak mine enough. But this setup with ShadowPlan has served me well for a long time. I don’t think I’ll be tweaking this particular setup any time soon.
Other apps that I use on my Palm, that play into the ShadowPlan method, are DateBk5 and LauncherX. I think I’ve used Benc’s "launcher" products longer than any other non-native Palm app. It’s invaluable to me for keeping the Palm desktop views organized. DateBk5, well, what else can you say. It’s a must-have. It integrates your addresses, your todo lists and your calendar. It’s tremendously flexible and you’re missing out if you don’t have it, or something like it, on your Palm. The built-in calendar just doesn’t hold a candle to DateBk5.