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My favorite GTD list? Waiting For!

OK, it's a bit silly to have a favorite Getting Things Done list (each one has a specific purpose, and all seem necessary), but lately I've felt a real kinship with my Waiting For. Why? First, unlike some of my next action lists (hey - I'm working on it), this one has lots of activity - adding items, checking them off, and needing frequent new blank pages (I use a paper planner for GTD). So it feels like I'm making progress.

Second, recently these items represent some exciting activities in my life, and provide positive events for me to look forward to. It's like waiting for a little gift to come in the mail - a kind of delicious anticipation. This is happening in part because I've been learning the joys of networking, and have been reaching out to new people. Hearing back from them is often a joyful surprise. It's also due to my taking a few more chances while exploring this field (i.e., moving outside my comfort zone), so there's danger as well as excitement. (David Allen says: "If you want to learn a lot, you'll choose to be out of the [comfort] zone.") I think of it as ripples from my "pebbles-in-the-pond" - my little attempt to, as Steve Jobs says it, "put a dent in the universe".

And finally, my Waiting For list is a reflection of the personal connections I have in my work and life, and I like the people in my life. Good stuff!

Does anyone else have a favorite? Better yet, a least favorite?

Reader Comments (8)

My personal favorite is @bag. I always have my messenger bag, so I can always do the items on the list wherever I happen to be. It always has a nice mix of fun tasks (Nintendo DS games or brainstorming in my moleskine) and quick tasks (filling out forms or addressing an envelope).

November 17, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterRusty Haskell

Ha - I love it! Thanks, Rusty - made my day. You reminded me of something that needs to go on my errands list: "buy toys for bag"

November 17, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterMatthew Cornell

I'm a big of my "not to do" list, as I tend to channel lots of energy into places it doesn't belong when I'm frustrated. When I review my "not to do" list, it's a good bet I'm nigh upon (or have just realized I've already done) something on that list.

November 18, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterChris

I'm assuming you mean what Allen calls the "Someday/Maybe" list. Another great one; thanks, Chris.

November 18, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterMatthew Cornell

Hi Matt, I started experimenting with a tickler file from Office Depot:


It's really been great-- another "Professional Organizer" taught me the technique. All my lose papers get placed inside, and I built a simple excel spreadsheet and pencil in the item in that letter's section. The file expands, and when the item is handled, I just erase the column and fill it with something later. I still use my calendar and notebook to handle tasks.

November 18, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterJohn Trosko

Thanks for the tip, John. It reminds me a little of the Paper Tiger system, which I mention [ here | http://www.matthewcornell.org/blog/2005/11/some-answers-to-should-i-keep-it-when.html ]. Also, have you used a tickler file as decribed by Allen? [ Here's | http://www.gyford.com/phil/notes/2005/01/03/getting_things_don.php ] a summary:

...43 folders [aha!], one for each day of the next 31 days, and one for each month. A perpetual daily filing system. Put things in that will be needed in the future (schedules, tickets, directions, etc). Transfer today’s items to Inbox each day. Review ahead before you go on holiday!

Allen's site has a detailed document: [ The Tickler File | http://www.davidco.com/pdfs/tt_tickler_file.pdf ] (PDF).

November 18, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterMatthew Cornell

I am also a major fan of @Waiting For. I have sort of a parallel e-mail folder system, and my -Waiting For- email folder is usually much more full than my list.

I copy myself automatically on every email I send, right into the inbox, so when I get a copy of an email I sent asking for something in response, I put *my* email in the -Waiting For- folder.

December 7, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterBrock Tice

Thanks for sharing how you use your email for Waiting For, Brock. I always like to know how people integrate/apply their tools to GTD. You remind me that I have someone I'm trying to help with Backpack/Basecamp, and I haven't worked it out yet.

December 7, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterMatthew Cornell

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