Actions and Agendas

Once upon a time, there was the humble to-do list. It suited many people's purposes, but only if they lived an uncomplicated life. Today, we tend to break projects down into many different types of actions, each one requiring a different way of handling. The D*I*Y Planner has a number of options for managing and tracking your actions, so you can choose whichever ones make the most sense for your lifestyle.

An action is simply a task to get done. In GTD, this concept is further refined in terms of "Next Actions", where each one is a single concrete action that can move a project forward, usually within a specific context, such as work, home, errands, hobbies, at the phone, or at the computer. (A good idea is to label the top of the form with the context: "NA@Calls", "NA@Errands", "NA@Home", etc..) It's also useful for filtering the clutter out of your to-do list which may be full of things that you could do, if only you were in a different context. A long list full of things you can't do right now can be hard to face, but a short, focused list of things you can at that moment can be a source of inspiration and accomplishment. Whenever possible, remember to break down your actions into short doable tasks, taking 15 minutes or less.
Waiting For
Sometimes you've just got to wait for the parcel to arrive, or the book to come back from the friend you loaned it to, or your partner to clean out the garage. You may have delegated the writing of a report to someone, or a project might be put on hold pending an estimate from a contractor. Sometimes there isn't anything you can do to push external things along, but you also don't want to forget all those items that are put on hold. The Waiting For list is the place to park all of those "I need to remember this" things so they don't vanish. If you have many Waiting For items that logically group together (as in the GTD notion of context), you could put them all on the same page.

The one-line version has a completion check box, a space for your "delegate" or priority, the description of what you're waiting for, the date you started waiting, and the completion date. The two-line version is suitable for tracking more complex items, such as those things that are part of your project management system. Along with the completion check box, there is room for the task description, the name of the person responsible for completing the task, the date you asked them to work on it, the due date, the completion date, priority, and notes. Remember to review your Waiting For list daily to ensure that things are moving along apace.

Combined Actions
The Combined Actions template gives you one form to store all your next actions and pending items in one handy place, along with some notes. People often use this form across from a daily or weekly calendar so that they may see everything they need in one spread.
Actions Quadrant
The Actions Quadrant template has many uses, depending upon your needs. For example, you can use it to divide aspects of a project by role or team member, you can separate components of your life (work, home, social, etc.), or you use it simply as a categorised action list.
Need a quick way to track your meetings, or what topics you need to bring up with certain people? The Agenda templates are for you. It contains fields to write down the People or Groups you need to talk to, the list of topics you need to talk to them about, and a field for recording a due date or the number of minutes a meeting item is alloted. A handy checklist is also included so that you know whether or not you have any open items left. Available as full and split forms.
Potentials Quicklist
The Potentials Quicklist template allows you to store all those "I might want to do... someday" projects in one list. Want to install a wooden floor in your house, or write a novel? This is where you would store all those projects that have been nibbling in the back of your brain but which cannot be done immediately. Storing them on this quicklist gets them out of your brain and onto the page for future reference. In GTD, this is the "Someday/Maybe List". Don't forget to write down your reason for each item, so you can remember why you wanted to do it in the first place.
Potential Projects
Remember all those items you had down on your Potentials Quicklist? Well, the Potential Project template captures all the information needed to turn those quick ideas into fully fledged projects. It gives you fields to expand upon the original idea, add notes, and sketch out an idea of what the project may eventually look like. You can store two projects on each planning page.
To Do List
The To Do template is simply a well-rounded to-do list for those people whose action lists need not be so complicated by contexts and project management issues. Use the prompts to make sure you don't forget to do anything important, or to delegate a task whenever it's needed.
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