How many projects, task lists, someday projects you got?

One reason is so that in the event of an emergency , illness or death, once a trusted person gets access to my computer they have all the info on what has to happen, however mundane and also where I was in the process. I’ve been on the receiving end of a sudden death in the family where I had to pick up the pieces and the lack of clear procedures, what was where and mundane things like the tag numbers for all the sheep on the place was both painful to handle while I was grieving but also resulted in the slaughter of some sheep because we couldn’t correlate them with their registration papers and as grade animals they were only useful as meat.

To me that is a checklist. I happen to like keeping those in OF but I also tend to need my checklists once a year. It’s easy to forget a step or not remember a trick that made it go faster. So a lot of the pending projects I have are actually that sort of repeating task. You may know how to do it but what about someone else?

Conversely, I can’t see how anyone cannot have at least a 100 or so projects. The onslaught as you term it isn’t that big of a deal at all. Let’s take a simple project of mine. Deworm the non-pregnant sheep for tapeworms. Actions included consulting vet for what dewormer to use. Ordering the dewormer, waiting for it to arrive, verifying the administration rules. It happens that the one the vet suggested has almost no margin for error. The line between killing the worms and killing the sheep is very thin. So for safety that also now means that I have to weigh each sheep before dosing them. So that spawned another project to be sure the weigh scale was operational in LambTracker because we’ve had a few issues with connectivity via bluetooth. That project had several actions, go set up the scale in the chute, connect it to LambTracker, fix the bugs in the program that were preventing the connection, verify the accuracy, make sure it’s level and so on. Once that was done it’s back to the sheep deworming project. Look at the weather for the next 2 weeks, plan a day to do it, get some additional help. Decide on the sequence of moving sheep because we have 3 separate groups and can’t mix the rams and ewes in the chute. Run the sheep through taking weights and giving dewormer. Then scheduling a repeat in 10-11 days, time critical because that is the timeframe where the immature larvae will have matured to the point of being susceptible to the dewormer. Skipping the second dose means all the effort is wasted. Tapeworms are something we deal with only once every 5-7 years. A lot can happen in terms of drugs in that time and in fact the last time we dealt with them the drug we are using now wasn’t even available for use in sheep. So what seems like a simple thing becomes multiple projects. I’ll document the procedures and my notes in a checklist for future use to save time in another few years when I have to do it again. Those projects were all “active” at the same time but sequential so not all actions available all the time.

Another project is to do one drawing exercise a week. I’m trying to lean how to draw better so I have a book that has specific exercises. I want to do it once a week and having it on a list reminds me.

I don’t use GTD for an 8 hour day. I’m awake for typically 15 hours a day and I use GTD to manage all the things I want to accomplish in my life, hobbies, work, personal growth, social events, housekeeping, basically everything I do is on some GTD list somewhere.

Tried to fix the quotes but can’t get them to display properly… Sorry!

Yep, that’s a checklist and I have many saved in Omnioutliner so if I need to double check what is pretty much muscle memory I have something to refer to.

As an example I kept a weekly review project in OF and every week I had 40+ tasks ticked off and cluttering my database and archives. Now I have one master checklist in OO which I duplicate run through and then delete. This simple change reduces my perceived workload by having one task in OF (do review) and a link to the OO document. It may in reality be no different but the perception is.

OF is a wonderful tool but routine checklists (like check scales in your example) are IMO better kept out of OF and in a separate space, in my case OO and DevonThink.

As for the what if scenario of death, emergency etc. in my case there is just no one else, so for me that is not an issue.

Anyway each to their own personally I just do not treat GTD as a gospel rather just a means of codifying what is actually just common sense, and while I think the core concepts have value in business I think the rigidity of it when followed dogmatically can stifle creativity, spontaneity and freedoms which in life are vital.

No-one said active. I regularly have 40-50 projects on the go. Some are very small, others are a lot larger. It’s just part of the role I have at work.

The number of ‘Project’ objects you keep in OF is rather irrelevant since they don’t always map to what you intuitively consider a project in real life.

A Project in OF has some unique capabilities (versus an action group or a folder) which should be the primary considerations for what is made a Project:

  • You can set its status to ‘On Hold’ and its entire contents will also become on-hold (ie. remaining but not available).
  • When you see actions in isolation in perspectives which return ‘individual actions’, you see: action name + Project name + tags. Those three things combined need to unambiguously communicate to you which action it is.
  • It is the level of granularity of the Review feature.

For example, you might think of the goal to ‘Build a moon rocket’ to be your next project, but in OF it will be more useful to have a ‘Learn rocket propulsion physics’ Project inside a ‘Design my rocket’ folder. You’ll later put that Project on hold while you attend to the ‘Repair the garage door’ Project.

More important considerations around volume are the amount of stuff you keep in OF (eg. which aspirational or ‘someday/maybe’ items to include) and to what level of detail (lots of actions and nested actions, versus simple checklists stored in the Notes field, versus tracking details outside OF).

If 50% of your projects only need to be touched every few weeks, the number can climb past 200 very easily.