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Startup Steve

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Love hearing your all's feedback on the system (good or bad!) and how you are using it. This is a great feedback loop.

To update on Favro, I talked to their community manager Robin and he said offcially they really do not have an individual plan anymore. I am guessing not cost effective. They will make special exceptions but it didn't sound like it was something they were super thrilled about.

Although I am still using favro on an individual plan, I may dig around and find something similar that has a free tier, or if there are local apps that use trello that would add the extra functionality and then release a second version of this thread. Trello is great because of the integrations from it being so popular, but I think the efficiency of the added features of favro and other programs is what makes them a powerhouse.

If any of you have the time to review some software out there, I'd love to see what you came up with.
I've been using kanban boards for business management, product development, personal activities for a long time. Couple it with outsourcing/delegating and you get massive output!

For those that have web hosting, there is an open source (FREE) kanban tool:

tool: Taiga.io
quick peek: Taiga
full demo: Taiga
code: Taiga.io

Unlimited boards, users, attachments, etc....
Hope that helps someone.
 

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srodrigo

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Thanks @LightHouse, this looks really useful. It's great that you took the time to explain your system.

I tried other systems in the past, specially Trello boards, but I had a few problems:
  • Too many ideas/projects/goals that never get started. Literarily dozens of them, which stressed me out and remained there forever.
  • No sense of progress when the items in progress where long projects, instead of smaller items.
I wonder how these things would fit in the system you propose. Here's my guess:
  • For avoiding having the Someday column bloated, limit it to a maximum of 10 items. At least for me, my interests change quickly enough (3-6 months) to get ideas become obsolete. If so, I could just have a Google Doc with a pool of ideas, but I think having them in the GSD Trello board is not a good approach for me.
  • For getting constant reward (moving things to Done), split projects and goals into smaller items. Here I have a couple of questions though:
  1. How would you split things like "Learning how to Draw"? Things like that are a life-time journey, so maybe the problem is that they are too broad. I was thinking about setting projects or goals that are more quantifiable (e.g. "Finish that online course about X", or "Learn how to draw characters with just a pencil", "Learn how to colour manga style"). This is also good for feeling like you make progress more often.
  2. I'm unsure about things like projects that I already track on other apps (e.g. Github or Gitlab for software projects, where you can have the issues related to that particular project, even set up a ToDo/Doing/Done kanban board). I would avoid duplicating items 1:1 on the GSD board, as this creates a lot of management overhead, so not sure how it could be useful in this particular case. Maybe GSD would be more useful for things that aren't related to writing software (e.g. marketing, creating assets), and I could leave the "software" boards out (keep the coding tasks on those specific tools), but when I spent the day just coding, this would remove the sense of doing a task related to my goals (the first item in your Today column). I'm struggling to figure out what's a good approach here.
I'm setting GSD up, so maybe I'll figure out some of these questions as I use it. I read about half of the comments (7 pages), so maybe the things I mention have already been discussed (if so, I apologise in advance).
 

silentownage001

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Quick question. I have the Trello calendar linked to my Google calendar. When something has a due date it sets it only for an hour on my Google calendar. Is there a way to adjust the time for meetings and such?
 

Iwokeup

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I've migrated towards using ASANA, as it's much better at keeping all of the loose threads of a project organized.

Trello is great for smaller tasks that don't necessarily fit within a larger PM need.

Asana's kanban boards suck though.
 

amp0193

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I've migrated towards using ASANA, as it's much better at keeping all of the loose threads of a project organized.
Can you elaborate on the mechanics of this?

I’m wondering if it’s something that would be useful for me
 

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So let's say that I have a big project: "Bring product X to market"

Asana lets you take that big project and break it up logically (and very visually) into it's component sub-tasks (Asana calls them sections). When you click on that section you get a nice sidebar popout that shows you the progress on that subtask/section and you can link it all to a global progress chart.

Example: Launch a new supplement.
  • Section: Market need/research
  • Section: supplement formula?
  • Section: marketing approach
  • Section: channels
  • Section: manufacturing
  • Section: packaging.
> I find that this works very well for me.

> What's more is that you can divide it out to other people (especially employees that aren't co-located) and depending upon how you set it up, it allows for some very nice collaboration.
  • With Trello, it's extremely cumbersome to try and make one mega-card, and it kills momentum b/c (for me) it's difficult to appreciate progress.
  • If you try and break it up into multiple component cards, it's just a confusing mess.
  • Edit to add: I like Trello's simplicity for discrete, day to day tasking/GSD stuff.
 
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amp0193

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I agree with your trello comments, and it seems like this could be something that could work with the way id like to do it.

Thanks for explaining it, I’ll look into Asana some more
 

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I agree with your trello comments, and it seems like this could be something that could work with the way id like to do it.

Thanks for explaining it, I’ll look into Asana some more
@amp0193 Look into Podio or Monday in addition to Asana if you’re looking into a more project management tool. Like mentioned, they are a bit more geared towards PM rather than just task management. I’m using podio at the moment


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GradyS

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I'm really glad I found this thread. Been using Trello for about 2 weeks now and it's changed my focus and productivity. The one issue I had on desktop was the long scroll to the right. However I found a Chrome plugin called "List Layouts for Trello" on the chrome store. Now I've got about three rows on my screen instead of one. No more wasted space. I am not affiliated with the plugin in any way.

List Layouts for Trello
 

srodrigo

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Thanks @LightHouse, this looks really useful. It's great that you took the time to explain your system.

I tried other systems in the past, specially Trello boards, but I had a few problems:
  • Too many ideas/projects/goals that never get started. Literarily dozens of them, which stressed me out and remained there forever.
  • No sense of progress when the items in progress where long projects, instead of smaller items.
I wonder how these things would fit in the system you propose. Here's my guess:
  • For avoiding having the Someday column bloated, limit it to a maximum of 10 items. At least for me, my interests change quickly enough (3-6 months) to get ideas become obsolete. If so, I could just have a Google Doc with a pool of ideas, but I think having them in the GSD Trello board is not a good approach for me.
  • For getting constant reward (moving things to Done), split projects and goals into smaller items. Here I have a couple of questions though:
  1. How would you split things like "Learning how to Draw"? Things like that are a life-time journey, so maybe the problem is that they are too broad. I was thinking about setting projects or goals that are more quantifiable (e.g. "Finish that online course about X", or "Learn how to draw characters with just a pencil", "Learn how to colour manga style"). This is also good for feeling like you make progress more often.
  2. I'm unsure about things like projects that I already track on other apps (e.g. Github or Gitlab for software projects, where you can have the issues related to that particular project, even set up a ToDo/Doing/Done kanban board). I would avoid duplicating items 1:1 on the GSD board, as this creates a lot of management overhead, so not sure how it could be useful in this particular case. Maybe GSD would be more useful for things that aren't related to writing software (e.g. marketing, creating assets), and I could leave the "software" boards out (keep the coding tasks on those specific tools), but when I spent the day just coding, this would remove the sense of doing a task related to my goals (the first item in your Today column). I'm struggling to figure out what's a good approach here.
I'm setting GSD up, so maybe I'll figure out some of these questions as I use it. I read about half of the comments (7 pages), so maybe the things I mention have already been discussed (if so, I apologise in advance).
After using this system for a few days, I sort of answered the questions I had above.

I share my current board. I've adapted the original one to my needs. I use it for both my projects (mostly video games these days) and personal stuff (most of it related to my projects as well).

gsd.png

I renamed the "goals" and "projects" subsections, as I find it more useful to group them by how long they should take (mid/long-term). I also struggled to differentiate between goals and projects, and some projects and goals can be short or long anyway, so I used projects for work that will have an output, and goals for broader/more abstract things.

I added a reminder for reviewing the Inbox and Someday / Ideas columns, to avoid them grow with stale items that are not important anymore. (This is one of the main problems I had in the past).

I added an extra "Rules" column for remembering how my system works. I might get rid of it in the future, but for now I have a look from time to time to stick to the plan. It's work in progress, so it keeps changing.

For medium/large goals/projects, I just add smaller items as I make progress. For example, if one of my goals is to read a book, I add an item per chapter. This way I can keep track of the progress, and plan one or two chapters for today. Same thing for my software projects, where I have another board on a different platform, specific to them. I just duplicate the items on the GSD board, as I see it as a tool for planning and keeping the focus. I use the external boards for the details. I don't like the duplication, but I didn't find a better way.
 
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LightHouse

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Bump for those of you coming out of your turkey coma's in the US and can't get focused rolling into the end of the year.

Whether you use this system or not, use SOMETHING....!!

The best system in the world is the one you use every day.

Consistency and perseverance are big cornerstones to success and most peoples area of imporvement.

Don't try to finish everything today, just get working towards something and don't stop.
 

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UnrealCreative

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I used a platform called Kanban Flow
Just looked this up. Holy...

Looks like everything you could ever ask for, and THEN some.

Thanks for the recommendation. Going to try out Kanban Flow.
 
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LightHouse

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Just looked this up. Holy...

Looks like everything you could ever ask for, and THEN some.

Thanks for the recommendation. Going to try out Kanban Flow.
I missed this before. This looks similar to Favro although Favro is more feature rich.... the key being this is free.... so i may rebuild this thread using that tool since Favro isn't really offering individual accounts anymore. Thanks for bringing that back around.
 

UnrealCreative

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Favro isn't really offering individual accounts anymore
Not...exactly. Just ask. Emailed them one day saying I was leaving because I was the only user and $40/mo is too much. They switched me back to single-user billing at $8. But wish I knew this sooner.
 

Sanj Modha

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Interesting. Mind expanding on this point a bit more? Integrate how, exactly? And the usage/process behind it.

Thanks


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I use Zapier to integrate Asana tasks with Slack channels i.e. when a new task is created - Slack will ping the team member it's assigned to.

You can also configure Asana/Slack to update your team members when you update the task too.
 

Kyle T

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ClickUp.com is doing some awesome work in the productivity & project management space. Great apps, more affordable, incredibly functional & the team is producing updates like madmen. If anyone hasn't found a project management system yet then I recommend to check it out.
 

Darius

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ClickUp.com is doing some awesome work in the productivity & project management space. Great apps, more affordable, incredibly functional & the team is producing updates like madmen. If anyone hasn't found a project management system yet then I recommend to check it out.
Been using Asana for the past 3 years and I've been enjoying playing around with ClickUp.

It's more feature-rich but also feels more cluttered. If I can get my Asana workflow into ClickUp while keeping 80% efficiency - I'll be switching, mainly due to ClickUp's flexibility.
 

John Walker

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Yup, I totally get that, I think yall's method is actually better TBH.

My main goal is how do i set up a system to be able to 1 dump stuff out 2 see where i am going and 3 see exactly what i need to work on when i need to work. So everyone is going to have different versions.

I try to post what i think most people can just jump in and use at any stage and then folks can mod it whatever way they want after that.
This was one of the most important points you said in the topic, you say what is the purpose of having created the GSD system.

Sometimes people start using a system, not knowing the purpose behind it, and for that reason do not know how to adapt it to it. I liked your 3 principles from where you go to create.
 
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LightHouse

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This was one of the most important points you said in the topic, you say what is the purpose of having created the GSD system.

Sometimes people start using a system, not knowing the purpose behind it, and for that reason do not know how to adapt it to it. I liked your 3 principles from where you go to create.
I am glad you pointed that out, sometimes I forget that in my writing but when i speak I always explain Why we do things right behind the explanation. Perfect timing for you to mention this as I am re-writing this post (updating) to put on my new site, and this will be a good point for its structure. Thanks @John Walker , Rep+
 

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MrYoshi

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I am glad you pointed that out, sometimes I forget that in my writing but when i speak I always explain Why we do things right behind the explanation. Perfect timing for you to mention this as I am re-writing this post (updating) to put on my new site, and this will be a good point for its structure. Thanks @John Walker , Rep+
Feel free to let us know whenever you add this to your site. :)

I'll be implementing this other method soon though and going through this thread.
 

njord

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This system works so well im recommending it to everyone:) Im sure you wont mind @LightHouse :)

I would like to share my versions i use to the format lighthouse posted, This is the veriation i use for my self I wonder what verriations other guys use on the original format ?

Personal trello board (this one is mostly like the original lighthouse posted but with some extras) :

Personal Inbox (can be household chores to hobbies i want to pickup) | Inbox work (this one is for my side buiness) | today | wait/inprogress | finished | booklist/ things to learn (an ever growing list of things i want or need to learn or read) | Ideas (Ideas for earning money)

But this wasent enough for me i wanted to fit in my long term goals somewhere so i made a second board with the following (its still in the concept fase so it may need more tweeks)
You can see this board as a funnel from my one thing, to the first board with daylie tasks:

Life goal | goals within 5 years | Goals this year | Habits/projects to work on | morning /evening routine

Life goal is my one thing I want to do before i die (from the book on thing)

Goals within 5 years and this year are things that work toward my on thing or working on my self (working on my social skills ect.)

Habits /projects to work on, are habits or projects that will help me accomplish my goals

And the morning/evening routine is something i have recently implented and am trying out what will hoopfully also help towards accomplishing my one thing.

Ill post my routine at the end of the post.


Then I have also made a board for my work (i want to keep my job seperate this board is just like the original Lighthouse board with some extras (i have one colom where i keep lists of important information like phone nrs ect.) i use to use excel but now i have everything in one place what helps alot!

And last week i made another board for my colleges so we can share tasks and keep an overview on the status of certain tasks. (the only problem now is this board and my own work board overlap so i need to figure something out for that you cant move tasks from board to board...







Here is my routine for now for those that are interested:

morning fitnes atm pushups and stomach excersizes to get started (i do my real workout allways in the everning)

meditate

Self love excersise

Affirmations

Visualize my one thing happing (I do it on the speach i would give when i have accomplished it, what was rather emotional when i dit it for the first time) but i some times just visualize on my other goals and sometimes I also visualize my perfect day.

write my day journal

walk through trello

And read a book
 

David 964

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Thanks for a great thread. I'm still happy with my pen and paper system, but I may try Trello again at some point. And many of the ideas you all are posting are relevant to any system. (In fact, there is a lot of overlap with the Agile software development methodology, which I may write about one day.)

Meanwhile...concerning risk management...

Any time you are using a cloud based system, consider the ramifications if you were to lose all of your information suddenly and without warning. I always look for two features in cloud based apps - the ability to choose where my data is stored (cloud or my device) and, if cloud storage is the only option, the ability to download my data into a single file, whether that format is PDF, text, cvs, or other. We tend to think of apps like Trello, which has some longevity and a good following, as permanent and invincible. But the reality is many, many things could go wrong, causing you to lose all of your data or lose access to it.

/beginrant If it's not on your device, you are not in control of it. /endrant (Cloud storage is a necessary evil and I use it, too; but it is also a pet peeve of mine that no one seems to notice the inherent risks.)

So I looked - I couldn't find this on the Android app, but on the desktop/browser version of Trello, you can create a PDF or print it. I recommend you do this at least once a week - the frequency should be dictated by what impact it would have on your business, or you, to lose all of this information suddenly and without warning.

Here's how to do your backup, using the Trello browser version:
View your board
Click Menu
Click ...More
Click Print and Export
Click Print (there is also a JSON option)
Click Change under Destination
Here, you can select Save as PDF, send it to your printer, and other options you may have (my options include sending it to One Note, for example).​

Trello also offers a CVS export option with the paid business version.

One other consideration for cloud storage - if you wouldn't send the information out to ten random strangers, then don't put it on the cloud, email it, or put it on social media. For example, you may want to keep tight control of blueprints, designs, or patents. If you're unsure, ask yourself, if my competitor got this information, what impact would it have on my business.

And, hopefully, you're backing up your laptops on a regular basis as well.

I hope this is helpful.

~SA

Hey Stomping Acorns,

I reading through and you mention you use BuJo. I using it for little while now and I like it, mainly because there is something about pencil, paper and your own thoughts.

I also use evernote, asana and other digital apps, yet I have not integrate it together, work in progress. This post is about 2 years old and like to ask you:
1) do you still use your BuJo
2) migration use quite a bit of time, do you use also digital app
3) one and two are yes, would you mind to share few principles how to use them together?

Thanks,
David
 

StompingAcorns

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Hey Stomping Acorns,

I reading through and you mention you use BuJo. I using it for little while now and I like it, mainly because there is something about pencil, paper and your own thoughts.

I also use evernote, asana and other digital apps, yet I have not integrate it together, work in progress. This post is about 2 years old and like to ask you:
1) do you still use your BuJo
2) migration use quite a bit of time, do you use also digital app
3) one and two are yes, would you mind to share few principles how to use them together?

Thanks,
David
I agree, there's something about pen and paper. The BuJo author is a huge believer in whittling your list down - my biggest takeaway was when he said "the best list is one that has nothing on it". Since that time, I've been moving away from to do lists and relate everything to goals.

I personally think that if you are a high information user and/or you are engaged in complex projects, like running a business, that BuJo can be too limiting. One of it's life enhancing features is that it slows you down enough to make you think...and that's also its drawback in these two situations. So....since then, I've tried more online tools. I really like Favro but don't need a 5 user license, so I'm currently setting up Clickup, which someone else here mentioned. I particularly like the deep hierarchy you can get in Clickup, and I'm finding even more cool features. I still pull out paper when I need to think but then I transfer any takeaways into my online solution.

I do also use OneNote extensively. I have several notebooks for business and personal as well as research. So Clickup is for planning my work - what to do - OneNote is for keeping all of the complex information needed to complete those actions - how to do it, in essence. For example, if a task requires only a few simple notes and those notes can be thrown away when the task is done, I would add them directly to the task in Clickup. Otherwise, those notes go in OneNote.

Tell us how you're using BuJo and how you're integrating it with your apps. I don't see why you'd use Asana with BuJo, so I'm curious to see how you're thinking about it.
 

David 964

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I agree, there's something about pen and paper. The BuJo author is a huge believer in whittling your list down - my biggest takeaway was when he said "the best list is one that has nothing on it". Since that time, I've been moving away from to do lists and relate everything to goals.

I personally think that if you are a high information user and/or you are engaged in complex projects, like running a business, that BuJo can be too limiting. One of it's life enhancing features is that it slows you down enough to make you think...and that's also its drawback in these two situations. So....since then, I've tried more online tools. I really like Favro but don't need a 5 user license, so I'm currently setting up Clickup, which someone else here mentioned. I particularly like the deep hierarchy you can get in Clickup, and I'm finding even more cool features. I still pull out paper when I need to think but then I transfer any takeaways into my online solution.

I do also use OneNote extensively. I have several notebooks for business and personal as well as research. So Clickup is for planning my work - what to do - OneNote is for keeping all of the complex information needed to complete those actions - how to do it, in essence. For example, if a task requires only a few simple notes and those notes can be thrown away when the task is done, I would add them directly to the task in Clickup. Otherwise, those notes go in OneNote.

Tell us how you're using BuJo and how you're integrating it with your apps. I don't see why you'd use Asana with BuJo, so I'm curious to see how you're thinking about it.

Thanks for detail response.

I found pen and paper good for transferring things that matter, not so much for little to do’s like what to buy, etc.
There is something about taking a thought and writing it down, it makes me feel like I am creating already something tangible and as I do I usually progress more with the thought.

I don’t think it matters what system we use, stickies, journal, phone, computer or ……. As long as we get good clarity about what is MUST for today and progress is done towards important outcomes. The system to do so is only part of an occasion. The discipline to choose what’s most important for today and get it done is another. Often, I get home and after dinner I want to watch tv show. It’s right there where discipline, drive, passion or whatever it is for that particular person make choice to do something productive instead. Organization tools may help to keep important outcome front of your eyes but choice will make it happen.

To answer your question, this works best for me so far:

· I write in Bujo in AM and PM, it takes usually 5 min or less. I write there the most important things for my life

· Since asana has easy entry, I dictate on phone anything I want to dumb out of my head throughout a day. All follow ups, calls, thoughts, ideas, progress on projects, all the quick things.

· In the morning I organize asana from computer. In “my tasks” is everything I recorded. It takes 5-15 min to go over asana tasks and projects. Once done I write on top 2-4 top things to do (from Bujo)

This work well for me for now, there is still more finetuning I need to do and that is beauty of this process. I often get inspired by effective ways to organize and be more efficient like this thread.
 

Tomas J

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Thanks for this thread, I was thinking about creating my own management system, now I think I would give this one a try and then if it works for me, modify it according to my needs.
 

Patrick Jones

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This thread is a well of useful information. Thank you all for contributing! :)

A lot of the techniques here have helped me tremendously with being focused. Over the past year I've taken the best of them and combined them into a professional solution for entrepreneurs: Satistime!



It streamlines the whole process from goal setting to daily routine - all the while being lightweight and easy to use. The centerpiece is a dashboard that always gives you an accurate status of where you stand with your goals and what is on your agenda:



Have a look, give it a go, I hope it will help you as much as it is helping me!

If you have comments or questions, best send me a direct message. I don't want to hijack this thread any more than I already am ;)
 

Lee Ashby

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Ive used the GSD system over the last week and have found it useful to hone in working on the priority things more, and not letting procrastiantion prevent me from getting to the actual important things.

I thinks its ok to still use paper and other things to doodle, experiement and jot. But then as those things formalise to acttions popping them in trello in the GSD format is really good.
The other bonus with trello is you can have others of your team log in and see where shit is up to, or even take on a task themselves etc.

I alos like that its flexible and plain and not so rigid like other 'proper PM' software, so it suits this purpose well.

One thing that might help others - is that its good to be free to explore a bit and go off task sometimes as you are freestyling on some 'gold work' or idea. thats where some good stuff can happen, so sometimes i thinks its ok to go 'off script' and follow some rabbit holes as need be.

Cheers.
 
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LightHouse

LightHouse

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Ive used the GSD system over the last week and have found it useful to hone in working on the priority things more, and not letting procrastiantion prevent me from getting to the actual important things.

I thinks its ok to still use paper and other things to doodle, experiement and jot. But then as those things formalise to acttions popping them in trello in the GSD format is really good.
The other bonus with trello is you can have others of your team log in and see where shit is up to, or even take on a task themselves etc.

I alos like that its flexible and plain and not so rigid like other 'proper PM' software, so it suits this purpose well.

One thing that might help others - is that its good to be free to explore a bit and go off task sometimes as you are freestyling on some 'gold work' or idea. thats where some good stuff can happen, so sometimes i thinks its ok to go 'off script' and follow some rabbit holes as need be.

Cheers.
Love it, thanks for your input Lee
 

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