Reminder-clip-art-to-download-clipartcowWhen you are setting up reminders, do you find yourself having more categories than you might really need?  Here is a small list of commonly used categories for action items, according to David Allen’s GTD.

  • Calls
  • At computer
  • Errands
  • At office
  • At home
  • Anywhere
  • Agendas (for people and meetings)
  • Read/Review

But what do each of these mean?  Calls should be self-explanatory,  this is a list of all the phone calls you need to make.  As we know this is a never ending list for many of us.  This is a good time to think about the two-minute rule also spoken about in the GTD book.  That is if it will take two minutes or less do it, don’t wait or put it off.

At Computer, another that is somewhat obvious; this is work that needs to be done at the computer. However, there can be subsections to this list. Allen explains that he uses At Computer for things that do not need the internet to be done. So these are things like spreadsheets or anything you can access without the use of WIFI.  The other category would be Online tasks or those which one needs internet access.

Errands, these are anything you need to do while traveling around town.  They could personal or professional. But here’s a tip, this a great time thanks to technology and the hands-free calling ability in vehicles today to make those phone calls while driving.

At Office is another category, Hmmm I wonder what we need to do with this stuff.  Yes, those are the things you have to do in the office and nowhere else.  These are things you cannot do on your laptop at the coffee shop or at home.  You must be in the office to do these tasks.  Just as we have a place for office tasks we need one for things to be done at Home.

Agendas, this is something that you will come across, I find I do with Kiwanis or Church quite often.  These are things that we need to add to the agenda for the next meeting.  How often do you find when you are going through your list of tasks and something you need to talk about at the next meeting pops into your head?  I know it happens to me, oftentimes in class (shhh don’t let my profs know, haha). This is when we need to jot them down on our list of things for the next meeting agenda.

Finally, we have Read/Review, this is all those items in the inbox that you are not quite sure what to do with.  So you will read it look at it and decide do I need it or not, if I do then I will place it in a pile of things that we can look at and review when we have some spare time.  Maybe we have a doctors appointment, and we all know how often those appointments happen on time, so why not grab our Read/Review folder and while we wait we can do just that read and review those items to see if we should or should not keep them and if they are helpful or not.

Now, of course, you can make whatever list of categories you would like. There is no set list but these are some options or can be a place to start.  Good luck with the organization of your lists.


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