Getting Things Written - Modifying GTD for writing

jk
jkr
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Thu Aug 23, 2007 11:58 am Post

Antony, since you posted this here and you use an iMac, I assume, you are using Scrivener as well - have you implemented your GTW approach into your Scrivener workflow? I love the job sheets approach (although I need to change them for me, as I am writing academic papers mostly) but I was wondering, if you have some sort of jobsheet in your Scrivener projects that corresponds with the one you put on the analog folder?

I was so glad to see that someone else has a big @writing context ;-)

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antony
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Thu Aug 23, 2007 1:55 pm Post

jkr wrote:Antony, since you posted this here and you use an iMac, I assume, you are using Scrivener as well


Of course :) The comic template in the new beta is based on my script format.

I was wondering, if you have some sort of jobsheet in your Scrivener projects that corresponds with the one you put on the analog folder?


No. The whole point of the job sheets is that they are the sole record of a project's status. Duplicating them in Scrivener would just present me with one more thing I'd have to update (and probably forget). Why would you want a duplicate of something that you already have (and don't need a computer to see)?

I do use the status fields in Scrivener to mark sections as "To do", "In progress", "First Draft" etc., but I suspect that's not what you meant...
Antony Johnston
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jk
jkr
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Thu Aug 23, 2007 2:11 pm Post

Actually you hit the nail on its head despite my rather misleading question. What I really was trying to figure out is how you "micro-manage" in Scrivener what you track less detailed on the job sheet. That's the part that I still haven't figured out so well yet for myself. I guess it comes down to setting up a system one trusts...

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antony
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Thu Aug 23, 2007 2:41 pm Post

Ah, I see. Well then yes, I use the built-in status labels to keep track of what's done and what isn't in each Scrivener project.

Though I also tend to write in a fairly linear fashion, so it's not so much of an issue for me. Mostly I just look at the last document in the Draft folder to work out what needs doing next. When I'm on to revisions, second drafts, etc., then I rely more on the status labels.
Antony Johnston
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La
Lauram
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Sun Aug 26, 2007 2:54 pm Post

This is such smart system for this particular sort of work. When I go back to writing a lot of articles, I'm going to steal some of your ideas.

With my book project, I am using iGTD, which has the advantage of keeping a vast collection of actions in one place. (Not a great thing for you, as I understand.) My problem was primarily one of coordinating research - which has a few stages - and writing. I need to keep several research and writing components "in the hopper" at the same time, so that I don't get so wrapped up in writing section 2 that I forget to start researching section 3 or allot time to plan the research for section 4. I'm working with about 50 print sources, so even remembering which one I need to read next is a challenge that I can delegate to iGTD.

The secret, for me, lies almost entirely in the weekly review part of the plan. Every Monday I can survey what still needs to be done and decide that I haven't transcribed enough notes recently, or need to catch up on transferring the notes I have transcribed into my database. Do I need to abandon the attractive but secondary research I've been doing on section X and get started on section Y? And so on. What I'm trying to avoid is that experience of thinking you're doing great, getting so much done on one aspect of the project, then hitting yourself on the head when you realize you're neglecting some other aspect and can't move on to the next stage until it's done. You have to be able to toggle back and forth from forest to trees when working on a long complex project like this book, and iGTD has enabled me to do that.

Of course, it's only partly helped me to deal with my biggest productivity problem, which is my chronic, chronic underestimation of how long it takes me to read and research. What it *has* done in that department is force me to realize how serious the problem really is.

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antony
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Mon Aug 27, 2007 9:30 pm Post

I'm afraid the weekly review is something I'm terrible at. I try, and when I do get round to it I find it useful, but I just can't seem to get into the habit.
Antony Johnston
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