Tuesday, February 4, 2014

GTD + EN Saved Searches

Saved Searches

If you are going to use EN with GTD, you need to learn how to use saved searches. Here is the reason. Whether you use tags, notebooks, or some combination of the two to organize your notes, you will need to regularly search for a specific set of notes that that will not show up simply by looking at tags.  For example, "@work" brings up everything that has that tag.  Who wants to look at all the @work notes that are incubating and completed?  After I got it set up I started using saved searches for all of  my workflows, I rarely use simple tag searches.

First, go to the article linked below and watch the video. Then review the Search Grammar Article.
First, I set up a set of "triage" type saved searches. They include
  • Notes with no tags                   -tag:*
  • Notes with no !when tag          -tag:.closed -tag:.reference -tag:!*
  • Notes with no @where tag      -tag:!Closed -tag:!Reference -tag:@*
I did not set up a search to find notes without a .who tag. Many of my notes do not have .who, since they are notes that apply directly to .Me.  What these triage saved searches help me do is locate orphan and lost notes. I run these searches as part of my weekly review.

My other tags include:
  • At Work: Looks for notes thatare tagged @work, and are tagged "!1-Next Action" This is the things I must do at work today list.
    • tag:"!1-Next Action" tag:@Work
  • I also have similar saved searches set up for At home
    • tag:"!1-Next Action" tag:@Home 
  • Honey Do list.  This Honey Do search includes @home, .house, not closed, not at my computer, with a priority of !1-Next Action, and .wife. This pulls out everything that is urgent to do when I get home. That way I don't have to search through a bunch of tags to find what I need to do next.  
    • tag:@home -tag:!Closed -tag:@computer -tag:"!4-Someday/Maybe"
  • Finally I have a couple of saved searches for my Daily Review and my Weekly Review. These both pull up a list of notes that may need to be reviewed and are ready to begin or need clarification on the next action.
    • any: tag:"!3-Later" tag:"!Daily" tag:"!2-Waiting For"
    • any: tag:"!3-Later" tag:"!Weekly" tag:"!4-Someday/Maybe"
Using saved searches helps me quickly get through processing and on to next actions. Give them a try. 

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