> I read and re-read your post. I find
> your system impressive but very confusing
> to me.

Maybe I made things sound more complicated than they had to be by giving too many details. Basically, whether I'm doing a GTD review or I'm making plans for a particular project (which are two different things, though similar), I'm switching back and forth fairly rapidly among a lot of notes, maybe just three or four or five, maybe as many as a couple dozen, as I think of things to jot down.

If you saw me working at this, you'd see me focused mostly on one note at a time, but frequently skipping to another note as I thought of a to-do item, or an idea to think about later, or an issue I need to be sure is cleared up by a certain time, or something I need to remember to speak with someone about. Then I skip back to whatever note I'm mostly focused on.

The part I'm having trouble getting to work to my satisfaction is the archival part. I want to be able to put away my completed notes for a project, and yet be able to easily bring them up again as a group at some point in the future, maybe three months later, maybe two years later. But in the meantime I don't need to have them on the top level of my collections. I want to get them out of sight, without making them hard to bring up again.

If I could put those folders into a superfolder, I could bring up a set of old project notes with two clicks, one on the "Completed projects" superfolder and one on the specific subfolder. And filing away a set of notes once a project is completed would be as easy as dragging the folder into the superfolder. I can't think of anything I can do with tags that isn't *more* work than this, not less.

Somebody wrote that they didn't need hierarchy so much as just one higher level of collection in order to gather collections and tag collections into groups. That's my case exactly. I just want ONE folder that I can gather my less needed collections into so that my list stays short.

(The reason David Allen recommends a simple A-to-Z filing system as part of the GTD method, it seems to me, is less about ease of retrieval and more about ease of filing. If you're in the middle of a productively heated bout of planning and you have to give every item even twenty or thirty seconds of thought and preparation before you can file it, you'll start putting things in a "To be filed" pile, so as not to break your flow of thought, instead of filing each item immediately. The point isn't to put thought into your filing system so that you can find things again easily; the point is to make the filing effortless so you'll do it for each item right away the very moment you generate it, and if that means that when you're retrieving it you have to look in a couple of wrong places first because you can't remember whether you filed something under "Banana cream pie" or "Desserts" or "Recipes", big deal, it's nowhere near as big a drain on your system as it is to let a "To be filed" stack pile up. The fact is, whether you use tags liberally or not, the fear that you're going to lose a file forever is 99% illusion. The only way you're really likely to lose a file forever is if there's a software glitch or a hardware failure that destroys the file; if you stay backed up, the worst that's likely to happen is that it may take you three or four tries to find your file instead of one.)


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