ActionOutlineHere’s the ActionOutline alternative to yesterday’s mind map plan.

It’s still the 30 minutes/day list, just organized in different software.

After getting you all excited about sorting your to-do’s on a mind map I decided, since it’s been a few years, I’m tired of doing the desktop mind map thing. It worked but it did have a couple of small issues. But you should do it anyway because it’s good and when you get tired of it you can come over here.

I had all my to-do’s in ActionOutline at one time because I was trying to follow someone else’s system, (sort of) but I had them under separate tabs so I couldn’t see them all at once and that made my mind kind of crazy. (The moral of this story is don’t listen to the experts because they can lead you astray.)

The tabs across the top are my main categories you’ve heard about before. ActionOutline is set up so it starts with Windows and opens all tabs at once from the system tray. The whole thing runs with hotkeys if you can memorize them.


Under each tab is a list of reference material. Things like Photoshop techniques that I haven’t memorized yet, a list of resources for filing U.S. tax returns, code used in my website, etc.

The first tab is the To-Do list in its entirety, except for what’s on my calendar. Everything in ActionOutline is either a Reference item or a To-do. That’s the only choice I’m allowing myself here.


Now is just Now. Soon and Someday are divided into the main categories. I can see my whole to-do list at once by opening all the sub-items with one hotkey. And then let my eyes light on the thing I want to proceed with. Our brains are smart that way.

It scrolls on forever and it functions like a spiral notebook except better because the parts can be moved around. I’m hoping I can maintain a grip and not fall back into my old notebook habits.

As I mentioned earlier I grew up with a nasty habit of ripping notebooks apart.

Notebooks were too confining so I ripped pages out of them or pieces of pages. After I’d written something I’d rip the pages into small pieces. Later I progressed to burning pages and parts of pages. I probably needed a psychiatrist. I didn’t have one of those. But I did have paper.

Then word processors and computers came along but ripping and burning those is expensive. Thankfully there’s a delete button instead.

It hasn’t entirely solved the problem though. I constantly put words together and take them apart and stir them with a stick.

A month ago when I started dismantling my folders piece by piece I came across, hidden away in the far reaches, dozens of half-written blog posts or ideas for something I might write or do something with someday maybe. I don’t know. It’s quite a mish-mash.

So I made a folder called WORKING and moved all the bits and pieces I found into there; 430 files, 26 folders, 275 MB and it’s mostly text files and mind maps. Right now it can stay where it is. ActionOutline is busy enough.

So there it is; one more way to deal with your to-do list.

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