Forgive me if this seems like I'm replying just for the sake of a reply. I think I kind of lost track with the topic.
I think I'm still just focused on gaining others' perspective but as with SKesselman's post, I fear I might also be falling into being critical of your views.
Should you be thinking about Item 2 while doing Item 1, especially if they are unrelated? How do you keep from seeing Item 2 when you are looking at Item 1? What if Item 2 is something you don't want to do, and since you see it on the list you know it is next and it makes you not want to finish Item 1?
Yeah, most of the time, I find the effective method would be to have it detached.
Still...depending on the program nowadays, there's lots of unique quirks to bypass this.
Let's use a popular program like Remember the Milk for example. To isolate a task, you just do a search for that task and that will be the only entry that appears.
It's not so much a problem of the list as the lack of innovative designs.
Even with paper, you can apply a folding mechanism to hide each task by level.
Lists are up and down. They have a top, bottom, and middle. There is no left and right, four corners and center. You can only move an item up or down; add, edit, or remove; or move it to another list.
Actually this is why some people use Mindmanager and other fishbone applications to bypass this. (I do consider them lists. The concept basically just moves your list left to right instead of up and down.)
I find them highly annoying though. I still much prefer the six corners feel of Compendium. (Even if it's not ideal as a pure to-do list)
But you're right, that's why I hate most lists.
On the flip side, that's why I also use XP's way of viewing in tiles or icons combined with .txt files.
It achieves the same effect of four corners while still allowing you to click inside the .txt if you want a list of sub-tasks.
Todo lists in particular... There is no room for thoughts, feelings, rhetorical questions...just tasks to do.
Again, this depends on the particular software design.
I agree most to-dos omit these.
RTM and Toodledo has notes though. GoNutShell in particular nearly captured it ideally if only it was a software instead of an online app.
The design is literally one half notepad/one half to-do list in 2-pane form.
Unfortunately the notepad is static.
That is, it doesn't matter what list you move away from, your notepad contents stay the same.
It can pop up by itself, so you only see Item 1. Since you don't see Item 2, you don't think about Item 2 while doing Item 1. Your thoughts and feelings about Item 2 will not interfere with Item 1.
Just to provide a devil's advocate opinion, the problem with software sticky notes though is that you have to set this behaviour up and you still have to be a master of reminders. (or at least pop-ups)
The end result being no different than self-e-mail reminder services minus the e-mail component.
Of course there are other specific features Notezilla has that makes it a better fit for these kinds of necessities but there are some people like me that are just as bad with reminders as we are with lists.
With lists, it can just feel much easier to put an entry inside but difficult to extract. Vice versa for sticky notes programs if set up ideally.
(I know...I know...your system's not for everyone, I'm just being a devil's advocate :p)
Memoboards have a top, bottom, left, right, center. There is room for notes containing your thoughts, feelings, other ideas, comments, etc. You can move items around with more flexibility, grouping is much easier, you can even stack items on top of another.
Yeah, I hope more developers design with memoboards in mind.
I'm not sure I tried Notezilla's but when I tried a software sticky note once, my main problem was that it was kind of confusing to set it up to a memoboard.
I just kept jumping between sticky notes - memoboard - tabs back and forth out of fear that I might've missed putting an entry to another entry and vice versa.
It still had potential but it relied too much on knowing exactly how to configure the notes so that if you want an overview, you got an overview and if you want a single note, you got a single note and when you want to schedule something, you know exactly what range you want to schedule it.
In the long run, I just felt I was having the same problems as when I was being overloaded with lists.
At a certain point, all the sticky notes despite the different coloring tend to start looking the same and then it's like I'm back on a list trying to squint at where the sticky note I put the suggestions in and where are the sticky note I made a reminder of and where are the notes that deal with the mundane tasks and where are the notes that deal with the large tasks within a project.
I guess what I'm trying to hint as is despite the fact that lists lose alot to sticky notes, sticky notes can just as become inflexible, less powerful and incomplete if you can't quite "get" what the big picture model is about.
Individual notes are like pieces of a puzzle, to be examined and fit into place. You can easily switch focus from an individual piece to the big picture. The master memoboard is your life.
Yeah, this is what I like about detachable pieces.
Similarly this is why I prefer different applications to handle different tasks even if they are tasks related to the same project.
It's kind of just like using multiple browsers. At a certain point, any annoyance I have with one, I can temporarily off-set with another if I don't know how to fix it.
I will borrow a concept from you though. What do you think of this?
The Master Brain of DoomThere seems to be this idea among the "productivity gurus" that you can't be productive without everything being on some sort of separate brain.
I spent too much of my time trying to figure out how to make these tasks grouped together in one place, fighting against myself, trying to figure out how to "fix" my brain so these tasks would combine as a separate piece of my mind. It's just not going to happen. If this one location falls, I'd be left with less of a brain.
I know you do have a master memoboard, but still I'm curious to hear what you think of this.
This is not a list. While it can contain a list, it in itself is not one. Here is a screenshot that will answer most of your questions. It is from my older software that I was using before I started using Notezilla, because I haven't moved it all over yet.
Nah, you posted a screenshot similar to that before. Remember the sticky note thread where you recommended using 3m's Digital Post-its before you switched to Notezilla?
That was the post that made me think seriously of software post-its.