By the time I get to the Processing phase for any given project, I generally have things stashed all over the place – notes and links in Springpad, bookmarks in delicious and Instapaper, handwritten notes that may or may not have been typed up into my digital journal. Depending on the project, I may or may not have started a Queue for it.
But GQueues is where I really get into this phase. If a Queue doesn’t already exist (and for most creative and skills projects I’ve been thinking about, there already is one), then I create one and assign it the color green. (I’m big into color coding my task lists and calendar. Sadly, the two color schemes don’t correlate. In my task lists, green is a project I’m allowed to work on, yellow is for projects I’m thinking about and may move onto after a green project is finished, red is for projects I’m not allowed to work on or think about. It’s effective…sort of…) I then organize all of those notes and links from all over the place into actionable tasks and subtasks. GQueues has this rather lovely feature where you can add notes to tasks, be they actual notes, links to useful resources, links to related workspaces. You can add general notes to the Queue itself. I find it quite handy.
Because most of my projects have some learning element built into them, I have both skills development and creative steps to include in my task list. It can make for a long Queue, but it does help me see exactly what I’m gaining from the project, and allows me to better integrate my study materials into my project. GQueues offers the ability to drag and drop tasks around as needed, so it’s a fairly painless process.
I also set up a tag for the project in Springpad, so I can corral notes, links, and resources into one place that I can then link to in GQueues for quicker access. For long-term projects, I will even set up a specific folder for the project in Instapaper to catch bookmarks from my reading. It helps me keep old links and new links all in one place without having to remember to do anything special (very helpful when you have a handful of projects running at the same time).
So, there you have it. When I reach this phase of a project, I set up a Queue in GQueues to serve as the project’s base, and then I back it up with tags in Springpad and folders in Instapaper to keep everything quickly accessible. (Once I start creating, I also add a link to the project’s actual workspace in GQueues.) Someday, though, I hope to either find or cobble together a storage system with a dashboard that will make all of this much simpler – put it into a single system that is flexible enough for my work. (That project Queue doesn’t exist yet.)