This document guides through the few set-ups you need to do the first time you are using ThinkingRock:
- initial data set-up: contexts, topics and criteria (priority, energy and time);
- general data set-up: optional fields, auto-sequencing, backup folder, etc...
You will need to read this document from top to bottom.
To call each screen, you can either click on the corresponding box in the overview screen or use the buttons in the menu toolbar.
There are demos available showing the initial set-up.
The first time ThinkingRock is run, you need to create a data file by using the menu option File New or the Create Data File box on the Overview screen. This file will save your data (thoughts, actions, projects and items) but also your set-up data. The next time you open ThinkingRock, it will automatically open the last data file used.
Initially you need to setup the following data.
As a starting point for your data file, you can download the SetupData.xml file (which contains examples of contexts, topics and criteria) from here.
A context should describe where or how an action could be done. Examples of contexts are: Phone calls, At Computer, At the Shops, On-line, At Home, Errands. Contexts are useful for deciding what you can do next, as this often depends on where you are and what tools you have available. Contexts are also used in reports, so you can have with you all the actions which need doing within your current context. Context is a GTD concept.
To set-up your contexts, use the Contexts screen.
The topics are used to classify your thoughts and are kept as the thoughts become an item, an action or a project. Examples of topics are: Personal, Financial, Health, House, Work, Kids, Book, CDs. Topic is not a GTD concept.
To set-up your topics, use the Topics screen.
There are 3 criteria you can use: priority, energy and time. They are GTD concepts. They can help you to decide what action to do next. For example, "I have 10 minutes before my next meeting, which action can I do which takes maximum 10 minutes?" Or "I just had lunch, I am feeling sleepy, which action can I do which requires Low Mental Energy?". Please note that according to GTD, these criteria are less important than the context to determine your next action.
To set-up your criteria, use the Criteria screen. You first need to check the box for the ones you want to use. ThinkingRock comes with a set of values that you can update. You can delete values, add new ones, change the order. The order sets in this screen is used for the list and whenever you order your actions list based on that criterion.
You can add the following fields to define an action: Start Date, Due Date and Successful Outcome. You need to check the corresponding fields under the Actions settings screen (Mac Preferences/Miscellaneous/Actions Tab; PC and Linux Tools/Miscellaneous/Actions Tab).
You can add following fields to define a project: Start Date and Due Date. You need to check the corresponding fields under the Project settings screen (Mac Preferences/Miscellaneous/Projects Tab; PC and Linux Tools/Miscellaneous/Projects Tab).
Regarding the Automatically sequence actions setting (see Sequencing Help under 05. Review for more details), it is done at project level:
- If this option is not checked, no automatic sequencing is done;
- If this option is checked, all new projects will have automatic sequencing set to on. This setting can be changed for any project in the Review Projects screen.
You can specify the first day of your week (Monday or Sunday) and your date format under the Date settings screen (Mac Preferences/Miscellaneous/Dates Tab; PC and Linux Tools/Miscellaneous/Dates Tab).