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« Discussion Forums | Main | The Final Version is here! »

Final Version Instructions now issued

If you have signed up for the Final Version newsletter, check your email. The first issue, which contains the full instructions for the new system, was issued at 10.30 a.m. Queensland time today March 13th to 2,007 subscribers.

If you haven’t already signed up, then you can do so by filling in the Subscribe Email Newsletter box in the right margin. Some people are finding the sign-on instructions a bit difficult to follow since they don’t mention the Final Version (I don’t have much control over the wording) - just answer every question positively!

I intend to send out the instructions at least once a day to new subscribers who missed the first distribution. Please be patient - this is not an autoresponder.

Reader Comments (26)

Wonderful! I just bought a shiny red notebook!
March 13, 2012 at 0:40 | Registered CommenterAlan Baljeu
Don't tell me you haven't been to bed since I said they were on their way, Alan!
March 13, 2012 at 0:41 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
> Don't tell me you haven't been to bed since I said they were on their way, Alan!

Me too. I'm waiting all day and night.

Greetings from Germany at almost 2 AM.

Hans (from your first book)
March 13, 2012 at 0:53 | Registered CommenterTheo
Many thanks for this, Mark.
March 13, 2012 at 0:57 | Registered CommenterFrank
First reaction: very positive. Autofocus worked for me, and subsequent attempts to improve it, like SuperFocus, seemed to add more complication than they were worth. Here the additional idea is simple but potentially powerful and the mechanics remain simple, and I can't wait to try it.

I haven't been keeping up with the Forum lately, so perhaps this is old news, but a good digital list that is free and easily customizable to any Forster system is (The goofy spelling becomes mnemonic if you think of the v as a check-mark.)
March 13, 2012 at 0:57 | Unregistered CommenterBill Adams
Many thanks from me too.
A new era begins!
March 13, 2012 at 1:03 | Registered CommenterTheo
Great, Mark! Thanks a lot… I love the simplicity of the rules and how structured procrastination is baked right in!
March 13, 2012 at 1:13 | Registered CommenterHugo Ferreira
I find the instructions simple and easy to follow. One question: Are the photos posted at representative of this version, or have the rules changed since then? (There are symbols used there that don't appear to be represented in the initial instructions.)

[There's been no change since the photos. You can see the pre-selected tasks marked with dots. The big difference from the instructions is that in the instructions I removed the crossed-out tasks from the examples to make them easier to follow. Of course in a hand-written notebook they are still in place. The vertical line joining crossed-out tasks is of no significance - it just makes the remaining unactioned tasks stand out better.- MF]
March 13, 2012 at 1:30 | Unregistered CommenterAlan
Thanks, Mark, for releasing your Final Version this way! I've been hanging in with Autofocus and following the Forum- tried out some variations- but basically stayed on AF. Now your long-awaited-for FV will get a hard and fair trial- looks very workable and beneficial in my scheme of things. So, now you deserve to ease off and really enjoy your holiday. What was that talk a while back about retirement? Just as busy, or more, on another tack. Kind regards, Djorn
March 13, 2012 at 1:50 | Unregistered CommenterDjorn
<<Don't tell me you haven't been to bed since I said they were on their way, Alan!>>

Actually I was gone all weekend. Today my notebook was feeling ratty, so I bought a new one. That you released at 8:30pm and I turned to the website having a new book is just a happy coincidence. Sorry to disappoint :-)
March 13, 2012 at 2:14 | Registered CommenterAlan Baljeu
Thanks Mark for clarifying my earlier comment. (The vertical bars connecting the crossed-out tasks are what had me confused.)

I'm guessing that you will want us *not* to discuss details of the system here, but I must admit that I will miss the rich collaborative discussion that appeared with AF, etc., on the forums.

[I don't mind discussing _details_ of the system. - MF]
March 13, 2012 at 2:16 | Unregistered CommenterAlan
Thank you, Mark! It is greatly appreciated!
March 13, 2012 at 2:24 | Registered CommenterPaulB from Canada
Mark, I'm impressed. You've found a way to soothe (my) anxiety about starting certain tasks while ensuring (task) movement and variety.

Anyone attempting to FV via Omnifocus?
March 13, 2012 at 2:41 | Registered Commenteravrum
Thanks Mark. The simplicity of the system and the balance between the three elements sit well with me. I shall immediately be putting it to the test.
March 13, 2012 at 2:45 | Unregistered CommenterGeoff
There's no system for dismissal? What if you get to a "first unactioned item" that you don't want to do?

[If you don't want to do it at all, delete it and go on to the next task. If you still need to do it but just don't want to, well, that's what the selection process is all about. You don't have to do it immediately after you've selected it, only after you have finished all the other tasks in the chain. And even then you only have to make a start on it before re-entering it. - MF]
March 13, 2012 at 3:14 | Unregistered CommenterOhNiners
I was wondering if the little list on the right is still used. it was used for repeating or urgent tasks and you didn't go on to the next page until all of those were done. Is it just one LONG list now? no right and left side ?

[No, there's no second column. It's not necessary, as you'll find when you try the system out. - MF]
March 13, 2012 at 3:36 | Unregistered CommenterLYDIA

Wow. That was simple. And I can see why you do not need dismissal here!

Thanks Mark!
March 13, 2012 at 3:45 | Registered Commenternuntym
Posted too quickly. I should have stated the following:

(I think) you've found a way to soothe...

In other words, I have not tried this system yet. Perhaps in the near future. Curious to hear how this works for others.
March 13, 2012 at 3:52 | Registered Commenteravrum
Thanks, Mark.

I've fallen off the bandwagon and only just restarted cycling my old AF1 list with 240+ tasks. Managed to do that by limiting myself to only doing 1 task per page.

I think my AF1 list gets too long, I didn't manage to cycle daily through it, forget what's in the full list, and hence resorted to working off list with small urgent daily list. :-(

So, I'm now off to create a new FV list on IRT GTasks for Android. I'm going to start with "Write Minutes" and preselecting a few tasks from the end of my old AF1 list ... ;-}

[Hmm.. I'm not sure quite follow that. You could of course just use your old AF1 list. FV should be able to cope with a mere 240 tasks, especially if you are liberal in the use of the Delete option - MF]
March 13, 2012 at 4:24 | Unregistered Commentersabre23t
Well done, Mark, as usual! I've read the whole thing twice to let it sink in. For simplicity, power, and elegance, it looks to be your greatest opus of all, very fitting. Tomorrow I will throw my stuff at it!

I'm as eager to see how your marketing effort unfolds as I am to see how well FV works. Maybe you'll find a nice side business in teleconferences and seminars on web marketing as well.

[All the marketing effort came from just working FV and writing every idea that came to me at the end of the list. Easy! - MF]
March 13, 2012 at 4:29 | Registered CommenterBernie

I'm intrigued by the logic and simplicity behind your FV system. I have a question about protocol in discussing this new system, as I already have several comments and questions in mind. Since you had us re-subscribe to your Newsletter to get the introduction and instructions, do you prefer that we refrain from posting detailed questions and comments here on the Blog, or via Forum postings? I think we all can wait and just experiment individually, then participate later in the telecons/seminars that you plan to host.

What are your wishes?

[Thanks for asking. My main purpose in getting people to resubscribe was to weed out the nearly 10,000 people I have on my mailing list so that it only contains people who are genuinely and currently interested in FV. It is expensive to keep a list of that size and it would have become very expensive if it had gone over the 10,000 mark. What I basically want to ensure is that people who want to use the system join the mailing list. Therefore I don't want to post the entire system on the website, but discussion of detailed points is no problem. - MF]
March 13, 2012 at 4:44 | Registered Commenterubi
Isnt the absence of dismissal a loss? I thought dismisal was an invaluable way to "naturally" sort out the "someday/maybe" stuff from the more important/shorter term stuff...

[Yes, dismissal was invaluable in earlier systems, but the way FV is constructed makes it unnecessary. FV achieves the same more effectively, as you'll discover when you've used it for a bit. - MF]
March 13, 2012 at 6:13 | Unregistered CommenterAmir
[... You could of course just use your old AF1 list. FV should be able to cope with a mere 240 tasks, especially if you are liberal in the use of the Delete option - MF]

Perhaps I'm not as resilient as FV. So, I'll follow your other advice to build the list gradually from my old list. I've added to my FV list, "Get tasks I want to do now from old AF1 list". Moving tasks from list to list is usually easy digitally, edit task and choose which list it should be in. :-)

[Pity. I am looking for some brave soul who will tell me how brilliantly FV sorted out their existing list! - MF]
March 13, 2012 at 6:48 | Unregistered Commentersabre23t
Well done Mark. As always smart very interesting. It reminds me an old method I used to do years ago. The question makes the system flow.

I also like it because it can be easily do with whatever digital (i.e. task paper, omnifocus, .txt, word, page, web system, google....) or paper systems (binder, notebook, paper sheets...)

I am a bit surprised by it simplicity. I need to read again the rules and really test the system. It will be fast because the list is ready.

For discussing about the system may be it would be nice to open a real section on the web site because I am sure there will be many many topics. Thanks for imagining news systems that helps us to be more productive and efficient in our lives.

[I'm just about to open a separate FV discussion forum, which anyone can post on (i.e. no registration). I hope the use of a capcha will keep the spam down to a minimum. - MF]
March 13, 2012 at 7:09 | Registered CommenterJupiter
Thank you very much for sharing. I had benefitted from AF1 and SF. The FV sounds promising, I am eager to test it. Looking forward to guidance about how it can be employed to clear backlogs. Thanks again.
March 13, 2012 at 7:13 | Unregistered CommenterPena
Thanks, Mark, may we call this FV0 or FV0.1?

[No. - MF]

Like some others, I've just returned to the Forum on a more frequent basis. I think I'll trial FV on paper first before considering how I can use Toodledo/Ultimate-To-Do List (I use the Android UTDL more than my Toodeldo on Windows).

I second Jupiter's suggestion for a focused FV Forum.

[Now up and running - MF]

I wonder who will come up with the first tweak?

[As always, please try it as written for a week or two before trying to change it - MF]

March 13, 2012 at 7:31 | Registered CommenterRoger J
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