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Discussion Forum > S2S8CA7 System - My Favorite One So Far

This is the system that I was using for the past couple of weeks which grew naturally from

http://markforster.squarespace.com/forum/post/2686341

and which I described briefly in Seraphim's WIP system.

http://markforster.squarespace.com/forum/post/2689687

Mark made a suggestion of using the stalactite/stalagmite method there and it made the system so good it is now my favorite system to use so far. That's when I decided I should make this thread so as not to hijack Seraphim's thread anymore.

I. What is the Stalactite/Stalagmite method?

This method idea was first introduced by Mark Forster in the post http://markforster.squarespace.com/forum/post/623946#post624095 . It is an elegant way of having two separate lists into a single page without worrying about allotting the necessary space for each. In the method, one list starts from the top of the page going down, and the other list starts from the bottom of the page going up. The lists are thus separated by a space until they meet somewhere in the middle, where you then separate them with a line. The method was coined "stalactite and stalagmite" by user Giulia B.

II. Why the name "S2S8CA7", and why make another system?

As I said, this system was based on the one from

http://markforster.squarespace.com/forum/post/2686341

which combines RAF with a weekly dismissal system and a calendar.

New and added "deferred" items are processed using RAF, where they are given two days to "live" as unactioned items, after which they are given the "Delete, Defer, Do" treatment. Unfinished and tasks recurring within the week are placed in the weekly dismissal, where they are given eight days to "live" (eight as allowance instead of just seven days) as unactioned items, after which they are given the DDD treatment. Finally, "deferred" items and tasks that recur after more than a week are added into the calendar.

As you may have guessed, the S's are "Stalactite/Stalagmite" and the "C" is for calendar. The numbers "2" and "8" are the dismissal times while "A7" stands for tasks that occur after a week.

The goal of the system is to establish both a "daily routine" and a "weekly routine" where you have an established workload for the week into which you gradually add new items as needed. It was being achieved in my previous systems and I really like them, but they were too complex. The stalagmite/stalactite method made the system less so, and right now it is my favorite system.

III. How do you do S2S8CA7?
A. Establish the foundations
1. Decide which will be the stalagmite and which will be the stalactite: RAF or the weekly system. Personally I use the stalactite (top going down) for the weekly system and stalagmite for the RAF, but the reverse should be OK.
2. Decide how you will divide the stalactite/stalagmite when they meet in the middle of the page, since you will be using lines also for the separate systems. I decided on using a jagged line, but other ways would suffice.

B. RAF
1. Do RAF almost exactly as is explained in http://markforster.squarespace.com/blog/2017/7/19/real-autofocus.html
2. The only difference is that you rewrite unfinished or tasks recurring within the week into the weekly system, while writing deferred and tasks recurring after a week from now into the calendar.

C. The weekly system
1. As mentioned before, you can only add tasks here if they are unfinished or recurring within the week. New tasks and tasks from the calendar must be added to the RAF system, and tasks recurring after a week must be added to the calendar.
2. Items to be done are chosen by "standing out", then crossed out when done for now. If the task is recurring or unfinished, take note of the rules discussed before.
3. Like in RAF, when you are finished for the day, draw a short horizontal line in the margin immediately after the last task on the list, then extend the previous short line end-of-day marker so that it goes right across the page.
4. Label the first long line you ever make as "1", then label the consecutive lines "2", "3", etc. until you reach "7", then label the next one as "1", and so on.
5. You use these labels to determine which tasks are eight days old (i.e. they are behind the line with the same number label as the latest one), upon which you do the "delete, defer, do" routine at the beginning of the day as in RAF.

D. How to process S2S8CA7
1. At the beginning of the day, make the necessary short and long lines for both the RAF and the weekly systems, as well as labeling for the latter, if they were not done at the end of the day before.
2. Add the calendar task items into RAF.
3. Process all of the weekly system first, including the DDD, until nothing stands out.
4. Process all of the RAF system next, including the DDD, until nothing stands out.
5. Keep on alternating between the systems for the rest of the day.
October 9, 2017 at 18:40 | Registered Commenternuntym
This is actually really simple, simpler I think than many of the versions you posted before, and simpler even than its name.

To put it briefly, I believe the system can be abbreviated (with small loss of precision) as being RAF times two:

First you run through the weekly "RAF", running DDD only on items 8 days old. Then you run the regular RAF which DDD's items 2 days old. BUT, anything you work on which you need to continue working on gets shunted into the weekly instead of the regular.

So the regular list only has things you aren't working on, and the weekly list only has things you are working on.
October 12, 2017 at 16:19 | Registered CommenterAlan Baljeu
@Alan Baljeu: "To put it briefly, I believe the system can be abbreviated (with small loss of precision) as being RAF times two..."

Oh man I feel embarrassed right now seeing how I made everything sound so complicated!

But yes you have described this system succinctly.
October 13, 2017 at 1:05 | Registered Commenternuntym