How do you deal with the problem of wanting to see the tasks/projects/lists that only matter RIGHT NOW?

CrazyCashew

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This is what I mean. Let's say I have in todoist my projects list, my projects, my next action etc

However, whenever, I refer to the app, i see everything. And not just what is relevant to me right now. For example, being reminded of a project that is due in 15 days only increases my anxiety when i cant do anything about it right now.

I want to be able to see only the things that i can do right now. The morning routine right now. The work task right now. And i want to see nothing else.

How do you deal with this? And how do you set up your apps/tools?

I use windows and android for reference. So iOS only an Mac only apps wont help me

Thank you
 

Jim

GTD Ninja
I use TaskPaper, which has a robust search feature. Using its search, I can select which projects to show, just include their next actions, and hide completed actions.
 

cfoley

Registered
Do you organise your actions into context lists? These are the main GTD tool for viewing only the actions you want to see.

I also use Todoist which does not seem to have the concept of context lists built in. I get around this by using their project feature for contexts instead. I have a project called Home which is my @home context, another called Computer for my @computer list etc. Then when I want to see just the actions I can do at my computer, I go to the Computer list and voila.

Todoist also has the concept of labels in its paid version, which you could use for context lists.
 

TesTeq

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I use TaskPaper, which has a robust search feature. Using its search, I can select which projects to show, just include their next actions, and hide completed actions.
Yes, people rely on complicated tools that hide the information they need. TaskPaper hides nothing - no relational databases, just a plain text with a powerful outline view and search engine!
 
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Steve_Dunn

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With Todoist, you could use priority flags (or a label) to create a "focused" next action, then use a filter to display just those focused items. Happy to follow this up with you if you're not sure how to do this :) . Todoist is a great tool.

Personally, I use Nirvana. It's fantastic. I simply "star" the next action items I want to prioritise. As you can see, I'm working under my Area of Focus/Responsibility of "Work and Career". I could also filter these out by tag (context). I'm know sure if this is "pure" GTD - but it works for me.

1594791127297.png
 

CrazyCashew

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I use TaskPaper, which has a robust search feature. Using its search, I can select which projects to show, just include their next actions, and hide completed actions.
well that is amazing. just curious, how have you organised your tags, projects, lists etc?

edit: I just fund out that taskpaper is not available for windows/android. So that would not help me. thank you though
 

CrazyCashew

Registered
With Todoist, you could use priority flags (or a label) to create a "focused" next action, then use a filter to display just those focused items. Happy to follow this up with you if you're not sure how to do this :) . Todoist is a great tool.

Personally, I use Nirvana. It's fantastic. I simply "star" the next action items I want to prioritise. As you can see, I'm working under my Area of Focus/Responsibility of "Work and Career". I could also filter these out by tag (context). I'm know sure if this is "pure" GTD - but it works for me.

View attachment 836
Thank you!

So what I would like to be able to do is view discrete lists, regardless of what project they are in. There could be next actions in multiple different projects. I want to see them in one place. But I also want to be able to see the next actions only for certain projects, or only certain tasks depending on the time of the day, energy and other parameters

Though i also feel that I am not doing GTD correctly. As I have not really been able to implement GTD efficiently. So sone of the friction is because of that as well.

For example, my "inbox" is in many places. (A work note taking app, a personal one, a clipboard). I'm undecided how to deal and organize the recurring and repeated tasks (like daily routines and travel lists). And I find it a little difficult to organize and bring in tasks from the brainstorming i do on paper, and i dont always implement all the tasks, especially if they are in a timeline (I still find paper works best for planning)

I am going on a tangent here, but I feel like I'm so close to having that mental clarity and i just need to figure out a couple different things.


Would be glad if you had any insights about this as well as the problem that i made this post originally for.

Thank you
 

cfoley

Registered
Have you considered using a paper system? A paper system might help you to become comfortable with GTD.

I find that a lot of software misses out key concepts like contexts or ticklers while adding in things that are considered bad practice in GTD like daily to-do lists and priority fields. It's difficult to implement a useful GTD system in software at the best of times, let alone when you aren't sure you are doing it correctly.

A paper system, on the other hand, means that you can focus on the GTD concepts. Once the application of those concepts is second nature then that might be the time to review some different software systems.

So what I would like to be able to do is view discrete lists, regardless of what project they are in. There could be next actions in multiple different projects. I want to see them in one place. But I also want to be able to see the next actions only for certain projects, or only certain tasks depending on the time of the day, energy and other parameters
I solve this problem by keeping my lists short. My rule of thumb is that a list should usually fit on one screen or piece of paper. I find that if it's longer than this I'm more likely to avoid looking at it. With short lists, you don't need sophisticated filtering.

The implication of this is that if one context list becomes long, I find a way to partition it into two. I'm also happy to merge them back together when they become shorter.

If you need to filter ny time of day then maybe that informs the contexts you need. For example, @Home-Before-Work and @Home-Evening might be useful to you.
 

Steve_Dunn

Registered
Thank you!

So what I would like to be able to do is view discrete lists, regardless of what project they are in. There could be next actions in multiple different projects. I want to see them in one place. But I also want to be able to see the next actions only for certain projects, or only certain tasks depending on the time of the day, energy and other parameters
Hi again - this should be possible in Todoist where you can use labels and priority flags. Here's an example below:

1594837544798.png
I've created a "Next Actions" filter on the left hand side. When I access it, it will show all those tasks with a label of "Next". As you can see, there's different projects on the right hand side. The "Meditate" task has a p1 flag set that brings it to the top of the list. I have a filter for those items on the left-hand side called "Focus". That only show those prioritised Next tasks.

For me, Nirvana is my "hub". With regard to in-boxes and capture..... I don't tend to capture much on the mobile, although Google Keep/Nirvana are handy for that on the move...when I'm at my desk it's Nirvana that allows me to make quick capture (press I, type your text, press Enter). Nirvana handles my repeating tasks, and I do add some reminders to Google Calendar (bills/payments).

It's a very personal thing, choosing a system that works for you! We're all wired different! Good luck with your GTD-ing!
 

Jim

GTD Ninja
I just fund out that taskpaper is not available for windows/android. So that would not help me. thank you though
There are a handful of Windows apps (Atom, Emacs, Sublime Text, VIM and TodoPaper) that people have adapted to work like TaskPaper. They are linked here.

That is the main advantage of theTaskPaper format—you can edit the file in any text editor. The more powerful the editor, the more functionality it can duplicate from the TaskPaper app.

Projects are handled by putting a colon at the end. Example:

Clean the garage:

Tasks are preceded by a dash and space. Example:

- Call the exterminator @phone

You'll notice that I put a tag on that task. That is howTaskPaper handles contexts. Click on a tag, and the app only shows items tagged with that context.

TaskPaper is simultaneously simple, yet utterly powerful. I love it.
 

CrazyCashew

Registered
Hi again - this should be possible in Todoist where you can use labels and priority flags. Here's an example below:

View attachment 837
I've created a "Next Actions" filter on the left hand side. When I access it, it will show all those tasks with a label of "Next". As you can see, there's different projects on the right hand side. The "Meditate" task has a p1 flag set that brings it to the top of the list. I have a filter for those items on the left-hand side called "Focus". That only show those prioritised Next tasks.

For me, Nirvana is my "hub". With regard to in-boxes and capture..... I don't tend to capture much on the mobile, although Google Keep/Nirvana are handy for that on the move...when I'm at my desk it's Nirvana that allows me to make quick capture (press I, type your text, press Enter). Nirvana handles my repeating tasks, and I do add some reminders to Google Calendar (bills/payments).

It's a very personal thing, choosing a system that works for you! We're all wired different! Good luck with your GTD-ing!
Thank you. that helped a lot. I have played with labels in the past but havent delved deep. The idea to have a focus filter is amazing though.

Thank you again.
 

TesTeq

Registered
There are a handful of Windows apps (Atom, Emacs, Sublime Text, VIM and TodoPaper) that people have adapted to work like TaskPaper. They are linked here.

That is the main advantage of theTaskPaper format—you can edit the file in any text editor. The more powerful the editor, the more functionality it can duplicate from the TaskPaper app.

Projects are handled by putting a colon at the end. Example:

Clean the garage:

Tasks are preceded by a dash and space. Example:

- Call the exterminator @phone

You'll notice that I put a tag on that task. That is howTaskPaper handles contexts. Click on a tag, and the app only shows items tagged with that context.

TaskPaper is simultaneously simple, yet utterly powerful. I love it.
And there's one more thing: every paragraph that is not a Project (colon at the end) or Task (dash and space at the beginning) is a Note.

I love two things in TaskPaper:
1. It is a text file. I can copy it, print it, or open in any text editor.
2. I can have Projects, Subprojects, Subsubprojects, Subsubsubprojects and so on. It's just a matter of the outline indentation.
 
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Oogiem

Registered
I have in todoist my projects list, my projects, my next action etc

However, whenever, I refer to the app, i see everything. And not just what is relevant to me right now. For example, being reminded of a project that is due in 15 days only increases my anxiety when i cant do anything about it right now.

I want to be able to see only the things that i can do right now. The morning routine right now. The work task right now. And i want to see nothing else.

How do you deal with this? And how do you set up your apps/tools?

I use windows and android for reference. So iOS only an Mac only apps wont help me
I'm Mac and iOS only but the tools don't matter it's how you set them up.

First key point: Define the contexts that make sense TO YOU. So if you only want to see things that are part of your morning routine in the morning then set a context of "Morning Routine" and in your tool of choice in the morning go look at that list and work from there. If you need something specific to do the task maybe that needs to be a context. I use my tools, software, location and people required as contexts, (Scrivener, Libre Office, Red Barn, Shop Building, With help, By Myself etc.), other people use mindset, or time like 10 min. tasks, deep thinking, braindead.

Second point: ONLY put on a next actions lists things that you can do right now with nothing missing. If you are missing something then it's not a next action.

For example, my "inbox" is in many places. (A work note taking app, a personal one, a clipboard). I'm undecided how to deal and organize the recurring and repeated tasks (like daily routines and travel lists). And I find it a little difficult to organize and bring in tasks from the brainstorming i do on paper, and i dont always implement all the tasks, especially if they are in a timeline (I still find paper works best for planning)
Third point: Processing and clarifying your inboxes takes time, a LOT of time but it's moving slowly to go faster. The more time you spend clarifying anfd getting down to concrete next actions the faster overall you work and the easier it is to do things. Seems counterintuitive but plan on about a hour to hour and a half a day just managing and processing your daily inboxes.

You are correct that people have a lot of inboxes. So deal with them daily.
 

CrazyCashew

Registered
Second point: ONLY put on a next actions lists things that you can do right now with nothing missing. If you are missing something then it's not a next action.
How do you implement this? For example, there os a next action item that requires a person or a specific time of the day. I'd still define it as next action right? Or do you mean to say that tasks in next action should have contexts to them and i should view tasks by context and not by next action. So that i only see the next action that is suited for right now. Is this what you meant?

thanks
 

Oogiem

Registered
How do you implement this?
In my tool, Omnifocus, I typpe in the action under the project ti relates to (99% of my actions are part of a project and I like the linkages) and then apply a tag to it for the context that it belongs in. For example: If I have a next action of "Implement database class in separate file in lambTracker" I would add that task to the project LambTracker Desktop and give it a context of PyCharm.

do you mean to say that tasks in next action should have contexts to them and i should view tasks by context and not by next action.
Yes exactly. You should nearly always do all your doing time from a context list not from a project or actions list. Now that will vary by person, and tools but the real key to GTD vs other productivity and task management systems is the entire idea of contexts that are what you need to do an item. That is the best way to hide things you cannot do now.

For example I have 42 different contexts right now and about 300 available next actions. But I typically can see an entire list in one window. I'm not sure but I think my longest one has only about 30 items on it, most are much smaller.
 

CrazyCashew

Registered
Yes exactly. You should nearly always do all your doing time from a context list not from a project or actions list.
Oh wow. I have missed this crucial part of GTD for some reason. I always separated the tasks at the project level and nothing else. I guess I'll have to read it again. Thank you
 
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