Next Actions and projects


Hello Everyone,

Hi folks does next actions and projects coexist for the same item?
For example: the project would be buy Bella a b-day gift do I then decide the next action and move it to the Next Actions list? Or do I list the steps in projects? If I move it to NA what do I do when I complete the action cross it off and write next step once it’s complete and should the lists be in contexts correct? I like iOS reminders because it’s easy but I don’t organize the lists they are just glorified to do’s.

Jared Caron

GTD enthusiast and amateur coach
Hi There,

Sounds like you're on the right track here.

You definitely want your Next actions separate from your projects, and a best practice is to organize by context.

In your example you'd have multiple levels:
  • Project: Buy Bella a birthday gift
    • Project support: may include notes and ideas or reference info about Bella - what he/she likes, past gifts, etc. This also where you will organize anything you need to do in the future (but cant start right now) for this project. Some people find "notes" field in most task managers to be useful for this.
  • Next Action: Price [xxx product] on amazon on your @computer list
" If I move it to NA what do I do when I complete the action cross it off and write next step" - this is perfect. You dont need to plan the whole project but if you capture the next step as you complete the next action, you can keep the project moving.

The purpose of keeping the Project list separate serves as an "index" during your weekly review, in case you missed capturing a next step. It keeps all your projects moving forward. Its like the level above next actions, gives you a higher horizon to see from.

iOS reminders is a great tool also. You can easily keep your GTD lists in there. You'll probably want a separate list for each context, plus Projects and Waiting For. There is a setup guide for iOS which you can purchase, or its free for Connect members.

Hope that's helpful!