Use of single list with filtered views of that list or multiple lists in Todoist

StephenAdams

Registered
Hi everyone,

I currently use Todoist as my tool for GTD and in my setup, I have multiple lists, some for projects and some for areas of focus. I then use labels and filters to create a view of the Next Actions by context. I was wondering if I do need all these projects in Todoist, I could have everything in the default list and use labels to give a filtered view of that inbox list. Then for my projects (multi-step tasks), I could use sub-tasks in Todoist to create a task that represents the project, with all the steps as sub-tasks.

Is this how some people set up their GTD system, using one main list, but have filtered views of that list? Interested to know.

Thanks

Stephen
 

kelstarrising

Kelly Forrister | GTD® Coach
People typically set up Todoist two ways, per the GTD Setup Guide:

1. Use Projects for all lists (projects, anywhere, agendas, etc.)
or
2. Use Projects for projects (Go to Tahiti, Buy a car, etc.) and create contexts as Labels (anywhere, agendas, etc.)

I coach people on both. Totally personal preference.
 

mcogilvie

Registered
Most of my recent experience is with Things, but I have used Todoist and OmniFocus as well. I have experimented with different approaches to GTD lists for all three. My personal experience is that tags and filters are always less satisfactory than built-in list functionality. For example, Things has a Today view which by default displays a single list of items due today as well as items starred by the user. That list can be filtered using tags. It “only” takes 4 steps to filter on an iPhone or iPad, and I absolutely hate it. I also hate that I either see everything all together or only a smallish subset. Seeing all contexts, organized by context is my preferred working view for most of the day. I have set up Things so that is my default view. I can do that in Todoist with a filter, but for various reasons related to ergonomics, that’s not my tool of choice. I can also do that in OF, but I prefer Things to OF3. I’m signed up for the OF4 beta, so I will take a look at the new version. Another potential problem with one long list with subtasks is the navigation problem: getting a subtask to the right task can be clumsy. As my GTD practice has evolved, I have become more sensitive to issues of simplicity and speed, but my preferences are still just that. You might try your ideas on a subset of your data to see what works best for you.
 

StephenAdams

Registered
Most of my recent experience is with Things, but I have used Todoist and OmniFocus as well. I have experimented with different approaches to GTD lists for all three. My personal experience is that tags and filters are always less satisfactory than built-in list functionality. For example, Things has a Today view which by default displays a single list of items due today as well as items starred by the user. That list can be filtered using tags. It “only” takes 4 steps to filter on an iPhone or iPad, and I absolutely hate it. I also hate that I either see everything all together or only a smallish subset. Seeing all contexts, organized by context is my preferred working view for most of the day. I have set up Things so that is my default view. I can do that in Todoist with a filter, but for various reasons related to ergonomics, that’s not my tool of choice. I can also do that in OF, but I prefer Things to OF3. I’m signed up for the OF4 beta, so I will take a look at the new version. Another potential problem with one long list with subtasks is the navigation problem: getting a subtask to the right task can be clumsy. As my GTD practice has evolved, I have become more sensitive to issues of simplicity and speed, but my preferences are still just that. You might try your ideas on a subset of your data to see what works best for you.
Thanks, that's a great idea to try this approach on a sub-set I'll give it a go.
 

TesTeq

Registered
For example, Things has a Today view which by default displays a single list of items due today as well as items starred by the user.
@mcogilvie There's one thing I don't understand in Things. When you mark an action as "done" it retains the "starred/today" status. Shouldn't it automatically lose this status and disappear from the "Today" list?

Another thing that I am thinking about is getting rid off Next Action context lists. #heresy @kelstarrising

I am a Project oriented guy so I begun to think about implementing Project context lists instead of Next Action context lists. I mean you've got a list of Projects with Next Actions (and optionally next Next Actions) and you attach a context labels to Projects, not Next Actions within Projects.
 

mcogilvie

Registered
@mcogilvie There's one thing I don't understand in Things. When you mark an action as "done" it retains the "starred/today" status. Shouldn't it automatically lose this status and disappear from the "Today" list?
You may have changed the Logbook behavior in Things settings. The choices are Immediately, Daily or Manually. I always have kept that setting on Immediately.
Another thing that I am thinking about is getting rid off Next Action context lists. #heresy @kelstarrising
I'm shocked, shocked, to find that gambling is going on in here." Captain Louis Renault
I am a Project oriented guy so I begun to think about implementing Project context lists instead of Next Action context lists. I mean you've got a list of Projects with Next Actions (and optionally next Next Actions) and you attach a context labels to Projects, not Next Actions within Projects.
Because I have actually come to despise the extra effort of tagging, I’ve tried some things like that, but haven’t been able to make it work well. Right now I have Areas in Things as Contexts and small sequential lists of actions as ”projects” in a context. It’s workable, but lacks the sharp delineation of a vanilla setup. Can you explain more about what you are thinking?
 

TesTeq

Registered
Right now I have Areas in Things as Contexts and small sequential lists of actions as ”projects” in a context.
@mcogilvie It's a very interesting idea. I've never thought about changing the meaning of Areas!
Can you explain more about what you are thinking?
Let's say I've got:
Project: "Explanation for @mcogilvie posted"
- Next Action: "Log into GTD Connect Forum."
Project: "Things for Mac bought"
- Next Action: "Open App Store on Mac."

In GTD I am supposed to add context labels to Next Actions:
Project: "Explanation for @mcogilvie posted"
- Next Action: "Log into GTD Connect Forum." @computer
Project: "Things for Mac bought"
- Next Action: "Open App Store on Mac." @computer

So after searching for @computer I would obtain @computer Next Action list:
- "Log into GTD Connect Forum."
- "Open App Store on Mac."

What I am thinking about is adding context labels to Projects instead of Next Actions:
Project: "Explanation for @mcogilvie posted" @computer
- Next Action: "Log into GTD Connect Forum."
Project: "Things for Mac bought" @computer
- Next Action: "Open App Store on Mac."

After searching for @computer I would obtain @computer Project list:
"Explanation for @mcogilvie posted"
"Things for Mac bought"

Seeing the outcome (not the Next Action) motivates me more to get to work.

There's one drawback of this approach: If I have a Project with two (or more) Next Actions which should be assigned to different contexts I have to add more than one context label to this Project.
 
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