Get an overview on projects
In my job I am responsible for the development of several business fields, and I also manage individual service/product development projects in these fields.
In toodledo, I use "folders" for my areas of responsibility as well as for big projects. For smaller "projects" (in the GTD understanding as "multistep actions"), I use tasks with subtasks as next actions. These "PROJECT" tasks would get the status "active" (and "PROJECT" in their title), whereas the subtasks will get the status of "next action". The "PROJECT" (active) task is not a task in itself, but only a box for all its subtasks.
For example, I have a development project XYZ, which is in its feasibility phase, where one (multistep) task is to evaluate suppliers and then decide on which one to contract.
"XYZ" would therefore be a folder, "PROJECT: evaluate supplier for XYZ" would be an "active" task, subtasks of which would be things like "write criteria list", "test according to criteria", "compare suppliers according to criteria"... etc.
Now I'm looking for a good way to get an overview on the PROJECTs, where I get the information on the correct lenghts (I would expect toodledo to show the sum of lenghts for all subtasks in the PROJECT, as well as an overview on the number of outstanding (and thereof overdue) next actions per PROJECT.
I do get an overview by sticking on my marking PROJECTS as "active" and giving them "PROJECT" in the title, then sorting out all "active" tasks, but then I have trouble seeing the correct lenght, or opening the subtasks of PROJECTs. (since there is a filter on "active").
So, what I am looking for is basically a "show all projects" button, that will display all entries which have "next action" subtasks, with a report on how long these subtasks will take altogether, and how many there are in total/how many delegated/how many of them are overdue.
Has anyone found a good way to do this?
Can't you just filter on the folder? Then all subprojects and tasks would show up. I think.
I do use the folder view quite frequently. However, I'm looking for a different overview. The folder view gives me all projects, but also all the single actions that belong to this folder; it's good if you want to do any work for a certain folder, but it's not very valuable if you want to decide which project (in all folders) needs most attention.
What I'm looking for is more of an overview on all (multistep) projects and their status, independent of the folder; furthermore, I would appreciate some information per project (total number of subtasks/how many are delegated/how many are overdue and how long do all outstanding subtasks take in sum)
This message was edited Jan 08, 2012.
Posted by s.l:
...So, what I am looking for is basically a "show all projects" button, that will display all entries which have "next action" subtasks, with a report on how long these subtasks will take altogether, and how many there are in total/how many delegated/how many of them are overdue...
TD doesn't have the reporting capability you want... the best you can do is filter by views or search and extract the info visually.
An easy way to isolate length info for an individual project is to use the "Permanent Link" feature from the actions arrow. It will open in the Search view and you will need to SHOW subtasks Indented, and set any other show filters appropriately.
I use a similar setup; folders for AOR's and big projects, and tasks/subtasks for projects. I do not use the status field, instead I imply status with other fields. Rather than use "PROJECT:", I prepend active projects with "!". Someday projects start with "?". (I also use multiples for sorting priority: "!!!This is a High Priority Project".) So a simple alpha sort (in any view) will give you a list with active projects sorted to the top, followed by Somedays.
For Next Actions, I use the Context field; if the subtask Context is defined it is a Next Action. I also use "Waiting" as a context for delegated. My inbox is a custom search, No Folder, No context.
I created a custom search which filters ANY tasks beginning with "!" (active projects), OR subtasks that do not repeat, (I use subtasks that repeat with parent for some checklists) I set the search to Hidden and then review/expand projects individually. A quick scan of the Context column shows next action status.
One other trick I use is for on-the-fly entry of project subtasks. Rather than search for a project and then add a subtask, sometimes I use the regular Add Task and prepend it with "+". My Active Projects search (above) also includes tasks that begin with "+" so I can easily drag them into the appropriate project.
Thanks for your excellent tips.
Especially the permanent link helps me get a better overview on single projects, even if the the sum of the lenghts of all subtasks can still not be seen.
And the "+" hint solves another issue for me - entering a next action, and later adding it to a project is sometimes not so easy.
"Alpha tricks" always work :)
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