ForumsTips & TricksError catcher in "hotlist"
Error catcher in "hotlist"
Do you sometimes forget to fill out all the necessaty things when entering a new task? And then have to spend time finding it?
In my "Now" lists (saved searches that constitue my "hotlists") I have included a few selection criteria that catch tasks that have not been entered properly.
In my case, a Folder is compulsory, a Status is compulsory, and one particular kind of tag is compulsory (I have given these tags the common prefix "." to facilitate filtering).
My "Now" lists always test for the presence of values for these fields, and keep showing tasks until all mandatory fields have been filled out. Therefore incomplete tasks don't get "lost".
Also, I can deliberately "misuse" this mechanism for quick adding "quick day notes to myself", e.g. "don't forget to mail the letter later". Since many compulsory fields are missing these tasks will automatically show on my "Now" lists. I don't need to enter a due date of today or status of next action etc to make it appear.
This message was edited Aug 12, 2011.
Good idea. I modified it for my use by creating a Saved Search called "ERROR" that finds tasks that lack a folder or a status or a context (my mandatory fields), excepting those in my Templates folder. I will have to check it occasionally, but that's not a problem. It rarely happens, since I've been using task managers for years and have pretty much gotten in the habit of filling in mandatory fields, but nice to have. If I don't find any errors by my next "TD Review", when I go in and review what I'm using and what I'm not, I may delete it.
I have a saved search called "!Process" (exclamation mark sorts it to the top of the list of searches) that finds all tasks missing vital fields or with certain values in particular fields (e.g. "planning" status, which I use to mark those tasks that require more thought before I can act on them). I review this regularly and fill in the fields as appropriate, as well as ensuring the task is fully actionable in other ways. Since my main sort criteria is importance I try to use the priority, due date &/or star fields to mark the most urgent & important tasks as I add them, even when I don't have time to fill in the other fields. This means when I don't have time to go right through my "!process" list I can just process the top few tasks secure in the knowledge that I've probably caught the most important stuff! It also means these important tasks get into my hotlist even if I don't have time to process them, which I'm not always as disciplined about as I should be!
Although I could just process these things directly in the hotlist I prefer having a separate list for them as I do find the GTD-style "keep processing & action separate" rule quite a good one. It's best if I can look at my hotlist and know that every single thing on there is ready for me to act on, and not get sidetracked by fiddling around with my task list (easily done!). And then I can sit down to process my tasks in one go, which allows me to get in the right mindset for just working systematically through them and making them actionable.
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