Search results for "Posted by Neil.bothams"
Author Message

Score: 0
I am newly back with Toodledo and can confirm that using Toodledo's powerful search facility you can already create an effective way of deploying Next Action Methodology in a smooth though not automatic flow. I am sure that as this discussion thread shows it may not be everybody's perfect solution as it still requires you to review your projects but I consider Reviews to be good general and GTD practice.

I also use "due dates" and "start dates" for parts of my system and so this approach works for me by enabling me to have lots of tasks brainstormed out but only the most relevant ones show up when I come to action execution.

I can share some screenshots with those that are interested. Essentially it makes use of subtasks and I am using the manual sorting option you will find under settings.

From there the key thing is to create two "Saved Searches":

"Next Action" - this is a search you would use when you are executing actions
"Completed Next Action" - this is a search you would use when you are reviewing actions - could be whatever frequency you desire depending on the number of "Next Actions" you would expect to complete in a project chain in a given time. eg if you want to do an action from each of your projects every week or so then a review of twice per week will suffice but if you are doing daily next actions in each project then you may wish to review twice a day.

The logic behind the searches are:
"Next Action" - simple: "Status = Next Action"

"Completed Next Action, involves the use of "OR" and a search for two alternative conditions:

1) is a subtask, is complete, and status= next action
2) is a subtask, is not complete, and status = planning (you could choose hold but I want to avoid missing a task so have chosen not to use a "deferred" status.

So after setting up how will it work?

You have a project A
-sub task A1, status = next action
-sub task A2, status = planning
-sub task A3, status = hold
-sub task A4, due date = Friday, status = active
-sub task A5, status = planning

When you run the saved search for "Next action" then only tasks such as A1 will show based on its status.
You work on these tasks and tick them off

At the frequency you have decided (eg daily), you run "Completed Next Action"
All the completed subtasks like A1 will show (in my case I opt to have a line through them in settings)
Also so does A2
I can now decide to make task A2 the "Next Action" but I could instead decide to make subtask A5 the "Next Action" or even both if they do not need to be done sequentially.

When you next enter ACTION EXECUTION mode by running your "Next Action" search, then task A2 (or A5) will show up as tasks to be done.

Of course some people will have needs like I dont want A3 to be done before A2 is complete as it has true dependency. That's fine - that's why it should be setup as "hold".

Other people will be worried that they may miss a task. I would consider creating a "tag" called "Time critical" and adding it to any projects that merit this and then you can always create an extra search for these which you run more frequently. Also you can use "due dates" or start dates if you want to ensure that you are prompted to review the relevant tasks.

I accept this is not automatic but it runs smoothly and keeps you reviewing your list. If anyone is struggling to get their head around why reviews are critical to overall good management then two actions you might want to try - read David Allen GTD again and perhaps challenge yourself to try a totally different methodology - FVP (Final Version Pefected by Mark Forster).

This message was edited Sep 25, 2016.