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I really like's interface, but there's a major flaw in the way they handle the Next Actions list. Every project task appears as an actionable item by default (which is obviously ridiculous):

There's already a support thread where this is being discussed, but my inexperience with GTD makes me hesitant about my own suggestions, and there aren't enough others throwing around ideas (probably because it's a forum specific to

So I wondered if the folks here at PP.SE might have some insights.

  • Do other GTD software handle Next Actions lists effectively, and if so, how? I would go and try them all, but not only would I not be able to immerse myself sufficiently in each, but also I'm still learning GTD myself.

  • What's a clean way to distinguish Sequential vs. Parallel (Concurrent) tasks in a project?

(Please ignore the contents of my screenshot—I'm sure I'm doing it all wrong, but it's all for practice as I read the book concurrently.)

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Why not just take a typical to do list and consider the items as a 'next action'? Also I don't think you should be noting concurrent tasks in a project in GTD; either it's done or it's not. – Muz Jan 11 '13 at 3:01
I can give you an invite to IQTELL's GTD app. We organize next actions chronologically, giving you the tools to prioritize them how you want (energy, context, date etc). We have a dedicated dashboard display that shows all the time sensitive items including a separate table for next actions (it's the biggest element on the screen), you can register on our site and I'll let you in. Haim – Haim At Iqtell Mar 28 '13 at 14:10
To Haim, you haven't answered the question. This is the problem I see with IQTELL. The question is about next actions that don't have dates (and needn't have dates). In IQTELL there is no such thing. That is my frustration with it. If I have three sequential projects, I should see three next actions in my Next Action list. That's the question... how does an app do that. – user11553 Oct 30 '14 at 19:45
up vote 2 down vote accepted

I don't think there can ever be a canonical way of sorting to-do lists, which is pointed out by Randy Pausch in his Time Management Lecture, and Mr. Allen in GTD (where he says the system is the important thing - not the tools). However, Randy, Covey, and others point out something that is missing in GTD - prioritization. But, GTD takes into account what the others miss as pointed out by manuelhe - context (the Q&A workflow from stuff to done is nice as well).

I use the basic Reminders app that comes pre-installed on most (all) Apple products. I break the lists into context and/or projects. I can then prioritize based on due date, or arbitrarily, or not sort them at all (if the list is short it's pretty easy to discern what I should be doing next). Initially I tried to have an explicit "next actions" list - but determined it was taking too much time to move things from a "backlog" onto the next actions - especially since I may not be in a context to do anything about it anyway. So, now one might say each list is a next actions list - for that context/project.

But, again, it is all idiosyncratic. The point is to find an overall system that works for you - then get tools that assist in that mental model and workflow. In my case, after reading GTD, I went low-tech and old-school - paper and pen - once I was able to consistently get things done, I started evolving the system to using what I already had available to me (Reminders, iCal, etc.).

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MyLifeOrganized has next action functionality. It also has means for sequental and parallel task ordering, as well as dependencies and hierarchy.

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site doesn't clarify which features require the Pro version. also, supports iOS but not OS X?! – Michael Oct 31 '14 at 20:43

Next action is tricky because it depends on a combination of higher level priorities and what you are able to do at the given moment. Any software that sets a hard label on next action misses the point. Any set of tasks that do not have prior requirements are parallel any tasks that have a dependency are sequential

I define actionable by the context. If something is on my @call list or @shopping list or @home list its very likely an action item.

If something is a piece of information like an article or a picture I would reference it in a read list but the thing itself is @reference material to be filed away.

Higher level more abstract ideas belong on appropriately named context lists such as @someday maybe, @fatherRole, @professionalRole @lifePurpose

Initially everything starts at @inbox so those things are always actionable.

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