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I really like Doit.im'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):

Doit.im

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 Doit.im).

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
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4 Answers 4

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.).


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oTugjssqOT0

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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.

http://iqtell.com/

Haim

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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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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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