Idea for implementing GTD-style Projects and Next Actions

Absolutely love GoodTask---thank you so much!

Had some thoughts on incorporating GTD-style Projects + Next Actions and wanted to see if any tweaks could be made to streamline this a bit in the software.

Currently I have a Reminders list entitled "Projects" and within that, each project has several subtasks. I have been manually adding the first subtask of each of these to my Next Actions smartlist and then pulling another Next Action from each project as I complete the first one.

Unfortunately, this workflow is tedious. Either of the following would help, if possible to implement:

  1. A way to create a smartlist that will automatically show the first subtask off each of these lists (and ideally, show the next subtask once the first one is marked completed).
  2. The ability to drag and drop a subtask into an existing smartlist (i.e., into the "Next Actions" smartlist).
1 Like

Hi @Fuchsia, thanks for the feedback.

It's a bit confusing since 'subtask' is used in different term. In GoodTask, each task has subtasks that's simply a checkable text. I assume you're not talking about this on your post.

Showing one task per list in a smart list is what you want. Am I correct?

Thanks for your response. Also want to mention one of the things I love about GoodTask is it reminds me of the palm pilot, which I really enjoyed :slight_smile:

So, with the Projects and Next Actions (subtasks), here is an example below.

In David Allen's Getting Things Done methodology, you create a "next action" for every project (and have a list of next actions you can scan by context, area of focus, etc.).

In this case, the relevant next action for the Project is to buy paint ("KM outdoor whitest white"). Once that is done, "clean post" will become the next action, and so on...

So what would be really nice would be the ability to create a Smartlist that will automatically pull the first next action/subtask from multiple different projects and then as that subtask from each project is completed, it will auto-populate with the new next action / subtask.

That way, when you look through that Next Actions Smartlist, you only see the next action on which you can actually take action.

Thanks very much.

Thanks for detail explanation.

It would be a little awkward to separate subtask from the task but I got what you mean.

I’ll keep it on the list to consider. Thanks!

Great---thanks. Even adding the ability to tag a subtask or drag + drop a subtask would help.

I found your post because I’m trying to apply pure GTD in GoodTask.

My understanding is that according to pure GTD the Next Action for a particular Project should not actually sit underneath the Project as a “sub task” or any such thing, but should only exist on the relevant context list, eg “@computer” list.

David Allen emphasises that hard borders need to exist between lists, and to have a Next Action on both a context list and a Project list is blurring these borders and creating duplication.

Of course people amend GTD all the time to suit their own method of working!

For myself I’m trying to go back to pure GTD because I’ve found that all my “customisation” and “optimisation” has led to a system so complex to maintain that eventually I started compromising the weekly review as it was such a chore... and so over time my trust in my “trusted system” eroded.

How are you finding GTD implementation in GoodTask nowadays?

1 Like

Hi. This is totally right--I haven't figured out a good system for it in GoodTask yet.

The only thing I've figured to make it work for me so far is doing more regular (a couple of times a week) reviews in which I'm moving stuff into proper context, but... it's not ideal.

Please do share if you come up with some other ways to implement "pure GTD" in GoodTask--I'd be willing to test them out on my end, and I think there are others here who have asked about it as well.

Here is my GTD set up in GoodTask.

1 - Created as many reminder lists as necessary to categorize all my tasks (14). Be clear about this with sharp boundaries for each reminder list. Each task I create must fit cleanly in one and only one reminder list, at least in my mind. My reminder lists includes names like home, work, financial, Project A, Project B, etc. GoodTask helps with this as you can only place a task in one reminder list.

2 - Established GoodTask tags for my GTD categories such as #next action, #someday/maybe, #incubate, #waiting for. I only use one of these tags per task. To help with this discipline, I use tag prompt switch to make sure I only select one tag, of those identified above, per task.

3 - If you want to see your calendar events for today, task scheduled to be completed today, and all your tasks with a #Next Action tag set up a smart list as follows. Create a GoodTask smart list called "Everything Today" and edit to include the following: a) calendar events - defaults to calendar events today by setting view to "day", b) all reminder lists created in #1 above, and last and most important add filters that include: "scheduled tasks only" OR "includes tags with text: #Next Action".

By selecting the "Everything Today" smart list just created, which is set to show in "Day" view, shows my calendar events for the day, tasks due today (or past due), and all tasks that have the #Next Action tag. That's really it. You can get more creative as needed but this does the job for me.