Ability to group/sort projects, create sub-projects

Hello Anita,

Unfortunately there is no way to create sub-projects in Everdo, and probably never will be. This was a design trade-off made early on for various reasons. Mostly because it was perceived that the benefit of nested projects is low when following GTD while the design and implementation cost is high.

If you wish, I could offer a few tips on adapting to this constraint in the spirit of Getting Things Done.

According to GTD, a project is not just a sequence of actions, but a meaningful outcome. Therefore in your example I would just have a project for Finish report or maybe Submit report and think about all the rest as sub-actions, most likely sequential.

So for example, you start by creating a project Finish report. You take a few minutes to brainstorm what the steps to completion might be, for example:

  • Research the topic
  • Write chapter 1

Notice that Research the topic is not a proper project because it’s not specific. It is also not a proper next action (it lacks clarity of what exactly needs to be done). So you clarify it into Contact [person] and ask about [topic] and possibly a few more next actions. So now you can create several next actions in your project. You can also keep not-yet-clarified actions at the end of your project and get to them later on. The important thing is that you have the actual next actions defined.

Hope this makes sense.


Thanks Andrei, I’ll revamp my tasks.

Is there any way to have some sort of folders? Or just a hierarchy in the project pane then? I think in chunks and need to see all projects of a particular area at once for my weekly review and when I start my day.

I use tags for quick searches, to highlight specific things and as a way to further organize tasks. They become disorganized fast thought as they include areas, places, topics, etc. They’re great for organizing things in the moment but very poor at getting the big picture of what you have to do that week.

Well, I would suggest you could use such a tag as an area for that. Press t to manage your tags and you can choose between contact, label or area for each tag. - Afterwards you can choose an area on top of the left pane.
And if you do, you’ll see only the projects assigned with this area tag in the project section.

This for me is the major shortcoming of GTD, rather than Everdo which Andrei has done a fantastic job with. GTD is very much focused on Next Actions and optimised for the Cockpit level horizon of operation. There is discussion on Areas of Responsibility and Goals etc but then it all comes down to Next Actions within this. It is granular and bottom-up rather than top down e.g. I have these broad goals for which I need these programmes, consisting of these projects, these workpackages, these multi-step tasks and only then the next actions required to achieve these.

The workaround I have found is therefore to map out these higher level units and their respective timelines with dedicated programme/project management tools and then transfer the multi-step task into a GTD “project” in Everdo as part of weekly review. Bit more copy and paste but means you’re always in cockpit mode when using Everdo


I agree with your points. Personally I’m managing the high-level picture in a series of spreadsheets. I need more flexibility than any reasonable to-do list app could provide for high-level planning.

Without GTD my mind never would have the capacity to be visionary because that would add to the stress. With GTD the space and freedom to be visionary and to think about higher levels emerges regularly.
And yes GTD might not be the tool to work on the higher levels/horizons but it sure is a prerequisite!

As David Allen once said: “When the ship is sinking, I don’t care in which direction it points”

So we could say GTD is a necessary but not sufficient condition :wink:

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I have not been able to manage sub-projects except by multiplying with different project names. I don’t find this elegant :thinking:

As it was clearly answered that everdo will never have sub-projects, I asked if it was possible to have sub-tasks (maybe it is easier) ??
The list in a task is also not functional due to the number of items per project

You can have something like sub-projects by using tags for the toplevel projects.

An example because I don’t understand? OR if I do understand, I don’t think it can be functional.The tags are very useful but there are many of them in my home :thinking:
And super important to

  • think about it
  • find it (takes brain time)
  • don’t make mistakes

As an example: You can make the top-level project “Learn webdesign” a tag. You can then create the projects “Learn CSS”, "Learn “HTML”, “Learn JavaScript”, “Learn color theory”, and give all of them the tag “Learn webdesign”. Now these projects will only appear when you select “Learn webdesign”. You can also change the order of the sub-projects. Some top-level projects may also be tags of type “area”.

That’s what I thought, I’m doing this method now but I have a problem with it. I have about 10 areas. and a few areas that have ~20 projects (if no sub-projects or sub-tasks)
I love keywords, I have more than 100-150 of them but it causes maintenance problems as I explained
Thanks for your suggestions anyway

I hope that others have the same need and that it is possible to make at least sub-tasks (if not sub-projects)?

I don’t know if this would help, but what I tend to do for subtasks is use the notes section and add a dash then a space to create a list. Everdo converts this into a tickbox which you can tick off directly from the tasks list.

I’ve been managing the high-level picture in MLO. It never gets “done”, and I don’t expect it to, but I have high-level folders such as (with some examples drilled down into),

  • Intellectual improvements
    • Read books
      • Fiction
      • Non-fiction
    • Learn skills
  • Physical improvements
    • Body recomposition
      • [x] Cut to under 15% body fat
      • [ ] Bulk
        • [x] Buy Jeff Nippard’s program
          • [ ] Follow it for 9 weeks
    • Flexibility
      • Read the MIT stretching book
        • Select stretching program
    • Cardio
  • Move
  • Career
  • Relationships

Not claiming this is GTD; rather, I find the hierarchical view useful for higher-level organization.

@dandv agree that the top-down hierarchical view is very useful. Something that GTD as a whole rather than Everdo is less keen on.

I wrote about this here: What other todo apps have you used? Why did you switch? - #42 by arete

Indeed, if you are already on the ship and it is sinking.

An alternative view could be: If you zoom out, should you even be on a ship in the first place? Why not come at this top down and realise that helicopter/aeroplane/spaceship were faster :wink:

Unfortunately changing the ship/vehicle isn’t as easy as we want it to be.

Letting the ship sink and changing the vehicle just because you realize it’s the wrong ship/vehicle, is a very selfish behavior which generates damage and burns bridges around you.
Sometimes this is necessary but it should be an exception. Otherwise you declare bankruptcy to your trustworthiness.
In other words, if you realize it’s the wrong ship/vehicle (and maybe it’s sinking). You first try to get it to the harbor in a safe way. Or at least try to get a safe and rescue team, then you can change to something else.

An example:
You realize that you forgot to buy cat food, but then you realize that you shouldn’t have a cat in the first place. So what the heck, let that poor animal starve and die. And then go and get a dog.

Instead you should go, buy cat food, then talk to the neighbor kids if they know someone …
Replace “cat” by something like: marriage, children, friends, buying a house, job, promises

BTW: I complement GTD with the 12 week year to get a grip on my goals and horizons, so far it works well.

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@manu Looks like you found your spaceship :wink:
I wasn’t familiar with 12 week year but it does look interesting.

Have you found a way to link it directly to GTD/Everdo?

  1. Planning:
    Presumably you use it as part of Weekly Review?
    Do you use excel and then cut and paste into Everdo?

  2. Monitoring:
    What about the tracking of lead/lag indicators?
    Do you use the tagging and archive of Everdo to check on completion of Key Stone activities?

PS I can also advise “Busy” by Tony Crabbe for establishing what not to do

  1. Since I use 12WY together with my colleague, we do all the 12WY planning in MS Teams planner together. I do the WAM together with my colleague so it’s separated from the weekly review.
    I then use tags in everdo to relate GTD projects and next actions to 12WY.
  2. Nope, I only use those indicator beforehand to write out the best suitable goals and tactics. It is important to understand by what type of indicators each goal is driven when the initial planning is done. It isn’t that useful to think about that stuff on a daily basis.