Desktop and Android: Always show item count in list

I’d like to always see the item count in the list view. At the moment it is only displayed when the group is collapsed:


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Hi Manuel, what is the use case for this?

Really? It’s just that I want to know at how many items I look at, at any given moment.

May I turn the question to you? What’s the use case to hide the information if it’s already there? Who would benefit from that “feature”?

I’m only wondering in what scenarios it’s useful to know the exact number of actions in a list.

Lack of arbitrary elements in a user interface is the goal. Without a defined use case, the item counter is an arbitrary element.

It provides a sense of progress when I notice a descending number. I can see a trend.
Also it provides something like a disgust factor: Like when that lists grows beyond a certain number it’s an indicator that I need more list hygiene which also is an indicator for the need of weekly review or for a weak link in a specific part o my GTD process.

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I though about this for a while.

When I’m asking for a use case, it’s not to shoot down ideas. I simply need to understand specifically in what circumstances a feature is useful, no matter how small/easy it is. Only then the change can be considered. That’s just how it is.

I agree that an action counter as a progress indicator would make sense in a project. But projects already do have their own counters and even progress bars for this purpose.

As for other lists, such as Next, I’m not sure what progress means in that case. For example I could right now create 10 new next actions, thus lengthening my Next list - does this mean I went back in progress? How does this inform my decisions?

This is why I’m asking to clarify when you feel the need for the information about the size of the list.

I fail to see a connection between the number of items in a list and quality/hygiene of workflow. That is, I could have a hundred Next action for example and it’s fine or I could have 15 and it’s also fine.

Two notable exceptions are the Inbox and Focus lists. Which is why they do have their own counters.

To be concrete, do you have a specific number of items in mind that would trigger a weekly review, for example?

I don’t mean Inbox or Focus items of course, as they have their own counter and should be reviewed daily anyways.

I agree with you. It’s admirable that you stick to this thorough analysis even with the tiniest changes . Keep it up that way.

I have certain contexts I struggle with. My @Calls contexts usually is very short, but my @computer list regularly gets out of hand. At the moment I have about 30 things on that list, which is to much.
In my case I think everything unter 10 item feels comfortable to me. Up to 15 items is ok but starts slowly generating stress and overwhelm . Everything beyond 15 is pure overwhelm and I stop looking at the list because of the negative feeling.

For the Actions item in the sidebar (Inbox, Next, Waiting, Scheduled, etc.) it firstly just serves as an indicator of whether there is anything under that item. You already have it for Inbox and Focus, but why not the others. It is good to know how many items I am waiting on for example. If there is nothing under that item (indicated by no number shown) then I know I don’t need to click on it as it is empty. This helps weekly review.

Many other systems also show another counter in Red for the number of overdue items.