I’ll try to address the workflow issue you described, as it seems most important.
First here’s the principles of GTD workflow on which Everdo is build. Please read that carefully so that you understand where the decisions are coming from.
a) You pick work from the Next list and everything on that list is important enough to be done ASAP.
b) You make sure the Next list stays relevant and actionable by way of regular review process. During a review you move things between Someday,Next and possible Trash to ensure you can actually trust the Next list to only contain relevant work.
c) GTD has a concept of “Deferring” or “Scheduling” an action. This is basically a way to temporarily “hide” the action/project from the Next list. This corresponds to the “Start Date” feature in Everdo.
d) You can attach a Due Date to an action as a way of indicating how urgent it is and avoid missing a deadline.
Everdo has a way to filter Next in a way that only shows items with a due date, or due withing a specific time interval.
Now to address some of your points:
Any task which you chose to defer until a later date. For example I want to start preparing my tax return somewhere in March, even though the deadline is at a much later date. So I set the start date to March 1st and the deadline to the actual deadline. On March 1st the project will appear on my Next list and I’ll start working on it (but really I’ll probably defer it again )
This is how it’s supposed to work. Any action that is important in the short term and is actionable goes on the Next list. You don’t need to schedule/defer it. You only defer/schedule an item if it’s not important right now.
I can’t say I understand the concept of a repeating due date. Could you please make an example and explain how it corresponds to concepts of GTD as described in the original book, or maybe in this GTD explainer?
What do you think? Would you like to re-state your issue in light of the principles I outlined at the top?
thank you so much for your open-minded communication in this and other topics.
First: I agree to all four points you wrote about GTD workflow. And I’m glad you wrote this, because I get the chance to better explain my point. I just was talking about a little sub-topic of your “c)”. You wrote:
c) GTD has a concept of “Deferring” or “Scheduling” an action. This is basically a way to temporarily “hide” the action/project from the Next list.
Exactly, I want to hide a future task temporarily from my Next list by scheduling it. So far we’re on the same page. In my last post I contested the way HOW setting up a schedule works.
For example I want to start preparing my tax return somewhere in March, even though the deadline is at a much later date. So I set the start date to March 1st and the deadline to the actual deadline.
Your example fits exactly to my perspective: How you got your schedule date (“somewhere in March”)? In my opinion that’s not the natural way things work. What primary information do you have, when you think about the task “get tax return prepared”? You have a due date and you have a approx. time you need for that task. Why not enter this values in the GTD-software directly? Instead of that you first made a manual calculation for the schedule date (due date minus time to get task done minus spare time) in order to enter a calculated schedule date and a due date. The calculation is very easy, so you probably didn’t recognized you made it. But another contra for your way is, that the schedule date has no strong meaning, because it’s not a primary but a calculated value. So why pin that indirect value to any task in gui?
I can’t say I understand the concept of a repeating due date.
Let’s use your tax return example again. Why not make a repeating task out of that, so you wouldn’t forget to set a new tax return task next year? What are primary values for that?: Repeating due date (every year in july? I’m from germany, don’t know about your law.) and approx. time to finish that task (could be a reminder duration). Again: schedule date is calculated. (and could be a different date every year. Think about 29th february treatment for example). More pro’s for my perspective: Repeating due date is a primary value and could be pinned to task every year (in actual version there is no way to enter it, except of text description). And you would have same handling with not-repeating and repeating task, because in any case there is a due date and a reminder duration.
Sorry for my bad english. Hopefully you did understand my perspective.
Greetings from germany!
you specify the start date indirectly, by specifying the number of days relative to the due date (start n days before due date)
the actual start date gets calculated by software and stored as usual
the scheduled action will appear in the Scheduled list as usual and it will move to Next based on the settings
For repeating tasks, add “start n days before due date”
In the “Repeat” dialog we also add an optional “start n days before due date” setting.
Currently, if you select “due date” checkbox in the repeat dialog, the due date will be set automatically every time the action repeats. Such due date is effectively equal to the start date, which makes it not so useful for planning in advance. But with the new setting, repeating actions would be added to Next before the actual due date. If the setting is left alone then the current repeating behavior is unchanged.
Great! You got it. That would be a great improvement for me. Looking forward to this.
Don’t know, what is the best way to solve that internally. If to calculate the schedule date and store that or if to store the due date and calculate the schedule date later while going through all scheduled tasks searching for tasks to put a copy instance from on the next list.
Been using this software for a few months and have been loving it. Here are my feature requests that aren’t specifically in the roadmap:
Change “Someday/Maybe” to "Deferred"
I think this is cleaner terminology. I hate putting stuff into Someday/Maybe just because of how unclear and ambivalent it sounds. If I consciously decide I’m deferring making a decision on something, that feels much better. Perhaps that’s just a personal thing…
Have the Projects section appear with two tabs, one tab shows the active projects, the other tab holds all deferred projects
I feel like someday/maybe (deferred) items are TOO hidden. I’d love for something like this:
A project would appear in both tabs if it contains both active items and deferred ones.
Have a default project with the name of the area to collect all one-off tasks that are assigned to that area but NOT to a project
Perhaps you already had this in mind, but you could maybe slightly change the font on this project to make it clear that it’s a default thing and have it disappear if there’s nothing in it.
Global (as in, you don’t need to have Everdo focused) quick capture button
Would love to be able to quickly add a task no matter what I’m in the middle of doing on my computer without having to bring the everdo window up.
This could be pretty sophisticated as it is in some other apps, or just a simple floating entry box that shoves the thing in your inbox.
Android quick capture widget
Same idea as above but for the android
Home & End take you to beginning or end of a list
Pressing shift+N creates a new item at the TOP of the current list
I think it could be done visually, just select a group of actions in a project and select “Sequential” or “Parallel.” Let’s say you have a group of people that you have to give an important document to, which hasn’t yet been written. First, you have a group of sequential actions to write the document, and when you’re done with that you can give them to people in whatever order you want. With this implementation you can de-clutter your next action list during the writing stage and not have to look at your project page to see everyone you have to hand the document to.
This is a rather simple example, and it’d be pretty easy to just turn the switch manually, but you can see how this kind of functionality would be useful.
Well, this is just how GTD is. Someday means you’ll consider doing it one day. Deferred means you’ve delayed it until a specific date. Deferred in GTD is another word for Scheduled. So that renaming won’t work.
Why do you think it’s needed? What would this add that is not already there?
Agreed, this is in the backlog for both desktop and Android.
Fair enough. I guess you didn’t like the tab idea, I do, especially combined with the “area project” idea but the current implementation is still usable and get why it wouldn’t be a top priority.
The reason I request having a default project for tasks without a project would be because I find myself losing track of tasks when they aren’t in the project lists. The project list gives you a clean and quick way to review what needs to be done in an area.
To find these tasks though, I have to look for them in next/scheduled/waiting/focus and apply the appropriate filter to make them stand out (and some times they are spread across these lists making it more complicated).
These things seem to be harder to mentally make space for to begin with since they aren’t big enough to get their own project. The fact that you need to go through a unique and separate process to isolate them compared to finding project tasks makes them even more mentally slippery IMO.
The current set up makes it more difficult for me to mentally get a handle on what smaller/more unique (but potentially important) things I’ve got to do this week. I’d rather just be able to check my “Area Project” to see what odds and ends I need to keep track of rather than hunting through lists and applying filters.
Again, as long as I’m keeping my next/waiting etc. lists up to date this isn’t the biggest deal, but it feels mentally messier to me & part of the reason I use this software is because I like to feel mentally “neat”.
Wouldn’t it be better to simply put this info into note’s title or description?
There was a suggestion to be able to “pause” projects which are being blocked by a Waiting action. That would prevent next actions from from the project appearing in Next until the waiting item is done.
But putting the whole project in Waiting doesn’t make much sense in my opinion. Why make it a project if it’s going to be delegated.
I thought of something that might convince me to buy multiple subscriptions: inter-user delegation.
Sometimes I delegate tasks to my business partners (usually subtasks that my tasks are waiting on), and vice-versa. The main thing I want from Everdo, is that I still want to be able to keep track of the task after delegating it; even though it’s been delegated, I’m still responsible for it, and possibly my super-task is still dependent on it.
This is outside of core GTD, I know… but given that it’s a natural fit for business users who are willing to spend money, I thought you might like the idea.
It’s a very interesting idea and I think it’s well within GTD - we already have Waiting For, the only thing left is to link contact labels to specific users in the team and it can all work. The implementation requires integrating multiple clients, which is a challenge because there’s no central server. I will keep this idea in mind in the future. Thanks for sharing!