Folders to group Projects


Hi Everyone!

After all this discussion I still don’t see a specific use case for folders. The why so to speak.
I see what you are saying, but it just doesn’t answer the real question. Maybe I’m not being clear enough…

What specific problem are you having that project folders in navigation are going to solve?

To give you an example of what I’m looking for (fictional):

Problem: My list of projects is so long that it’s hard to find/navigate to a specific project to manage. Folders would help narrow the list down.


Problem: grouping my projects by Area of Concern is visually incomplete as I can pretend they’re assigned to an Area but cannot visually represent them as such; I can only filter them as such.

How this is a problem: As a visual, hierarchical thinker who for example loves outliners because that’s how I work and think, the parent-child relationship between items is gone.

But why is this a problem??? Because I think in groups. I file my files in folders. I use both notebooks and tags in Evernote. I use parent-child relations in TheBrain.

But what does having folders solve for you???* It allows me to order my things the way I like them to, the way a utensil drawer allows me to group my forks and knives together. It allows me to organize.

But how in the world isn’t that solved by tags and labels?!?! Tags and labels tell me what something is but not where it is. They are like labels on Christmas gifts under the tree – but the gifts are still all piled together. For a certain group of people, to which I seem to belong, just labeling what something is isn’t enough; we also want to store it in a group

But then…what’s the use case? To group items together in the way we like to. To group items in the way we think or work. To have our software work the way we work instead of us having to work the way the software works.

But…but… Sssh, I get it. We’re weird people :slight_smile: You think differently so you don’t see it. It’s like when I talk with people whose desktop is loaded with files, downloads, icons, etc.


When I tell these people you can use folders to store those things they look at me like I’m crazy; they already have everything here, grouping icons together – why would they use folders?

But can’t you… Yes. Speaking for myself, I can work around this. Especially knowing that work on folders would delay other works. I rather see sync and mobile clients delivered before I see folders. On the other hand, if implementing folders later on is harder then I rather have folders first. But in either case, I can work around it. That’s the thing though; worka around it instead of having it work with me. As you saw, I use fake projects with a separator to emulate folders. That works pretty well to help me approximate the visual grouping I crave.

For now folders, for me, are a “Would be really nice to have”, and I can wait for them but would love to know eventually they’re coming. Would not having folders be a reason to abandon ship? No, not as of yet. I don’t know why but Everdo just clicked with me, your work process and release cycles have instilled a lot of faith and trust in me, and I’ve become a paid user pretty fast. Everdo has more going for it than against it. But let’s say I would find something like Everdo but with folders – I might be tempted, yes.


I think I know where the disconnect is. You claim that folders make sense for organization :wink: I know they do. What I want to understand is what makes the project list (in navigation) require organization. And whether Everdo as a tool should support/encourage this approach.

Per GTD, all projects are equal and the user is really supposed to work with the next actions list, filtered by context/time,etc, not switch between projects all the time. The projects are still there in case you need to review manage them one by one once in a while.

So the question is not whether folders are good for organizing things, but whether the things need to be organized at all, and for what specific purpose:

Does the number of projects make navigation hard?
Do you want view/treat different groups of projects separately?
Do you want to review different groups of projects separately?
Do you want to be able to see the bigger picture - how the projects relate to one another?
Maybe something else?

Depending on what the “pain” really is, the solution can be very different from folders in navigation.

What do you think?

  • You mentioned elsewhere you don’t want Everdo to force people into a specific way of working
  • In his posts and via their coaches David often says it’s OK to work off the project list. If you’re in the flow and just want to work on project X, you do
    • but in general this grouping is used by me during Reviews
  • For me the organizing thing relates to grouping by type or area. In OmniFcous I had Personal, Couple, House, a few specific people, and Misc. The grouping is the purpose.
    • but it doesn’t need to be “folders”: as long as it is a tree I can navigate :slight_smile:


What about an option to visually group projects by area tags - without folders?

Think something like your DIY separators, but grouped dynamically based on the current list of projects in navigation?

This achieves visual separation with the additional benefit that you don’t have to manage it manually as with folders.


That…sounds good, although it sounds almost like folders.

But yes, that would work for me. As long as the visual grouping is there.

Grouping by Area, maybe, with a header for the Area, something like that?

Should be visualized both in list and in the sidebar though. Sidebar even more than the list.


Area tags, or tags in general? Would be nice to have tags grouped as I really only have 2 areas, work and personal.


The difference is that we don’t need add an additional type of hierarchy simply to group related projects.

I like this approach better than folders because it’s merely a new way to present the data we already have, so it doesn’t require additional manual organization of projects, not to mention massive changes to the database and sync code.

Area tags, since it makes a lot of sense to group projects by area. Particularly when “All Areas” are selected.

What do you mean when you say “to have tags grouped”?



I want a visual distinction of groups of projects. Let me give a small example: I own two companies and I need to do Accounting for both of these. In OmniFocus, I have an “Accounting” project (parallel tasks) in each of the folders named after one of my companies.

EverDo allows for multiple projects with the same name, so that is already a good thing because I don’t need to tweak the project name with my company name. Linking that to an area in EverDo would indeed be the way to go, but I’m missing a clear visual distinction. So visualising this with areas in a folder like structure would already be a step forward.

However, I also want my projects listed in the order I want, based on the overall urgency or importance of the project. As far as I tried it, the current Projects list doesn’t allow me to shuffle the projects in the order I want them.

Let’s assume for a minute you display a folder like structure based on areas. My follow up question is then: can I decide on the (top-down) order of the areas? Because that’s what I want.

Given I want all the custom ordering options, I doubt that leveraging that with areas (which are tags) would be easy to implement. I hope you understand why I, @ruudhein and others would rather have folders.



Hi Ringo!

I confirm that the current approach to this problem is grouping projects based on Area tags.

You can do that in the master list of projects (press 7), which will get reflected in the navigation as well.

This can be added too.


(New Everdo user here. Took me forever to find a good GTD tool with a Linux client and keyboard shortcuts. Super happy I finally found it, and hope Everdo is a runaway success.)

I would really love a way to visually organize projects in the left pane as well. I have a large number of projects going at once, which break down naturally into a shallow hierarchy. Right now I’m filtering by Area, which works for keeping things manageable, but loses the hierarchy and is less convenient for getting an overview of my ongoing projects.

Dynamic grouping of projects by area, with some way to control the order/hierarchy, sounds like a great solution to me.