Project on Hold

Listening to GTD Connect earlier today I was listening to a discussion on how David Allen treats projects that are not Someday Maybe but more like Projects on Hold.

They define these as projects that for a number of reasons can’t be completed right now, maybe depending on another projects but it’s not Someday as in whenever.

So all this said, it would be cool to rename the Notebook section per Area so one can rename it to ie.
Projects on Hold

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I think the treatment of such projects should depend on what you want to do with them. Couldn’t tags be used to differentiate these projects?

Yes I suppose tags can be used for this purpose and other purposes too but they are not visible like these notebook projects are.

I use Someday projects for the on hold status. Or I schedule projects if I want a future trigger for safety reasons.

Yes I totally see your point but I was going strictly on David Allen’s interpretation from GTD webinars in GtD connect. That’s all.

Do you think visibility is important for these projects?

If you think about its a matter of operations on habits of the users. When I listened to it in GTD Connect like I mentioned before with David Allen along with Kelly Forrister and Meg Edwards it mades total sense because remember out of sight out of mind.

Someday is geared towards that one may do when time permits etc etc you the rest and hence not necessarily check with every single Weekly Review since they are Somday and if we do our reviews consistently, we know what’s there - someday maybe correct. But there are a number of projects that may not be active with next just at the current moment but you know you they will become active in a week or two weeks perhaps, in essence in a short time and keeping those out sight and out mind may lead them to get behind in a Someday list with things along the line like: Watch The Godfather or Run 5K.

You see what I mean. So options. As we have it, we can use the Tag like you mentioned ie. “on hold” ok great but that would put them in our active projects list, so now we have active and on hold projects mix, creating an necessary visual representation of what really active. I suppose we can sort for tag but that’s a sort not a permanent view.

So here come Notebooks. Notebook are sort of a Wild Card if you ask me and that’s a good thing because if we can change the name, the end user, to whatever we think, then we can make something even more useful than the original intent because it can serve any purpose. Its awesome because those projects now, the On Hold, are not mixed in with active projects and not burried in the plethora of someday actions and projects that tend to occupy this list.

So to answer your question with a simple answer - Yes, absolutely. You already have the infrastructure setup, its just a matter of being able to rename that field. I suggest per area if technically possible.


I’m a connect member for years. Could you please post a link to the specific interview with David, I’d like to know what he is suggesting.

Sure let me find it and I’ll post the link. I heard a bunch of them re: projects. I’ll give you the time stamp as well. I’ll report back

Regarding notebooks,
I use them for the maybe part of “someday / maybe” like watch those films read these books.
The someday list in everdo, represents the not now, not this week things. Of course the things that catch fire when they are forgotten need to be dealt with due or start date and not as someday.
So someday is a kind of on hold for me.

Although, I must admit I like the idea of an easier way to flip projects from active to on hold.

Regarding “strict” and “GTD” those two words are mutual exclusive.
GTD is personal (personal productivity) and needs adoption to your needs. That’s a process that never stops. Just remember, if it works for you it works.
That’s all that matters. No need to get hung up on words.

Absolutely on the “personal productivity” theme you mentioned. As you mentioned, you have been in GTD for quite a long time as well and along that same vein you may have tried a plethora of applications over the years, Palm Pilot, Things, OF1, OF2, OF3, Nirvana, etc etc. me too.

I must say that Everdo strikes the best balance so far since its caters towards folks like us.

As you said:

Yes, I totally see your point. It almost seems like the current iteration of Someday in Everdo would work superbly as a Projects on Hold and Notebooks as you mentioned since you can setup independent projects as general list. ie. “Movies to See less than 2hours” yes I have a list for these movies I can see with a predetermined time frame. “Books to Read” “Url’s to Browse” and so forth. I may have to rethink my Someday and maybe use it as you suggest and go to the Notebooks for the real Someday Maybe items in pure GTD sense or jargon.

My point with all this, is that since its an app it can say whatever works for the user best (in theory), you know what I mean, and since this developer really cares to make a pure GTD application from everything that I have read so far here in this forum. This developer is a true maverick and willing to go for the purist GTder’s like ourselves but re-wording some things would really catapult to the next level. Of course, I realize this is just my perspective and for all its worth could zilch or zero but anyway I wanted to put it out.

I’m going to try your method above, I think I can go with it.

Let’s keep this thread alive, I’ll check back in on Sunday. I just rearranged everything as you suggested.


Indeed, the assumption behind the current design is that the Weekly Reviews of Someday need to happen in order for the system to work. Certainly on the scale of two weeks. If a project is not active, but is really important not to miss, then scheduling is the right thing to do.

What is the specific criteria for you to distinguish the three possible states (active, on hold, someday)? Why is a project on hold? And if it is on hold, then why should it be visible all the time?

Have you tried working with Notebooks as if they are projects on hold?

Please don’t take my questions the wrong way. The renaming of notebooks just seems a bit too much of a design hack :wink:

Nah, no worries, I love the ability to be able to have a conversation, observe, and learn new ways, its all in the process.

I actually got a suggestion from another forum member and I’m trying new things with Someday for Projects on Hold and Notebook for Someday Maybe List

  1. What’s the difference between “waiting on” and “project on hold” ?

  2. being able to rename the notebook place not only doesn’t seem like a hack; but a very useful feature.

  3. Like Andrei, I also used a “waiting” tag for those but as you said, they would get in the way of truly active tasks.

The software I use now uses two dating systems, “start date” and “due date” , which keeps tasks that shouldn’t be due separated from ones I need to be working on.
With Everdo , I would use the date feature to set the "start " date and then I had to physically write the actual due date into my task name. That way I would see "on hold " projects pop up a week or so before they were due. If that makes sense.