Questions about due dates on repeating tasks and the focus list

Two questions:

  1. Under what circumstances does a task automatically get moved to the focus list? Just if it is scheduled and/or due for that day? (maybe dumb question, but I missed it if it was explicitly specified)

  2. For repeating tasks, what does the due date checkbox do? What would be the practical application of having it checked vs unchecked?

  1. scheduled to start that day (will be moved to next and focused)
  2. scheduled to repeat that day (will be cloned to next and focused)
  3. is due that day (focused, with no way to un-focus)

When you set that checkbox, each clone will have a due date set automatically to the day it’s scheduled. So if you create a repeating task to repeat weekly starting today, then the first instance will have dues date set to Nov 20, the next one to Nov 27 and so on.
If you don’t set the checkbox, the task will simply repeat on the same days, but with no due day set.

Does this make sense?

Okay that clears up the focus list, thank you. Now I’m trying to understand the “next” list. Does pretty much everything show up there unless it’s

  1. On the someday/maybe list
  2. Scheduled for the future
  3. Part of a sequential project and not the next item in line

So the main advantage of setting a due date for a repeating task is that you will also get a counter of how long overdue the task is based upon your repeat interval?

Yes and also you can filter by due date.

The logic behind Next is “Everything that you can work on”. It combines such actions from projects and standalone actions.

Normally an item starts in Inbox, then it gets processed by you and moved to either Next, or Scheduled, or Someday, or Waiting, or one of the projects.

Moving an action to Next implies that you want it done ASAP and it’s ready to be worked on. Unlike other lists like Waiting, Someday and so on.

If your Next list seems too long, there some strategies to deal with that:

  • review the list and re-schedule / delegate / move to someday
  • create an Area and move some project/tasks there
  • use tags to filter out actions which are irrelevant at a given moment
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