Scheduled start date for a Waiting item

Hi Andrei,

Please could we have Scheduled start date for a Waiting item (& independent of the Due Date).
EG when do I have to chase the person for the work I’m waiting on (because they don’t use Everdo and are therefore less organised than me!) - but still have enough time to submit it before the actual deadline?

Use case:
I have sent a document to a colleague for inputs/approval a week before I am due to submit it. This is now a Waiting action. However, there may or may not be further rework and if there is, I would need it back 2 days before deadline. I would therefore like the Waiting action to automatically populate in Focus list on the Scheduled date so that I can chase/harass the colleague and not miss a deadline because of their ineptitude.

a) Seems unnecessarily cumbersome to create a project for such a task. The sub-steps of which may simply be:

  • Send to Bob
    (- Press “accept all edits”)
  • Submit

This is where the existing checklist feature works brilliantly

b) The Due Date should remain unchanged as everything anchors off this. Otherwise with multiple deliverables it becomes challenging to remember what the final deadline is if changed every time.

Hi @arete,
You could use the ‘schedule’ option for this, I do it all the time.
Set the ‘If X hasn’t get back to me about document Y, harass them about it’ to action to ‘schedule’ instead of ‘Waiting for’. Scheduled for a week before the due date.
That will make it show up in the ‘Focus’ section the day you scheduled it for, and can then talk to your colleague about it.

Hey @Mai ,

Thanks for suggestion. This is largely what I am currently doing - manually.

The issue is that it requires creating an additional action but this is not linked to the original (now moved to waiting). This therefore creates two separate actions and should X come back to me early, I have to remember to mark the new action as complete. If I do not and proceed to submit document Y, then I have to remember when the scheduled day comes not to actually chase X. Easy enough for a single deliverable, less so when managing multiple teams with 20-30 deliverables across 5-10 clients. In other words it creates a cognitive load that goes counter to David Allen’s purpose of GTD being for “distributed cognition”

Ideal behaviour:

  • Create dependency between the original parent task and the chase/harass daughter task such that if the original is completed then the daughter is automatically completed. Or more simply
  • Allow a reminder/schedule field to apply to a waiting task to remind the user they are still waiting on it. This would prevent the need to have two separate actions aimed at the single outcome of submitting Doc Y on time

Does that make sense?

I think a start date for waiting for is absolutely a legit use case. In the waiting for list I use the due date because I don’t want to move back and forth between scheduled and waiting.
But of course the two draw backs are 1. that my focus list is regularly filled up with blinking reds and 2. it’s usually an abused due date…
In fact in most cases my waiting for do not have a due date, just a “ping” date.

When I’m waiting for the customer, almost nothing is due as long as there is still an opportunity to close a sale :grinning:

1 Like

This is exactly what I had in mind - prevent switching between Waiting and Scheduled and the abuse of Due Date. I like your “ping” date terminology

Any updates on this one?

It’s related to my suggestion / thought in that probably everything could have a start date.

Sorry @arete I wasn’t tagged in this thread, so I missed it originally.

Please correct me if I’m wrong, but I think this problem is solved by either reviewing the Waiting For list daily as per GTD?

Yes, it can be solved manually but you also have to keep the “ping” date in your head to know which of the tens of waiting for items should be chased today, tomorrow or some future date.

The workaround is to use artificial due dates but this brings us full circle to where we started - separating out the “tickler”/“ping” date and the due date

I guess it would make sense in principle to have a way to “schedule” a waiting for item. I’m just not seeing yet how to extend the existing functionality without adding complexity.

Maybe there could be some global way to get reminded of the items that are near their Due Date, but not due yet? Then you wouldn’t need to manage another “ping” date for each individual item?

Global reminders sounds good - especially if there were a way to subsequently customise these at the individual level. Similar to how the time estimate has both the default values and also the ability to customise through typing “:t” There could be something like “:p” for ping value :wink: