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Just a tip in case anyone stumbles across this and gets confused because it doesn't seem to work: the trick with adding start dates relies on having the sidebar filter set to show only Active projects. If it is set to show anything else, the project with a future start date will still appear in the list. The sidebar filter can be set with the View->Sidebar Filter command, or by using the view bar (View->Show View Bar to make it visible).

An interesting Applescript learning experience would be to write a script that goes through all of your projects or all of the selected projects looking for projects where the first remaining action has a (future) start date, then sets the project to have that same start date.