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I've got a Single Actions project that contains 80+ actions in the same context. All are available. None has a hard deadline. None is contingent upon another. From OF's point of view, they are all equal. But from my point of view some are more important or more urgent than others. I could sort the list manually, but I would need to revise it constantly, the very tedium that I'm trying to avoid. The only other options I see are to flag the more urgent ones, or to assign artificial deadlines. I'd be grateful for recommendations from more experienced users. Thanks.
 
If it were me and, like you say, they are all in the same project and have the same context and lack any due date, I would start at the top, work my way down, and not worry so much about priority. If they are the same in project, context, and due date, they are not all that different in priority in any way that matters; accordingly, the time worrying about priority is wasted time. That's just me though; YMMV.
 
Maybe sort by date added, and do the oldest ones first...or knock off all the shortest ones (or longest) if you have duration estimates. If there really is some difference in importance between them that only you know about, drag the most important ones to the top of the list, or flag them. If you only do that with a few at a time, then presumably you'll spend less time doing that when circumstances change and today's hot items become tomorrow's back burner items. Might also take a look at Mark Forster's Autofocus scheme and see if it resonates with you as a way to work though the list.
 
If the "some are more important than others" condition is relatively stable, I'd order the list and then work on it in that order. If the condition is unstable, as you suggest, then flagging the important ones would be the way to go...
 
Since you want to avoid continual manual sorting as tasks are added and removed, you might consider splitting it into two or three single-action lists. Name them appropriately (high, medium, low, etc.) and then just move tasks between them as needed during reviews or whenever. Then you won't need to worry about sorting or moving tasks up and down as a measure of priority and it'll be easy to focus on the priority you wish to work on at any moment.
 
Good feedback. Thanks to everyone. I'm leaning toward the idea of separate groups for different levels of priority. What are the tradeoffs of that approach?
 
I'm not sure I see the big advantage in having different groups or projects if the original complaint suggests that the priorities are continually shifting and you don't want to spend time ordering the list. I do agree that if you are willing to spend some time keeping items where they belong, separate projects would allow some extra functionality, as you could include just a subset of the actions in a perspective.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by whpalmer4 View Post
I'm not sure I see the big advantage in having different groups or projects if the original complaint suggests that the priorities are continually shifting and you don't want to spend time ordering the list. I do agree that if you are willing to spend some time keeping items where they belong, separate projects would allow some extra functionality, as you could include just a subset of the actions in a perspective.
It's not so much that the priorities are shifting, as that additional items are being added, which makes it necessary to revise the list order. The problem is that I'm coming from a tool that allowed me to assign four different levels of priority. As I enter a task, I decide whether it will be priority 1 (do before leaving today), 2 (do within the next couple of days), 3 (do when the opportunity arises) or 4 (do after you retire). OF is better in most ways than my previous tool, but I do miss this capability.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dp1 View Post
It's not so much that the priorities are shifting, as that additional items are being added, which makes it necessary to revise the list order. The problem is that I'm coming from a tool that allowed me to assign four different levels of priority. As I enter a task, I decide whether it will be priority 1 (do before leaving today), 2 (do within the next couple of days), 3 (do when the opportunity arises) or 4 (do after you retire). OF is better in most ways than my previous tool, but I do miss this capability.
This really sounds like a good use of four single action lists.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dp1 View Post
It's not so much that the priorities are shifting, as that additional items are being added, which makes it necessary to revise the list order. The problem is that I'm coming from a tool that allowed me to assign four different levels of priority. As I enter a task, I decide whether it will be priority 1 (do before leaving today), 2 (do within the next couple of days), 3 (do when the opportunity arises) or 4 (do after you retire). OF is better in most ways than my previous tool, but I do miss this capability.
Another approach might be to use the flag system and On Hold contexts if they're not already in use.

Flagged items would be your priority 1, un-flagged could be priorities 2 and 3, while setting those in priority 4 to an on hold "Someday/Maybe" context would set those off separately.

While the separate projects method can work, it would still need to be reviewed occasionally as new tasks were entered.
 
 


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