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Start today vs. due today and availability Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
I have been struggling quite a lot with the issue between using start dates and due dates. At first my approach was to use due dates for almost everything and then to move these whenever i wasn't able to complete the task that day. This defies the purpose of due dates, so i changed my system to only use due dates when it really was due on that date/time.

I then decided to follow MacSparky's hint on using start dates and a Today perspective (Grouping: Project, Sorting: Project, Availability filter: Available, Status Filter: Any Status, Estimate: Any duration) to show all tasks that start today and then work on those, this works in kind of the same way as due but you have a level of urgency for those tasks that actually have a due date.

The problem is with tasks that don't have a specific start date, these also appear in the today perspective. So whenever i look in the today perspective i also get those that are tasks which might have a context that is used for a "whenever you don't have anything else to do" status or "at night on the couch reading if you feel like it"

The problem could be solved with have'ing a perspective that shows all available tasks that have a start date that is today or older. This would save time pushing forward those tasks that not really should be on my today list.

Does anyone have an idea how to approach this problem, am i looking at things in the wrong way?
Perhaps a different approach would help ... just as Due is set only when something has a definite due date based on forces external to you, Start should only be set when external forces limit when the task can physically be started (versus defining when you THINK that you might WANT to do the task). Then, during your daily (or weekly or ...) review, use flags to "activate" tasks that you need/want to do (today or whenever).

This will keep out those tasks that you have no desire to do as well as those that cannot be started even when you might want to. IOW, Start Date becomes a field to exclude untenable tasks (just as with Due Date) and flags become your "activator". This also allows you to activate tasks on a finer grain time scale -- for example, only that block that you want to do in the next hour.


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