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context view using start dates vs. due dates Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
I may be missing something easy...in which case I apologize for being a dunce. I need some help with my context view. I have a daily and weekly planning/review session. I review my projects and plan for the coming week/day. When I do this I assign due dates to tasks. I'm a procrastinator, and unless I have a due date on things...they tend to never get done. This may not be pure GTD...but it works for me. Not having due dates doesn't.

With this in mind, I've been using due dates the same way since the day OF came out. It's worked fairly well. Lately I've been developing sequential projects that have start and due dates. I've used a work around that I don't really like. I use the start date as the due date and then put the true due date in the notes field. I've tried to use the start and due dates correctly, but can't get my context view set up correctly.

In context view I have my filters set as grouping: due (so I can work the plan I developed for myself with the "assigned" soft due dates), sorting: name (although this isn't really important to me), action filter: next action. When I use my kludgy workaround, this setup and system works. When I use start and due dates as they truly should be, I can't get the view I want. If I set the grouping filter to "start" then I get all of my tasks with no start dates first with the "start anytime" at the top of the window and the dated starts at the bottom of the context window. If I then change the sorting filter to "due" all of my tasks that are due today move to the top, but I still have the tasks with due dates down the road but started either today or in the past at the bottom of the window. I don't want to change my action filter from "next" as this defeats the purpose of sequential projects or action groups...plus it doesn't accomplish what I want.

I want my context view to have the appearance of my current perspective: grouping: due, sorting: name, action filter: next action. In addition, I want my actions that have a start date of either today or in the past with a future due date to be in the "due today" section. I realize there are conflicting rules here...but I'm hoping somebody with a better imagination and/or grasp of the intricacies of OF can help me.

Thanks
 
Sorry, I guess I'm not quite understanding.

If you enter your due dates (as due dates, not as start dates) and then group your actions by due date, how does that differ from what you'd like to see?
 
when you say " context view " are you referring to one of the " built in " perspectives ? You can't change those .

I'm also confused because you mention putting a soft due date as the " start " date , but then you mention trying to group by " due " date in the view ..
I guess we need to know, what's in the due date column ? If it's blank ? OF will group those automatically to the bottom of the " due " sort .

The sort filters are referring specifically to a column in the view , and even though you might not be using that particular column as " intended " OF doesn't know that .
 
I'll give an example rather than the extremely long AND poorly explained initial post.

I'm a medical student. I have a 10-15 page paper to write on professionalism in medicine. The rough draft is due on 12/15. To make sure I work on this consistently, I want to START working on it on 11/15...and work on it every day. I have a daily recurring task of "Rough draft of Prof. Paper" that I set as due on 11/15. I then had the true due date of 12/15 in the notes field. This way, when 11/15 arrived...my professionalism paper task pops up on my daily todo list. If I want to see when it's really due, I have to look in the notes field.

I'd rather enter 11/15 as the start date (in it's proper field) and 12/15 in the due date field. But if I set it up this way, it doesn't show up on 11/15 in my current context view of grouping:due, soting:name, action filter: next action at the top of my task list ("Due today") like I want it to to insure I start working on it (it's my work flow...and it works for me)...but rather shows up way down my task list ("Due within the next month") which can be 100 tasks away in this context view.

Is that descriptive enough for what I'm looking for? I tend to ramble.
 
I was thinking an additional "Grouping" option would solve my problem. Currently you can group by Ungrouped, Context, Project, Due, Start, Completed, Added, & Changed.

I would like to see a Grouping option of "Due & Start." Or something like that. In my computer illiterate mind...I could have all the tasks that are either starting or due today at the very top of my task list in the "Due today" section. If this grouping category would also carry over somehow to my mobile version, then when I sync with my iPod touch (and have the Due Soon preference set to 24 hours), the Due Soon view on my mobile OF will show all tasks that I need to work on today...those that are truly due (at least by my work flow) and those I need to start working on today.

So this "problem" would also carry over into my mobile OF...which I use extensively. As a medical student I work LONG days and rarely have my laptop with me. The portable OF is a Godsend. Having both the tasks that need to be started today and those that are due today visible under the "Due Soon" tab would be great.

But this is why I'm asking if there is a way to set a perspective up to accomplish this rather than hard coding a new category. Obviously it would be easier for the OF guys if I could do this by manipulating current features rather than even considering adding another feature.
 
I don't believe you can achieve what you are requesting, but taking a different approach to start dates, due dates, and the use of filters should meet your needs.

You may find it helpful to change “Rough draft of Prof. Paper” to a sequential project and set the project's due date to 12/15. You could then divide it into smaller tasks and assign start and due dates to each task, as necessary.

Example:
Project: Write rough draft of paper for Professionalism in Medicine seminar (due 12/15)
  • Brainstorm list of potential topics focusing on broad areas of knowledge, skills, altruism, and/or duty (start 11/15, due 11/16)
  • Generate 3 narrow-focus topics within selected area(s) (start 11/15, due 11/16)
  • Select specific topic (start 11/16, due 11/17)
  • Create basic outline for topic as it pertains to medical reasoning, management of conditions (start 11/17, due 11/19)
  • Download powerpoint presentation on accepted protocol from Gesundheit! Institute (start 11/18, due 11/19)
  • Learn how to make balloon animals, specifically giraffe and dog (start 11/18, due 11/19)
  • Verify format of citations (start 12/12, due 12/13)
  • Print paper. (start 12/14, due 12/14)
  • Turn in paper to Prof in (due 12/15)

In the context view, use your Due view to see your tasks divided into past due, due today, due tomorrow, due next week, and so forth, as you observed in your original post. If you only want to see what's due today, simply collapse all folders in the main outline (right pane) except the Due Today folder. Save this as a perspective and place in your toolbar for easy daily access. You can also choose to use the Focus feature to show only the tasks in your rough draft paper project. (In Planning mode, select the project in the left pane, go to View > Focus on: [project], switch to Context mode with your Due Today view. This can also be saved as a perspective).

Your Start view can then be used as a tickler in your daily and weekly reviews. Once again, if you only want to see tasks to start today, collapse the other folders in the main outline and save as a perspective, or use the Focus feature to only see the tasks in your paper project. Together with your Due Today view, you can quickly reference what tasks need to be started and completed each day.

There are some helpful tips about start dates in this thread, and some examples of reviews in this thread.

Last edited by kaijin; 2008-11-20 at 03:09 AM..
 
What a great response. Makes me wish I was back in grad school.

Nah.
 
 


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