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Since the iPhone app has come out, I've been using flags much more effectively.

In the past I have abused due dates as a way to bring something to my attention in the future. Let say I have to check on whether a piece of equipment loaned out can be returned. I'd put a due date on it to make sure it jumps to my attention 2 months from now, even though it wasn't actually due, I just wanted to be reminded.

Now I do the following instead. I put a start date on it and flag it. I flag every single item I put a future start date on. I have a key often viewed perspective showing my flagged items. When the start date comes around, it pops onto my flagged perspective. If its a priority, it stays there, but otherwise I un-flag it, but its visit to that perspective has brought it to my attention and shaken the dust off of it.

Just throwing this out there as an idea for those who are chronic users of due dates....

Thank you! I've been doing the same thing with due dates, and I'm getting tired of all those 'overdue' non-critical tasks. :) Just in the last day or two I've wondered if flagging might be the answer and your post helped clarify the issue for me (I've never used flags before).

Originally Posted by daverobeson View Post
Thank you! I've been doing the same thing with due dates, and I'm getting tired of all those 'overdue' non-critical tasks.
Yeah, hoo boy, exactly that issue has really become a problem for me.

I’ve started using flags to solve it as well, but it my case I created a perspective that shows only items that are both due and flagged. It’s a real kludge, a very rough sort of prioritizing. In my mind, the flag means “this item is really due,” whereas an item that’s due but flagless is “not actually really due so much as I would have kinda liked to have gotten to this around this date ...” Eye roll. So not GTD-proper. Not quite sure how it came to this.

I like the idea of not using due dates at all, and just seeing actions appear in a list of flagged items when they hit a start date. It’s not really any less kludgy, but at least it doesn’t blatantly abuse the concept of “due.” :)

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