Today I test-drove the system I've developed to help manage my work for my sabbatical (see here for an overview). I quickly discovered...
Today I test-drove the system I've developed to help manage my work for my sabbatical (see here for an overview). I quickly discovered that I need to tweak how I list tasks by context to make the system workable. Fortunately, Toodledo can handle it.
There's two basic steps in the workflow that I use, including the system I've developed for my sabbatical:
- Go through my hotlist, and make sure I've taken care of everything that must be done today. Usually, this doesn't take more than a few hours.
- Once the hotlist is settled, select the next category of other tasks (see here for details) and choose a task from that context to work on. Repeat step 2 until I'm done for the day.
When I tried doing step 2 today, just to see what would happen, I noticed a problem: the default listing of tasks in a given context in Toodledo includes all tasks in that context. In particular, it includes tasks the start date of which has not yet arrived. This clogged up the list with all kinds of tasks that I'd already decided I didn't need to worry about yet.
Fortunately, Toodledo can filter each list it displays differently. I was able to fix the problem completely by deactivating a single option that displays "future tasks." This hides tasks the start date of which is in the future, which was exactly what I needed. (The hotlist hides future tasks too, unless it's also got a star, but does it differently because the hotlist is a special list in Toodledo.)
I must admit I had a tiny spasm at first, because I thought all those extra future tasks that were showing up originally would just confuse the hell out of me, and that it would take a lot longer to find a good task to do for the day because of it. Fortunately, one little modification corrected everything.
(Special takeaway: Remember to keep your system fluid and adaptable. It's unlikely you'll find a good system right on the first try. Be willing to change the system to meet your objectives. Make the system work for you, and not the other way round.)