If “Sequential” is checked off for a Project, shouldn’t all its sub-tasks appear in Next Action?
It seems to me that if a project is not sequential, it is parallel; you can do any of its tasks as next task.
When I click on Next Action, I expect to see a list of actions I can take right now. For a parallel project, this should be any of them.
Am I missing something here?
GTDNext is more advanced (flexible) than, say, Nirvana or MLO. The sequential/parallel settings in GTDNext do not dictate the relationship between a projects’s children (i.e. the individual actions or sub-projects that sit directly “under” it) as the other apps do. What it does instead is it controls the relationship between the item and its siblings, i.e to other items sharing the same parent, i.e. other tasks and sub-projects in the same project.
This makes it possible to have as many parallel items as you like and the rest sequential. Any mix is possible. This allows you to set up your projects much more realistically than in the other apps, where you have a choice only between one of two unusual extremes - either have them all appear strictly one at a time or have them all appear all at once.
For some reason, though, GTDNext have chosen to use different terminology, different controls, different defaults and different visualization of these settings at the task level and the upper levels (sub-projects, projects etc):
Task level Control: Checkbox called Force Next; also a clickable gray/green N icon
Task level Default: Off, meaning that tasks are executed sequentially by default
Task level Visualization: Gray/green N icon changing color (green is “parallel”; gray is sequential)
Project level Control: Checkbox called Sequential
Project level Default: Off, meaning that subprojects are parallel to its siblings by default
Project level Visualization: Nothing visible in the list
I have no explanation for these UI differences for tasks and projects. It is just something I have noticed.
IMO it would be easier to understand and use if everything was parallel by default and you could manually set individual actions, sub-projects, projects etc to “Subsequent” in a consistent manner (same icons etc).
To accomplish that, you need to to make each action “Forced Next”. The “Sequential” setting for the subproject only makes the subproject as a whole be postponed until its parallel sibling subprojects and tasks are all completed.