Is it possible to add a Tag to an Action in a single click?


Newbie question: Is it possible to add a Tag to an Action in a single click?

If I’m right, in order to follow GTD methodology correctly then:

A) Each project should have a Next Action created for it
(And on GTD you can line up several Actions that will queue up to become the Next Action in the future after the current Next Action is completed, yes?)

B) Each Action should have a Context assigned to it, so as to group Actions into when you are in the right place and mood/energy level. (Yes?)

C) In GTDNext
The way you assign GTD “Context” is via the Tags.
e.g. In my case I have the following Contexts Tags set up:

  • Around Home
  • Errands
  • In Car
  • Low Energy
  • On sofa [this is short-hand for reading material]
  • PC
  • Phone
  • Reflective Mood
    Okay, not a brilliant collection but they are “work in progress” but will do me for now ! [Btw, should I number them??]

My problem is that, whilst I am creating each Action and allocating the correct Context, it’s a heck of a lot of clicks/keystokes!
I mean in order to allocate a Context for a New Action that I am creating (or to edit an existing action), I need to:

  1. Click on Tags
  2. Type the first character of the Tag (e.g. I might type “P”…)
  3. And up pops THREE options
    THEN a) Either
  4. Down arrow
  5. Down arrow again [in my example - because I have two Context Tags beginning with “P”]
  6. Click Enter
    OR b)
  7. “h”
  8. Down arrow
  9. Click Enter

So either way you do, it it’s SIX keystrokes +/or clicks in order to allocate a Context tag.

Is there really no way of doing this more simply?

  • Whilst the keyboard focus is inside the Action Details panel, couldn’t we just click the relevant Context (which is of course still visible near the top of the screen) with a SINGLE click?
  • Or perhaps drag the Action onto the relevant Context?

Either way as things stand, assigning Context to an Action seems unnecessarily painful, particularly given that it is something we are expected to do this for every single Action we create. i.e. Probably hundreds and hundreds of times per… week?!

Or is there an easier/faster way of doing this that I have missed?
If not, then this is a request rather than a question ! :^/


I don’t think there is a quicker way at the moment, but James can answer hat. I agree that dragging the task would be one good way, and/or the whole list of tags could also be visible in the edit pane (perhaps scrolled, say perhaps max 20 visible).

Let me comment on a GTD thing you said, though:

In GTD you must have at least one next action (could also be a waiting for action, to be completed by somebody else)… It is a common myth that GTD says that there can only be exactly one. On the contrary, David Allen takes great pains to clarify that you must identify each and every next action in every project. (And this is something GTDNext accommodates flexibly by allowing you to manually elect additional “now active” actions, which can be next actions or waiting for actions or anything.)

GTD does not go into how sequential actions are treated in detail. All it says is that those project actions that are now next actions (or Waiting For actions, that matter) are to be on the Next/Waiting lists, but all the rest still remain in a rather unspecific bucket called “project support material”. GTD was created with paper in mind, and the process to get things across from “project support material” to the active GTD lists (Next, Waiting etc) is done during your review. The automation that GTDNext has built in is great, and goes beyond GTD and therefore needs to be defined and justified using other reasoning than GTD itself. I think it is a perfect balance of simplicity and power that all the not-yet-active ones (usually marked with a gray icon in GTDNext) automatically become “active/visible” on the main lists one at a time, just as it works now, and that you can elect manually which ones are “active/visible/parallel” and which ones are “inactive/invisible/sequential”, as you also can now. (It could be even smoother, but it is quite OK.)(Some apps have built more complex, perhaps too complex, dependency mechanisms, and the vast majority have less or often nothing at all.)

It is a common myth that GTD says that there can only be exactly one.

Yes, it seems obvious to me that there should be AT LEAST one Action per Project. And so long as they don’t get in the way, (this is the joy of the dedicated digital tool, no?) then I can’t see any good reason why not to line up a few additional Actions that will become Next Actions when the current Next Action is completed.

But what happens if there are none? Is there any way of showing all projects with no next actions?

+1 for way to tag quicker

I’m on shaky ground here, but I feel entering Tags is involving too many keystrokes.

I feel it is too easy to create new tags.

e.g. Suppose I have 3 tags on my system

  • PC
  • Phone
  • Pz01

Now what I want to happen is that as soon as I type “P” into the tags fields, I want that list top come up and, if I hit enter I want the first in the list be selected.

Currently if I go “P” then Enter, I create new tag called “P”. This is madness! And in fact if I want to select an existing tag I need to either spell it out in full and then hit Enter, or use the down arrow and then hit enter. But that down arrow is a pain!

What MyLifeOrganised does is better. As you start typing the popup appears with matching options (like GTDN) but if you just hit Enter at any point you will get the one at the top of the list. No down arrows required!
If you try to create a new Tag (e.g. by hitting Tab to leave a new tab or spelling something that has no existing matches) then a popup appears asking “Would you like to create this new Context? Y/N”

Like I say, I would also like to be able to select an existing tag just by clicking it where appears near the top of the page (in same row as Areas)

e.g. In MyLifeOrganised


I agree. I have many times unintentionally created extra partial word tags. Madness!

1 Like

Wait! I have discovered a bizarre bug/quirk.
If you make your tags Capitalised, then if you enter your tag(s) for an item in lower case, it behaves exactly as I requested! i.e All you need to do is hit Enter, you do not need to use the down arrow key.

This still needs fixing as it will be pretty irritating for any who has not accidentally discovered this quirk.

P.S. If I am correct anyone using lower case tags will still need to arrow down each time they start typing a tag. (And personally this would bug the heck out of me!)

BUMP - any progress on these issues?

There still seems to be an entire extra keystroke required by GTDNext when entering tags… (see above).
If in doubt copy the way the MLO interface works.

No work on this as of yet. We are heads down on some other (also very important) work. Thanks!