I am editing this original post due to a discussion that is attempting to explain some of the concepts that I am confused with.
I will read that fully and then decide if I need to give further feedback related to the complexity of the app.
As the title suggest, I am currently confused on how to use GTDNext.
Thanks for your thoughts @Proximo
It is interesting to read some of the threads you replied to. It seem some (most?) people seem to think GTDNext is very easy to understand and use right “out of the box”. However, you are obviously a very experienced user, who has used a ton of GTD apps and yet some of the concepts initially confused you right out of the box.
One of your comments (maybe in email to me) was regarding people who have used outliners in the past (like workflowy or checkvist) may understand the app quickly. I think that’s a great point. We need to remember that not everyone has that mental model already in use. For people that have never used an outliner the basic concepts of pressing enter to start a new line and Tab to indent and SHIFT+TAB to out-dent will be new concepts. And smaller things like placing cursor at the start of a task and pressing enter to insert a new task above it will be new tricks they need to learn.
We will have to find a way to quickly teach people those ideas. I have some ideas about how to do that. Thanks for bring the problem up. That’s exactly what I was hoping we would get out of this beta. Thanks!
I created this video for our help system for people that are not familiar with outline software. Can you take look at it and give me feedback? If you had seen this before you started using GTDNext for the first time would this have helped you?
Yes, I think this video would have made a huge difference for people who don’t use outline type software. I still prefer using a mouse and I don’t care much for keyboard shortcuts and you will find many people don’t like using keyboard shortcuts either. You will also find a school of people who do. This is why I think the best balance is a mouse based UI that also supports keyboard shortcuts which caters to both schools. Most people expect to use a mouse to interact with software which is why I found GTDNext so confusing. I use some of the keyboard shortcuts in Zendone but only the ones I find useful and I use my mouse for everything else. This is the balance I like.
For example. I don’t think it makes much sense for me to click on an existing task to create a new one under it. I would rather click a button that says “add”. I also would rather drag and drop a project task out to make it a single task and drag single task into a project to add them to the project.
Not sure if you intend to cater to both types of people but just though I would mention the flexibility of a UI based on mouse input with the added benefit of supporting keyboard shortcuts. If you only support keyboard shortcuts, you will only cater to one group and not the other such as myself.
For this very reason, I don’t care much about Workflowy. I have tried it many times but just don’t care for the interface or lack thereof.
I work with 3D Design all day long and also use Photoshop a lot. It’s natural for me to use a mouse and feels akward to jump into another app that focuses only on keyboard entry. This is true for people who use Microsoft Office which covers a lot of people. Mouse entry is what most people use and switching from using the mouse to a keyboard based app breaks up the natural flow. I am all for having keyboard shortcut entry as a secondary way to enter things, but I feel skipping the mouse is something most people will find odd.
I use XMind mind mapping software and the keyboard entries for mind mapping is the fastest way to enter information into this type of app, but I can also use my mouse if I wanted.
So I guess my input would be to have balance, but don’t neglect the mouse which is what most people are using all day long with great comfort.
I think @Proximo makes an important point here. Nobody should really have to use the keyboard to make it work. It is safer and better to have a complete set of visible, clickable buttons etc for everything, even if the keyboard equivalents will also be popular. And this need probably will become even more apparent on phone and tablet versions later.
For example, maybe the indent and outdent “commands” could be replicated in the task edit pane as a left arrow and right arrow? And maybe an Add or + plus button could be wired in such a way that if no task had been clicked it will be added on top, but if the cursor had been placed, then it would replicate Enter? I don’t know exactly; I am just brainstorming.
I have something I want to add to my confusion. “Force Next”. I am looking at what I think is a Next Action. It’s not a project, but just a single next action. Some have Force Next turned on and some do not. What is the difference when looking at a single task?
If I understand what “Force Next” is used for, it should never be an option for a single task. It should only show up as an option for a task in a project which I can choose to make more than one task the Next Action(s) of the project. Sequential should also not be an option for a single task. It would be best if these two options were grayed out or hidden for single actions and become clickable or show up only for projects.
The Auto mode is still confusing to me but I will ignore it for now and try to wrap my head around other things at the moment.
Force Next is not even needed. It is (or should be) simply the opposite of sequential (in other words parallel; become active/visible straight away when the project goes active), so only one checkbox should be needed, called Sequential. And I agree that the Sequential could (or even should, for clarity) be grayed out for single tasks (but since it cannot really impact a single task anyway, it does not matter in that sense, but for clarity, yes.)