Newest Task On Top

I have noticed that I can actually drop tasks on a project title in the left menu, which is great - and normal. I have also noticed that the task is then placed at the bottom of that project. This is actually also very common, unfortunately.

I am a fervent advocate of the opposite principle - Newest On Top. Always place the latest item at the top by default. Here is why:

  • it is easier (quicker) to see the new item if it appears first. If it is misplaced, which it is very likely to be no matter where it is placed by default, you will notice this fact sooner if it sits first.

  • it saves a bit of dragging work, because it is more common, in my experience, that a task that gets “tossed onto” a project is to be done among the first, or even first of all. It is often something that you had overlooked or not been aware of during all previous project reviews, but which you realized all of a sudden must be done, usually right now or very soon.

  • GTDNext already has the excellent ability to add tasks at the end (or anywhere you like), which means, for example, that if you are systematically entering a long list of tasks that you had previously noted on paper, off-line, you will still be able to get the latest at the bottom just as you would expect it to be under such circumstances.

Regardless of where these “tossed” tasks are placed by default, I think it is good practice to ensure that they are classified as active Next (or “forced Next” etc) in addition to the previously marked next action. In other words, the number of “green” next actions in this project should increase with each task that you casually “toss” upon it. Why? Because since you apparently “forgot” to visit the project and arrange the tasks properly, it is better to have one task too many on the Next list than one task too few. Better safe than sorry. And as soon as you notice such a misplaced next action on the Next list you can just un-Next it, so it will not be a problem. But conversely, if you do not see it on the Next list, and had forgotten to place it correctly in the project, the results could be very dire indeed.

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I’m with Folke. Hey, I always with Folke, he just speaks out (in a far better way) what us frustrated ex-Nirvanas feel :frowning:

What if we allowed users to do both? Maybe holding down the SHIFT key while dragging the task moves it to the top of the list and just a normal move goes to the bottom? That way, those of you in the opposite camp would get what you want. The action on top and it would automatically be set to “next”. Thoughts?[quote=“MToscan, post:2, topic:32, full:true”]
I’m with Folke. Hey, I always with Folke, he just speaks out (in a far better way) what us frustrated ex-Nirvanas feel
Yes, I’ve noticed over the years how great Folke is about expressing his ideas. I wish I was as precise and well thought out!

Alternatively, we could use that functionality you mention (holding the shift) but I’d like to be able to set it as a flag on my profile (“shift to drag next action to top”). When active, it allows you to do the opposite.

For those of us who like it in one of the two ways, we obviously prefer it to be easy for us ;-). Nobody would prefer to always have to press Shift. Or to get inconsistent placement just because you sometimes forget to press it. So a user preference setting is probably best for everyone.

You could still have the Shift key, of course, for people who want to alternate from their default, but personally I never want to change where my tasks land if I “toss” them onto a project heading. I want them on top. Consistently. So if that is the app’s default or my personal default I do not need the Shift option.

If I want my tasks elsewhere in the project I will drag the “tossed” tasks from its default landing spot (at the top). If a “tossed” task does not belong at the very top, it usually belongs inside somewhere, quite high up near the top, more seldom further down and almost never at the bottom.

If I want to enter tasks fresh at the bottom or in a particular position I will enter into the project and insert the cursor right where I want it - that’s one of the beauties of GTDNext

Are there actually any people here who prefer Latest at the Bottom? Or is that just some old “tradition” or unfounded belief that has difficulty dying away?

As of today’s build we have updated this functionality. When you drag tasks from one project onto a project in the left pane we now default to adding the task(s) to the top of the project. @Folke thanks for the idea. @MToscan you will be happy to hear that we default to top of the list as for now we decided not to add a SHIFT button to put it on the bottom instead. Thanks again gentlemen for your ideas.

Great! Thanks!

And now I also get all the inbox items and uncategorized items (short-lived “sloppy” tasks) at the top of All Projects.

Perfect! Just as I want it :slight_smile:

Only just now I noticed that the “Newest Task On Top” principle does not work as expected on the main lists - Next, Waiting etc.

I’d like the the task that most recently became visible on the Next actions list to be placed at the top, and similarly for Waiting and Someday and Inbox (but for Scheduled I’d probably expect them to be sorted by scheduled date etc). Now they seem to be placed at “random”.

Shall I flag this in a separate problem thread, or will this suffice?

The logic for the main lists hasn’t been all sorted out yet - still a work in progress. Thanks for flagging it!