Progress notes / journal


One feature I found particularly useful in was the journal/ notes feature. This was a simple data entry field which automatically date/time-stamped the entry and added it to a log associated with each Task.

I used this, for example, to say “chased joe by email - will chase again in 1 week” and then I would reset the date on the Task accordingly. This gave me a full personal audit trail of what had happened with that item. Very useful when you have a large set of tasks to manage and want to keep the brain clear.

I am doing the same in GTDNext but have two issues with it:

  1. i have to manually date/time stamp it in the Notes section of the Task, which - although it sounds petty - is not as efficient as the doit way; and

  2. it may just be me but i am always very nervous of accidentally hitting the “Delete” button beneath the notes box. From a UI design point of view, it is natural to hit the “OK/Enter” button when typing updates into a field and i cant help thinking i will one day lose an entire Task as a result of this button placement! This is even more scary now that the delete confirmation function has been disabled for single action items ! It may just be my paranoia but if others are fearing the same, then maybe its worth reviewing?

Either way, i would like to propose the journal field be considered as a candidate for a future release please.


I agree. One caveat: If implemented, it should be the Doit way, as suggested, not the RTM way. There needs to be a separation between these time-stamped journal entries and the free-format detailed task description (notes), as in Doit, not the RTM way where every edit of the description is time-stamped and added/moved chronologically within the one single notes field where all this is kept. It is very, very hard (unbearable) to write a description when it is like in RTM, but on the other hand the time-stamped journal entries are kept very neatly with no waste of space, so maybe a combination would be the slickest.

I know this doesn’t exactly solve your problem, but here is another way to do notes or journal entries in GTDNext

You can use the info node and add as many journal entries as you want. Take a look at the picture below. Would something like this work for you? Perhaps if we also added a shortcut key that allows you to quickly enter in today’s date?

@James: While this is a nice feature, it does not solve the issue @thealbs has brought up, i think:
The timestamped journal entries should be inside a task, in coexistence with the notes field.
I would not like them to bloat my tree as you showed in your screenshot.


Agreed - I can see how this could act as a stop-gap but is not really what I was hoping for. I would probably stick with using the Notes field for this purpose if this were the only other alternative for the reasons @Camelorn mentions above.

Okay, good to know. We will keep in mind for future updates to that area. However we have lots to do first, so just to set expectations, this probably won’t get addressed in the short term.

Thanks for the ideas and suggestions!

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No problems. Nice to know its on the list but I agree it’s not urgent right now.