Question regarding Next Action logic

When i got a scheduled task, the next task gets the next action status.
But i’m not able to finish task 2 after the first one, but it will be displayed in my NA list.

Any ideas on that?

Hello - I’m not positive I understand the situation. Let me summarize to make sure.

Are you saying that when you have say a daily repeating action that if you don’t finish Day 1’s action that Day 2’s will now show up and have the green “N” and be shown in your NA list, but now Day 1 will not be? Is that the issue/problem? As is shown in the below picture?

If that is the case, then when I would suggest you do is turn on “force next” at the project level. (see picture below) That way all new items created will be created with force next turned on and subsequently when the next repeating task occurs they will stay as next actions. Does that make sense and help? I hope I understood your problem correctly.

Thanks James for your reply, but i think i have to explain it a little bit more.

I have one Project with 2 tasks. The first one is scheduled with a start date tommorow and the second one ist just a normal task.

So when i look in my Next Action list today, i see the second task as a Next Action Item.

But for me it is mandatory to complete task one before task two, so it doesn’t make sense that task two is marked as a Next Action Item to me.

Or it could be even a waiting task as task nr.1

@noodledead and @James

I, too, have noticed that the parallel/sequential distinction has been implemented only for next actions. This is not desirable, of course, but I imagine it will be fixed.

As for using Force Next at the project level, I think it is unfortunate to have the same control mechanism achieve two completely different things at the task level and at the project level - but this is something we have discussed at length before, and I hope the whole parallel/sequential logic gets fixed in a consistent way.

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Ah yes, I see now. Yes, we will be changing that behavior in the future. In a purely sequential project you shouldn’t see task 2 as a next action. Same if task 1 was waiting or someday. In a purely sequential project task 2 can’t start until task 1 is completed. This behavior will change. Thanks!

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I do not know how you meant this, but just to be on the safe side: Please do not even consider implementing a distinction between parallel and sequential projects. You are perfectly fine as you are. Just finish the work you have started. Any project could have any mix of parallel (green) and sequential (gray) items. That’s the beauty of GTDNext’s approach.

In technical terms, what you have done so well is you have made this distinction relative to the items’ siblings, not to the item’s children. This is what opens the door for mixing parallel and sequential items freely in a project etc (at any level: sub-action, action, sub-project, project, super-project etc), and it also relieves the user from making the usual initial choice between setting the whole project to either sequential or parallel and then suffer from that rigidity.

What remains to be done, IMO, is only:

  • apply this parallel-sequential release-hold mechanism consistently for all types of items (next, waiting, everything; and change the icon such that it becomes obvious that this is not necessarily a next action)
  • streamline the use of switches etc consistently at all levels (the Sequential checkbox is all you really need; so skip Forced next completely or rename it and have a separate icon for it and use it for some totally different purpose, as described in other threads)
  • make it possible to pre-mark items as green-parallel even in folders that are still gray-sequential (this is what opens the door for advanced project pre-planning; in conjunction with the unlimited levels.)
  • implement sensible defaults for the gray-green setting: In the outline mode make it similar to the automatic mimicking of indentation (most people will tend to keep their tasks chronologically, with a few green parallel actions first, followed by a long tail of gray, sequential actions, so this would be a reliable default); but when tossing items on a project name consistently make it green-parallel (to avoid items getting “lost”). Definitely do not use the parallel-sequential switch to control these defaults for new tasks, as this is very confusing and of little use. (I honestly do not think you need to provide a setting for this at all, but if you think you do, make it a general user preference under Settings.).

I just meant that all list types should be used in determining if an item goes on the next action list or not. If a schedule, waiting, or someday list item is above an item on the active list in a project the active list item should not be on the next action list. Once the items above it are checked off then the active list item can “turn green” and go on the Next Action list.

I am glad you are not considering introducing the common cheap option (like in Nirvana) to set all children to either sequential or parallel.

But still - maybe this is only a matter of wording - let me double-check whether we are on the same page. You said:

IMO, the same logic should apply to all kinds of actions in any combination. For example, if you have a Waiting action blocking a Scheduled action, or a Next action blocking a Waiting action etc etc etc. Totally consistent. As long as they are marked Sequential (gray) they are to be blocked by any and all preceding actions. And when they are no longer blocked they should go on whatever list they are predestined for, not necessarily the Next list.

Is that what you meant?

Correct. Sorry my explanation took so many iterations. :slight_smile:

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@noodledead This was updated in the build that went live today. Thanks for your patience… It should work as you expected it to now.