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A Better Upcoming List

davidscottweaver Pro says:

My "Upcoming" smart list.

Since I only like to see tasks in my main lists (@Home, @Work, and @Car) that are due, overdue, or have no due date, I created a smart list set aside just for upcoming tasks. The list only includes specific tasks I believe are worthy of a lead time, and provides a "gentle reminder" of something, well, upcoming. That way the list is always relevant and stays uncluttered. The lead time tags I use are: 3d, 1w, 2w, 3w, 1m. The code behind the Upcoming list looks like this:

(tag:3d AND dueWithin:"4 days of tomorrow" NOT dueBefore:tomorrow) OR (tag:1w AND dueBefore:"1 week of tomorrow" NOT dueBefore:tomorrow) OR (tag:2w AND dueWithin:"2 weeks of tomorrow" NOT dueBefore:tomorrow) OR (tag:3w AND dueWithin:"3 weeks of tomorrow" NOT dueBefore:tomorrow) OR (tag:1m AND dueWithin:"1 month of tomorrow" NOT dueBefore:tomorrow) OR (tag:2m AND dueWithin:"2 months of tomorrow" NOT dueBefore:tomorrow)


By putting "NOT dueBefore:tomorrow" in the code, a task drops off this "Upcoming" list when it's actually due and ends up on my other "main" lists. The lead tags can be changed to suit your needs, but I find those times sufficient. For example, if I need to buy a gift for someone who is hard to shop for, I normally put a 1m tag on it. Where if it's someone who's easy to shop for, a 2w tag is sufficient lead. The 3d tag isn't used too often, but nice if I'd like a gentle reminder for tasks repeating every couple weeks or so. For paying bills, I usually have the due date set to the actual due date of the bill, but the lead tag set to corrispond to the date the bill is "available for payment" (usually 3 weeks prior, but not always) so I could pay it early if I want to. The list should be sorted by date.

Lastly, I have a repeating task to check my Upcoming list (repeats after 1 week). I usually check the list anyway whenever I'm on the site, but if I have a task there, I won't go more than a week in case I forget. Hopefully you find this system helpful to you as well.

Posted at 4:01pm on December 17, 2009

ranbarton ProPower Poster says:

Thank you for writing this up. I think many, many of the people who come to these forums looking for a start date, or some variation of that idea, wil find this clear write up of great value to them.

I'd nominate this for a Tuesday tip, too, if I could do so.

Posted 4 years ago

emily (Remember The Milk) says:

I agree with Ran. :)

This is this week's Tips & Tricks Tuesday winner -- we've upgraded your RTM account to have a free year of Pro. :)

Posted 4 years ago

trimax Pro says:

Hey, I like your tip David.
Thanks!

Posted 4 years ago

raymond.bergmark ProPower Poster says:

You could include this smart list in your normal main lists. For instance:
AtWork: "(dueBefore:tomorrow AND location:work) OR list:Upcoming"

That way you don't have to check that list specifically, the tasks will popup in your main list when it's time.

Including smart lists in other smart list criteria is very useful.

Posted 4 years ago

davidscottweaver Pro says:

Thanks for the props, folks! I don't know what I would do without RTM... it sure is a wolf in sheeps clothing. The more I use it, the more I uncover its true potential! And Emily, thank you for the upgrade... it will get lots of use!

Rajjan, that would be useful if you like to sort your main lists by date, but I'm strictly a "sort by priority" kind of guy, and only like show due or overdue (or whenever) tasks on my main lists. Adding the Upcoming list to the list would throw something due a month from now to the top of the list if it's a priority:1. If there was some way in the code to "staple" a list to the end of another, preserving the sort order of each list, that would be something!

Posted 4 years ago

srburk Pro says:

I'm sorry. I'm new to RTM and not sure how to apply this.

Do I copy/past the entire text beginning with (tag:3d AND dueWithin:"4 days... to my search and save the search?

Posted 4 years ago

davidscottweaver Pro says:

Hi srburk, you are correct. A smart list is really just a saved search. Copying and pasting the entire formula in would do the trick. If you want to alter it, I find it helpful to paste do so in a text editor so you have more space to work with. Welcome to the site!

Posted 4 years ago

srburk Pro says:

So... for each task that I want to appear on this list... I should add one of the following tags? Yes???

3d, 1w, 2w, 3w, 1m, or 2m

Also, a question on your smart list... I noticed that some tags were "dueBefore" and others were "dueWithin." How do these diffierentiate?

Posted 4 years ago

davidscottweaver Pro says:

Oops, good catch! When I originally posted the tip I think I had been playing with the two syntaxes, and hadn't cleaned up the code there yet. I've found that using "dueWithin:"x days of now" is accurate to what I wanted the list to accomplish. IE: dueWithin:"1 week of now" pops up a task that is literally due 7 days from today, vs "1 week of today" would show tasks 6 days ahead. So, here is my updated (and slightly cleaner) code:

(tag:3d AND dueWithin:"3 days of now" NOT dueBefore:tomorrow) OR (tag:1w AND dueWithin:"1 week of now" NOT dueBefore:tomorrow) OR (tag:2w AND dueWithin:"2 weeks of now" NOT dueBefore:tomorrow) OR (tag:3w AND dueWithin:"3 weeks of now" NOT dueBefore:tomorrow) OR (tag:1m AND dueWithin:"1 month of now" NOT dueBefore:tomorrow) OR (tag:2m AND dueWithin:"2 months of now" NOT dueBefore:tomorrow)

Posted 4 years ago

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