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Subtasks *need* to be listed in views separately along with top-level tasks, because they're immediate actionable items

katrmr says:
Currently, sub-tasks are rolled into top-level tasks if the two are displayed in one view (list, smart list, tag, etc). Instead, they should be shown separately.

Rationale: subtasks represent actionable items and should be easily seen in views which a person uses to check out the current tasks to carry out. It's one of most popular tenets of task management that you should divide tasks into small immediate actions when planning, and then just take this list of actions and get to completing them. In this model, planning and doing stages are separated, and in particular, doing shouldn't involve scrolling through the task list in search of immediate subtasks, since doing may happen in uncomfortable environments, when tired, etc.—while reading through the whole task list is mental work of its own that will wear the person down with decision fatigue.

E.g. if both a high-priority subtask and its parent task are under the tag 'buy,' I won't see the subtask among top items when opening the tag view, though I should. If I have a subtask due today while the overall task is overdue, I won't see the subtask among items due today in the 'Today' view.

This pertains to both the web app and mobile apps. The idea has already been posted on the forum but I feel that its importance hasn't been demonstrated sufficiently.

Further resources:

A series of posts by Tim Urban explains the reasons for the division pretty well, though he's not the only one to promote some variant of it:
- Part 1 (preface):
- Part 2 (the method):

- Acts of choice are known to cause strain and fatigue: e.g. workers performing a simple task of sorting fruits by size become exhausted just as ones doing physical work.
- Decision fatigue is a known psychological phenomenon, and among other factors it impairs self-control:
- Habits, which remove conscious analysis, are known to be more efficient than the same activity with deliberate decision making.
Posted at 8:21pm on January 18, 2018
dg_going_uphill says:
One of the reasons I chose RMT is because it specifically doesn't do this. Omnifocus does this and it makes many views completely unusable because of all the extra info. I prefer tagging and dating subtasks independently -- a huge benefit of RMT.
Posted 1 year ago
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