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Simple tags and lists system

(closed account) says:

I've seen a lot of tips and tricks in this forum, and to me most of them seem way too complicated for daily use. Too many tags result in too much work tagging. Plus, if you're tags aren't general enough you will always end up with some tasks that don't quite fit into your system. Also, some people make excessive use of lists. But I don't want lists to take up half of my screen. This is what I came up with:

== Tags ==

I only use three tag groups.

1. The first indicates whether I can do a task alone or depend on another person, e.g. because it's a meeting. So I called the two "alone" and "team".

2. The second gives a rough time estimate: "15min", "30min", "1h", "2h". The largest tag "2h" also includes tasks that need more time. Since most of my tasks can be done within that time, 2 hours is my maximum.

3. The third tells whether a task is "active", "queued" or "inactive", i.e. I don't intend to do it at all but want to keep it as a reminder in case it becomes relevant again. Each active task is prioritized, and only active tasks receive a priority.

== Lists ==

Static lists: I have one list for each area of my life, e.g. "private", "work", "studies" aso.

Smart lists:

- I use a smart list to identify tasks which are "missing tags" (NOT (tag:active OR tag:queued OR tag:inactive) NOT (tag:15min OR tag:30min OR tag:1h OR tag:2h) NOT (tag:alone OR tag:team))

- I also have one for "missing locations" (isLocated:false), and a virtual location "anywhere". That one's currently located in Burkina Faso.

- There's a "today" list that shows tasks due, overdue or active without a due date (due:today OR dueBefore:today OR tag:active).

That's it. Every other info goes into the tasks' title, e.g. project name, coworker, and task description ("foundry - ed harris - teach robot").

For everything else I use the search function. If I want to get my private tasks for today I combine the lists as (list:today list:private). Every now and then I check the waiting list in the current area (tag:queued list:work), etc.

So far, this is the most robust system I could find or come up with. For me it gives the best trade-off between simplicity and features.
Posted at 6:23am on June 9, 2009
(closed account) says:
Forgot to mention: due dates combined with active tasks tell the deadline, while due dates on queued tasks show an appointment, and due dates on inactive tasks show when to review that item.
Posted 9 years ago
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