In a post about the Focus filter, Seth wrote:
Nevertheless, please note that tasks with Start From plan are falling under Someday category. It’s true that they cannot start from a certain date, but you do not have any intent as to when they must be completed. So, technically, they’re also someday. Note that the focus filter is about your intent/plan or due dates, not the actual scheduled date/time. So, a task that’s planned to start from tomorrow may get scheduled tomorrow, but it can easily shift to next week because you haven’t specified a finish date.
I see the logic in this. A challenge I have with the Focus filter is it has more data than I need to plan my next week.
I use SP for scheduling, and for remembering everything I must do. Otherwise I’ll also need a conventional todo list and multiple systems are bad. So, I have many tasks that are scheduled 6 months, or 5 years in the future (e.g. renewals, scheduled hardware maintenance, contract renewals, etc.)
Those tasks have focus because they have a completion/due date and the Focus filter includes them in Someday or Later. But it’s information overload for short-term planning.
A new filter (or option for the Focus filter) that only includes items that are scheduled, or can be scheduled in the next two weeks would be helpful.
- This topic was modified 2 years, 7 months ago by Mike.
Mike, help me understand your workflow when you set a task to start from a certain date. In the conventional task management apps, this is meant to filter out certain tasks in your current view until a later date. In other words, you don’t want to worry about them until a certain date in future. But, what they require is that you need to constantly review your lists and decide when you want to do what. In SkedPal, you can define a fuzzy time frame (e.g. some time next week, or some time starting Tuesday to Friday) which is very different from the conventional review process. I’m interested to learn your workflow when you set a start date without a finish date.
By the way, if you have specific finish time (no matter how soon or late), it will be shown under the Later section, not someday. In other words, if you have a specific time frame, the task will never appear under someday.
In business #1, most projects are client deliverables with defined start and end dates. The exception is one client for which I have a list of deliverables that I have permission to work on at my discretion. I’m always working on “the current project” which rarely has a set due date; it’s just ASAP. When the project stalls because the client isn’t available to answer questions, I start one of the other projects that doesn’t need his input. When he’s able to reply to the project #1 questions, I start on #1 again and project #2 idles until project #1 completes.
In business #2, I’m the client, and most projects don’t have end dates. I schedule them as time allows only setting end/due dates for event preparation or projects that need a schedule because of travel / field work.
Weekly planning for business #1 is easy. Business #2, is usually a lower priority than business #1, but equally important to my long-term goals. Scheduling for #2 is the gordian knot. I schedule #2 optimistically and reschedule it as need to accommodate #1.2 years, 7 months ago actionmanParticipant
I really enjoy Mike’s posts. I am noting that I am using SkedPal in a different way. I am happy keeping all of my information out of it until closer to the 2-3 scheduling horizon. I think it is a powerful engine and I want to give it just the data I need to make decisions in a monthly and weekly planning session.
I think it is expecting a lot of a piece of software to be all things and I am personally using Asana in conjunction with SkedPal as I love the way Asana can have tasks in multiple projects and the benefits of collaboration that it brings. Its great for storing files and attachments too. Asana sucks at scheduling.
Whilst I agree two overlapping systems can pose problems then there are times like a triathlon where you need a bike for one part of the race and your running shoes for the other. My other post “Beyond the three week horizon” makes me feel theres a part where I need to swim too – the big goal setting stage. A triathlete chooses the best bike and running shoes but also spends time on the transition. It takes time and energy to manage those transitions but a race is won or lost on them and no matter how hard you look the best cycling shoes will not help you win the running section! Just my thoughts.
@Mike, thanks for sharing your work planning details. So, for your business #2, you don’t want to give your tasks an end date. But, I’m still not sure how you make use of the Start From. I’m guessing that when you plan a task to start from next Monday, you intend to say: I want to do this task next week, but I’m not sure if I can. So, try to schedule it for next week. And, then you’d like to view the Focus filter for next week to see this task listed there. Am I right?
@actionman, thanks for your input. But, I think @Mike’s need here is different from the other threads such as collaboration needs, or long term planning – both of which SkedPal currently doesn’t support.2 years, 7 months ago actionmanParticipant
I agree and I like to keep an open mind on how people tackle the challenges which at first seem different from my own but may not be.
And, then you’d like to view the Focus filter for next week to see this task listed there. Am I right?
You are right, @saied . In the part of my weekly reviews where I think about my planned focus (vs SP’s Focus) I want to see only tasks that are already scheduled for 1-2 weeks. Seeing a long task list like Later triggers bad synapses–it’s an emotional response to the visual.
That isn’t to say that I don’t want to see what Focus currently displays. I want to see everything when I settle in for a more in-depth review. I’m looking down from a higher altitude during those reviews and prepared to see the big picture.
This discussion has made me look more closely at the bark on the trees. I’ll try assigning end dates to more of my projects and let SP manage more of my schedule. It will be a uphill climb because I’ll be relinquishing more control to an external system to manage important parts my life. Thank you for the nudge.
@actionman, your analogy to a triathlon is interesting. I’ve used Asana, Todoist, RTM, Trello, Basecamp, Pivotal Tracker, and a few others over the years, usually a few at a time with an API integration. I agree that collab is a different tool and Asana is a good solution in that arena. But it’s lousy for managing what I have to do today or tomorrow. I could continue to use Todoist for one-off tasks in the future but I think SP is appropriate for all tasks because all tasks consume time and SP manages all available time. Its scheduling algorithm is a game-changer. I learned about it in a post on the Asana forum, cancelled Asana and never looked back. Was that your post?
Re multiple apps, moving tasks between apps, even via API, creates tasks to manage tasks, and opens another hole for tasks to slip through. I take a very deep breath before I add an app to my mix. I’m interested to hear how Harvest Forecast works for you though. I track billable time through Harvest so the integration is weightless but I’m not convinced that Forecast is justified for me since I don’t plan time beyond the near future.
- This reply was modified 2 years, 7 months ago by Mike.
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.