Like many (though not all) simple apps, NextAction starts with an Overview.
Of course, there aren’t any tasks here yet. Let’s add one!
If you want to quickly add a task now and think about it (i.e., organize it) later…
…just enter a description and hit Save.
It’ll end up in your Inbox.
(That probably sounds obvious, but pretty much all of the simple apps require you to pick a list when you create a task. Picking means thinking. Thinking takes time. Maybe now is not the right time…?)
When you’re finally ready to think about the task, here’s the question NextAction asks you…
1. Are you Ready to do this when you have time?
2. Are you Waiting to hear back from someone about this?
3. Have you Scheduled this on a particular day?
4. Have you Paused this until… well, who knows when, really?
After you answer, NextAction will ask you one other thing…
1. If it’s Ready or Paused, What is it about?
2. If it’s Waiting, Who is it waiting for?
3. If it’s Scheduled, When is it scheduled for?
Notice how in each case you’re being nudged toward the kind of list you should put the task on: What, When, Who.
That little nudge makes getting organized much, much easier.
(In this case I decided that “Call Peter” was a Ready task, and that it was Personal.)
(Now I can find that task in my Ready list, or in my Personal list.)
(Or, if I want to look more broadly across lists, in my Status folder or my What folder.)
Here are many (though not all) of the same tasks that I showed you in Reminders (on the left), now in NextAction (on the right).
(Later on we’ll see all of the Reminders tasks in NextAction.)
They look a bit similar, but NextAction is actually answering much more focused questions…
1. “When are things due in the Next few days (or Next few weeks)?”
This is where you look when you want to see what’s coming up soonish.
2. “What are you Ready to do?”
This is where you look when you have time and want to choose your next task.
3. “Who are you Waiting to hear back from?”
This is where you look to see if there’s someone you need to follow up with.
Those are the
three key perspectives.
(The other Status lists, Scheduled and Paused, only need to be checked once in a while.)
By the way, notice that in each case the lists were grouped by that other question you were asked:
- Ready and Paused were grouped by What;
- Waiting by Who;
- Scheduled by When.
By default, lists of tasks are always grouped in some useful way. Why? Because smaller chunks are easier to grok.*