I want to be able to create dependent tasks, so that when i finish the main task, the dependent task appears in today (e.g. Task#1 "Cook dinner" triggers task#2 "Do the dishes").
Jean-Philippe Bret Gaubaste commented
Nested tasks are not very compatible with pure GTD. There must only be one next action for a given project, for your mind to become clear like a lake....
I agree, sub-tasks would be a really helpful feature as quite often we start off with an idea or a task assigned to us by e.g. manager but we then realise that this would actually require multiple steps and maybe even multiple people to achieve the main task.
I agree that I would love to see "sequential tasks", which is what I think you're describing.
However I would also like to be able to have nested tasks. To me a nested task is one that has multiple sub-tasks. For example: The task "Change Beneficiaries" could have sub-tasks which list all of the places the beneficiary needs to be changed. I can change it on my work insurance and mark that off but the master task isn't complete until I've completed all of the subtasks.
Kerry Dawson commented
Yes agree strongly
I agree nested tasks is part of the GTD. That is what a Next Action is - it is a task that cannot be completed until after a next task. I believe that it is simpler and better for the user to have that task show up automatically then for him/ her to have to go into next actions to find it.
Tom Ekeberg commented
Letting only actionable tasks be visible is the key with GTD (IMHO). Sequential projects are implemented in OmniFocus and Nirvana, and I can't see how the fact that it would complicate some people's workflow can be an argument against when all those people would have to do would be to only create parallel projects. Switching to project management software just in order to be able to keep non-actionable tasks in sequential projects, however, would unnecessarily complicate things. I, for one, would greatly appreciate the opportunity to create sequential projects.
Peter Lawrance commented
@Richard I disagree that it is complicated; a basic system that handles fairly linear projects could be done quite simply I think. Consider this: User creates a Project and assigns a string of tasks to it. User sorts the tasks manually in the logical order they should be executed. The user could move one or more of those tasks in to Today and / or one or more of them into Next, sort of queueing them. When a task in Today is flagged as completed, the system looks down the queue of ordered tasks in that project and moves any of the tasks that are in Next into Today. You should regularly review your projects anyway to keep on top of them, but something like I have suggested would help by semi-automating some of the hack-work.
This would still be a really useful feature. It would enable project management much more easily
Simplicity is the key with GTD. The provision of nested tasks and automation would start to over complicate everything, especially when it needed to be undone. Task management, dependencies and stuff like that is all handled well by Project management packages, use one of them.
I very much want nested tasks (so I can brainstorm on a whole host of steps for a given project), but I don't need to have the next task automatically be moved up to the today file. I prefer to remain in control of manually putting things into the today file.