Automatically create a task with a 'next' tag if the project doesn't contain one

I’m still playing around with how best to implement tags but one thing I am finding really useful is a simple ‘next’ tag for the next action item in each project. I then have a custom perspective that just shows ‘next’ tags separated by project so I can quickly scan through them and decide on what to focus on.

What I’ve found though is that I’m completing a task with the ‘next’ tag and forgetting to go into that project and do a mini review to tag the next item with ‘next’. That then leads to several projects dropping off my ‘next’ perspective and I have to go though all projects to check they have an item with the ‘next’ tag.

What I would love is a script that checks a project and if it does not contain a single items with the ‘next’ tag, then create an task called something like ‘Decide Next Action’ and allocate that task with the ‘next’ tag

That way I would be able to still see all the projects without next actions defined within my custom perspective.

Any help would be appreciated - The only apple scripts I use are ones other people have created so I’m very much a novice but willing to learn if this seems do-able and I could get any pointers in the right direction!


In most cases, your ‘next’ action should be the first available action, no? In that case you could skip the tag and either build a perspective of first available actions or change the view option in Tags or Projects to ‘first available’ when you’re working. The only problem I could see is that this would also get everything in single action lists but you could exclude them from a custom perspective.

Thanks for the reply!

I think the problem I would have with that is that in a large project there might be dozens of available actions so the one that is classed as the ‘first available action’ is unlikely to be the one that is highest priority (in my mind).

I tend to have projects with lots of parallel tasks that each have sequential subtasks so I’m guessing the first available task would then be decided by the hierarchy of the project which doesn’t really help me.

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