This is how I do it. It may not be what you want but it works for me. It absolutely depends on regular (frequent) Review. There’s no automation, except the effects of Defer and Due dates and any repetitions. And there isn’t a single Perspective that shows all 4 groups organised together.
Anything Urgent is Flagged. Anything Important is one of a defined set of projects (in other words, if it’s in one of those projects, it’s Important, by definition; they’re grouped in a Folder called “Important”. Anything not flagged, or not in this projects is neither urgent nor important.
I have perspectives set up that allow me to see the 4 groups - they’re imperfect, but they’re good enough.
- A Flagged perspective shows me anything Urgent (Status is Flagged). Its organised by Folder, so I can see which Urgent tasks are Important and which aren’t. This gives me Urgent/Important and Urgent/Unimportant.
- An Important perspective has Focus set to my Important folder, but no status flag
That takes care of Urgent, Important and Urgent/Important
Anything else, I pick up in Review
As part of my review, I:
Set/reset flags for Urgent (learning on the way that some things I thought were urgent weren’t really).
Review the Important projects to see whether they still are
Review all the non-urgent/unimportant stuff to see whether it’s become either urgent or important
I use Defer dates for non-urgent stuff whichI know might/will become urgent later. Example: I do a quarterly VAT (tax) return (such fun, you wouldn’t believe) which has a fixed deadline. There’s a project set up with all the necessary actions (check receipts, calculate allowance etc) with a Due date of the deadline and a Defer dat 10 days in advance. The project is in the Important group, but it’s not urgent until the Defer date arrives). On that date, I flag it, and there it is in my Urgent/Important perspective
Hope that all makes sense