Issue picking a Next Action from lots of Single Action projects - and my solution

Thought I would share my struggle and recent solution with having a lot of Single Action lists, to sort through and figure out what “Next Action” to flag for today (my Today Perspective, basically Available, Flagged or Due).

The issue again is that along with my myriad of parallel and sequential projects, which are easy to pick next actions (sequential being just that, and I generally list parallel in a somewhat 1-N sequence, thereby using First Available views), not so with single actions. And for each of my Areas of Focus (folders) and sub-folders, I have typically a Misc single action list (Personal Misc, Kids Misc, House Misc, Work Misc, Financial Misc.). Again, these are by buckets to keep things organized, as designed.

Problem is, when I view Available actions, they all show up. I have Work and Personal Next Action perspectives, and all those single action projects list everything, and I find it hard to pick things out with the rest of my parallel & sequential. Sure, I could make more perspectives with a focus on subfolders, but I think my perspectives would get out of hand.

So, I decided to use a pseudo-like priority, and generate a new perspective around it. I use TextExpander (or TextExpander Touch in iOS) to pre-pend a (High) - on those tasks I subjectively feel in the single action projects kind of need to get done in the next few days/week. I use a !! to expand to (High) - . So then, I have a perspective across all my areas of focus that has a (High) - in the text field to search. Moreover, my Next (Work and Personal) perspectives have Grouping = Project, Sorting = Name. This automatically then will bump the (High) items in the Single action projects to the top. This makes scanning items to flag much easier with those single action projects.

Just thought I’d share. It’s a little kludgey, but with lots of single action projects, I feel for me it helps. TextExpander makes this additional effort virtually painless :-).