New Perspective question

I’m a little confused as to how to create a perspective that will show the following:

• action items that are due
• action items whose defer date begins this week
• sorted by projects

How do I do this?


Unfortunately, I don’t think this is doable… The real trick is the second item. Perspectives are essentially designed to show you what you’re looking at now, based on the present.

So you can either show actions that are “Available” now (which your deferred items won’t be), or all items that are “Remaining” (which will include everything).

The Forecast view, with the appropriate option turned on, would help you see items that have defer dates later in the week.

Alternatively, you could create a perspective that includes “Remaining” items that would sort by Defer Dates, to put those up near the top, but you’d still end up seeing everything else below that, and you wouldn’t be sorting by project (although you could still “group by” projects).


Thanks! I will have to slowly re-read what you wrote and also the perspectives portion of the manual. This is so confusing!

I also realize that I don’t know what “remaining”, “available”, and “first available” means.

I didn’t realize that in Forecast you could change it to include “defer items”. This could be very helpful.

Essentially, I don’t want defer and overdue things to simply disappear from my view.

Haha, some of the terminology takes a while to get used to, but once you’ve figured it out, it’s not as complicated as it sounds.

While it’s difficult to make due and overdue things disappear, the whole point of deferred items is not to see them until you’re actually ready to start doing them. Seeing them in a forecast can be handy in some cases, which is why the option is there, but you may find that once you’ve got a trusted system in place, you don’t even really need that, depending of course on what your deferred items are and how much you need to plan ahead. That said, however, including deferred items in the Forecast view should be more than sufficient for most planning purposes.

For my purposes, the whole point of deferring items is to keep them off my radar until I want to see them again. That includes Forecast views in my case, which are completely limited to items that are actually due. Since the vast majority of my “defer dates” are for tasks without due dates, in my system they’re inherently unimportant until they’re ready to reappear. For those tasks that are deferred and have due dates, the due date in the Forecast view is what’s important to me, not the defer date.

To summarize some of the terminology:

  • Remaining includes any task that hasn’t been completed. Pretty much everything, whether it’s due, deferred, blocked, flagged, or whatever.
  • Available refers only to tasks that have not been blocked by other actions or deferred. In other words, things you can actually do now. If a task has a defer date or time in the future, or is part of a sequential project that has another task before it, it will not appear in the list of “Available” items.
  • First Available is a special case that only really applies to “Parallel” projects. It works like available, but shows only the first available task in the project.

Note that Available and First Available behave identically when working with Sequential Projects and Single Action Lists. Personally, I very rarely use First Available since to me the whole point of a parallel project is that the steps can be done in any sequence.


I’m not sure I fully understand exactly what you’re looking for here, but you could try using:

Group actions by: Defer Date
Sort actions by: Project
Filter by availability: Remaining

…and see if that’s close to what you want. Assuming you have nothing with a past defer date you would get groupings for ‘today’, ‘tomorrow’, etc. You could also collapse any groupings you weren’t interested in and save the perspective again to keep it collapsed.

1 Like