Why nested action exists

I just think “nested action” should be the “project” in the manner of GTD.
I cannot understand why “nested action” is better than “project”.

Actually, I’d like to make “nested project”…(not nested folder)

It fits how some people think about and plan projects. They can also be useful for having sequential sections in parallel projects.

I tend to avoid using them because it can become messy.

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Opposite is also true, as it is quite useful also to have parallel sections in sequential projects. (eg. for planning a trip, you might have to do some research before booking your planes/hotels/events… personally, I like not being forced to have multiple projects, and still being able to have my Research (nested) tasks available in parallel and once I complete them all, get my Booking tasks popping up in sequence)

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It allows me to create super-specific templates for repetitive parts of my job with a mixture of sequential and parallel groups of task, some of which are triggered by the completion of others.

One way I use nested actions is to control which actions I see in a sequential project. For example, if I have a sequential project that has the typically sequential actions of A, B, C, D, E, F, and G. On Monday, I complete action A, so B is now visible - typical sequential project behavior. However, during my evening review, I realize that once I complete action B, I need to be visibly tracking C and D as parallel actions because of the particular characteristics of that project (e.g., I need to delegate C to another person while I work on D). So, I create a new parallel parent action P in my sequential project and move actions C and D into action P as parallel children. In this design, both C and D are going to be available as soon as I finish B and I can track them to completion in parallel before starting action E.

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I use it for shopping lists. “Go shopping” is an action group, each individual needed item is a task within that action group.

A GTD purist might say that “Go shopping” should be a project. And that works too, but having it as an action group works better for me.

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Absolutely - definitely different takes on how to manage this. The value of a flexible system!


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Thank you for your attention and opinion all.

First, I am not GTD purist (though I like its methods).

I think the idea of parallel and serial mixture project is so awesome!
I was not aware it.
I’ll try to make the structure for my projects.

So far, OF has three type of task, “project”, “actions list” and “action”.

I just think it is more clear that,
A task has children tasks is “project”
A task just itself is “action”

If OF would support nested “project” and use it instead of “actions list”, it would be very simple.

Maybe, you can also make the mixture project with nested “project”.

Hmmm… Action Group whithin which project?

I avoid action groups since I don’t seem to grasp their usage… ¿Can you get more specific on this interesting idea?

Would you want to review all your nested actions separately in the review pane?

Even though you call everything a project, there’s an obvious hierarchy and we want to differentiate them for reviewing and other purposes, for instance.

The “Shopping” action group is in the project “Misc.” Which is where 90% of my projects live. I have a very simple OF setup.

Here’s an example of how I might cluster things. It’s a version of my actual ‘budget meeting’ template, with personal information stripped. Some things I want to become available after completing earlier actions, and some things become available after one of those things, etc. There’s no limit to how complex you could set this up to be.
Cut the linked-to Taskpaper stuff and paste it into OF to see what it looks like. Notice which action groups are marked as parallel vs sequential. Hope this helps; it’s authentic!

That’s awesome! makes sense!!
My mind got super clear!!

The project is just reminders to lead next actual action, not decided all of things, so needed review.
The actions list is obvious hierarchy of tasks that I know what I should do in the structure entirely, might be tasks template, no need review.

They should be separated definitely.

Fixing my question completely!
Thanks bananas1!

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Glad it helped!