Thanks for your kind advice. Yes, the app I think you are referring to has that extra "List" level, which is very useful - the lists can represent goals or AoRs or whatever you like to put your projects in, and it also has priorities, which is something I appreciate and use to represent review frequency.
And this really brings me back to my original topic, but from a better angle. I called this thread "Project Structure". I now realize this was a bit narrow. It was influenced by the fact that in my current app the left menu items are called projects. But in fact I do not use these strictly for projects, neither in the GTD sense nor in the regular sense. I do use them for major current projects, but also for goals/visions and for AoR containers for the ongoing stuff (such as smaller projects). So actually a more generic word, such as "List", suits me just fine, but I do not mind at all if it is called "Project", as long as I can use it for whatever I want.
So, to summarize and actually rephrase my original post, let me try this:
Desired Feature: Universal Container
Instead of developing a ton of different features, all having different names and capabilities, develop one "universal container" that can be used for projects or for anything else, and which has these key characteristics:
- can contain tasks and other "universal containers"
- has "parasequential" capabilities (or equivalent sequencing/activation functionality)
- can be put "under" one or more other "universal containers" and/or on the main menu
All in all, these three simple characteristics of the "universal container" would give the user the means to:
- have a good total overview (typically in the left panel) of his/her overall situation, with a manageable number of items ("universal containers") that can represent projects, area folders, goals or whatever makes sense to the user, and which, in turn, can contain other "universal containers" and tasks in a hierarchy that can be as flat or as deep as the user wants.
- have a good overview within each "universal container" (at any and all levels), with a manageable number of tasks and further "universal containers" in it.
- have a clear record of relationships and dependencies between different parts of this hierarchy, such as certain lower-level things being necessary for several higher-level purposes, or several contextually similar things in different parts of the hierarchy being planned to get done in a coordinated (batched) way.
- be able to have perfectly clean "active lists" (Next, Waiting list etc), with no not-yet-relevant tasks, and with no now-relevant tasks missing. (There can be more than just one task from each project being concurrently relevant.)
- conveniently (or even automatically) bringing sequentially dependent tasks to the "active" state (Next; Waiting etc) when the preceding tasks have been completed.
Proposed name for the "universal container": Project
Projects is one of the main intended uses of the "universal container". No need to confuse new users with strange names or a multitude of names. Projects can benefit greatly from all the required characteristics of the "universal container", including both the hierarchical/dependency aspects and the sequencing/activation aspects. Goals are no different from projects in these respects, but may stay longer on the list and have a more uncertain final outcome. Folders of various types, such as AoR folders, typically need no sequencing (at that level), but if the "universal container" has the active state as its default (as suggested here) it will serve this purpose as well without the user even lifting a finger.
I believe it is most intuitive to call it Project, and to describe the other intended (or possible) uses in the user manual.
Last edited by Folke; 10-01-2013 at 06:52 AM.