+ Add Suggestion

Top task in all current projects searchable as list of "next actions"


Problem: you want to search to find out what is the "next action" in all your live projects.

Bad Solution:
You could add a "next action" tag to these tasks but once they are completed you will have to then add the "next action" tag to the next actions in those projects.

Proposed solution:
Say you have 10 projects and you'd like to see what is the next task in all of them. Then a default tag or specific button to search for "next actions" would be handy. This would show all the actions that are at the top of the project task lists.

Additionally, for those who are implementing GTD and have a Sometime/Future and Reference list of projects that you wouldn't want to reference for actions, perhaps there could additionally be a tag or check-box beside all project names to inform Todoist that these are current projects and so can be searched on for "next actions".

All responses

John Vilk premium
Replied on Apr 10, 2012 - 08:45

I really, really, really want this feature (automated next action tag to first item in projects, or way to view these items alone).

Basically, there are two ways that I like to view my todoist account:

* What NEEDS to be done today? (Which is when I view the convenient 'today' view)
* What CAN I do today? (Which is when I want to view next actions)

The problem with not having this feature is that checking off a next action involves multiple steps:
* Check off the task.
* Go to the project that had that task.
* Click on the next incomplete action in that project to edit it.
* Mark that action as 'next action'.

This is literally the only missing feature that I'd like from todoist. Heck, I'd be willing to upgrade to premium for it.

Shiri Dori-Hacohen
Replied on Apr 10, 2012 - 10:09

Yes, yes, I agree!!! This is a must. And as both Darren and John mention, hacking this in as a user is pretty painful.

Replied on Nov 26, 2012 - 04:12

I have always liked the implementation of that todo list "Life Balance". I could have a task like "Paint the bedroom" with a dependent task of "Buy paint". So in my task list, "Paint the bedroom" would be hidden until "Buy paint" was marked completed. Very nice. Any possible way to fake this in the meantime?

Josh premium
Replied on Jan 16, 2013 - 10:46

I would second David's addition. Being able to associate tasks with other tasks (in terms of, "This task starting is dependent on this other task ending") would be extremely helpful, and is the most useful feature I can currently think of adding to Todoist.

One task could have quite a number of disparate tasks, across projects, linked as dependencies. It is currently pretty difficult to mirror this real-world, regular occurrence in Todoist, so a solution along these lines would be great.

Replied on Jun 11, 2013 - 15:32

For GTD heres how I get round this problem:

The priority 1 (red) is renamed 'next action' and applied to the very next action across each project then a filter is set up to shown all next actions (priority 1)

Projects i'm 'actively' engaged with have a green colored dot and those that are someday maybe are grey.

Labels are used for context, but only applied to projects that are active i.e. green dot. This is important as it stops you being swamped by next actions that you are not engaged with.

Your right when you complete a next action, the next next action is not automatically created ....... but this is how I do my weekly review, previously this was the habit I never maintained, now I'm forced into the habit to review an reapply next actions

For single next actions I create a project called 'one Action' and change it's dot to blue so I can spot the quick wins whilst looking at the next action filter i created earlier.

hope this helps

james premium
Replied on Sep 01, 2013 - 22:21

Did this feature ever get added?

James Titus premium
Replied on Sep 03, 2013 - 13:59

I'm looking at Todist - I'm currently a user of NirvanaHQ.com. I would love to see a feature like this. Nirvana isn't very active in it's development, which is why I'm looking at todist. But what I can't seem to figure out is a good way to implement more GTD type features that Nirvana has. Like next action and someday maybe and scheduled tasks. Is that stuff coming? Or not in scope for this app?

David Trey staff
Replied on Sep 03, 2013 - 14:11


All these features are already available at Todoist. When you add a new task or click on an existing task to edit it, simply type @next into its name. This will create a "next" label which you can click and view all tasks across all projects that have this label.

You can add multiple labels into tasks both for status (@next, @in_progress, @waiting, @followup etc.) or context (@home, @work, @laptop) and then use advanced searches to find them, such as: "today & @home | @laptop".

Furthermore, you can prioritize tasks. Either type !p1, !p2, !!3 or !!4 within the task's name or right-click on it to pick the priority. You can then also search them by priority or a combination or all task's properties, for example - tasks due within 5 days, that are in progress, but not priority 1: "5 days & @in_progress & !p1".

As for "someday" tasks - you can put these into the default "inbox" or simply don't add any due date to them and then you can search for "no date" to find all these tasks.

Best regards,

james premium
Replied on Sep 03, 2013 - 18:38

Hi David,

Thanks for the reply.

I'm looking for something different.

Lets say all my projects have sequential tasks, not parallel tasks.

And I have 3 tasks in those projects. i only want to see the next action across all the projects without having to manually tag them as next actions, thats a work around and very time consuming.

I totally understand contexts and priorities however I still can't see without any workaround how this works.

Josh premium
Replied on Sep 03, 2013 - 23:15

That's because there isn't such functionality in Todoist at present, no matter how many of us ask for it.

To say that other additions that have been made to Todoist in the meantime are questionable in terms of what value they add, is an understatement.

james premium
Replied on Sep 04, 2013 - 00:57

Thanks Josh, thats clarified it for me.

James Titus premium
Replied on Sep 04, 2013 - 01:43

sounds like we need to get a bunch more people to vote for this. At 107 it probably will never get done

james premium
Replied on Sep 04, 2013 - 02:26

How many do you need

Josh premium
Replied on Sep 04, 2013 - 02:47

Unless it gets above 500 votes, there is little chance it will be acted on, it seems.

Sad, since only one of the features currently over 500 votes appeals to me whatsoever (though the one that does, would be very helpful: Chained ToDos).

james premium
Replied on Sep 04, 2013 - 16:36

This is missing from all web apps but nirvana. I am looking to move but if todoist doesn't have it then its not for me.

Oh we'll ill keep looking.

Shiri Dori-Hacohen
Replied on Sep 08, 2013 - 13:45

Just wanted to pipe in again (I'm one of the original posters on this issue). I've since switched to NirvanaHQ for various reasons (incl. a bug that only I was experiencing...), but today I would not be able to go back to Todoist for precisely the lack of this feature. I think Todoist is superior to Nirvana in several ways (smoother interface, easier/faster data entry, and great customer service!) but Nirvana is the best approximation to GTD practices and therefore wins my business these days.

David, much as I appreciate your response, I'd like to impress on you that manually tagging items with a "next" context is in no way equivalent to an automatically-generated "Next Actions" list. I have well over a hundred next actions (in many different contexts), and there is much churn in this list as my system changes daily. While I was using Todoist, I had a very difficult time maintaining this list properly as a manually-tagged list and this impeded my GTD work significantly. Now that I have seen an alternative I would like to emphasize what a huge difference this is between the approaches. Next actions are not just another context.

james premium
Replied on Sep 08, 2013 - 23:54

@David Trey

How do we get more traction on this feature?

Without this todoist is a nice taks manager, but its no GTD manager.

David Trey staff
Replied on Sep 09, 2013 - 08:34

Hello James,

Unfortunately, we can't give you any estimate when such feature will be implemented. We currently work on some great new features incl. project sharing, task assignments etc. but as always, we'll keep updating Todoist with other useful features... as long as they will not influence the simplicity and ease-of-use of Todoist.

If you have a suggestion how exactly you would like this feature to work and look like, you're more than welcome to let us know, we always appreciate our customers' ideas and they help us a lot.

Best regards,

james premium
Replied on Sep 09, 2013 - 17:08

Okay thanks David.

James Titus premium
Replied on Sep 09, 2013 - 17:11

Okay, thanks for the info David. I've canceled my premium subscription for now. I'll keep checking back in the future. My personal preference is to use a system that is focused on GTD methodologies. It's clear that this is more of a general purpose to do list app. It is great for what it does! Just not what I need.

take care

Jonaz Vaneryd
Replied on Sep 11, 2013 - 03:40

I'm not using pure GTD, but I work more on "what's next in my projects to move them forward" than based on dates.

Love the Next Action view in Things, and would love to see a similar view of tasks in Todoist. (In Things you can also set the number of "next tasks" you'd like to see from each project).

Having a "menu of available next tasks” keeps my projects moving forward - extnesive use of (unnecessary) dates just makes me freeze in horror...

Keep up the good work

Tony Voss premium
Replied on Sep 21, 2013 - 03:57

Hi - I strongly support the case for being able to filter out tasks that are not proceedable until another task is completed.

The simplest way of implementing this would be to have an attribute for a task of 'proceedable' and for this to be TRUE only if it is first in a chain. One way of doing this without extra complication would be a magic label, perhaps with the syntax @^proceedable, whereby filters would only match this label if it is first in the chain. So searching on @^proceedable (or maybe @proceedable) would only find those that are first in the chain.

Ah! But we don't have chains/dependencies yet. I would settle for using the order of sub-tasks to imply dependency for this purpose. That is, if the label @^proceedable has been attached to a sub-task, it will only match if it is the first sub-task. True task chaining could be a later project.

I really need this or some such solution - it would drastically shorten my viewed lists of tasks.

Christian deTorres premium
Replied on Nov 08, 2013 - 16:18

Dependencies would be a lovely addition. A simple first step would be the ability to toggle a task as sequential, which would make all its subtasks ordered and dependent on the prior. Creating complex dependency maps is a troublesome thing (although Mindjet Tasks manages it nicely. Too bad for me their Android app is horrible).

This request also connects to the one for the ability to save custom searches--which I __thought__ Todoist had when I signed up (bummer, but not a deal breaker).

Other tools address ordered tasks by including a "checklist" feature. Some basically make this a subtype of a note or comment.

@David Weaver: I love the "Life Balance" app, and have been searching for a replacement for years. It seems that its only counterpart is the hard-to-use and perhaps excessively complex "My Life Organized". Does anyone else have any suggestions for modern Life Balance alternatives? A web-based version with mobile sync would be my dream.

goldtop.mail premium
Replied on Jan 18, 2014 - 11:02

Would love this to be implemented - having tasks chained stops you feeling too overwhelmed (ie you don't see the entire list of tasks, unless you really want to) but encourages steady progress on projects...

Russ Charif premium
Replied on Jan 22, 2014 - 08:30

See also the discussion of the closely-related "chained to-do" feature here: http://todoist.com/Vote/showProposal/138/

Frank Piacitelli
Replied on Feb 25, 2014 - 22:01

@Christian deTorres: I too am a longtime user of Life Balance. I think it by far has the best algorithms and system for people who have too many things to do and need help deciding what to work on at any given time. I've been tenaciously looking for alternatives but have yet to find one. I'm trying Todoist because they've done what Life Balance has not -- created a pleasant UI and great "cloud" synchronization. Todoist seems geared toward simple projects and tasks that have simple deadlines. I need to manage tons of tasks, and to be able to compare them in importance, input how they relate to larger goals, and then get direction from the software on what to work on "right now". Life Balance is great at this, but alas, it only works on my mac. I've barely tried Todoist yet … it operates seamlessly from my mac to my android mobile, but so far I'm having trouble getting everything "out of my head" in the GTD sense. If Todoist would better handle goals/projects/subtasks etc without deadlines, that would really make it work for me.

Ryan Walsh premium
Replied on Mar 02, 2014 - 14:01

The feature I am looking for here is task "status". Labels are good for "contexts". Projects are good for filing and organizing. As a long time toodledo user this is the one feature (or lack there of) keeping me on the fence. For a heavy GTD user a "next action" status is critical.

David Trey staff
Replied on Mar 03, 2014 - 06:55

Hello Ryan,

Labels can be used for status, type @waiting, @in_progress or @next to set a "status label" to a task. You can color-code labels so you can use a separate color for those that represent a status :-)

Best regards,

Kaye premium
Replied on Mar 17, 2014 - 14:21

David, to help you understand what people who follow "Getting Things Done" methods want: Give users the option to label a project [or task] "Sequential" (and maybe show this via eg using extra-bold text or a different colour). We can then make a sequential list of tasks [or subtasks] under that project - ie: later tasks can only take place after previous ones are done - eg: (1). think of heading for a short article (2). think about various approaches to the article and decide on one (3). map out topics to be covered in 6 paragraphs (4). write paragraphs 1-3 (5). write paragraphs 4-6 (6).review and edit article. (7). ask Fred to review article (8) incorporate Fred's comments (9) submit article to john. We put the tasks in a desired order. At any point in time the only task of interest to us is the next one (following on from any that are already completed). So you need to come up with a filter that brings up only the first task in each project that we have labelled as a sequential project - WITHOUT US HAVING TO LABEL IT OURSELVES. We don't want to have to relabel the next item in list as "next" every time we complete a task. I'm sure you can do this, and you'd be WAY ahead of other apps if you could find a way to do it. make it optional. you'd get all the GTD addicts loving your app!

Paul Wilburn premium
Replied on Mar 19, 2014 - 08:40

Kaye, that would be quite the feature. Personally I don't mind panning through my projects doing a review. It helps me to stay fresh and know that all my next actions, and subsequent actions are all stored.

You might be suggesting a level of GTD that I have not ascended to.

I love the GTD system-- been using it for a month now. Todoist has been great in helping me organize all my actions, projects, someday/maybe's, waitingfors, etc.. Considering the alternative methods, programs, or apps out there, I'll take Todoist hands down any day.