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Hiding Tasks with Future Start Dates (Especially Recurring Ones!)

I'm about a week in to using IQTell, and I wonder if I'm configuring start dates wrong. I want to be able to set up tasks with start dates in the future so that they don't appear on my actions list until I need to work on them. Specifically, I have many weekly recurring tasks, and I don't want each task to replace itself as soon as I mark it completed, just with a later due date. My action list basically never shrinks this way, and I find myself looking at tasks that I don't need to think about for another week. Is there a way to configure actions with this sort of functionality?
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  • 3
    Hi Anthony,

    IQtell really does nothing with start dates as you might have experienced with other GTD application. It's just a way to say, "hey I started this thing on this date". You could in theory use a saved search to hide start dates, but I tried that in the beginning, it didn't work well. Also, as far as I know, recurrence only works on due dates.

    So, here is what I do. For items that are not recurring, that definitely have a "Start Date" in the future, use the Tickler folder, and the Follow-up date. You can set up IQTell to automatically propagate a Due Date -> Follow Date when moving the item, how to do that, is a different topic of a customization. But I think Follow-up Date is there in the default Tickler folder configuration.

    So anyway, enter a Tickler with a follow-up date, and get that item out of your Action folder. What I do to enhance this is set a folder-level reminder on the Tickler folder on the Follow-up date, so that morning, the reminder triggers on any Tickler for that date/time, and I decide to if I want to move it to Action, to postpone yet again the follow-up date in the future. And my GTD definition of a tickler is mainly 2 fold:
    (1) something I just physically cannot start before the follow-up date, for what ever reason. A "hard" start/follow-up date, if you willl
    (2) Something for whatever reason, I could do ASAP (on the Action folder), but I don't want to even think about it until such a certain follow-up date.

    Now, for recurring Actions on the due date, those are not Ticklers. So, to keep my Action folder somewhat cleaner, I created a sub-folder off my Actions folder called "Recurring Actions", and put any recurring action in this folder, and I sort by due date. Every morning, I do 2 things in the "mini-morning GTD triage" to pick my Next Actions (yellow star):
    (1) I star any of the Recurring Actions with today's date.
    (2) I scan my Actions for ones I want to attempt to get done today, usually the Priority = 1-High ( I don't use Time or Energy, those concepts didn't work well for me...I use a subjective priority).

    To help with picking Next Actions without due dates, I have saved Searches for my areas of focus (Personal & Work). Also, for the Actions folder, I have a folder-level reminder for any Action with a due date, so I make sure I star those as next actions when the reminder pops up (or email reminders depending on what I picked).

    -Brian

    PS: I also have another subfolder under Actions (besides Recurring Actions and Subtasks) called Inactive Project Actions. This is my way to not clog up my Actions folder (ASAP actions) with project actions that really are sequential. This is a kludge for IQTell's lack of sequential, dependent actions, which has been asked for by many, including yours truly ;-).

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  • 5
    What I do:

    * I access actions only through searches, as I never have a reason to access all the actions at the same time (not even on the weekly review)

    * All the searches has a "Start Date" confgiured this way:



    * Finally, in "folder attributes" of "Actions", I have a default value of a date in the past, so that any new action is visible by default:



    Once configured, the system works exactly as in other apps.
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  • Thank you all for your valuable feedback.
    We've created a ticket, described as follows.
    You further feedback will be appreciated.

    Per Actions or Projects folder have an addtl menu option, below "Show Completed",
    labeled "Show when prior to Start / Due Date"
    Sub-menu:
    =-=-=-=-=-
    1. "Hide prior to Start Date (or Start Date not set)", and if this was selected
    "Show prior to Start Date (or Start Date not set)"
    2. "Hide prior to Due Date (or Due Date not set)", and if this was selected
    "Show prior to Due Date (or Due Date not set)"

    These settings should *not* be honored for:
    - Next Actions
    - Saved Searches.

    Suggestions for better setup are welcome.
    • view 1 more comment
    • Hi Just wondering whether this is still on TeamIQTell's radar? Auto hiding of tasks with a future start date would make a great app superb!
    • Just curious...has this been completed? If so I cannot find it.
      If not, is it still on the roadmap? I hope so.

      Scott
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  • 3
    Actually, I think honoring the start/due date time for Next Actions should be configurable. Reason for this. I might want a dated action in the future to automatically go on my Next Action list, so then when that date arrives, it automatically goes onto my Dashboard's Next Action list, w/o the extra step of me having to star it. Again, configurable, as some folks might not want this (but I do...).

    Also, can we also honor/take into account the start/due date time? I often have tasks then need to get done later in the evening I do not want to see a 10am in the morning. This would be especially useful if you allow Next Actions to be honored. So at 4pm, I refresh my Next Actions, and all my > 4pm tasks appear ready to be dealt with.

    -Brian
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  • Hi. Any update on this? Hiding future actions would really assist in cutting through the mass of actions.
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  • 2
    It seems that there are two basic issues with IQTELL that are causing this problem we are experiencing.

    One is lack of recurring start dates. But even if you use due dates instead of start dates, one would then need to run a search that includes today, overdue, AND null values.

    Unfortunately, null values are also not supported in search.

    So essentially this problem has a solution, but it would first require IQTELL to:
    1. allow recurring start dates
    2. allow null searches for due date and start date

    This would then allow one to set up a search for all actions or actions by context, that need to be done on a given day automatically without having to scan through a large list of actions and not getting an accurate numerical indicator of what needs to and/or could be done on a given day within a context.
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  • I’m frustrated
    I am brand new to iqtell from another GTD application and all my recurring tasks are set by start date and automatically pop up in next actions on the start date. Before that - they are hidden. I don't want to look at all the tasks I cannot even start until a certain date. It is really disappointing that iqtell does not have this feature!
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  • I'm new to iqtell and am trying to get everything configured and have run into this requirement as well.

    I set a reoccurring task to pay my credit card bill and it sure doesn't make sense for it to sit in my list cluttering things up when the current billing period hasn't even ended. It would be great to set a reoccurring start date as well as due date and have it hidden until then.
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  • I'd recommend using filters (e.g., Today & Overdue) - this will hide actions that are not due yet.

    See this post, the relevant filter is shown in second comment.

    https://getsatisfaction.com/iqtell/to...
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  • 2
    Using a filter of today and overdue would show items that are due today or overdue. But not all items have due dates, so this does not solve the problem people are complaining about. I know a few people who have tried IQTELL and deleted the app after a few days for the very issue being discussed in this thread.
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  • Thanks for the response, but I agree with Nikolai. I don't think that this completely solves my issue. I don't set start dates that aren't firm, so most of my tasks are not assigned one.

    In addition, is there a way to make the start date reset to one month ahead of the previous start date on monthly reoccurring tasks? In the example of my credit card bill, this would be the desired effect, as the billing period ends on the same day of the month each month. So, the following day is always the first day that I can start paying it.
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  • Another issue is I like my actions to be organized according to context, as I like the GTD methodology. It is really annoying to pull up my context search and find it full of things I don't need to see. I tried many saved searches to solve this but eventually concluded there is not one that works. So I have to now not only put recurring ticklers in my action list, but also save them under a tickler project and give them a different context. The whole system is totally warped.
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  • You can specify a Saved Search that uses specific Context as the main criterion and add other criteria, so that you narrow such a search to what you need.

    Please brows our KB for "Saved Searches"
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  • 1
    I have set something like this up, but it's frustrating to have to make a custom search for each context. I thought that categories like context should help fast-track searches.

    This thread began 5 months ago with a rep promising this feature, but the team responses now seem to imply that this will not be implemented. Could you confirm whether or not this feature is supposed to be implemented?
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  • 1
    Context search has no way to not include actions, or recurring actions, that have not yet started.

    So, again, the complaint with IQTELL is that it shows all this stuff we do not want to see. Whether in context search or any other saved search, or just on the action list.

    EVERYONE I have talked to who has iqtell points this out to me as the reason they quit using it. It's just too hard to use as a product for this reason.
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  • 2
    Please take a look at Omnifocus which implements this really well. Essentially we need an "active" task view which would hide all tasks that are not active, ie their start date has not arrived, they are on hold or they are completed. One possibility would be to add an additional attribute for tasks (and indeed projects) that defaults to "active" unless the start date is in the future, it has been placed on hold or has been completed. Pretty please ....
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  • I’m frustrated and disappointed
    1
    I absolutely agree with all the other users in this feed that the custom searches are not the answer. They are an annoying work around. I have put all me actions that have not started yet in the tickler section, but then I constantly have to keep checking that file and moving things around when the start date begins. It is time consuming and inefficient. I do not understand why it appears that Iqtell does not want to address this problem head on, and instead keeps offering only complicated filters.

    Iqtell: You can also look at NirvanaHQ to see the proper start date implimentation. It is beautifully done. You don't see the tasks until the start date and then they automatically appear in your task list. They are automatically starred if you indicated that as well.

    I have been using the free trial of Iqtell for the past 6 weeks and I really like it, except for this issue, which is a huge breaking point for me. I may have to keep looking for another GTD program.
    • I agree. I am also in the free trial and considering migrating from NirvanaHQ because I really like IQTELL's email integration. However, this is a big enough deal to kariwhit's point that it would be a deal killer for me also.

      NirvanaHQ does handle the tickler file and reoccurring tasks very well. Tickler items in Nirvana can be reoccurring and will automatically appear in the action or next action list (whichever I designate) on the future date I assign to it. That's what a tickler file is. It holds action items that I don't want to see until I want to take action on them. A tickler file is not a reference folder, nor a calendar, and should only include actionable items that I want to start working on on a future date. That's why it makes sense to have it auto-appear in the action/next action folder. Having to go back and check my ticker folder all the time defeats the purpose of having a tickler file if it's not tickling me and requiring me to do all the tickling. Why do I assign a "follow up date" if this item doesn't do anything on that date (that's the beauty of digital that we can have the item automatically do something on that date, in this case appear in the action/next action list). There are many areas that I like better about IQTELL but this particular area is frustrating enough that it may spoil the whole thing for me. I'm taking the time to explain this in the hope that it prompts a change if it's not being considered or prioritizes this change if it's already in the works.

      I believe I am in your ideal target market. I'm looking for email integration into a GTD service. I have been doing GTD now for 6 years and have read David Allen's book three times in order to fine tune my system as I take on more responsibilities. There are many things about IQTELL I really like but this void negates the positives, unfortunately.

      Thanks for reading my thoughts.
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  • I’m happy
    1
    I see all of these comments and don't quite understand why there is a problem. I work in the same manner with a 'start date' to filter out future activity. It is really easy to save a search called "Active Tasks" with the filter =
    "Starting: Days before Today - 0 - ending with that day"

    Than I save it as a "Watch List", which places it at the top of the page.

    This works quite well for me.
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  • I'd recommend using the filter "Today & Overdue"

    This will "hide/filter" all actions with a future due date.

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  • This reply was removed on 2014-12-08.
    see the change log
  • 5
    I think basically the issues I see that are causing this problem are:
    1. There is not an effective solution in IQTELL for recurring actions. First, the tickler folder does not allow recurance last I checked. Second, the action list cannot be used for recurring actions because A) it does not have recurring start dates, and B) does not hide actions that have not started yet. To use the action list as it IQTELL has it set up, would violate the basic GTD principle articulated in David Allen's book "Ready for Anything" that states, roughly, that all actions that can be done, but not those which cannot be done yet, must be visible at any time when viewing a context list.
    2. Filters do not work as a patch for this lack of meeting this fundamental GTD requirement. The main reason is you cannot simulaneously search for all the elements that this would require. Today & Overdue does not solve this problem, for example, because not all actions have due dates, etc. Nobody has yet found a filter that solves this issue to my knowledge.

    Proposed fixes:
    1. Allow recurring start dates,
    2. Allow recurring ticklers.
    3. Have items that have not started yet, be hidden until their start date, including recurring ones.
    4. Improve the filters to allow more complex searches. Like an "OR" logic or something like that. Change saved search folder name to filters.
    5. Have actions within projects be sequentiable, so that you don't have to do your task planning constantly at the same time you are doing action phase. The next action in sequence should automatically pop up in the next action list when the one before it is checked off. This would be more consistent with GTD idea of separation of phases.

    Not sure it this will cover everything but it's a place to start.
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  • 1
    I have found that I can hide my tasks that have not started yet (not recurring ones, that's a different issue) as long as I have a start date on ALL my tasks.  It would be very helpful to have the macro in email to have a start date option, or for all tasks to default to start on "today" unless otherwise specified.
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  • 1
    Another example would be filing monthly expenses.
    I want to be reminded February 1 to file January's business expenses for reimbursment, but there isn't really a deadline for that.
    I just don't want it clogging my actions list until the month is over, and once I complete it I wanted it hidden again until the first of the next month.
    There are many examples where repeat from start date and reset start date makes sense.
    Is this going to be in the update??
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  • I'd like to share my current workaround. But what I've done is created a separate Google calendar within my account that has repeating events that I've set up to send email reminders. This way these future events still come to me for processing at the right time and isn't clogging my next action lists until the right time. It's not perfect, of course, because each time I have to set an IQTELL due date, context, "next action," etc. Of course you can hide the calendar as well so that it's not visible to keep all but the email reminders out of sight unless needed.

    To me this has been the biggest headache with using IQTELL, and honestly it's a small one compared to how great the service is.
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  • 1
    Hello everyone, I'm a new user and noticed this missing feature as well. Seems like the request is going back for a long time. Is this feature on the road map? Omnifocus does handle this well, while other apps like Todoist (which are not GTD specific) are missing it. IQTell, as a GTD focused application should have this feature, no doubt about. Can we get an update?
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  • I use the Tickler File function in IQTELL. It functions the same as the Tickler File does in David Allen's book.

    If I need to schedule a Doctor's appointment no earlier than July for October, I create a tickler "Schedule Doctor's appointment" and enter the date for July 1st. I will then get an email on July 1st reminding me to move this into actions.
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  • What is the timeline for this feature? I've come back to and left IQTELL 3 times now hoping for this feature and it still hasn't been implemented? It seems like a no brainer!

    For bill payments I just want them to pop up during a certain window until I've settled them. I don't want to have to create a new tickler every month! Due dates don't work because they'll clog up my actions list as soon as they are completed even if I don't want them to show up for several weeks.
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  • 1
    This has worked for me really well and an icon for it shows up on my mobile app as well:

    (Copied from above where you can see his screen shots)
    fmonera

    What I do:

    * I access actions only through searches, as I never have a reason to access all the actions at the same time (not even on the weekly review)

    * All the searches has a "Start Date" confgiured this way:

    * Finally, in "folder attributes" of "Actions", I have a default value of a date in the past, so that any new action is visible by default:

    Once configured, the system works exactly as in other apps.
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