Beta 2 was released yesterday, May 18th with several new features. A big thank you to our beta testers who gave some great feedback that helped shape a number of features in this release. This post will walk through the new features and provide some ideas on how you can use them.
Checklists and Resource Info Support
In Beta 2 users now have the ability to create checklists and add resource information to other tasks and projects. The checklist feature can be handy in a number of ways. From the simple grocery list to highly complex processes the use of checklists to make processes easily repeatable has been proven to improve productivity and reduce errors significantly. In the excellent book The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande a number of studies are shown where the introduction of checklists in complex areas is a proven way to reduce errors and increase productivity.
Here are a few examples of how to use checklists in GTDNext.
When you create a shopping list you really don’t want each item on your list to be a “next action” and only show up in the next action list after the previous shopping item has been added to your cart. You also wouldn’t want to force all the other shopping list actions to show up on your next action list as that would make your next action list unnecessarily large. The solution is to create your list as is shown below. First create your shipping list and then simply mark the top level item as an “action” in the mode drop down in the task pane. This will automatically change all items below to “info” and they won’t clog up your next actions list.
Imagine having a weekly review task where you can easily check off all the steps necessary to perform you weekly review. Just create the list once and use it each week to help you stay on track as you perform your weekly review. Once again, the main action here is to perform your weekly review. You don’t necessarily want each and every one of these checklist items to be on your next action list. Once we add scheduled and re-occurring actions this will be even easier to use!
Info / Resource Information Support
The use of the “info” mode in GTDNext is also very helpful for quickly accessing information related to a task. GTDNext already has the ability to add notes to each action or project, but sometimes it is nice to see project support information right on your project outline.
Here are a few examples of how this could be helpful.
Single Item Projects
This one comes directly from our beta participants. Participants wanted a way to add single items in the tree as a project instead of as a single action item. Before Beta 2 released the default behavior was for any single items added to the outline to be added as a single action. You basically had to add any kind of action to the project to make it appear a project. Now you can specify what mode the item you are adding should be. Either a project or an action. The default AUTO setting will add single items. This feature is handy when you think of a project, that you know you need to do, but you have not had a chance to think of the next actions associated with the project. Just select “Project” from the mode list in the Edit Panel after you create the action.
Quick Add Bar
We have replaced the “Create Action” button with a faster and more intuitive quick add bar.
Just Press TAB+N or click in the text box to open the panel. it will reveal an area where you can quickly brain dump new items that come to mind. They will show up in your inbox and at the top of your outline for organizing later. Press the ESC key or click away from the panel when you are done adding actions.
Force Next at the Project Level
Another beta tester generated idea. The concept is simple. Add an option to allow all new new actions to appear on your next list automatically. By default only the next action in your project outline is put on your next action list. However, many times when people add items to a project they want to make sure they review it later, or sometimes people just want all items added to a project to be on their next list. This feature provides that functionality. Simply click the grey “N” at the project level in outline view and your entire project will now have the “Force Next” option automatically applied to any new actions added to the project. Current actions will stay as selected, but any new action that is added to the project, no matter when in the outline it is added will have the Force Next option applied and it will appear in your Next Action list.
A few More Items as Well
We added several other small features, including an easy way to delete items and fixed a few minor bugs and did some minor UI tweaks. The full release notes are located on our forum.
We would love to hear your thoughts on our new features and if you haven’t already joined our closed beta, there is still time. Click here to apply.