Working with Outline view in GTDNext

Posted 06/17/14 by James and filed under:

The Projects and Actions list in GTDNext displays an outline (sometimes called tree view) of all projects, sub-projects and tasks in one easy to filter view.   It is one of our most powerful task management features.  Filtering the outline by different areas and tags is a great way to get the big picture of your area while still allowing you to easily focus or zoom in on a single project or sub-project.  Today’s post will provide you with tips and tricks to make sure you are able to utilize all the power of the outline view.

Moving Around the Outline

The outline view works well with both mouse and keyboard.  You can quickly move up and down the outline using the UP ARROW or the DOWN ARROW keys or simply use your mouse to click on the task you want to edit.   Creating a new task is as easy as creating a new line.  Just move your cursor to the end of any line and press ENTER.  Move your cursor to the start of a line and use the TAB key and SHIFT TAB to indent the outline.  This turns a task into a Project or a Sub-Project.

Watch this quick video for an overview of moving around and using the Projects and Actions list outline view.


Once you get a few dozen projects and a few hundred tasks into GTDNext, you will find the filtering buttons extremely handy.   These allow you to filter your list by Area or Tag.   You can have as many areas or tags as you want.  Use Areas to break down the areas of responsibility in your life.

Try to keep the list of Areas small, but create as many as make sense for you.  I have one for Family, Household, Work, Personal and Volunteer.  This allows me to easily filter the list when I am reviewing it or want to focus on a particular area for a block of time.   You can add multiple Tags to your projects and tasks and easily filter the Projects and Actions view by those Tags.

From a GTD perspective, you can add context such as “phone”, “online”, or “errand”,  but you can also use it for other purposes such as tagging people you want to talk with.  In our forum you can see some great examples of this and suggestions from our users on how they use tags.

Task Management Software Tag Filtering

Expanding, Collapsing and Displaying Completed Items

The ability to expand or collapse the outline of projects and tasks in the Project and Actions view makes managing large outlines very easy.  Click the icons shown below any time you want to quickly collapse or expand your outline.

GTD Task Software Outline view

Zooming in on Items

One of my favorite features of GTDNext is the ability to zoom into any level of your project and task outline and filter the entire outline down to a specific project or task.  To zoom in,  just press and hold down CTRL while clicking anywhere on a project or task.  This will zoom into the outline.  You can zoom back out by clicking on the breadcrumbs directly above the project.  If you have ever used Workflowy you will be familiar with this feature.  It really helps focus your attention on a particular project for planning purposes.

Zoom feature like Workflowy for Task Managment

Dragging Items

Dragging tasks and projects allows you to organize and prioritize your tasks.  Just click and hold the plus sign icon with four arrows on the right side of the outline and drag the task or project where you want it to appear in the outline.  I tend to move my most important projects to the top of the list and put my someday maybe projects or waiting projects on the bottom.

Putting it all Together

These simple tips will help you utilize the full power of the Project and Action Outline view in GTDNext.  One of the most powerful features of our task management software for GTD.

Let us know what you think of these features below or click here to discuss on our forum.