Today Bankruptcy

Despite my recent critique of Things, it is still my main task organization tool. One of the main views in the app is the “Today” view. This should be my driver throughout the day, but because of how disorganized I am, it can sometimes become cluttered with a large number of aspirational tasks that I wanted to get to, but never did. What happens then is that instead of being an useful tool to keep my day on track, it is a superset of “nice to do” tasks. l then end up pushing tasks around based on what I really want to do today. Not great. And once the list grows long enough, it can be downright depressing to open.

I could simply clear the date from all of the tasks—Inbox bankruptcy style—but that triggers a different type of anxiety. Unlike my Inbox, I added all these tasks throughout the day, and only certain ones got added to Today (easy: ⌘-T). So being in Today at all does imply a higher priority that I don’t want to lose through a mass clearing.

My solution to this conundrum is to use tags. I have a parent tag called today_bankruptcy, and when I decide the Today view has become unwieldy and I need to clean it up, I make a dated child tag and apply it to everything in the Today view. Then I remove the date from all the tasks.

This gives me some immediate relief from the crushing overload of tasks, allowing me a fresh start at day management. But I can still subsequently review any “bankruptcy” tags and move or update the tasks as needed.