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Tagging Your Tasks (Part 1: Introduction)

The Fractal Planner now has tags.

You can tag any task with any tag you want to define. And the interface makes it super-intuitive and easy to use.

But let me caution you. Don’t go crazy with tagging. It will defeat the purpose of using a planning tool that allows you to break down projects as fast as you can type.

I will say more about tagging your tasks in upcoming posts, but here’s a quick overview.

In this post I’ll do the following:

  1. Make some general comments
  2. Show briefly how to tag your tasks (a video is forthcoming)
  3. Make some concluding remarks.

General Comments

If you come from a “Getting Things Done” or Franklin/Covey background, you could already implement those systems pretty well with the Fractal Planner, but the addition of tags now allows you to implement those systems pretty much to the letter.

All Fractal Planner tags are user-defined. Here are some sample tags you might add:

  • phone calls
  • email
  • errands
  • priority values (‘1′, ‘2’, ‘3’, etc.)

As I said above, I want you to resist any temptation you might have to add too many tags.

You should NOT, for instance, feel the need to tag every task you add. That would add an extra layer of bureaucracy to your planning system, and slow you down as you break down tasks. One of the main benefits of using the Fractal Planner is that you can break projects down lightning fast, and not have to make decisions about the tasks and subtasks as you create them.

Tags are most useful when you have tasks that can be done at the same time, or in the same context, but they’re scattered among your projects, so they don’t naturally show up in one place together.

For instance, I think having a “phone” tag — ha ha “phone tag” ;) — makes a lot of sense. If you’re the kind of person who likes to set aside a block of time to do all your phone calls, regardless of which project they’re a part of, tagging your phone call tasks gives you a way to pull up all your phone calls into one to do list so you can process those tasks efficiently.

How To Tag Tasks

This is a super-quick explanation. More documentation (including a video) is coming.

At first you will have to define a new tag category or two.

Next to every task you have your function icons. If you expand those icons to get the full set, you’ll see a “new tag” icon.

Click that, and you’ll get a popup page that allows you to define a new tag category.

Once you define that tag, it will show up in the tag list.

If you want to tag an item, just click on the tag icon, and it will disappear from the list and show up next to the item description.

Then when you want to view all the tasks that have the same tag together you use the form at the bottom of the page.

And here’s what the tag view page looks like.

Concluding Remarks

The tagging feature is complete and ready to use.

If you don’t use the Fractal Planner yet, and are familiar with Getting Things Done, this will give you one more reason to get started today.

Take care.



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