FacileThings

FacileThings: New GTD Dashboard!

AUTHOR: Francisco Sáez

Developing the new Dashboard has taken us longer than we had anticipated because we have been very concerned about taking care of all the details related to the usability of this tool, but I think the result has been worth it. Well, a picture is worth a thousand words:

dashboard

This new section of FacileThings has several objectives:

  • Help you do the Daily Review. Here you will only see the actions to be performed in the very short term. What do you need to do today? First look at the today’s Calendar. There you must have the mandatory actions and events for the day. In the free moments, look your Next Actions and filter what actions you could be doing at the moment, according to the context in which you are and to your available time and energy.
  • Help you choose the next action. The fifth and final stage of the GTD workflow is Do (now called Engage). This tool allows you to choose the next action to do based on the GTD’s four-criteria model.
  • Help you maintain good productive habits. We will show you reminders to do the Weekly Review or process your inbox when needed, and instructions to keep your system up to date.
  • Help you align your day to day with higher values. For your daily actions to be meaningful, they must be related to what is important to you. We have introduced information that will help you realize whether that alignment exists or not.
  • Introduce you new design elements. This is the first screen that incorporates the new design of FacileThings. Many of the design ideas presented here will be extended to the rest of the application, so your feedback about it will be important ;)

Your Daily Review, at a glance

daily review

The left panel shows you the actions of your Calendar for today while the one on the right shows you the complete list of Next Actions.

At the end of the today’s Calendar you will also see the actions and events that are pending from previous days. If they are finished, mark them as “done”. If not, you should modify their date or, better, consider removing the date so that they become “next actions”.

You can organize the actions in these panels just as if you were in the Lists section. When mousing over an action, all possible options will be activated: (1) Edit, do, and a menu with the other organizational options, (2) focus and assign the estimated time and required energy, (3) assign a date, and (4) view additional information like notes, check points, attached files, etc. You can also filter only the actions on which you have decided to focus these days (5).

Choose the next action

By clicking on “What to do now?” the tool to select the next action will show up:

choosing tool

You will see a list with all the contexts available in your Next Actions list (tags and people). Select the one you are interested in at this time and add available time and energy criteria if necessary. Actions filtering is immediate.

You will not overlook anything

The Reminders Panel on the right of the actions lists will show you information that may be relevant to your daily activity:

  • If you have not done the Weekly Review for too long.
  • If you have several stuff in the Inbox and you have not processed it for some time.
  • If you have notifications you have not seen yet.
  • If there are projects or goals with due dates nearby.
  • If you have delegated actions with due dates nearby.
  • If you have incubated stuff you need to be reminded.

Work with perspective

The chart about Areas of Responsibility shows you how you are spending your time and helps you realize which aspects of your life are not being addressed satisfactorily.

And keeping in mind what your life purpose is can be very motivating to face your daily work.

17 comments

00d0a361be3efa69c937adcb1446d9cd
Commented over 2 years ago Günther

Cool, I like it. It instantaneously provided benefit for me! Thanks a lot, Günther.

00d0a361be3efa69c937adcb1446d9cd Günther

Cool, I like it. It instantaneously provided benefit for me! Thanks a lot, Günther.

E296cdb60f4ba52d6fa8bbcf13aa1d7d
Commented over 2 years ago Joseph

I like this tool as well! I am finding it particularly helpful in addressing "incubating" items, which would sometimes fall off my radar screen.

One thing, though: the current date does not appear correctly. For me, it appears one day ahead of what it should be. Anyone else experiencing this?

E296cdb60f4ba52d6fa8bbcf13aa1d7d Joseph

I like this tool as well! I am finding it particularly helpful in addressing "incubating" items, which would sometimes fall off my radar screen.

One thing, though: the current date does not appear correctly. For me, it appears one day ahead of what it should be. Anyone else experiencing this?

8bb2c9a97155fbcffcc91ca918d103c7
Commented over 2 years ago Cyrus

This is an excellent first step in truly empowering the user to see the "big picture" and make the best decisions. I see areas of improvement, but I am very pleased with its initial design and layout. I think the FT team did a great job of identifying the most important information that will help me take actionable and meaningful steps during my day. The new dashboard compliments the application and provides the user with the information they need to be successful.

Well done!

8bb2c9a97155fbcffcc91ca918d103c7 Cyrus

This is an excellent first step in truly empowering the user to see the "big picture" and make the best decisions. I see areas of improvement, but I am very pleased with its initial design and layout. I think the FT team did a great job of identifying the most important information that will help me take actionable and meaningful steps during my day. The new dashboard compliments the application and provides the user with the information they need to be successful.

Well done!

Fcb879f1bc70aa0f661b842011f280fb
Commented over 2 years ago Francisco Sáez

Thank you, guys!

PS: Joseph, the current date issue has been already fixed.

Fcb879f1bc70aa0f661b842011f280fb Francisco Sáez

Thank you, guys!

PS: Joseph, the current date issue has been already fixed.

D2b92c9a0404234a641fe444cff1e8cf
Commented over 2 years ago Ugo

I am experiencing the one day ahead of schedule issue too: although it is March 31 now (at least in my timezone - New York), the date shown is April 1st. But otherwise, I'm quite happy with the dashboard for now.

D2b92c9a0404234a641fe444cff1e8cf Ugo

I am experiencing the one day ahead of schedule issue too: although it is March 31 now (at least in my timezone - New York), the date shown is April 1st. But otherwise, I'm quite happy with the dashboard for now.

Fcb879f1bc70aa0f661b842011f280fb
Commented over 2 years ago Francisco Sáez

Hi Ugo,

Just refresh the page! ;)

Fcb879f1bc70aa0f661b842011f280fb Francisco Sáez

Hi Ugo,

Just refresh the page! ;)

E296cdb60f4ba52d6fa8bbcf13aa1d7d
Commented over 2 years ago Joseph

Thanks, Francisco for the quick fix on the date issue. The more I utilize the dashboard, the more I realize how powerful of a GTD tool you have added to FacileThings.

E296cdb60f4ba52d6fa8bbcf13aa1d7d Joseph

Thanks, Francisco for the quick fix on the date issue. The more I utilize the dashboard, the more I realize how powerful of a GTD tool you have added to FacileThings.

B106331265724a910e735e2ebf3895a3
Commented over 2 years ago Steve

Thanks for the exciting update! Looking forward to playing around with it. Is there going to be a way to sort the contexts in the What to do next pane? I'd like to have the most used at the top please...

B106331265724a910e735e2ebf3895a3 Steve

Thanks for the exciting update! Looking forward to playing around with it. Is there going to be a way to sort the contexts in the What to do next pane? I'd like to have the most used at the top please...

Fcb879f1bc70aa0f661b842011f280fb
Commented over 2 years ago Francisco Sáez

Hi Steve,

Thanks! We really think that ordering the contexts alphabetically is the best way to easily locate them.

Fcb879f1bc70aa0f661b842011f280fb Francisco Sáez

Hi Steve,

Thanks! We really think that ordering the contexts alphabetically is the best way to easily locate them.

A21cd0bcdcde73bef24b91da7d1aebd7
Commented over 2 years ago Salim

Agree with Gunther, this provided me immediate benefits! Excellent improvement!

A21cd0bcdcde73bef24b91da7d1aebd7 Salim

Agree with Gunther, this provided me immediate benefits! Excellent improvement!

00d0a361be3efa69c937adcb1446d9cd
Commented over 2 years ago Günther

Now, after having worked with the new Dashboard for a while, I still think that it is a great improvement of the user experience. Still, I think it would be even better if there was the possibility to set the focus for next actions, just like it is possible in "Lists".

And when talking about setting focus: It should be possible to select more than one icon. Why? Setting the focus regularly is an iterative process. In the first step I might only know which focus elements to exclude and only then, based on the results, may be in the position to make a qualified decision.

00d0a361be3efa69c937adcb1446d9cd Günther

Now, after having worked with the new Dashboard for a while, I still think that it is a great improvement of the user experience. Still, I think it would be even better if there was the possibility to set the focus for next actions, just like it is possible in "Lists".

And when talking about setting focus: It should be possible to select more than one icon. Why? Setting the focus regularly is an iterative process. In the first step I might only know which focus elements to exclude and only then, based on the results, may be in the position to make a qualified decision.

Fcb879f1bc70aa0f661b842011f280fb
Commented over 2 years ago Francisco Sáez

Hi Günther,

Actually you can set the "focus" option in the Next Actions list. Just click on the star-shaped icon at the top-right of the list ;)

Fcb879f1bc70aa0f661b842011f280fb Francisco Sáez

Hi Günther,

Actually you can set the "focus" option in the Next Actions list. Just click on the star-shaped icon at the top-right of the list ;)

00d0a361be3efa69c937adcb1446d9cd
Commented over 2 years ago Günther

Hi Francisco,

thanks for your reply! I fear I didn't phrase it sufficiently good: What I mean is the "Focus on" filter on "Area of Responsibility" or "Goal". I miss this on the dashboard and "icon" above of course meant "item", sorry :-).

Cheers
Günther

00d0a361be3efa69c937adcb1446d9cd Günther

Hi Francisco,

thanks for your reply! I fear I didn't phrase it sufficiently good: What I mean is the "Focus on" filter on "Area of Responsibility" or "Goal". I miss this on the dashboard and "icon" above of course meant "item", sorry :-).

Cheers
Günther

Fcb879f1bc70aa0f661b842011f280fb
Commented over 2 years ago Francisco Sáez

Sorry for the misunderstanding, Günther. The ARs/goals filter will be located in the navigation layout (options and menus area) of the new design. That's why you can't use it on the Dashboard yet. We will update the navigation layout as soon as possible.

Fcb879f1bc70aa0f661b842011f280fb Francisco Sáez

Sorry for the misunderstanding, Günther. The ARs/goals filter will be located in the navigation layout (options and menus area) of the new design. That's why you can't use it on the Dashboard yet. We will update the navigation layout as soon as possible.

Edbf28056606ae2f796758870e7442a2
Commented over 2 years ago Richard Berg

I was going to request something like this, but your version turned out even better!

Edbf28056606ae2f796758870e7442a2 Richard Berg

I was going to request something like this, but your version turned out even better!

Fcb879f1bc70aa0f661b842011f280fb
Commented over 2 years ago Francisco Sáez

Thanks, Richard!

Fcb879f1bc70aa0f661b842011f280fb Francisco Sáez

Thanks, Richard!

Bd58e4cfd9a5bdd2706f8374ad84bbe9
Commented over 2 years ago James Crossman

I believe this change - especially with engage/do - functionality is the most helpful feature for me. I seem to have a threshold of actions, that when collected, overwhelms me in the list view and I respond to it with resistance. This ability to see only what matters in the current context and area of my life is keeping my view narrow enough to start getting things done instead of just collected. Thank you.

Bd58e4cfd9a5bdd2706f8374ad84bbe9 James Crossman

I believe this change - especially with engage/do - functionality is the most helpful feature for me. I seem to have a threshold of actions, that when collected, overwhelms me in the list view and I respond to it with resistance. This ability to see only what matters in the current context and area of my life is keeping my view narrow enough to start getting things done instead of just collected. Thank you.

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