FacileThings

The Six Levels of Perspective, Updated and Improved!

AUTHOR: Francisco Sáez
Webapp perspective

The Six-level Model for Reviewing Your Own Work of GTD allows you to know what is the basis of your personal life and your work and, thanks to this, be clear about the priorities that should govern your decisions.

It is a hierarchical model of priorities in which each level should enhance and align with the ones above it.

Defining these six levels of perspective will help you understand what is important and what is not, to spend your time productively on the things that are worthwhile, and ultimately, to get you where you want to go.

Today we have updated the design of the Perspective section of FacileThings and incorporated a lot of improvements that I am describing below.

Level 1: Purpose and Principles

The concepts to which each level refers are often somewhat confusing and ambiguous, especially at higher levels. We have incorporated a small help text to refresh your memory when you need it (1).

At the first level, we have added a new Principles and Values section so that you can express and always keep in mind the principles and values that will determine how you do things. They will guide you when making decisions and facing any problem. Use the button (2) to add principles and values that support your life purpose (use the “save” button to save the data later).

purpose and principles

Level 2: Vision

Defining the vision involves thinking about how you want to be in the future, both personally and professionally. At the very least, you will need a couple of statements for this.

You can create a new vision statement with the button (1) and edit the existing statements by clicking on an item in the list (2). When you have turned a vision into reality, you can mark it as “achieved” (3). The visions already achieved will appear in the list (4).

The number of Goals related to each Vision is displayed. By clicking on that link (5) you will be able to see those goals in detail (at level 3).

vision

Level 3: Goals

The Goals section works in a similar way to the Vision one. The goals are shown grouped by vision. Make sure that each goal you define serves to bring you closer to one of your visions.

Each goal shows the number of projects and single actions associated with it. By clicking on those links you can see the projects (at level 5) and actions (at level 6) in detail. The goal deadline is also shown, if there is one.

goals

Level 4: Areas of Focus

The Areas of Focus level is the one that has changed the most — starting with the name, as we have changed Areas of Responsibility to Areas of Focus, the term David Allen uses most commonly in his latest GTD update.

This section works exactly the same as the Goals section, except that the Areas of Focus are grouped into two types, Life and Work, and some colors show up.

Areas of Focus cannot be “achieved” like goals and visions, as they are not temporary. But we have added the possibility of disabling them, in case one of them gets out of your life and you don’t want to eliminate it completely.

areas of focus

Let’s look at the Areas of Focus editor to understand this:

areas of focus edit

In addition to an extended description of unlimited length (which now also the visions and goals have), you can assign to each area what type of area is (1) and with what color you want to represent it (2).

All actions related to an Area of Focus will be shown in the lists with their color. It is important that you choose colors that fit well with you and are similar for related areas, so that your brain establishes patterns with respect to colors early and you can locate actions quickly. This is why we haven’t randomly assigned colors to your areas of focus; we prefer that you do it.

colors in lists

An important impact of grouping Areas of Focus into two types is that you can now filter your entire personal management system by activities related to your work or your personal life:

perspective filter

In addition to filtering by individual areas, you can now filter all your actions and projects by life or work areas (1). Also, in addition to filtering by individual goals, you can now filter by a vision that contains multiple goals (2).

Level 5: Projects

The Projects section shows you all active projects (in progress or waiting) and a filter tool at the top so you can see which ones have an Area of Focus and/or a Goal assigned. Make sure everyone is associated with at least one higher perspective level.

projects

In each project the percentage executed so far is indicated. You can mark as “completed” those that have no pending action. You can also edit any project by clicking on it.

Level 6: Actions

The Actions section shows you all active single actions, that is, those that do not belong to a project and that are in the Calendar (1), Next Actions (2) or Waiting For (3) lists. The icon to the left of each action indicates which list it belongs to.

Make sure your actions follow a higher level of perspective.

actions

Beard avatar
Francisco Sáez
@franciscojsaez

Francisco is the founder and CEO of FacileThings. He is also a Software Engineer who is passionate about personal productivity and the GTD philosophy as a means to a better life.

Download the ebook “The Pursuit of Mastery” FOR FREE!

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13 comments

9b0f566c7563819cd8a72cc782ebb516
Commented 21 days ago Bertrand

Wonderful update. The lvl4 new feature is a big improvement for me. I always have been reluctant to insert my "work" life to Facilethings because I worried it would be too messy with my private life, despite I could use tags #private #work to separate both.
Now I have no more excuses 😉
Thank you.

9b0f566c7563819cd8a72cc782ebb516 Bertrand

Wonderful update. The lvl4 new feature is a big improvement for me. I always have been reluctant to insert my "work" life to Facilethings because I worried it would be too messy with my private life, despite I could use tags #private #work to separate both.
Now I have no more excuses 😉
Thank you.

84c0d19255a8edc3526ea6ee108301c0
Commented 21 days ago Emil

Brilliant update, it looks amazing! I have 2 pieces of feedback:
1. More colours for the Areas of Focus would be nice, 10 is not very many.
2. Filtering by Life or Work greys out the AoF options in the "Focus On" dialogue box, why is this? I want to be able to look at Work and then filter by the AoF relating to certain roles I have.... This limitation makes the new Life/Work feature much much less useful...

84c0d19255a8edc3526ea6ee108301c0 Emil

Brilliant update, it looks amazing! I have 2 pieces of feedback:
1. More colours for the Areas of Focus would be nice, 10 is not very many.
2. Filtering by Life or Work greys out the AoF options in the "Focus On" dialogue box, why is this? I want to be able to look at Work and then filter by the AoF relating to certain roles I have.... This limitation makes the new Life/Work feature much much less useful...

39d37d8d93d865ee82b0ac561f253dcc
Commented 21 days ago Ivan

LOVE this! One suggestion that would help is on the drop downs when selecting an area of focus when clarifying (or any drop downs on any screen) can you nest them by Life and Work so that drop down is organized? I completely agree on #2 above. It really should be a nested filter. For example I am at work now so I want to only hone in on work. But if I want to further narrow my focus to Finance lets say I want both work and finance selected. because I also have personal finance

39d37d8d93d865ee82b0ac561f253dcc Ivan

LOVE this! One suggestion that would help is on the drop downs when selecting an area of focus when clarifying (or any drop downs on any screen) can you nest them by Life and Work so that drop down is organized? I completely agree on #2 above. It really should be a nested filter. For example I am at work now so I want to only hone in on work. But if I want to further narrow my focus to Finance lets say I want both work and finance selected. because I also have personal finance

Fcb879f1bc70aa0f661b842011f280fb
Commented 21 days ago Francisco Sáez

Thank you guys, for your encouragment! I hope that the improvements help you to put more order and control in your work and in your personal life.

We'll add a few more colors in the coming days, for those who wear too many hats ;)

My thoughs about the suggestion made by Emil and seconded by Ivan:

The filter tool is primarily a "focus" tool. It helps you focus on one area or goal for a while. It has never been the intention of that tool, neither before nor now, to allow you to choose multiple areas. In my opinion, that is exactly the opposite of focusing on something.

Now there is the option of grouping personal and work areas so that both territories can be separated, but it is still not a good idea to pick several areas or several goals at the same time. It just does not make sense. You first focus on one area, then you focus on another.

Fcb879f1bc70aa0f661b842011f280fb Francisco Sáez

Thank you guys, for your encouragment! I hope that the improvements help you to put more order and control in your work and in your personal life.

We'll add a few more colors in the coming days, for those who wear too many hats ;)

My thoughs about the suggestion made by Emil and seconded by Ivan:

The filter tool is primarily a "focus" tool. It helps you focus on one area or goal for a while. It has never been the intention of that tool, neither before nor now, to allow you to choose multiple areas. In my opinion, that is exactly the opposite of focusing on something.

Now there is the option of grouping personal and work areas so that both territories can be separated, but it is still not a good idea to pick several areas or several goals at the same time. It just does not make sense. You first focus on one area, then you focus on another.

39d37d8d93d865ee82b0ac561f253dcc
Commented 21 days ago Ivan

Francisco, I think you might have misunderstood what we meant by the secondary filtering.

We did not mean more than one area of focus at a time. The thought process for me is when I arrive to my office for the day I want to set my area of focus to Work. This way I am not distracted by personal items for the entire day. If I have an hour I might want to just filter my next actions by the time alotted. however, I might also want to really focus in on Finance. But I only Work related finance. That is why in my opinion we should be able to select Work and one (not multiple) areas of focus in addition.

Previously before this update I had my areas of focus as Personal Finance, Work Finance, Personal Home Paintenance, Work It, Work HR, Work Office Maintenance, etc.. You could kind of see how that differentiation between personal and work is necessary in multiple areas of focus. You have that functionality now but from what I am seeing we cannot filter Work and Finance together to hone in on my business finance related next actions

That make sense?

39d37d8d93d865ee82b0ac561f253dcc Ivan

Francisco, I think you might have misunderstood what we meant by the secondary filtering.

We did not mean more than one area of focus at a time. The thought process for me is when I arrive to my office for the day I want to set my area of focus to Work. This way I am not distracted by personal items for the entire day. If I have an hour I might want to just filter my next actions by the time alotted. however, I might also want to really focus in on Finance. But I only Work related finance. That is why in my opinion we should be able to select Work and one (not multiple) areas of focus in addition.

Previously before this update I had my areas of focus as Personal Finance, Work Finance, Personal Home Paintenance, Work It, Work HR, Work Office Maintenance, etc.. You could kind of see how that differentiation between personal and work is necessary in multiple areas of focus. You have that functionality now but from what I am seeing we cannot filter Work and Finance together to hone in on my business finance related next actions

That make sense?

84c0d19255a8edc3526ea6ee108301c0
Commented 21 days ago Emil

Thank you for engaging with our comments Francisco! It's lovely to see your feedback.

I think Ivan unintentionally made things a little confusion in his original post, I agree with your note and Ivan's second post that we should only focus on one AoF at once. In fact, our feedback is that we would like to be able to focus *more* rather than *less*. I will explain with a use case:

Let's say I am Working. I then select the Work "main filter" to see only my Work related items. This is a good start as it allows me to only see my work-related items. However, I then want to Focus more by seeing only the tasks and projects related to one of my job roles (and hence AoF), my role as Responsible Officer for a certain area at my workplace. Because I have Work already selected, I cannot now filter for Responsible Officer tasks since the AoFs are greyed out. It is possible to un-tick Work and then filter for Responsible Officer but this means leaving the nicely focussed state, showing all tasks briefly, and then going back into focus. What would be incredibly helpful would be for the AoF's tied to Work to still be selectable whilst in the Work mode, with only the Home AoFs greyed out, and vice versa.

It's hopefully a fairly small change but would make a huge impact! :)

84c0d19255a8edc3526ea6ee108301c0 Emil

Thank you for engaging with our comments Francisco! It's lovely to see your feedback.

I think Ivan unintentionally made things a little confusion in his original post, I agree with your note and Ivan's second post that we should only focus on one AoF at once. In fact, our feedback is that we would like to be able to focus *more* rather than *less*. I will explain with a use case:

Let's say I am Working. I then select the Work "main filter" to see only my Work related items. This is a good start as it allows me to only see my work-related items. However, I then want to Focus more by seeing only the tasks and projects related to one of my job roles (and hence AoF), my role as Responsible Officer for a certain area at my workplace. Because I have Work already selected, I cannot now filter for Responsible Officer tasks since the AoFs are greyed out. It is possible to un-tick Work and then filter for Responsible Officer but this means leaving the nicely focussed state, showing all tasks briefly, and then going back into focus. What would be incredibly helpful would be for the AoF's tied to Work to still be selectable whilst in the Work mode, with only the Home AoFs greyed out, and vice versa.

It's hopefully a fairly small change but would make a huge impact! :)

39d37d8d93d865ee82b0ac561f253dcc
Commented 21 days ago Ivan

Yes Emil is dead on, much better description of what I was trying to say lol

My other comment was related to the drop downs through the app when clarifying. So when I click the drop down for Areas of Focus to pick one it would be great if they were sorted under Life and Work appropriately.

39d37d8d93d865ee82b0ac561f253dcc Ivan

Yes Emil is dead on, much better description of what I was trying to say lol

My other comment was related to the drop downs through the app when clarifying. So when I click the drop down for Areas of Focus to pick one it would be great if they were sorted under Life and Work appropriately.

Bc197db06ba419f56f3b9758f381286d
Commented 20 days ago Jose Ignacio

Excellent suggestions from Emil, that would be a really nice update

Bc197db06ba419f56f3b9758f381286d Jose Ignacio

Excellent suggestions from Emil, that would be a really nice update

54408e119b7ac5f075c40af0b8ad0c39
Commented 20 days ago Nick

This is a great update, very excited to use it! As others mentioned I love the colors and am looking forward to the additional ones you mentioned are on the way. 🙂

54408e119b7ac5f075c40af0b8ad0c39 Nick

This is a great update, very excited to use it! As others mentioned I love the colors and am looking forward to the additional ones you mentioned are on the way. 🙂

9b0f566c7563819cd8a72cc782ebb516
Commented 20 days ago Bertrand

Hello,
I agree with the suggestions of Ivan and Emil: To be able to sort Life - Work at first, then to be able to chose a specific AoF, as a sub-level of choice.

Also, on Routines Menu, I have to check NO Type (Life - Work) to be able to see my Routines. I'm not sure if it's an intentional way, but it seems weird since it's the only view where I can't sort by Type.

Have a nice day.

9b0f566c7563819cd8a72cc782ebb516 Bertrand

Hello,
I agree with the suggestions of Ivan and Emil: To be able to sort Life - Work at first, then to be able to chose a specific AoF, as a sub-level of choice.

Also, on Routines Menu, I have to check NO Type (Life - Work) to be able to see my Routines. I'm not sure if it's an intentional way, but it seems weird since it's the only view where I can't sort by Type.

Have a nice day.

Fcb879f1bc70aa0f661b842011f280fb
Commented 20 days ago Francisco Sáez

Hi again!

Yes, yesterday I misunderstood your suggestion. Sorry, after working 30 days in a row on this update I was kind of tired. But today I slept great and now I can see it clearly! ;)

The approach that Emil proposes seems to me much more appropriate than the current one. For two reasons. First, because it is more natural to go narrowing the horizon of perspective as you advance in focus. Secondly, because that approach will force to hide the areas of focus of the unselected type, which will allow more privacy to people who are in an open office.

We will work on it next week. Thank you all very much for your support and for this valuable discussion.

Ivan, your suggestion about grouping the data within the drop downs makes a lot of sense. I've captured it in our Someday list as an improve for future updates.

Bertrand, it seems that there's a bug in the routines section. It will be fixed today.

Fcb879f1bc70aa0f661b842011f280fb Francisco Sáez

Hi again!

Yes, yesterday I misunderstood your suggestion. Sorry, after working 30 days in a row on this update I was kind of tired. But today I slept great and now I can see it clearly! ;)

The approach that Emil proposes seems to me much more appropriate than the current one. For two reasons. First, because it is more natural to go narrowing the horizon of perspective as you advance in focus. Secondly, because that approach will force to hide the areas of focus of the unselected type, which will allow more privacy to people who are in an open office.

We will work on it next week. Thank you all very much for your support and for this valuable discussion.

Ivan, your suggestion about grouping the data within the drop downs makes a lot of sense. I've captured it in our Someday list as an improve for future updates.

Bertrand, it seems that there's a bug in the routines section. It will be fixed today.

0f30469d75c8e3fbc79e74f0b2eefc4d
Commented 20 days ago Michelle

Thank you for the updates. Levels of perspective above Projects have been a weak spot in my GTD. Looking forward to trying out these enhancements.

0f30469d75c8e3fbc79e74f0b2eefc4d Michelle

Thank you for the updates. Levels of perspective above Projects have been a weak spot in my GTD. Looking forward to trying out these enhancements.

39d37d8d93d865ee82b0ac561f253dcc
Commented 20 days ago Ivan

Francisco, thanks for that further update! Awesome to hear all of those ideas will make it in! And I love that I will be on vacation next week and it sounds like on of them might even be implemented by the time I return, even better!!!

39d37d8d93d865ee82b0ac561f253dcc Ivan

Francisco, thanks for that further update! Awesome to hear all of those ideas will make it in! And I love that I will be on vacation next week and it sounds like on of them might even be implemented by the time I return, even better!!!

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