OneNote Tips: Date Actions

Tagging the actions allows us to use the Find Tags feature to create a To Do list, aka Tags Summary.  OneNote sorts the list alphabetically, which is not the most useful arrangement. To make the list a bit more practical, we can place a date at the front of the action item.  For best results, we use the ISO date format (YYYY-MM-DD).  Now when we refresh the Tags Summary, OneNote sorts the actions based on the date.

In the demo, we go back to our meeting notes and apply dates to the actions.  For me, I use the date that I need to perform the action, not the due date (although these are often the same).  I also have my computer default date format set for YYYY-MM-DD, which allows me to use Shift+Alt+D to easily enter today’s date.

Once again, we refresh the Tags Summary to see all of the actions sorted by date. When planning my day, I simply work the list down through today’s date.  As I finish each task, I click the To Do tag checkbox to mark it completed.  Using the option Show only unchecked items in the Tag Summary removes the completed items, keeping my To Do list nice and clean.  Alternatively, if I do not finish an item, it remains on the list until completed.

 

Review Reminders

Evernote has a built in “Reminders” functionality.  We are somewhat replicating that functionality here, and using the !Daily task of 40-Review Reminders to trigger a regular view of deadlines and milestones.

As noted before, it helps to set your system date preferences for YYYY-MM-DD.  Doing this allows sorting the reminder tags, 6-Waiting, by due date.

6Waiting

(click to enlarge)

Any action item that is waiting on external action should be prefixed with a date to trigger follow up.  Using Cntl+Alt+D inserts today’s date, which can easily be edited to the expected follow up date. For example:

  • 2016-05-18 Request decision on Dandy entries

This line is then tagged with 6-Waiting, so that it shows up in the tag list. Note that the YYYY-MM-DD format brings the current reminders to the top of the list when sorted.  This gives a quick view of what is due today, as well as for the next few days.