Suggested solution for my workflow with lots of projects and actionable items?

How do you deal with lots of projects and actionable items within? I am willing to redefine my workflow. Whats is your best practice for the following scenario?

I have lots of different topics I have to work on. Several projects, meetings, product development, private projects and actionable items within. I do micromanagement with Todoist (I want to dump this) and knowledge management within Obsidian.

What I did:

– I document meetings within agenda and use checkboxes for actionable items. Sometimes I delegate some of them, others I have to do on my own.

– I have lots of notes in agenda. Only those I am currently working on, I set "on agenda“

– Other notes I keep for later reference and link them. Sometimes they include actionable items (checklists) as well. Their priortity is not as high, because they are „off agenda“

What happend:

– When I set my meeting protocoll „on agenda" I have to review it frequently - even if I know, that only delegated items are on the list.

– When I set my meeting protocoll „off agenda“ these checkbox items get lost.

What I expected:

– I would like to „review“ these checkbox items later, when I care about these knowledge areas.

– I would need some kind of filter, to find them again (e.g. filter for all open checkbox-items)

– I don’t want to place all these notes (containing an open checkbox) „on agenda“ because it will mess up my priority notes.

As I found out, such filters are not implemented (requested 2018 as it seems). So I assume there must be another way or a workaround. How do you (the developers) work with agenda? Is there a best practice for my described scenario?

Thanks for your help and suggestions.


I use a #pending tag to indicate notes with “open loops”, and have a smart overview that searches for that tag. I use that as my main source of notes to set OTA.

Here’s something I quite like: you can create multiple smart overviews, and then command-click on them on Mac to combine them. So for example I have overviews for “3-day forecast” (any notes assigned to the next three days), #pending, #goal, and some other tags. Depending on how I’m feeling / how much I’ve got going on, I select one or more of those smart overviews to show all the notes that are in those overviews, then select the ones I want to focus on today and add them OTA.

That is a fairly loosely-structured approach that I like, because I can move notes anywhere in the category / projects hierarchy and they’ll show up in the overview. But another approach that I’ve experimented with is to create distinct categories / projects for in-progress work, and move notes or projects in and out of there. That may be another approach worth trying.


I never knew that. That’s a really neat trick.


Thanks for your workflow and thoughts. That’s a nice workflow and trick. This might work for me as well. I think I would be able to filter notes in the past which are still #pending. I think I will use a project tag like #work and an additional #pending tag. So hopefully I can build a flexible search by combining these tags. Not sure if this will work though - I’ll try it.

One additional question, if you don’t mind :slight_smile: How does the “on agenda” flag fit in? Do you use it and how?

The one suggested by @Pat_Maddox is great. I use agenda the same way. My tags are different though. So use which one works for you.

  • For tasks, I use #open if items something I am in-charge of
  • if it’s delegated or someone needs to do (like a contractor or 3rd party vendor), I use #waiting

Multiple search overviews to see them in one place. If a task is finished, or other person delivered it already, I remove the tag so it disappears from the search.

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Cool. Didn’t know this too. Opens up new possibilities.

I do, and for me it means “something I’m going to work with in the near future”. Usually that’s some time today, sometimes it may just be for a few minutes, and I do have a few long-running notes that are always OTA (e.g. inbox, today’s plan).

Another helpful thing is the search bar at the top, which lets you filter OTA, search term, or date range. So here’s a search for #work from within my #pending smart overview:

Then I can filter it down to OTA notes:

and finally down to only OTA notes assigned to today:

The search filter persists when you select different projects or smart overviews, so you can enable the OTA filter and click different overviews or projects and only see the OTA notes there.

A common workflow for me for working with OTA looks like this:

  1. cmd-1 to open the OTA overview (I have previously flagged notes OTA from one of my other overviews)
  2. Identify a note to work on right now, and then click “Show Project” (which appears when you hover over the project line in an overview)
  3. Now I’m seeing that note in the context of the project. If there’s too much going on, I will temporarily OTA any other notes I want to refer to right now and enable the OTA filter so I only see those notes in that project.
  4. When I’m done, remove OTA from any notes I’m done with, go back to 1.

Great. Thank you all! This will get me started.

When looking deeper into tags I found this thread: How I use Agenda: the Eisenhower method. Combining your suggestion with “eisenhower” sounds interesting. Maybe it’s already too much.

Well. The linked eisenhower method is too much for my case right now. I will stick to your suggestion.

I will start with #open and #waiting for now and add sometime and important where needed. Not sure yet if I will use due(2021-10-10) or a reminder for tracking due dates.

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Sorry Pat, it sounds cool but I do not get it quite how to set it up.
Where can I create smart overviews? A project or categories with filters tags or dates?
Do you have a hanson description like goto menu xyz create abc? would be helpful. I got stuck. Thank you so much BR Faik

My current setup. Maybe it helps.

  • First of all, I set a date for every note (automatically). So I am able to sort my notes.
  • A note represents one bigger task in a project. Let’s say ‘rewrite some patches into something else’
  • Within these notes I work with checklists. As soon all checklists are finished, my note (=task) is done.
  • Some of the notes I link to assignments on my calendar, in case I need them.
  • When a task has a due date, I set a ‘#due’ tag and some ‘/reminder’ for checkpoints I have to work on before this due date
  • At the moment I do not set other tags like ‘pending’ because I forget about them most of the time. Ending up searching for these notes without tag anyway
  • When looking for open tasks (=notes) most of the time I review them per project. All my finished notes are collapsed, so I can scroll over them. When I find something important, I set the date of the note for tomorrow or on agenda (do them now)
  • All other items seem not to be that important (do them later) so they should be important, when looking for this specific topic (e.g. movies to watch)

Smart Overviews are listed just under Overviews:


Here are fully detailed instructions for how to create a Smart Overview. Quickly though, you can create one by doing “Search All”, and then clicking “Create Smart Overview” or “Create Smart Overview from Search”:


Thank you so much!

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