Workflow Assistance/Help (GTD)

from now on then I shall call them "Tag Notebooks" and everyone else will just have to catchup :smiley:

Favourites plugin i have installed; it has two limitations so far, not deal breakers, but hoping they will be resolved

  1. Saved searches don't open - however the search query is copied and you can paste to clipboard, so not too bad
  2. doesn't support hierarchies

with those two solved, it would be a perfectly workable solution (the hierarchies are generally because I have a lot ways to view my notes - and having a single list ends up taking a lot of space, and makes things difficult to navigate)

@benji300 - would hierarchies be possible in the plugin?
customer1 (tag:meetings tag: customer1)

also @benji300 is it possible to style the favourites panel to reduce the vertical space taken? reduce the line height, remove the horizontal lines? (i haven't looked into the CSS sorry :frowning: )

regarding Note Overview plugin; I spent the night playing with it, I had hoped that if I had a checkbox in a note it could find it, but it seems to only work with Todo notes... my idea was I could use
[ ] #future_blog_idea lorum ipsum
[ ] #reference
and then use the plugin to grab them all into a table, along with the note title - that way i could have dynamic notes that were collections of open thoughts, reference material etc;

But yes, using it to dynamically combine notes (in reverse) could be helpful; might get messy when you add new content though... but i can think of a workaround...

thanks for the tip! I saw some people picked your plugin ideas - im actually a software developer by trade, so i think i need to just sit down over the summer holidays, learn to write some plugins and see if i can bend joplin to my will! Most of what I want to achieve should be fairly straight forward I think - and would be a variant on the TOC sample plugin (but of course i wouldn't be sad if someone with experience could guide me in the process and save some heartache!)

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@pw6163 seems like we had the same experience with Drafts.

I made a decision last night that I would just go full in with Joplin + Todoist; when i started working today, I abandoned Todoist and went back to Things 3 (if anyone is interested - I liked the hierarchy that Todoist gives me; along with card views, more notes in tasks, however the workflow in Things is better, with Today, Upcoming, Someday - also it pulls in my calendar so I can see those tasks like "pick up kids", "Dentist" which has an impact on planning - i just wish it didn't limit me to Area/Project/Heading - for the most part its ok; but i have a list of some 30 blog ideas which i just collect info on and prepare - and its a pain to navigate)

anyhoo, so I sat down and started to work... and 15 hours later, I am still trying to get a workflow that works - my big pain points currently

  1. capturing work is just... hard! the best method I have ever had is to have a single file for a single day; everything i did for the day goes in that file, and tomorrow I start a new one; this is great as I don't have to think, i just capture. It falls down with large tasks - if I work on something big all day yesterday and I want to continue today, what do I do? If i need to update yesterday's work with new information what do i do? if i change yesterday's note, the flow is maintained and the information makes sense, but I have lost the project chronology - and with how I work, the chronology can play a big part in the context - also, having an overview of what was completed each day, makes it really easy later on to just get the big picture or to know how much time was spent on a task; but putting the work in todays note breaks the flow completely; so still thinking about this ... maybe i need to compromise somewhere.

  2. syncing Things and Joplin doesn't work - if im working in Joplin (say in a meeting taking MoM) and i create a task (like an AP) - i capture that quickly with [ ] AP: John to do XYZ; then an some point (after the meeting perhaps) i then move that AP to Things, but because Joplin doesn't support external URLs, I can't link to where I create the task; and when I come tomorrow to work on that AP, I can't just click a link to Joplin where I capture the work done... I think I have a workaround, but if Joplin could expose a URL to an anchor in a note (which was global, so if i moved the task to a new note it still worked) and if Joplin could open a Things URL that would just be super!

i suspect Backlinks is my saviour for now though

  1. work in a single file for the day, at the end of the day break out each section to their own notes (if appropriate) and link internally - Convert Text to New Note might be helpful here
    1.1 Meetings is one Notebook; Each task in Things might be a notebook (as that was where the work was created, and tags will allow it to be seen in multiple task contexts)
  2. apply tags to notes to achieve Dynamic Notebooks (using Favourites plugin)
  3. APs, tasks etc captured in Joplin are manually created in Things, then I grab the Things task ID and add it to the Joplin note; this way I can search for the ID and find the original task; I then use an internal link to where the work for that task is done (it's a little manual work, but ... it works!)

and eventually
4. write a plugin that will sync joplin to Things
5. write a plugin that finds specially formatted [ ] lines and collect them into single note

I found this yesterday but haven't played with the yet, might be useful to you Embed any search - with content!

Regarding your style questions... you have the following options, which are all selectable in the plugin's (advanced) settings:

  • You can change the Font size and the Line height (px) to decrease the height of the single favorite entries
  • You can hide the horizontal lines after each favorite by setting Divider color to the same value as Background color

Regarding your feature request... I've created a feature request on GitHub:

Because it would be a bigger change, I would wait for more votes on it before implementing it.

Maybe the alternative solution (see issue description) would be a solution for you? This would be way more easy to implement.


now that looks interesting! need to explore some more;

i've been working most of the day, and might have found a flow that works - give it a few more days to tweak and become habit :slight_smile:

Hi @benji300 - thanks to the quick reply, consideration and feature request!

Looking at the alternative, for me personally, it likely wouldn't help; when I use favourites its mostly for saved searches - my use case here is to be able to replicate the "dynamic notebook" features; the hierarchy (again, for me) is because the number of combinations I have as saved searches is just too big to be practical in a flat list.

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Hello to all,

I've evolved my GTD workflow a bit with Joplin and I wanted to share it with you if it can be useful.

The general principle is to use notebooks to classify todo's because it is easy with Joplin to move todo's from the list to the notebooks.


Then, things are organized in the following way.

To separate domains that are impermeable to each other I use the concept of "area". The idea is very simple. It is the first filter of my todo. I have a "(a) pro" tag and a "(b) perso" tag to separate what is professional and what is personal. I don't want to see my professional todo's when I'm doing my homework.

The second aspect concerns projects. For me projects are represented by a note in the format "(P) project name". Since we are in the GTD philosophy, the idea is that a project is a thing to be done and not a category of todo classification. The note I create for each project is a gateway to the project. I note general information about the project, I put links to other notes, follow-up tables, etc...

Nevertheless these projects belong to domains of responsibility that allow me to organize my documentation. So I have another notebook called "01 - Domains" in which I have 4 sub-notebooks corresponding to the 4 main areas of activity that are mine. It is in these 4 notebooks that I put my project notes. It looks like this...

- 01 - Domains (notebook)
-- Domain 1 (subnotebook)
--- (P) Project 1 (note)
--- (P) Project 2 (note)
--- Other note with meeting note (note)
--- Other note with table (note)
--- Other note with file (pdf, xls, etc) (note)
-- Domain 2 (subnotebook)
-- Domain 3 (subnotebook)
-- Domain 4 (subnotebook)

This way, I use Joplin to manage my projects and their documentation. But how do I connect my GTD notebook and my Domains notebook? With links of course :wink:

The creation of a todo is basic. Thanks to the template plugin I quickly create a task (either pro or personal) which goes in the "INBOX" folder of my GTD notebook. The template looks like this for "pro" todo...

If I create a test todo that belongs to a test project, I get this.

When I review my INBOX notebook I usually add time estimates for todo with tags ("5m" "10m" "30m" "1h" etc) and context ("@home" "@work" "@transport"). Once the todo has all the necessary information and I think it can be activated, I move it to the NEXT notebook. You get the idea.

Now comes the most important part. Find a way to visualize what you have to do so you don't forget anything and in a pleasant way. This is where the power of Joplin's ecosystem of plugins comes in.

Thanks to overview plugin and embed search plugin I can have an overview of all the todo's according to their status in the GTD notebook. It looks like this.


The overview plugin produces very beautiful but static tables. If you want to be able to check todo's without leaving the document you can embed the same search under the table and integrate it in a spoiler (to avoid polluting the view).


Also, since projects are notes, from the project note you can see the notes and todo's related to that project in the backlinks plugin. You will notice that the emoji embedded ( :heavy_check_mark:) in the todo template title is useful here to distinguish between todo backlinks and note backlinks.

This is how it works quickly. And it works well :wink:


This is very nice, just read it, now will study it more closely. Thank you.

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Don't hesitate to share your conclusions here :wink: