Our brain is an amazingly intelligent tool capable of rationally prioritizing tasks. However, even the most organized of us sometimes get bo...

How Importance Works in MLO

Our brain is an amazingly intelligent tool capable of rationally prioritizing tasks. However, even the most organized of us sometimes get bogged down in the details. The built-in smart to-do list system in MyLifeOrganized can be your great assistant, calculating priorities for you. Let's see how it works.

Importance in MyLifeOrganized

The concept of importance is familiar to most people from the Eisenhower Matrix, where all tasks are divided into important and urgent. When applied to simple linear lists, this approach can be used and it will show correct results.

But what if there are many projects with subtasks, goals, recurring and one-time tasks? When all this is structured in a task tree with unlimited levels of nesting?

In this case, an effective way to determine priority tasks can be the approach used in the task management app for Windows.

The essence of this approach is that the importance of each task is determined directly for the "parent" task, project, or folder in which this task is located. In the case of using a large number of nesting levels, the importance for the final task, like a snowball, either accumulates or decreases along the chain. See the example below.

Suppose, we have a project called "Mountain Trip". In order to go on this trip, we need to buy tickets, get insurance, and pack our things. At this level, the most important task will be to buy tickets.

The task "Packing" will have the lowest priority. This is not because we don't need to pack our things. It's because even if we forget something, the trip will still happen.

However, “Packing” can have a subtask with the highest priority. For example, "Take glasses" is really important if you have poor eyesight and can't see without glasses.

If we switch to the To-Do tab, we will see the tasks in this order:

  • "Book tickets" is at the top of the list because the task itself has a max priority + its parent has a high priority.
  • Next come tasks from the "Bookings & Documents" branch, which have normal priority, but the parent task has a high priority.
  • then the important task "Take glasses" from the not so important task branch "Packing".
  • and so on.

As you can see, the importance property affects the order in which the task will be displayed in To-Do. This way you can see which task needs to be done first.


Tip. To set a round value for importance/urgency in the app for Windows, activate the slider and press 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 on the keyboard, which corresponds to the values 0, 50, 100, 150, and 200. 

Alternatively: Right-click on the slider and select a value from the drop-down list.

Other factors that affect priority

The overall priority of a task depends on many factors, such as Weekly Goal, Due and Start dates, Importance, and Urgency. Among these parameters, Importance takes the leading position.

In the menu Tools -> Options, you can find settings to set the influence of Weekly Goal, Due and Start dates, Importance, and Urgency factors individually. The higher you set the weight of the dates factors, the more the dates will affect the ordering of the list.

Give it a try and keep in mind that the key to high productivity is to consistently focus on your priority tasks.