Focusing in on One Area of your Life

A ResultsManager user asked by email:

"What template should I use for getting a dashboard just of high-priority projects and results that are tagged with Area X? Is that still the Next Actions by Area and Context? Or is there a better one?

For example, today I’m dedicated to working just on the Area X stuff, and I don’t care about any other big areas. I want to create a dashboard that just focuses on stuff I’m working on today so I don’t get distracted by other significantly more entertaining things.

In the Next actions by area and context, should I move the Area filter to the front and set it for "X"?"

You could use the next actions by area and context dashboard template in the way you describe but I would recommend a simpler approach (and minimize the risk of you falling into the rabbit hole of custom dashboard tweaking).

The workaround I would use for this is to follow the map central strategy I described earlier this year but go one step further and put the maps you care about in this area in 2010\AreaX.

Then create a map central that points only to that folder (or run dashboards on just that branch of a more general map central). That will enable you to use a vanilla daily action or review dashboard as is. The "Next Action Analysis" script run on daily action in this way will give you several breakdown lists (tasks by priority, time available, projects by priority, etc) that can be used instead of generating a separate custom dashboard to get them. The m2t (map2table) tag/macro run on these branches can give a nice tabular view of things.

Make sure you move any relevant items from your general daily capture map to a map in this folder first.


  1. Curtis N. Bingham said,

    March 26, 2010 @ 12:03 pm

    Excellent post!
    Do you still use the vanilla daily actions template or daily actions plus? I find that I like having the Targets I'll Hit, but something in this extended dashboard seems to consume memory and takes much longer to run than the vanilla.

  2. ActivityOwner said,

    March 26, 2010 @ 6:57 pm

    I use the vanilla daily action dashboard and then run NAA, which adds a branch for items targeted for today or tomorrow. I agree that extended dashboard is more time/memory intensive. Basically I find it more efficient to harvest the vanilla dashboard with NAA for things that I might otherwise create routinely with a custom dashboard.

  3. Chris said,

    March 27, 2010 @ 4:45 pm

    AO is there any chance you could send me the template for the vanilla daily action dashboard please. I'm having problems with NAA and want to be sure it's not my dashboard before I trouble you any further.

  4. ActivityOwner said,

    March 27, 2010 @ 8:18 pm

    Here is one from the library:

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