Most task managers let you put deadline dates in the task subject line in parentheses. There, they advise but do not control you. For project deadlines, the date goes right after the project name; for next action deadlines, it goes after the next action, like this:

Factory Proposal (4/30) – Verify funding (4/23)

The “Verify funding” step has a hard deadline of 4/23 or the final project deadline (4/30) will be missed. Often, you only have a project deadline:

Valentines Day (2/14) – Decide on gift for Liz

Other possible Hard Date options are:

  • Reminder Date (with Reminder Alarm). The Reminder Date is the deadline date, the alarm alerts you. You can only use this if the other date options behave properly for TRO: the soft date can always be assigned and the hard date must be optional.
  • Deadline Date. A few enlightened apps give you this option. Items may move to the top of the list when this date arrives, but this is not required. You must be able to set a hard date as well, but it must not be required since not all deadlines are associated with bad things (like the last day of a movie showing).