Smart dates prioritize your tasks intuitively, flexibly, and automatically. They replace the stressful “deadline vs. priority” approach.
Someday/Maybe means you might do the task later, but not now. TRO lets you redecide these tasks later, at the right time. If you choose this, no other dates are needed.
Soft dates (required) are your first, best guess of when you want to do something. This balances urgency and importance (Covey) in a single, simple decision (TRO). Choose it once, and it tells your task list how important the task is over time.
Hard dates (only for “must do” tasks) are the dates when tasks must be done or bad things may happen. They ensure that no task slips by unnoticed, for too long. Your task list will notify you.
Deadlines (only for “must do” or expiring tasks) are the final dates when tasks or projects must be completed or delivered, or when an opportunity expires. You consider this date every time you schedule.
Do Today is an ultra-fast way of stuffing something onto your daily “must do” list, regardless of what the other dates say.