There are different ways to handle an Unprocessed Tasks list, but the bottom line is this: tasks must leave the Unprocessed list when you have processed them properly.

Use the most automatic method available for your task manager. Typical options include:

Sorting Order

The Unprocessed Tasks list should always be sorted with the most-recent tasks at the top. This supports good collecting and processing habits by letting you easily triage recently-collected tasks.

  • A TRO-compliant Inbox, New, or Unprocessed Tasks list. This is ideal. (Beware: unless the task list is fully TRO-compliant, these views might not be suitable. See criteria below.)
  • A custom view, smart search, or smart list with a fancy filter that shows you all your unprocessed tasks. See criteria below. This is a common solution.
  • All tasks with no major context. You can use a list that shows you tasks that lack major contexts. All processed tasks should have a major context.
  • All tasks with no context at all. If the other options aren’t available, use a list that shows tasks with no contexts. This view is usually available. Move the tasks out when they are processed.
  • A special folder or status for Processed tasks AND a filter or view that shows all tasks that are NOT in that folder or status. You must mark or move each task to “Processed” when you have processed it.
  • A special Unprocessed folder or list. If the other methods aren’t available for this task list, you can collect tasks to a separate named folder or list.
    • TRO for Teams: In a collaborative environment, you may need to look in your Activity Stream or Alerts list to gather incoming assignments to your Unprocessed list for processing. You always need to make decisions about incoming tasks, even when they are assigned to you.

Ideally, this list should only show tasks that meet these criteria:

  • NOT yet completed,
  • NOT fully processed, AND
  • NOT a template.