I greatly appreciate you all taking the time to answer my questions. Based on your advice, and a well timed email from @MacSparky that linked to a blog post showing how many perspectives he uses, I created a few custom perspectives and changed my tag structure. (You all will no doubt see elements of your own workflows in the following.)
First, all tasks are in a Project, and have at least one Tag.
Tags may be arranged into a Deep hierarchy, a Shallow hierarchy, an Analysis hierarchy, or none of these master Tags. These represent my three predominant modes of thought:
- deep work reading, writing, thinking, that require large blocks of uninterrupted time
- shallow work, doing paperwork, emailing people, etc.
- analysis, which is kind of deep work (writing code and the like), but done in the lab and subject to interruptions
- finally, the rest fall into none of the above - taking the dog to get her teeth cleaned, and the like
I think my workflow will be as such:
- each week (perhaps daily), Review projects
- things that need my attention this week will be flagged
- during daily review, tasks that need to be worked on the next day will get a Today tag
In my Passion Planner, I’m blocking off Deep time in the morning, and Shallow time in the afternoon (I’ll have to work Analysis in there too). Things not in a hierarchy happen at home (as does some Deep work, etc.).
I’ve created a few Perspectives: Today Deep, Today Shallow, and Today Analysis. There’s also one for the miscellaneous tasks. (Thanks to @RosemaryOrchard , I remembered that you can Option+Click in the filter criteria to add a “none of these” section to the filters.)
In the morning when my Deep block begins, I’ll check Today Deep and jump in. After lunch, Today Shallow, etc.
At the end of the day, Flagged tasks (again, flagged meaning work on them this week) are reviewed and some may be tagged as Today tasks to be done the next day.
Meetings and such go in the Passion Planner, and in Fantastical.
Sounds complex when all written out, but I think it is sustainable, and will keep everything periodically in view.
Again, thanks everyone!