Search for Items with Overdue Ancestor

Is it possible to search for items that have an ancestor that is overdue? I’ve concluded that it is not possible but maybe someone out there has a solution.

Use case: find the “next action” in an overdue “project”.

I can solve this by dating both the project and its next action, but the ability to tag the next action #na would be much cleaner. In my system I use dates usually as “start date” or “review date”. So my desired search would turn up “here’s the next thing to do when I start or return to this project”.

Good day, Sam.
I am not sure I have enough info on your structure to understand your need/want framework, but I like the spirit of it…

First, yeah I tested and there’s no way to engage ancestor: since:DATE* or anything like that (so we found that out).

I use a #NextAction tag on executables within a project (and some others), and then when needing to cull them out -filter-drilldown on keys/tags per projects or people (heavily rely on ancestor and parent operators) …and possibly dates -but dates seem irrelevant if there are still pending actions tagged onto projects’ elements anyway; i.e., I can usually readily spot the time-framework if I am filter-drilling down like that (because in my implementation things line up in time anyway).

You question seems interesting, I just am not sure I am understanding your frame method enough to spot the limitation, though conceptually I think I get it…

One limitation I “get” is… because I have not yet spent time to figure how to frame a gantt method in an outline app framework (may be possible), …I ended up breaking “project elements” and “timesheet” tracking into different documents.

So I frame the project elements in logical and higherarchical relations, then
I track time over lots of projects (and people, meaning services, and then also resources) at once in a single sheet. {People/companies/trades and resources end up being tag elements mostly, but sometimes may also include an assigned document …I work on a lot of projects around the country}

Filtering allows me to pull from those what I need together into view, and I am free to tag NextActions (or whatever) in either and/or both places. Bringing focus within the framework of a single project, and/or set of resources, etc, is simple matter of adding filters. Later, if I find myself “in the projects sheets” I’ll see the NextActions for the project or even groupd of projects I filter to, OR if I am simply searching in the “TimeTrack sheet” I will see queues for project/s’ elements/actions there …and can easily filter-drill for further focus on whatever is the current concern/s.

That description may seem a little unfocussed, and while its workable I am interested in the challenge you refer to. Perhaps if you can tell us a little more it would be helpful …or I am way off track, I have no idea! lol

Also, I don’t know if this may be relvant…
Craig Oliver proffered something a while back …see here

Thanks for the thoughts. I’ll try to explain a little better why I am searching (pun) for this feature.

My whole system revolves around setting priorities with dates, ie urgency = priority. The dates in my system are generally start dates rather than due dates. The system is patterned after Michael Linenberger’s eg link

My thought: date the project and then tag #na the next actions. Then I could search for #na under projects that are due or overdue. But that doesn’t seem to be possible.

I could date the na’s and search for them directly but I’m trying to get away from dating both the project and the na’s. I like project dates to enable sorting my project lists. All my lists are created with searches so as to avoid moving projects and tasks around.

Thanks again, I’ll figure out an alternative.

I will take a look at the Michael Linenberger methodology, and thank you for linking to that.

Do you not mark a project as complete after completion? I realize that there may be a framework where that’s not possible or practical, however, if you do, then of course it would be easy to do a search a la…

Requires a special tag for “marking” a project as completed, say “#PC”, and using #na for nextaction tagging…

-ancestor:#PC #na within:somedate

I am not using proper syntax there, its only representative of the simple idea.
It says search for NextActions, AND after/within a specified date tag if/as may be relevant (employing within/since/until operators AND/OR edited/created*), Whose Ancestor IS NOT Marked as ProjectCompleted (cannot use simple app “completed” mark since thats ambiguous, obviously).
*Using operators edited/created facilitates not having to manually date and item (project?) in relevant cases (of course). Adding the use of "within/since/until along with edited/created/ may facilitate making a better date frame where needed [?].

Considering your level I would assume you have already wrestled that one to its failed conclusion, but its worth noting since (if nothing else) it is not mentioned explicitly in this thread, AND you mention “searching under a project” which seems to imply all #na would appear within context of “a project document”.

Hmmm… still feeling I’m just not getting it, but thought I’d reflect back. I will be checking out the link you posted when I have more time, thank you.
Good luck, and, if nothing else, please post back your solution if/when you resolve the puzzle.

It should be mentioned… I relate to NextActions differently from Immediate vs Steps (or Stages) vs Urgent…
I have not solved that management very well, but I use some qualifying NA Tags a la…

#NextAction = the next step in the project. Could also add a number at the end (in limited fashion) for more granularity, but I personally do not.

#NOW = what it says. If that gets posted, usually a #NextAction tag is already in there and the search filter would include both flags for filtering to and displaying those.

#NextStep = at some junctures in some projects steps or stages may be flagged. I can choose to include #NextAction (if/when makes sense, or not) depending on the filtering context targetted/anticipated.

#NextMeeting – I have some variations on these

#NextActionPriority = rarely used but it happens

Those types of flags always get removed as actions are performed.
– Sometimes it is necessary to flag something or a series of somethings as done, (the “completed” feature does not serve me well, so I use my own tagging for that …and actually I use a keyword method, not an actual tag, for this and certain other criteria [for various reasons of keeping things more easy to manage where tags may make it unnecessarily cluttered or difficult]).
– Sometimes it is necessary to flag a section in the timetracker OR the project …where critical notes were dropped in on the fly. I try to remove those as projects’ documentations may otherwise be properly updated, but sometimes it is necessary to keep them tagged for posterity (reference when a thing came about in due course).

LASTLY: I script/create my tags in anticipation of complex BOOLEAN Filtering. So for instance, sometimes a #NextStep includes some #NextAction/s and sometimes not. If I want to search all #NextSteps not having a #NextAction association (not the greatest example, but anyway…) I may Filter for…
ancestor: someProject #NextStep -#NextAction OR ancestor: someProject ancestor:#NextStep -#NextAction
…Meaning: Display Specified Project with NextStep/s not having a sibling or decendent NextAction
…kind of thing.

– I will create these “filters” and then either bookmark or make them available in a Filter Document for quick reuse and editing …can even link to them and give them meaningful names, like say … [Weekly Update XSystems at ZWorkSites wAssociate/s per Fleet Migration of xyz](link here to complex query).
…some of those queries are quite large, but can save me the need for creating separate documents or sections for things I see classically recommended in many GTD requiring either having to otherwise move things around (from where I think they should logically reside without being moved) or needlessly duplicate data.

I have no clue if any of that may be helpful (to you or someone else), or if its just more chaos, but there it is …some of my own ‘fighting the chaos’ in progress ;^)