This guide explores the Bulletproof Task Management template. Recreate it form scratch or duplicate it to your own workspace.
How you sequence your tasks varies among projects. Some tasks are assigned a date in the initial project plan, while others follow dependencies. In ongoing projects, tasks often recur at a specified interval. Meanwhile, tasks without defined deadlines and dependencies can be difficult to prioritize.
Few Notion workspaces effectively accommodate all four of these needs:
Bulletproof Task Management integrates these needs within a streamlined, sophisticated system that's manageable for every user. Drawing from popular productivity methodologies — Getting Things Done and the Eisenhower Matrix, among others — the Bulletproof system is a core element of The Bulletproof Workspace, but it can be added seamlessly to any Notion workspace.
Using this guide, you can construct the system from scratch, or you can duplicate the fully developed template and watch the video to see just how it works.
Like The Bulletproof Workspace, Bulletproof Task Management upholds my foremost recommendation for any Notion workspace:
At the crux of the Bulletproof Task Management system is a master Tasks database, which centralizes all of the Tasks in your workspace, for all projects and people. That database contains a variety of properties, including
Relations to other databases, which allow you to view your Tasks by project, timeframe, assignee, meeting and other helpful contexts.
This guide focuses on that Tasks database but references a handful of others to demonstrate the various contexts in which tasks can be managed. In the template, you'll find distilled versions of those other databases.
The Bulletproof Task Management system is built around an intelligent Status property, which is a
Formula property that automatically populates according to various conditions. While this may seem complex, it's actually a method of simplification: it facilitates recurrence, dependence, scheduling and prioritization while requiring very little.
This automated Status property allows you to filter and sort your Tasks in remarkably helpful views, focusing on those that are actionable and surfacing the ones requiring immediate attention.
Of the seven Statuses, four are "healthy" and three require attention:
orits dependency is complete, thus requiring a date.
Therefore, at any given time, a Task must meet at least one of the below criteria in order to maintain a "healthy" Status; otherwise, it will be deemed "needs-attention" and surfaced to the top of most views.
These criteria are hierarchical, i.e., a completed non-recurring Task will ignore an overdue date, and an overdue date will trump a "Someday" value. Additionally, a Task that depends on a "Someday" Task will have a "Someday" status, unless it's scheduled.
To bring more context to a Task's circumstance, the Status value can include "flags."
Statuses can include "flags" — marked by an em dash — to offer a more useful snapshot of the Task:
— Awaiting Dependency
Unless "Awaiting Dependency" is the primary Status, it will appear as a flag.
For recurring Tasks, the selected frequency will appear as a flag below the Status.
On occasion, a Project's Tasks have neither a deadline nor dependency. Such circumstances pose a challenge to sequencing Tasks. Enter the Bulletproof Prioritizer.
Within Projects, a Prioritizer view of the Tasks database facilitates an exercise that automatically prioritizes your Tasks. It's an expansion of The Eisenhower Matrix, which calculates each task's priority from its urgency and importance. Bulletproof's Prioritizer also evaluates workload (how long does it take?) and enjoyment (eat the frog).
For each of those properties — Urgency, Importance, Workload and Enjoyment — you assign a value of High, Medium or Low. With those inputs, the Priority (
Formula) property returns a number, by which the view is sorted (
Ascending). That allows you to assign dates, thus establishing the Tasks as "healthy."
The Urgency property includes a fourth option, "Someday," which allows you to keep a Task "healthy" without assigning a date or dependency. The concept comes from the Getting Things Done method, but I recommend using it sparingly.
If a Task depends on a "Someday" Task, it will inherit a "Someday" status (with an "Awaiting Dependency" flag).
In team workspaces, each Task typically has a deadline that differs from the day the assignee will complete it. Borrowing from August Bradley, the Bulletproof framework includes a Due Date and Do Date within the Tasks database. The project manager sets the Due Date, while the assignee uses the Do Date for personal scheduling.
In individual (non-team) workspaces, the Due Date property is unnecessary; you only need to schedule when you'll do the work to complete the Task — the Do Date.
In the template, the
Formula properties of the Tasks database reference the Due Date to determine Status values. If you're implementing the Bulletproof system only for yourself, I recommend replacing instances of "Due Date" with "Do Date" in formulas, as well as filters and sorting rules, across all views of your Tasks database (including Linked Databases). Thereafter, you can delete the Due Date property and make the Do Date property visible in all views.
In individual workspaces, you can also delete the Responsible property.
Below, you'll find a comprehensive list of properties within the Tasks database. Please remember, this is far simpler than it may seem. You'll never view all properties simultaneously, and you'll rarely use them all for a single Task. They existing to accommodate a variety of independent needs.
Dateproperty you'll need; you can update all formulas, filters and sorting rules accordingly.
Relationbetween Tasks and Projects allows for filtered views of Tasks within the Project template. You'll typically manage Tasks within their Projects.
Rollupproperty "pulls in" the Bucket from the Task's related Project.
Relationproperty, Tasks are automatically related to the meeting in which they are added.
As described above, "Prioritizer" views of Tasks within Projects facilitate an exercise that calculates a priority for each Task based on its urgency, importance, workload and enjoyment. Accordingly, you can assign dates.
Each of the
Select properties below have the options of "High," "Medium" and "Low." The Urgency property has a fourth option, "Someday," to give it a healthy "Someday" Status without assigning a date or dependency.
The two below properties calculate values used by other properties. You'll never need to view them yourself.
You will almost always manage Tasks within Projects, Meetings & Events, team and personal dashboards, and other filtered contexts. For the rare occasions when you access the Tasks database directly, you have two views.
The default view, "All Tasks," is a
Table. It's sorted by Status ID, which surfaces Tasks needing attention, then Due Date (or Do Date in a personal workspace). Properties are shown, hidden and arranged in a useful configuration, which you can tailor to suit your own needs.
The Recurring view is a
Board grouped by Frequency. It's filtered to show only recurring Tasks (where Frequency
Is not empty). Only useful properties are displayed; you can adjust the configuration to suit your preferences.
Rather than directly accessing your master Tasks database, you'll manage filtered views within Projects and other useful contexts.
Most of your Task management will occur within Projects. Your Project template includes a Linked Database of Tasks, which shows only the "child" Tasks of the containing Project. This is accomplished with a self-referencing filter.
You can manage a Project's Tasks within four views:
The Task Pipeline is a
Table that shows all but completed Tasks for the Project. It's sorted by Status ID, which surfaces Tasks needing attention, then Due Date (or Do Date in a personal workspace). The visibility and arrangement of properties make the Tasks easiest to manage:
The Recurring view is a
Board grouped by Frequency. In addition to filtering for the Project, it shows only recurring Tasks (where Frequency
Is not empty). The cards display just a small selection of useful properties:
As described above, the Prioritizer view of Tasks within Projects allows you to automate prioritization for Tasks lacking a defined date or dependency. This view is a
Table, filtered to show only the Project's non-complete Tasks, without a Frequency value and where the Status value does not include "Awaiting." It's sorted by Priority, then Due Date (Do Date in individual workspaces).
These are the visible properties used in the exercise:
The All Tasks view is the same as the Task Pipeline but includes completed Tasks.
The Bulletproof Workspace's Meeting & Events database includes a Formal Meeting template, where you can add the meeting's resulting action items directly to the Tasks database. The inner Tasks database is a Linked Database with a self-referencing filter. The default and only view is a
Table sorted by Status ID, then Due Date (Do Date in individual workspaces). These properties are visible:
Whether you use your workspace independently or as a team, every member should have a personal dashboard that displays only personally relevant information. That include a filtered Linked Database of Tasks. If you use the Responsible property with a team, you can filter all views to display only the Tasks where Responsible
Contains "Me" (the signed-in user).
Users can customize views to suit their preferences. Here are two starters:
The Planner view is a
Table that displays Tasks needing attention (Status ID ≤ 3) or scheduled within the next month.
It's sorted by Status ID, Do Date, then in team workspaces, Due Date. This offers an easy way for the individual to review upcoming Tasks and assign Do Dates for personal scheduling.
By default, visible properties include:
The Today view is a
Board grouped by
Timeslot. It's filtered to show only non-complete Tasks with a Do Date of "Today." After assigning Do Dates in the Planner view, the Today view offers an exceptionally useful way to distribute Tasks throughout the day, dragging them from one timeslot to another and checking them complete as the day progresses.
By default, visible properties include:
If you use your workspace as a team, it's helpful to have a high-level organization dashboard containing quick-access links and filtered Linked Databases. Here are two views included in the Linked Database for Tasks:
Needless to say, the Needs Attention view is filtered for the Tasks across all Projects with an "unhealthy" status (Status ID ≤ 3). It displays them in a
Table sorted by Status ID with these properties visible:
Table, the Within a Week view displays all incomplete Tasks where the Due Date
Is on or before
One week from now and Status ID