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Task Priority and Risk


The Priority of a task can be set manually to any value, null or from 0 to 10. Null means priority does not play a factor in how this task is performed. Zero is the lowest priority and 10 is the highest. (There has been some discussion about allowing for reversal of that so that “the number 1 priority” is the highest.)

The default Priority is set in Preferences > Default Attributes.

The priority of a subtask can be inherited from its parent task. See Attribute Inheritance under Default Attributes.


The risk of a task is the cost of the challenge. People often make decisions about priority without thinking too much about the concept of risk, but the evaluation of risk is still implied if not stated.

Sometimes a lower risk makes the priority higher - you want to do things that cost you less. Commensurately, a higher risk makes the priority lower - you'd rather do other things before taking on a tougher project.

Risk can be evaluated in exactly the opposite way. A lower risk tends to imply a lower gain, and that can reduce the priority. Similarly a higher risk might make the task more worthwhile, thus increasing the priority.

ToDoList has a field for Risk just like Priority - with a value of null or a level of 0 to 10.

Using these fields

These fields are not calculated from one another, they are merely provided for you to evaluate in whatever way is meaningful to you. You can sort on risk or priority, filter out anything that is above or below a threshold of importance, or select items of higher or lower priority for assignment.

There is a preference under Attribute Calculations : “Display a parent task's priority/risk as being the highest of its and all its subtasks' priorities/risks”. This option allows you to specify that the parent task's priority/risk appears as that of its most deeply located subtask even if that subtask is not visible. This prevents important but deeply nested tasks from being overlooked. In other words, if a sub-task is a top priority then the parent task becomes a “defacto” high priority.

See [Colours] and the related preference settings for details about how tasks are colored based on their priority. (Tasks are not colored based on risk.)

priority-and-risk.txt · Last modified: 2020/11/21 02:21 (external edit)