So I, like many others, use org-mode to implement GTD to manage my life. One thing that happens since I'm in school is long-term projects, which have milestones. In and of themselves these milestones are strictly sequential events, and within these milestones even usually there are strictly sequential events.

As it stands now, I mark all the items that are blocked because of the current NEXTACTION as TODO. Whenever I finish a task and mark it DONE, I have the mental burden of then reviewing my project support materials to determine what becomes the new NEXTACTION. This is fine, but inefficient if I already know the order of events. Is there a way to automatically change the next item down (in a list, actual next line, any way) to NEXTACTION when I mark an item DONE?

1 Answer 1


You can use org-depend (from the org-plus-contrib package) to do exactly this. Make sure it's loaded by adding (add-to-list 'org-modules 'org-depend) to your init file. Then just set the TRIGGER property to chain-siblings(NEXTACTION). When this entry is marked done, the next sibling will be set to NEXTACTION and it gets the same TRIGGER property, so you can continue the chain. More complex methods for selecting the "next" item are possible.

  • This is exactly what I was looking for! Thank you!
    – Bronze
    Commented Apr 1, 2016 at 1:03

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