Workflow advice for a better Overview - List notes and filtered tasks together

What I’m trying to do


my biggest issue in life has been keeping an overview of all the things I want, need and have to do. Ive filled up various apps with all the micro-tasks that I have on my mind but it seems a clear and precise overview of all these tasks has always been missing. Ive been desperately hoping to change that with obsidian.

Now that I am slowly getting the hang of it, I really want to dive deeper into dashboards.
I have searched a lot for two features that would really help me out, but I could not find the solution. I have limited understanding of code, but Im learning each day.

1) Listing all notes in a folder and certain filtered tasks from each of those notes

Example: I run a podcast and I have a folder called “episode concepts”. For each planned episode, I create a new note. In each note, there are various tasks that I need to complete in order for the episode to be relased, such as writing, recording, editing. These tasks have no due dates or priorities as I work on this project when I have time for it (This means these fields could maybe be used for the solution).

Now I imagine it should be possible to have a dashboard, that lists all my planned episode notes and the next step that I need to take for each episode. But I have no idea how to realise this in dataview. Is there even a concept of grouping tasks together as a step-by-step list? Is it needed?In other programming languages I would create a list and then substract items until I reach the first unchecked task and then return that single item.

What I want is a page that gives me a quick and clear overview over the single next steps that I need to take to make progress in various projects. Id also like to be able to call these “next step” tasks from other dashboards, too. Which brings me to question two:

2) Randomly listing a certain amount of tasks that share the same hashtag.

Example: I like to tag my tasks with the effort it wil ltake to complete them. Setting up a dashboard, that gives me an overview of tasks that would take little time to complete is so useful when being on the verge of procastination. I think I should be able to do this myself however it would also be useful to have my Daily Note template randomly display three #small tasks from my vault to complete each day. In this case, it would be great to be able to check each task from the daily note or to at least have it link back to its note.

Things I have tried

I have gotten so far as to display all unchecked tasks from each note from a folder. I would like to reduce the results to only one task per note. However my tries of further filtering these results only affected the notes and not the tasks.

TABLE WITHOUT ID AS "Episode", Tasks.text AS Task 
from "Episodes"
WHERE file.tasks AND !completed 
FLATTEN file.tasks AS Tasks

As for the second question, I have found code that seems to randomly pull a random element here: Dataviewjs Examples - Fork My Brain

Maybe someone can adapt it to return x tasks from a pool of unchecked tasks that share the same hashtag(s).

function randomElements(arr, n) {
  var result = new Array(n);
  var len = arr.length;
  if (n > len) throw new RangeError("randomElements: more elements taken than available");
  for (var i = len - 1; i >= len - n; i--) {
    var j = Math.floor(Math.random() * (i + 1));
    var temp = arr[i];
    result[len - i - 1] = arr[j];
    arr[i] = arr[j];
    arr[j] = temp;
  return result;

dv.list(randomElements(dv.pages('"TTRPGs/Temporary White Circle"')
  .where(b => b.type == "NPC")
  .where(b => !b.deceased)
  .sort(b =>
  .map(b =>,1)

I would be very helpful for any pointers. Thank you in advance.

So I found out that tasks has dependencies since a few days ago. A big relief. Working with those has enabled me to generate a list returning only the “active” task from each note. Thats great! This feature should make collecting these kinds of tasks across the vault a lot easier.

not done
is not blocked
hide tags
hide id
filter by function task.file.folder === "Episodes/"

The “hide blocked by” query doesnt seem to work but I used CSS to hide that part.

.task-dependsOn {
    display: none;

Since each task includes a backlink to its note, this basically does the job. However I would like it more if the backlink came before the task as it is more logical to first read the project and then what the next step would be. Tasks offers query filter variables such as task.file.filenameWithoutExtension however there doesnt seem to be a way to actually display the contents.

Now as far as I remember, dataview is also able to work with the task queries and should be able to use the “is blocked” attribute to filter tasks, right?

That blocked by syntax, as described in Blocked Tasks, is an addition made by the Tasks plugin if I’m not mistaken. And although it’s described with an alternate “dataview format” syntax, the base form with the “ID” and “stop signal” icons are not recognised by Dataview as the corresponding inline fields of id and dependsOn.

Furthermore there is currently, as of 0.5.64, no logic to deal with these dependencies (other than pure text comparison of some sort), or logic related to this “is blocked” attribute from the Tasks plugin.

Regarding other part related to where to show backlinks, I’m not sure if Tasks has something similar to the FLATTEN text as visual option of dataview, to allow you re-arrange text bits.

Since you only the first uncompleted task from any given file, you should be able to do something like:

TABLE WITHOUT ID, nextTask.text
FROM "Episodes"
WHERE file.tasks and !completed
FLATTEN filter(file.tasks, (t) => !t.completed)[0] as nextTask

Sadly, this is still a table query, and not a task query so you can’t actually complete any of these tasks, but it should give you an overview as to what’s the next task in any given file.

Some random tasks

Check out the answer below which showcases one option to randomly sort a group of tasks and then presenting only the first few tasks. Variation over this theme should answer you question on finding some #small task to complete on your daily note.

The thread above also discusses why this particular solution maybe not the best solution, as it’ll change the tasks when the note reruns its queries. Another option could have been to use Templater to insert the tasks, like in this thread:

However, this duplicates the tasks, and is more useful for citing quotes or repeating a task.

In other words, until my new seeded random function is implemented in a future dataview version (I’ve written the Pull Request already), you’re best best is most likely to use some of the last variants which changes slowly at the end of that first thread.