Welcome! Not a stupid question at all - you are describing a use case I have often wished for as well.
Unfortunately, the short answer is that No, what you are describing is not (directly) possible. The “outline view” is the “master order” of the items. You can use LIST views, filtered as you wish, and then sorted by the various pre-defined sort options, but there is not a manual sort option.
(Side note - I also use a GTD style methodology - and instead of a tag for “next actions” - I use the “task” bullet. Things in my projects that are notes are unprefixed, and future tasks are bullet points. I only assign the “task” bullet to next actions. I found that visually easier than a tag; and since Legend allows you to easily filter for JUST tasks it works well for me. Also helps me reduce the possibility that I forget to add a next action tag, and therefore miss a task.).
I’ve tried many work arounds for this… I will list some and maybe it will help you find something that works for you.
My most common work around for this has been to use the priority flags with my tasks. And then a list view, sorted by priority will put the items into groups.
You can also add a number (or letter) to the front of your tasks, and then use the “sort a-z” feature to view them in order. Example:
- 01 task here
- 02 next task
- 03 more tasks
- 02.5 inserting a task “in between” previously numbered tasks, this will sort between 02 and 03
As you hint at - you can also use tags, and then “group by tag” to get tasks grouped by something that helps you know when you might want to work on them. Legend lets you drag items between tag groups when sorted by tag, so this is a solid option and makes it easier to re-arrange tasks.
Pro Tip: Set up your time frame tags with numbers, so when sorting by tag, they sort in logical order. ie: If your tags are #today #thisweek #nextweek #thismonth #Nov #Dec #Jan and you sort alphabetically - the order you see isn’t logical. Prefacing your tags with numbers can solve this - #1.Today #2.ThisWeek, etc. Play with numbers and special characters in your tags until they sort in an order that makes sense to you BEFORE starting to apply them to all your tasks.
You can also use the agenda feature for this - adding a day and time to your tasks, dragging them around the calendar view to put them in the order you wish.
This is accomplished most easily by setting up a board with two panes - one filtered to show your “NextActions” the other a calendar pane set to view today (or the week). You can then drag tasks from you “next actions” list to a spot on the calendar.
(And yes, I am well aware that this method in particular is very ANTI what GTD teaches about next actions. So if you are strict GTD, the trick is to think of it not as “assigning tasks to a specific time” but simply as using the calendar feature to put them in order. )
You can then use an AGENDA view to see just the tasks in order (without the calendar time block).
Finally - the “work around” that is closest to what you are actually asking for:
You can filter to view all your “next actions” and then select them all and MIRROR only the tasks into another node of your outline.
Those MIRRORED tasks, can then be manually re-ordered without effecting their order in the main project outline.
Downsides of this method -
mirrors are still not 100% as a feature; they don’t work right in calendar views, don’t sort correctly in list views… and therefore, can cause some reliability problems.
Also, it requires you to remember to MANUALLY add any new “next actions” from your project lists into your mirrored “sorting view” list. If you are doing this as a daily task view - recopying the list every day, or using the mirrored list to order tasks only on particularly busy days, that may not be a problem. But if you rely on it day in, day out - it is easy to have tasks get “missed” because you didn’t remember to mirror them from your project list.
That was a long response. Hopefully something there is useful to you!