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Salgud

Posted: Aug 09, 2010
Score: 0



"I think there is a huge gap in the marketplace between task management software and project management software. To my knowledge there is nothing out there with good graphical dashboards, limitless hierarchical subprojects, and Gantt charts along with the features, ease, and flexibility of ToodleDo."

That's the problem. You can't have all those features and have the "ease" of TD. Having used, taught and consulted on Project Management and scheduling software (there is no project management software) for many years, I don't want TD to try to become mini-project scheduling software. One, I like TD pretty much as it is, with a few wishes I've posted elsewhere.

Two, there are hundreds of software programs out there that lie somewhere between task managers and Primavera. Some cloud-based, some desktop. If you need those capabilities, take your pick. But let's keep TD as a really great task manager.


This message was edited Aug 09, 2010.
Transisto

Posted: Aug 09, 2010
Score: 2



Posted by Salgud:

That's the problem. You can't have all those features and have the "ease" of TD. ... I don't want TD to try to become mini-project scheduling software.


However you look at it there is no line between a task manager and project manager.

AFAIK, Toodledo is being promoted as implementing GTD, and projects are a core part of GTD philosophy.

I'm tired of those post fearing changes.

@Toddledo, Thanks for the status update.
PeterW 

Posted: Aug 10, 2010
Score: 0



Posted by Toodledo:
We decided to bite off a big feature, so it is taking longer than usual between updates, but we are getting close to having a release which will include the big thing and a handful of small things as well.

Thanks for the update. I've been hanging out for some improvements to the website so really looking forward to the release.
Salgud

Posted: Aug 10, 2010
Score: 2



Posted by Transisto:


I'm tired of those post fearing changes.


Not afraid, just don't want TD to try to be scheduling software. I have a list of changes I'd like to see, just as most of us do. But asking the developers here to make TD emulate scheduling software is about as appropriate as going to an M$ Project forum and asking them to dumb it down to a task manager.
Andrew A

Posted: Aug 10, 2010
Score: 0



@Salgud +1
Osaga

Posted: Aug 11, 2010
Score: 0



SOLUTION TO TD BECOMING TOO BIG ISSUE

I see people asking for TD to be a simple task list and others who would buy it, but don't are looking for more features.

Retain both customers by being able to put TD into one of two 'modes'.

TASK MODE - for those who want a simple task list (basically limit features and minimize the UI... so it would be similar to what it is currently).

PROJECT / SCHEDULING MODE - for those who want a more complex scheduler with multi user capabilities. All features turned on and UI optimized for this mode.

Just an idea that would help to retain current customers and gain new ones.


This message was edited Aug 11, 2010.
Kevin

Posted: Aug 11, 2010
Score: 0



Posted by Toodledo:
We decided to bite off a big feature, so it is taking longer than usual between updates, but we are getting close to having a release which will include the big thing and a handful of small things as well.


Awesome! Eager to find out what it is!
Salgud

Posted: Aug 12, 2010
Score: 1



Posted by Osaga:
SOLUTION TO TD BECOMING TOO BIG ISSUE

I see people asking for TD to be a simple task list and others who would buy it, but don't are looking for more features.

Retain both customers by being able to put TD into one of two 'modes'.

TASK MODE - for those who want a simple task list (basically limit features and minimize the UI... so it would be similar to what it is currently).

PROJECT / SCHEDULING MODE - for those who want a more complex scheduler with multi user capabilities. All features turned on and UI optimized for this mode.

Just an idea that would help to retain current customers and gain new ones.


Kind of the classic answer to the old and endless arguments in these kinds of forums between those who want the product to continue more or less as is and those who want it to morph into something vastly more complex. But such a button as you suggest doesn't solve the fundamental problems that those of us who like TD as is, fear. When you add that level of complexity, whether it's showing on your screen or hidden in the bowels of the internet, it still affects the package as a whole. Having done just enough programming to be dangerous, I believe that just like most things in life, doubling the size or complexity of a program quadruples the problems in writing and debugging the code, and that is felt, both directly (glitches) and indirectly (time for new features to be added). So it appears to solve the problem at first glance, but in fact, by itself, adds complexity, cost, and development time. The "magic button" is not any kind of a solution. Never has been, never will be.
Claudio

Posted: Aug 12, 2010
Score: 1



@Salgud -1
;)

Seriously, the current structure of Toodledo is not that far away from having another level of task management that straddles the line between a basic task manager and full-blown project management.

Nobody is asking for Critical Chain Project Management, or Resources and Constraints, or PERT.

But, Toodledo already has Start Date and Time, Due Date and Time, Status, Duration, and a Timer. There's even a Calendar and a Scheduler. Toodledo is already more than just a task manager.

What's missing is:
Ability to edit completion dates
Task dependency
More effective scheduler
Simple Gantt chart
Sharing that actually facilitates collaboration

None of the above is going to transform Toodledo into a Project Management solution. Just a more powerful task manager for handling more complex projects.

Unfortunately, the Toodledo development team is dealing with adding some more basic functionality, along with improving the overall look and feel of the software. Also, they seem to be struggling quite a bit with the idea of "intuitive".

Posted by Salgud:
there are hundreds of software programs out there that lie somewhere between task managers and Primavera. Some cloud-based, some desktop. If you need those capabilities, take your pick.
Any suggestions?
Salgud

Posted: Aug 12, 2010
Score: 1



Thanks for your reply.

Posted by Claudio:
[quote]@Salgud -1
;)

Seriously, the current structure of Toodledo is not that far away from having another level of task management that straddles the line between a basic task manager and full-blown project management.

Nobody is asking for Critical Chain Project Management, or Resources and Constraints, or PERT. [/quote]


If you're doing a "real" project, then you probably need some, if not all, of those things you listed.

[quote]But, Toodledo already has Start Date and Time, Due Date and Time, Status, Duration, and a Timer. There's even a Calendar and a Scheduler. Toodledo is already more than just a task manager.

What's missing is:
Ability to edit completion dates
Task dependency
More effective scheduler
Simple Gantt chart
Sharing that actually facilitates collaboration

None of the above is going to transform Toodledo into a Project Management solution. Just a more powerful task manager for handling more complex projects. [/quote]

That's arguable. Let's look at your list:

Ability to edit completion date - probably not much effort.

Task dependency - Here's a big one. What kinds of dependencise do you want supported? Strictly FS, or SS, FF, SF also? What about lead and lag?

More effective scheduler - sky's the limit here, could be a few days work, or months, depending on what a "more effective scheduler" means.

Simple Gantt Chart - medium effort, depending on features.

Sharing that actually facilitates collaboration - again, depends. Guessing, I'd say weeks for sure, maybe months.

[quote]Unfortunately, the Toodledo development team is dealing with adding some more basic functionality, along with improving the overall look and feel of the software. Also, they seem to be struggling quite a bit with the idea of "intuitive".[/quote]

Or fortunately, depending on your POV. :)

Posted by Salgud:

<DIV class=quote>there are hundreds of software programs out there that lie somewhere between task managers and Primavera. Some cloud-based, some desktop. If you need those capabilities, take your pick. [/quote]Any suggestions?[/quote]

Have only very briefly looked at a couple of the programs out there now, so I can't make a suggestion. With a reasonable effort, it could be found. You'd need to start with a needs assessment, though you're already close with what you have listed above. If you're serious, you'd have to flesh that out and ask the questions I've asked. Maybe look at what's out there to help you determine your needs. You also have to look ahead, because inevitably, with this kind of app, your needs will change as you become accustomed to whatever you start with. Having only FS dependencies will work fine for a short while, but in a few months, you'll wish you had all the others (ok, you might never need SF!)

And there's the rub. After a year or less of using one of those handy packages, you'll probably be yearning for just a little more. Maybe resources? Costing? And the same would happen with TD. If they incorporated just your "simple" list, before the ink was dry on our computer screens (badly broken metaphor), you'd want whatever was next. And a month after that, something else.

Having consulted and trained for many years in Project Management, and used a number of the popular tools, primarily M$ Project, I can tell you, you'll either give up and go back to something simpler, or you'll move upward and onward to scheduling software, which is what you need if you're serious about getting control of even relatively small projects. I wouldn't even attempt to build a small house without it. It's all about the coordination of multiple simultaneous efforts that neccitates CPM/Critical Chain and Network Diagrams and the rest. The big problem is the learning curve, but, again, if you're serious, it's time to learn. Sounds like you already have a start. Why try and make TD into something it will never be really good for?

In truth, this whole conversation is moot. Neither of us will ultimately decide where TD goes. The TD team will do that. And I strongly doubt they'll go that route. I certainly hope not.

I wish you the best in finding something that serves your needs. But from my experience, it isn't a task manager, it's some kind of scheduling software.
Claudio

Posted: Aug 12, 2010
Score: 2



Posted by Salgud:
If you're doing a "real" project, then you probably need some, if not all, of those things you listed.
Actually, I don't.

I think that part of the problem in communicating what some other users want in terms of handling projects is the word "project".

Going on vacation is a project. Buying a car is a project. Planning a party is a project. These projects do not require Critical Chain Project Management or PERT, or formal Resources and Constraints.

But, they all involve a number of components and connections, all of which can be handled somehow by Toodledo, but not as smoothly as I can imagine it could be if there were some additional functions.

One thing that I left out in my list is an explicitly defined entity called "Project". Not Folder, or Parent Task, but Project. This entity would contain all of the various pieces and provide the overall structure and flow for all the tasks that are required to complete the project.
Task dependency - Here's a big one. What kinds of dependencise do you want supported? Strictly FS, or SS, FF, SF also? What about lead and lag?
Well, I don't know what those initials stand for. For me, task dependency is just this: Task B cannot (or should not) be started until Task A is completed. This means that the project has some structure, direction, and flow. It's not just 20 things that I have to get done. There's no need for specifying lead or lag times.

On my list of active tasks, I want to see those things that I need to do now, not the things that I need to do after I complete the things that I need to do. Of course, I want to also see an overview, but that's when I'm in planning mode. When I'm in "doing mode", I want to get things done and I don't want to be distracted, but I don't want to worry that I've missed something.
Or fortunately, depending on your POV. :)
You're right. Poor choice of words on my part. :)
Have only very briefly looked at a couple of the programs out there now, so I can't make a suggestion. With a reasonable effort, it could be found.
Okay. So, unfortunately (?), these "hundreds of software programs" are more theoretical than practical.
After a year or less of using one of those handy packages, you'll probably be yearning for just a little more.
That's the impetus for progress. The iPhone didn't exist a few years ago, but now Toodledo has dedicated a lot of time and energy to developing an iPhone app. Should we not "yearn for just a little more"?
Maybe resources? Costing?
Nope.
In truth, this whole conversation is moot. Neither of us will ultimately decide where TD goes. The TD team will do that. And I strongly doubt they'll go that route. I certainly hope not.
It depends on what specifically "that route" is, right?
I wish you the best in finding something that serves your needs. But from my experience, it isn't a task manager, it's some kind of scheduling software.
Good suggestion. Thanks. :)


This message was edited Aug 12, 2010.
Irklak

Posted: Aug 14, 2010
Score: 0



The main thing that i am looking for is a weekly review applet of some kind. What that would be i'm still trying to discover. I find the weekly review to be a little difficult as it is now on the web and iPad apps.
Andrew A

Posted: Aug 16, 2010
Score: 0



@Irklak LOL... well, I suppose that a weekly review app would let you sort and organize tasks by various criteria and cross reference them across project and context so you are likely to see them more than once when reviewing... like @work *Project Widget so you can see the task under the project and the context views... maybe even a status or tag view as well.... wait... we already have that! LOL. Just poking a little fun, but I often hear a wish from a user who wants something they can't fully articulate. They often already have what they were looking for, just aren't aware of it. Hope that is the case here!

This message was edited Aug 16, 2010.
lransom

Posted: Aug 18, 2010
Score: 1



Claudio:

Regarding your desire to be able to have a clean and current task list, I totally sympathize. I used to brainstorm all the tasks for a project, add them as subtasks and leave them in my projects folder. But that would clutter things up when I did the weekly review. So, now I just add one subtask to my task list, but then list all of the other tasks in the Note field with the word "Task:" in front of it.

when I complete a task with the subtask icon, I just click that icon to load the parent, and create the next task i want to from the list in the note field.

It works for now, until toodledo makes the user interface a little smoother. I do think it would be nice for TD to differentiate between a task and a project in way a little more nuanced than simple parent/subtasks.
Osaga

Posted: Aug 18, 2010
Score: 1



Posted by Salgud:
Kind of the classic answer to the old and endless arguments in these kinds of forums between those who want the product to continue more or less as is and those who want it to morph into something vastly more complex. But such a button as you suggest doesn't solve the fundamental problems that those of us who like TD as is, fear. When you add that level of complexity, whether it's showing on your screen or hidden in the bowels of the internet, it still affects the package as a whole. Having done just enough programming to be dangerous, I believe that just like most things in life, doubling the size or complexity of a program quadruples the problems in writing and debugging the code, and that is felt, both directly (glitches) and indirectly (time for new features to be added). So it appears to solve the problem at first glance, but in fact, by itself, adds complexity, cost, and development time. The "magic button" is not any kind of a solution. Never has been, never will be.


I disagree. There is a way to do it. You just have to be smart, design correctly and implement without fear. Yes, complexity is difficult to maintain, but not impossible as you may think. Also, as long as you are programming with objects and not stringing a bunch of ill developed code it can be done.

I see many Sas projects that have degrees of complexity (if you pay the right price). Same applies here.

"Never has been, never will be." You could apply that answer to some many things in that past that now have come to pass and exist.


This message was edited Aug 18, 2010.
Salgud

Posted: Aug 18, 2010
Score: 1



@Osaga

You completely ignored the indirect effects I mentioned in my last post. The development time that goes in to making TD into scheduling software would be more than a few weeks. In that time, at least a dozen other features that the majority of us want could be added. Not to mention that everytime they add a new feature, they have to contend with all that "other" code which can, and will, cause problems with any new code added. It's not just about adding a set of features.

I never said it couldn't be done, only elucidated what some of the consequences would be for all TD users, the majority of which don't want to go this route.
apastuszak

Posted: Aug 19, 2010
Score: 1



Posted by Transisto:
Posted by Salgud:

That's the problem. You can't have all those features and have the "ease" of TD. ... I don't want TD to try to become mini-project scheduling software.


However you look at it there is no line between a task manager and project manager.

AFAIK, Toodledo is being promoted as implementing GTD, and projects are a core part of GTD philosophy.

I'm tired of those post fearing changes.

@Toddledo, Thanks for the status update.


GTD projects and the type of projects that involve Gannt Charts and the use of "Project Management" software are two entirely different things. I believe David Allen actually recommends against the use of tradition project management software for your GTD trusted source.
Transisto

Posted: Aug 20, 2010
Score: -1



Posted by apastuszak:

GTD projects and the type of projects that involve Gannt Charts and the use of "Project Management" software are two entirely different things. I believe David Allen actually recommends against the use of tradition project management software for your GTD trusted source.


No Gannt chart, Ok.
But Another level of subtask or subfolder AND Multi-Edit (without search) are reasons I can't use Toodledo for anything serious. (project like)

Too often I later realize a sub-task require more steps than I expected. Then I'm fuktd with GTD next action.


This message was edited Aug 20, 2010.
Stuart

Posted: Aug 25, 2010
Score: 0



Posted by Transisto:
Posted by apastuszak:

GTD projects and the type of projects that involve Gannt Charts and the use of "Project Management" software are two entirely different things. I believe David Allen actually recommends against the use of tradition project management software for your GTD trusted source.


No Gannt chart, Ok.
But Another level of subtask or subfolder AND Multi-Edit (without search) are reasons I can't use Toodledo for anything serious. (project like)

Too often I later realize a sub-task require more steps than I expected. Then I'm fuktd with GTD next action.


I see you're point, but if that is the case, then you may need to simply split the original sub task down into further 'subsubtasks' but utilise a naming structure on the subtask.

eg

Project 1 = My Project
Sub task1 = 'MyProject:subtask1: details action'

If the sub task needs to be further divided;

'MyProject:Subtask1:Subsubtask: action details'

Note: this would still be a subtask of the original 'MyProjects' project

This would ensure that the original subtask that needed to be further divided into actions had some form of source reference.

I know it's not perfect but until "subsubtask" become a reality then this works for me.

Stuart


This message was edited Aug 25, 2010.
rmcoplon

Posted: Sep 01, 2010
Score: 0



If I could ask for anything, it would be for the web interface to have more effective drop-down lists. I probably drop each list three times before it doesn't try to select the entire interface as I move the mouse to select from the list. The ability to simply copy down values instead of having to drop a list, scroll down, and make the same selection a bunch of times in a row would be a HUGE timesaver.
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