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Editing Multiple Tasks - Without a Search



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Alan

Posted: Feb 11, 2009
Score: 2



Hi:

New Pro user here. There has just got to be a way to edit multiple tasks at once without having to do a search. The reason I'm asking is at this point, most of the tasks that I would like to edit don't have something in common that I can use to search for to establish the list.

You mean I can't just check a number of tasks and edit one or two fields for all of them at once without the search? Yikes.
Jake

Toodledo Admin
Posted: Feb 11, 2009
Score: 0



Sorry, thats the way it currently works. The checkbox is for competing the task. If we had two checkboxes (one for checking it off and another for selecting it to perform some sort of bulk-edit), things would get really confusing.
MikeKDidIt

Posted: Feb 14, 2009
Score: 2



Posted by amswitzer:
Hi:

New Pro user here. There has just got to be a way to edit multiple tasks at once without having to do a search. The reason I'm asking is at this point, most of the tasks that I would like to edit don't have something in common that I can use to search for to establish the list.

You mean I can't just check a number of tasks and edit one or two fields for all of them at once without the search? Yikes.


Old Pro User Here: For what it's worth, I agree with this suggestion. I understand that it works like it works, but the current user interface wastes my time forcing me to keep refining the search. Often I find that I end up doing manual changes because the best search I can get yields a list where I want to change 90% of the items but not the other 10%. Not fatal; just annoying :)

Mike
p.s. Many applications handle this by using the check mark to say, "please do things to just the tasks I've selected". When I click Complete or Delete or Multi-Edit, just the selected items are altered. Let's be honest, we don't Complete or Delete that many items. I seem to want to use Multi-Edit a lot. Thus, I think this would be a good user interface change.


This message was edited Feb 14, 2009.
Alan

Posted: Feb 25, 2009
Score: 2



Posted by Toodledo:
Sorry, thats the way it currently works. The checkbox is for competing the task. If we had two checkboxes (one for checking it off and another for selecting it to perform some sort of bulk-edit), things would get really confusing.
Well, my 2 cents...

I think that it is nice that the checkbox mirrors the use of the checkbox on a piece of paper, however, on web applications, a checkbox is used more often than not to select an item.

Users should have the option of, as MikeDidIt pointed out, selecting several items through the use of a checkbox to perform a multiple-item edit.

Instead of the checkmark being used to indicate that a task is completed, there could be a different way? It just seems a shame that this design element means that there is no way to select multiple items to action.
DavidSzp

Posted: Feb 26, 2009
Score: 4



I'll second that I miss a way to select multiple tasks from any view. I'd really like to be able to check 4-5 tasks and update the due date for example, without creating a search (which is what I've done for now). I don't have a good UI answer; I like the checkboxes being used to complete a task. I'd say clicking elsewhere on the task could select the task, but that's already used for editing fields (although there's space between fields). What about Control-Clicking anywhere on the task but the checkbox? Could that do a color change to "highlight selected" with each Ctrl+Click? Just a thought. There's gotta be an obvious way to do it without changing existing functionality...and it would be an awesome management feature!
saskia.x

Posted: Feb 27, 2009
Score: 2



Posted by DavidSzp:
I'd say clicking elsewhere on the task could select the task, but that's already used for editing fields (although there's space between fields). What about Control-Clicking anywhere on the task but the checkbox? Could that do a color change to "highlight selected" with each Ctrl+Click?


I like that idea - ctrl-clicking on the tasks to select a number of them to multi-edit. The current multi-edit function is very useful, but not always appropriate for some kinds of multi-edits, where the tasks aren't necessarily very similar. It seems silly to have to invent some ultra-complicated search just so I can edit several tasks at once; it's usually easier just to edit each task individually than it is to run a convoluted search & multi-edit. Obviously, though, the search & multi-edit option is incredibly useful, but it would be nice to have another way to do it for the things that aren't so easy to search for. As an example, I often review my overdue tasks and reset the due dates to today or another date in the future (having used GTD style due dates for some time, I eventually decided that the ability to set up more fine grained prioritisation through due dates was too important to me, so I use due dates to give myself a guide to when I intend to do things, and although I know I can use due date modifiers I prefer to be reminded that I intended to have done the task by now!). However, I don't want to just make all overdue tasks due on the same date - I prefer to leave tasks that are really urgent with their original due date so that I'm nagged about them, and give some tasks a due date some time in the future because I've re-evaluated their priority. There isn't any straightforward way to search for the tasks I want to reset to a particular date, since they don't always follow a pattern. I don't want to overcomplicate things, I just want a simple way to edit multiple unrelated tasks at once.

I don't think that the checkbox should be used for selecting tasks, though, and adding a second checkbox would be confusing, so ctrl-clicking seems like the most sensible option. This is a common way of selecting multiple items in other programs, so users could be expected to be familar with the idea, and it doesn't mess up the current functionality for users that don't need it.
Paul

Posted: Mar 06, 2009
Score: 1



Hi. I just started using Toodledo about 30 minutes ago (Free account, but I am evaluating for Pro Plus to use as a remote collaboration tool for several businesses). The lack of multi-edit functionality reached up and slapped me in the face as soon as I had created my first dozen or so tasks (which was nice and easy). I completely agree with the suggestion that Toodledo needs to get this functionality up and running ASAP.

HOWEVER, in the meantime, I came up with a pretty decent workaround that avoids the need to create a complex search.

1. Create a new folder called "Edit" or something similar
2. In the grid view, change each task that you want to update to the "Edit" folder (one click per task)
3. Go to the advanced search (two clicks)
4. Add the search criteria of Folder = Edit (two clicks)
5. Run the search (one click)
6. Perform edits (1+ clicks)

Note: This works best if you are doing all of your edits within one folder (ie edit tasks in your Personal To Dos folder and while editing change the folder back from Edit to Personal To Dos) However, you could easily span folders and then revert the changes to folder manually.

Hope this helps.
samacur

Posted: Mar 19, 2009
Score: 1



I'm just moving over from RTM so I have a very messy list of 200+ items. Not having a select box to edit multiple items at once is my number 1 frustration with Toodledo right now!!!
Michael

Posted: Mar 20, 2009
Score: 0



I totally agree with MikeDidIt's suggestion.
garyo

Posted: Mar 29, 2009
Score: 1



Another "me too" -- searches just can't get you all the way to the exact list of tasks that need to be updated, typically. There's always a few that need to be manually excluded or included. I like the ctrl-click to hilight the entire line idea.

Best workaround I've found is to reserve the use of the star for this. Don't use it for anything else, then when you want to bulk update some tasks, star them and search for starred.
lite1

Posted: Jun 06, 2009
Score: 1



In addition to the benefits of the functionality discussed/requested above for editing attributes of a group of selected items, I often need/want to mass edit the task/subtask description and believe that there is currently no search/replace feature.

E.G. John Doe is no longer my contact at a company and has been replaced by Sue Smith.
Anders

Posted: Jun 06, 2009
Score: 0



Posted by lite1:
I often need/want to mass edit the task/subtask description and believe that there is currently no search/replace feature.

It depends which field you are talking about. For example if you used tags for your contact, you could search and replace that.
lite1

Posted: Jun 06, 2009
Score: 0



Posted by Anders:

It depends which field you are talking about.

I am referring to the Task name (or description) field - the one where you type in text for what you are actually going to do for the Task, in contrast to all of the attribute assignments for that Task. I understand that attributes such as Tags (Dates & etc.) can be changed en masse after a Search via Multi Edit.
Anders

Posted: Jun 06, 2009
Score: 0



Ah, gotcha. Yes for that you would have to export, and use the find and replace features of a program like Excel or Word, but you probably already knew that as well ;)
Jake

Toodledo Admin
Posted: Jun 08, 2009
Score: 0



Thanks for the suggestion. A global find and replace functionality across task descriptions is a little beyond the scope of functionality that we envision, but I'll keep it in our notebook for future reference.
lite1

Posted: Jun 08, 2009
Score: 0



Posted by Toodledo:
Thanks for the suggestion. A global find and replace functionality across task descriptions is a little beyond the scope of functionality that we envision, but I'll keep it in our notebook for future reference.


As always appreciate TDs willingness to comment upon and often give hints (thought not commitments) to the likelihood of development directions. As a user this helps me decide on how I use TD and how likely, or not, it is that my strategy might need to change with Tds addition or modification of features. I think TD strikes a good balance in building in some structure to the program and allowing for enormous range of how people use it as well as the ability to customize what you actually see on screen. To me finding that balance is quite a feat.
Edward
Tyler

Posted: Jun 25, 2009
Score: 0



Just want to add my vote for an easy-to-access multi-edit that doesn't require using search.

Related Note -- I love how feature-rich TD is, but the UI is consistently limited to editing/moving single tasks at a time, greatly increasing mouse clicks. Would love it if multi-edit feature was as simple as highlighting/checking off/marking a bunch of tasks in a list and being able to do something all at once to those tasks (move them as subtasks, change their folder, tags, etc.) I find myself making notes on paper first and then entering because that way I don't have to get distracted by moving single tasks around.

Posted by Toodledo:
Sorry, thats the way it currently works. The checkbox is for competing the task. If we had two checkboxes (one for checking it off and another for selecting it to perform some sort of bulk-edit), things would get really confusing.


I think it could be done in a way that was not confusing. For example, perhaps being able to highlight tasks rather than check them (for multi-edit), or putting the checkbox for multi-edit at the end of the line instead of the beginning, etc.

I'm a WordPress user, and I've seen this kind of feature in certain WordPress tables (usually plug-ins, although I think in the more recent versions of WP, there are some native tables like this).


This message was edited Jun 25, 2009.
Proximo

Posted: Jun 25, 2009
Score: 1



USE A PUSH PIN

I have a suggestion for how to make this work and keep it simple.

Use a Push Pin. Many programs use a push pin so that you can keep a dialog box open.

We could have a small push pin behind the check box for the purpose of selecting multiple task and perform the same action on them.
Jake

Toodledo Admin
Posted: Jun 25, 2009
Score: 0



Thanks for the suggestion.
ascrane

Posted: Jul 21, 2009
Score: 1



I'm a new user of TD, just signed up today. I have spent a good part of this week trying to find an elegant cloud replacement for Thinking Rock, which is my current GTD desktop app. I have been through RTM and Todoist, but they didn't have nearly the flexibility necessary to properly implement GTD. So far TD has met all my expectations and proven to have a shallow curve to get everything set up exactly right (and an excellent forum/search function to boot, for those not-so-obvious solutions). So that's my rave review.

To get to the point, I believe not being able to multiple-select is a major flaw in the interface. Although using a search is sometimes possible, it is often not, and it's usually not worth the time invested in figuring out the proper search criteria. For instance, I frequently want to use multiple select to give many currently unrelated tasks the same tag. This makes future searches easy, but the first time it is impossible.

I agree with previous posts that a solution to the design conflict of two checkboxes could be easily resolved with a little creativity. Even a crude or ugly form of multiple-select would be indescribably better than none.

Thanks and keep up the good work. As I searched through the forums (I found answers to 5 or so problems I faced as a new user this way) I was struck by the level of responsiveness of the development team. It seems that todo lists and GTD apps are very personal things, that haven't been fleshed out very well on the desktop or the web. To tackle this challenge and appeal to all users while keeping your original vision is quite an accomplishment.
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