Legend

Forum

Unread topics or posts

Topic

Unread posts

Locked

Announcement

Forums > Questions

24 Ways to Improve Toodledo



AuthorMessage
stuarts28

Posted: May 13, 2009
Score: 6



Hi,

Ok. I have been using Toodledo extensively now for about a week.

Tried the alternatives, but they all seemed to have issues.

Only the Milk - Nice looking. But doesn't do multi step projects very well.

Nozbe - Handles word wrapping much better then Toodledo, and also does projects more intuitively. But the interface is a bit too cluttered, and the search functionality is not as good. I tried it, but kept feeling like I was lost.

Thinking Rock - Out of the box it is better then Toodledo. More intuitive and the instructions are clearer. But it is a little restrictive, doesn't have the same depth (once you apply your brain to tweaking stuff), and is a desktop app (so no good if I go on holiday, or leave my desk)

Omnifocus and Things are apparently great. But I am on a PC, not a Mac. So both of those are out.

In the end I have opted for Toodledoo. And have got a Pro Plus Account as I want to add files to my projects.

I like Toodledo, but it does currently have a number of drawbacks that I would like to see fixed, hence this post:

I will probably think of others as I use it more, but for now here are 24 areas that I think need changing/improving/adding in to Toodledo.

1/ Word Wrap Needed! Their is no word wrap in grid mode, so that the end of tasks gets cut off. (this is a biggie and urgently needs fixing). I have mentionned this before, but am putting it here for the sake of completeness. One additional suggestion is to add a third view, 'Grid Mode' WITH word wrap. So that folk who are used to one line 'Grids' are still happy.

2/ The Booklet needs urgent work - The booklet picks up the text from the above, so when you print stuff out it misses out words (which makes it worthless in its current format unless you are happy to only see half a description) - Again. Linked to the above problem.

3/ Handles Projects in a clumsy way - Wrap the tabs! Elimate the 'More' Button - Their is no specific section for projects, so you have to figure out how to use one of three sections - Folders, Contexts or Goals to use in this way. And even when you do that, their is an annoying 'More' button, rather then just wrapping the tabs to the next line (As only the milk does for example). (ie so that you cannot see everything that is going on with just a glance)

4/ Should add folders on the fly - You cannot add folders on the fly, which is the obvious thing to do when you are adding a task, and deciding on its status. Instead, clicking 'Add Folder' takes you to the folders section. It would be much improved if you could simply click on a new line (like you can for example in Excel when you click on a new tab).

5/ Badly Needs 'Add a Subtask' functionality - Also, every task really needs the ability to have 'Add a Subtask' (which toodledo doesn't currently have) without having to create a new task, then drag it underneath which is a painful way of doing it. Again, this is a biggie. The whole process is made much more complicated because this is currently missing.

6/ Needs drag and drop - ie Their is no drag and drop for adding a task to a folder (which their is in Nozbe for example) ie Where a project is a folder, goal or context as opposed to a task and subtask where there is drag and drop in toodledo.

7/ Improve the notes functionality in Notebook - The notebook section only adds notes to folders, not goals or contexts or tags. It would also be useful to be able to add notes to tags as quite often these actually encompass a much broader project overview eg health, financial etc. And so are often the most obvious place to add notes too (Note - If the MindMap integration I suggest below was integrated, then this would also mean that one tag eg Health, could contain ALL the different mindmaps for that section - as opposed to being seperately attached to the individual projects eg
go to the gym, eat healthier, get a six pack etc. Allowing a more intuitive use of the program)

8/ Re-ordering the order of tabs is only available in Folders, not Contexts or Goals. So you have to plan ahead of time with Contexts and Goals what order to put stuff in. (clearly not ideal) - And even then, its only available in the main folder menu, not as a drag and drop, which would be better.

9/ No cluck thru from the Folders, Contexts and Goals sections (on the left menu) to the actual tasks (and their should be) ie For example I can see in the folder admin area that I have 21 health tasks, but I cannot just click on it and go to those tasks. Instead I have to click on 'To Do List', then click on
'Folder' at the top, then click on the 'Health' tab. That is a phaff. I should just be able to one click and be there.

10/ Tabs at the top is all well and good, but their could do with being a side menu for 'Projects'. In fact I would suggest an additional 'Project' tab area, distinct from the other sections, as currently all tasks are treated in the same way, and so you have to use a workaround to be able to distinguish between Projects, Tasks, Sub Tasks and Ideas. Their is a lot to be said for having the ability see what projects you have going on in the left (at least as an option)

11/ The print button could really do with 'Print Preview' functionality. So that you could preview your list, and be able to copy, cut and paste without needing to print it. (The booklet functionality has the potential to do this, but because it cuts off half the description, in practice it is not much use for this)

12/ Needs a Tag Cloud on EVERY page - Tags are an obvious way to sort things for most people. And it would be made much easier if Toodle implemented a tag cloud on the left that was viewable on every page. As it is though, tags are very regimented like all the other sections, and not very user friendly. Without being able to see tags on every page, they are MUCH LESS USEFUL.

13/ Ability to change to order of Tabs WITHOUT changeing the dropdown order - The order that items appear in the dropdowns and the order they appear at the top in the tabs is always the same. That is kind of annoying because it may be (especially with the horrible 'More' button making tabs so inaccessible) that you would want to have the tabs in a different configuration then the same items in the dropdown menus (ie so that they appear closer to the left)

14/ Widen the 'More' Button so text appears on one line, not several - Even in its current configuration there must be able to be something done to at least widen the 'More' dropdown. I have a number of goals that are like 'Business - Get More Sales Leads' and they always end up wrapping onto three lines each. The formatting looks awful and they are very hard to read. At least please widen it as a tempoary measure until you get rid of it entirely, and allow tabs to wrap (or at least give the option to do so 'Wrap Tabs')

15/ Needs the ability to have tasks/projects etc in different colours No use of colours currently. One really nice feature of Thinking Rock is that you can assign different colours to different tasks in folders. In effect then, when you view an 'All' tab, you would be able to see at a glance (if you set it up) what spread of tasks you have simply from the colour. It is also a scientific fact that viewing alternate lines in different colours significantly aids memory. So it would also help with the familiarisation process of knowing what you need to do.

16/ Needs the ability to set a task/project to a different font and font size Within the program, some 'tasks' are actually actions, and some are projects with subtasks. It would be nice to be able to set the ones that are projects to have a different font, font size, and colour so that when you view them as a long list they jump out at you. Currently all tasks look the same, so it is hard to differentiate them at a glance from the other tasks and subtasks.

17/ You can collapse sub-headings in say Folder view, and then click to sort on 'Goals'. But you cannot rearrange them. That would be nice to do, because then you could re-arrange the things you want to do in an overall category based on their importance on any particular day, without having to change the priority of every single item.

18/ Put the 'Star' link next to 'Classic' so it is available on every page - Stars are obviously really useful, because they are ubiquitous throughout every page. And a lot of folk use them as a handy 'Today' kind of list. However, it is currently a phaff to get to the 'Starred' page. You have to click back to the 'Main' tab, and then click on 'Starred' (assuming you remember its there). Instead, I think it would be good to have a little star next to 'Classic' on the main 'View By' menu at the top. So that this is easily accessible from every page.

19/ Put a additional 'T' next to 'Classic' on every page so you can see what you have to do 'Today' - As another suggestion you could also add 'T' (Stands for 'Today' or 'This Week' next to the '*' both in the main task area, and at the top next to 'Classic'. In that way you could go through your list quickly in your weekly or Daily review picking a whole longer list of tasks that you would ideally like to do, but realistically won't get around to in one day, and mark them as 'T' in the same way that the '*' is. The advantage of having another of these type of areas (In addition to the 'Starred' area) is that you could then click to go into the 'T' area, and mark the most impotant 'Must Do' items with a star. In that way you can reduce a massive list down to a couple of items very quickly, and avoid cluttering up your brain. But at the same time, only have to go back to the smaller 'T' list once you have completed the stars to choose some more to do.

20/ Needs the ability to select multiple tasks to assign to a folder, context etc - No multiple select feature currently. It would be good to be able to select multiple tasks at once and set them all to a certain folder or context.

21/ Would benefit greatly by being able to view Mind Maps within Toodledo - I extensively use Mind Maps to plan out the structure of projects and what the next steps are. As a Pro Plus User I can add this to the projects themselves, and I find this a great feature. However, what would be even better is if you could add in some compatibility so that mindmaps could be viewed directly from within Toodledo. Mindjet (Mind Manager) have a free API to allow programs just like Toodledo to do exactly that - Here is a deployment guide they have here - http://www.mindjet.com/pdf/pdf_eng/Mindjet_MindManager_Viewer_Deployment_Guide.pdf (This would also create a VERY compelling reason for people to upgrade to the Pro Plus version, and so I suspect would make you a lot more money once implemented)

22/ Import/Export needs another option to download both Tasks and completed tasks together, and some more explanation text - Import/Export works well, but currently it is split into two sections. The first exports/imports tasks as csv. The second imports/exports completed tasks as csv. This works fine. However, when I first did this I exported the list to excel to make some changes, and then re-imported it, but it simply added them all in again (ie 400 tasks became 800) I then nuked the tasks in the account settings, and re-imported. Which worked (thankfully), but did have the effect of also nuking the completed tasks which was regrettable.

I think you could do with adding a third option to download both tasks and completed tasks in one go; and add in a little explanation above the area to re-iterate that nuking the tasks kills BOTH tasks and completed tasks (that wasn't an intuitive thought for me at least); and that you need to export BOTH first if you want to save them. Doing that would have saved me from nuking my completing tasks without a backup (not a big deal after only a week, but would have been a disaster after 6 months or 2 years)

23/ Tags needs an extra 'Tags - Dropdown' Menu' - No drop down list for Tags - Personally I like being able to free flow sometimes with tags (as is currently the case); but even after a week I can see that having an addional menu item of 'Tags - Dropdown' would be REALLY useful. In essence I think you need two menus. The current one, for free flow on the fly tagging; and a second one which is a 'Tags - Dropdown' of all the tags currently used. This would benefit from having some kind of multi-select capability, so that you could select multiple tags from the dropdown. This, in combination with putting a tag cloud on every page, would mean that tags could then be used quite effectively on their own to manage Projects, and would definitely add an extra dimension to Toodledo.

24/ Tags in groups, Contexts in groups, Folders in Group Functionality Please - Many times you have projects that are part of larger projects, but need to be split up for best use's sake. Oftentimes these can be seen as contexts, but in practice even then there may be many contexts that really fit together. There are workarounds by utilising the contexts, folders, tags and goals in various sneaky ways together. But it would be better to be able to assign group funtionality. This is already being utilised in a crude way in the 'Goals' section by splitting goals into long term , mid term and short term. However, if it was implemented throughout the program, then it would aid to ever simplify workflow on days when that worked best, (ie see a group of tasks together) and yet have the ability to get down to specifics when that was required.


Ok. So, given those drawbacks, why Toodledo?

Well, basically, because it has three areas that can be user defined (folders, contexts and goals), which means that you can workaround many of the problems (but not things like page wrap, booklet problems, adding folders and subtasks on the fly etc - I do think a lot of things need work in toodledo) - Which the other systems I have tested seem not to be able to do.

It also has excellent search functionality. The filtering is great, and the import/export feature works well.

I think Toodledoo is flawed, but it does seem to be the best one around at the moment for 'real world' getting organised.

Though it is far from simple to think through how to use it, and there could really do with being some instruction videos to give people a clearer idea of how to use it.

I am still tweaking my own system of how to use it 'productively' myself.

In any case, those are some preliminary thoughts of areas in Toodledo that would benefit from some tweaking.

I like it, but those improvements would make it much easier to use in the real world where you have hundreds of tasks and projects to perform.

Regards,

Stuart
Anders

Posted: May 13, 2009
Score: 2



Wow, Stuart. Thorough to say the least.
1. I'm not concerned with this, but to each their own.
2. I agree, but not for the specific reason you mention. I just want more customization, better subtasks, etc.
3. I think multiple rows of tabs would be good, but in terms of Toodledo projects, have you considered using parent tasks as projects? I believe that is the most common system used by Pro Toodledoers.
4. I agree
5. I agree, and it looks like it's not far off: https://www.toodledo.com/forums/2/2004/-9415/resort-tasks-on-changes-and-add-a-subtask-feature.html
6. Might be neat
7. Not sure about contexts for the Notebook, but Tags would be cool. I also want to see more advanced formatting options.
8. I agree about the need for user-ordering of contexts/goals
9. Don't care personally, but again, to each their own
10. Don't quite understand what you mean
11. The "Print" button I believe does just what your print page from your browser menu would do. So you can see a preview from there. For me with Firefox, it's just File->Print Preview, and it shows exactly the same thing as will be printed by the onscreen button.
12. Interesting. I am a supporter of the Tag Cloud idea, but hadn't considered it being omnipresent. I'll have to think about this some more.
13. Another one that's not important to me
14. Nice idea. Hadn't bothered me really, but looking at it, the box should be wider.
15. This would be very cool. I would love to have colors for priority, and folder, but I'm sure others have other preferences. This would also be excellent for the iPhone app.
16. Separating tasks which are projects from tasks which are tasks is a big issue. Have you seen Vin's tip here using stars: https://www.toodledo.com/forums/3/1953/0/parent-tasks-at-top-of-list.html
He also posted a video that shows how well this works.
17. I think this is really the same issue as "8"
18. This has also been suggested for the Hotlist. Personally, I just leave my main view on Star, and then whenever I click Main, it goes right there. You can also use bookmarks in your browser for list that are particularly useful for your personal system.
19. I would rather just have some customization options for the Hotlist, like the iPhone app has.
20. Maybe it's not always ideal, but you can do this with search and multiedit. I would love to see multiedit available everywhere.
21. I just started trying out some Mindmapping software, and for me at least, it seems like something better done with pencil & paper, but if anyone could get it right, I suppose it would be Toodledo.
22. If you are familiar with XML, that import/export can handle a completed yes/no field and so is not split into two different lists.
23. Yes, we need a better way of using tags, and it seems Toodledo is on this one as well: https://www.toodledo.com/forums/2/1862/-9179/fat-fingers-for-tags.html
24. I'd have think about this one as well.

Anyway, great, exhaustive list. I don't agree with all of it, but you seem to have hit most of the major points people talk about.
Jake

Toodledo Admin
Posted: May 13, 2009
Score: 1



Thanks for all the suggestions. There are too many for me to comment on them individually, but I have read them all and updated our internal to-do list appropriately. Many of your suggestions were already on our list, and some of them are already being worked on.
Claudio

Posted: May 13, 2009
Score: 0



1. Don't care.
2. Don't care.
3. Definitely.
4. Perhaps, but not major.
5. Definitely.
6. Don't care.
7. Yes.
8. Yes.
9. Good point.
10. Yes.
11. I can do this now through my browser.
12. Not obvious to me, but a good idea.
13. Good idea.
14. Yes.
15. Good idea.
16. Perhaps.
17. Not clear.
18. Not clear.
19. No use to me.
20. Yes.
21. Nice but not important to me.
22. Good idea.
23. One dropdown menu would be nice.
24. Yes.

BTW, having the same mistake eight times in one post is a bit much. Please take a look at this quiz: http://www.grammarbook.com/grammar_quiz/their_vs_there_vs_theyre_1.asp


This message was edited May 13, 2009.
lise

Posted: May 13, 2009
Score: 0



I agree as well! Also, I would add a major to do to get a good UI specialist and help you organize your nav bars and tabs, etc.

Simple things like looking at key strokes. I should be able to add a new task with the same context and folder as I am currently viewing in one click.

OmniFocus would be a good one to emulate...
Anders

Posted: May 13, 2009
Score: 0



Posted by lise:
I should be able to add a new task with the same context and folder as I am currently viewing in one click.


This is already what happens. At least for your view, not your sort criteria if that's what you mean.
Claudio

Posted: May 13, 2009
Score: 0



Posted by Anders:
20. Maybe it's not always ideal, but you can do this with search and multiedit.
Only if the tasks have something in common that allows you to create a Search that includes them all. Even then, why create a Search when the relevant tasks are already viewable in the current list?

It would be useful to be able to select a few tasks and, say, move them all from various dates to Monday.

This issue has been addressed before. I think that Toodledo's answer was that it would be confusing to have two checkboxes, one to complete the task and another to select the task. That's true, but the checkboxes could be distinctly different in shape, color, and location. Also, someone suggested ctrl-click for selecting multiple tasks. I like the idea but this method wouldn't be obvious to some users, even though it is used to select multiple files in Windows Explorer or selecting email messages in Outlook.
Anders

Posted: May 13, 2009
Score: 0



Yes, I suppose "not always ideal" might have been a bit of an understatement. In terms of selecting tasks for multiedit, I think a separate selection "box" or whatever should just appear next to every task when multiedit is opened(if it were available everywhere). It could be an on/off switch or something like that to further avoid confusion with the regular check boxes.
saskia.x

Posted: May 15, 2009
Score: 0



Posted by Anders:
In terms of selecting tasks for multiedit, I think a separate selection "box" or whatever should just appear next to every task when multiedit is opened(if it were available everywhere). It could be an on/off switch or something like that to further avoid confusion with the regular check boxes.


Why not something like ctrl+click to multi-select tasks? That is the combination used in many other apps & operating systems for selecting multiple items, so it seems like the intuitive option.

Posted by stuarts28
15/ Needs the ability to have tasks/projects etc in different colours

I'd quite like the option to use colours too. I really wanted this when I first started using toodledo, but I'd got used to not having them so I'd kind of forgotten about the idea. I use the folders for what I sometimes call "uberprojects", similar to GTD "areas of focus", and these categories are consistent amongst most of the things that I use to organise my life. In apps that allow it I use consistent colour coding for these "uberprojects" too (e.g. gmail, gcal), so it would be nice to have it in Toodledo (although admittedly not exactly essential!). I'm not sure if I'd want the entire task in a different colour, though, perhaps just the folder name, or maybe even have each checkbox with a different background colour?

Posted by stuarts28

6/ Needs drag and drop - ie Their is no drag and drop for adding a task to a folder

Another feature I'd like to see. Sometimes dragging and dropping can be the quickest way to reorganise things, so it would be very nice if we could drag tasks to one of the tabs at the top of the screen (or to a divider when tasks are sorted by certain criteria) to reassign it.

Posted by stuarts28

19/ Put a additional 'T' next to 'Classic' on every page so you can see what you have to do 'Today' [...] In that way you could go through your list quickly in your weekly or Daily review picking a whole longer list of tasks that you would ideally like to do

You could accomplish something similar with tags and a saved search. I used to do this, using a "*" as a tag to mark those I aimed to do that day, although I've now changed my system a bit so I don't use it any more. However, I like the idea of having the ability to add extra views to the end of the views list. There is a greasemonkey script called "ToodleDo Favorites" (http://userscripts.org/tdFavorites) which does something like this, but I found it a bit annoying as it adds an extra line under the views menu & two little "+" signs on each tab, which just takes up too much screen space for my liking. So I now just use my browser bookmarks to achieve the same thing (right click on any tab, including saved searches, and save as a bookmark).


This message was edited May 15, 2009.
Kellonthompson

Posted: May 19, 2009
Score: 0



The internet interface should be like the Iphones. It works much better than the internet version. I originally bought the app on the app store and love it compared to others like omnifocus setting multiple dates makes things easier. The Interface is great I just click folders it shows the folders and I click on which folder. Adding Sub tasks on the fly would be amazing. It's great with the Iphone and the pro account my girlfriend and I can constantly update the grocery list and the clean up the house list as well as see if she paid a bill or it still needs to be dropped off. If the drop down menu's for Contexts, Goals, all of them had a spot that said add new it would save so much time.

This message was edited May 19, 2009.
Anders

Posted: May 19, 2009
Score: 0



Posted by Kellonthompson:
The internet interface should be like the Iphones.

I disagree. There is just so much more that is possible on the site than on the iPhone app. I won't even try to go into the numerous features that make the website more powerful. I don't know if there were specific things you were referring to like some of the UI elements, and maybe you can share some more specific details of why you like the iPhone app better, but there is certainly not anything it can do that the website can't do as well or better (though perhaps not always as simply).

Kellonthompson, have you tried the slim site? http://www.toodledo.com/slim/index.php
If you just want a simpler interface, you may like it. The slim site is also available as a Firefox sidebar, an iGoogle gadget, and there are other options.

Edited slightly when reread because it sounded more argumentative than I had intended to be :)


This message was edited May 19, 2009.
Michael

Posted: May 20, 2009
Score: 0



I wanted to add that one of the great benefits of using a web based apps - especially one as cleanly designed as ToodleDo - is that you can extend the UI yourself. In about 10 minutes I was able to do two of the items on your list (1 & 9(only folders))using Greasemonkey extension to Firefox

Here they are:

#1 http://www.legrig.com/soft/toodledo-addons/toodledo_wrap_tasks.user.js
#9 http://www.legrig.com/soft/toodledo-addons/toodledo_clickthrough_folderscount.user.js

(To load, install greasemonkey and click on those links.)

HTH
Proximo

Posted: May 21, 2009
Score: 0



Posted by Anders:
Posted by Kellonthompson:
The internet interface should be like the Iphones.

I disagree. There is just so much more that is possible on the site than on the iPhone app. I won't even try to go into the numerous features that make the website more powerful. I don't know if there were specific things you were referring to like some of the UI elements, and maybe you can share some more specific details of why you like the iPhone app better, but there is certainly not anything it can do that the website can't do as well or better (though perhaps not always as simply).

Kellonthompson, have you tried the slim site? http://www.toodledo.com/slim/index.php
If you just want a simpler interface, you may like it. The slim site is also available as a Firefox sidebar, an iGoogle gadget, and there are other options.

Edited slightly when reread because it sounded more argumentative than I had intended to be :)


I agree with Anders here. The iPhone interface is nice for the size of screen you need to work with but it's not as functional as the web site.
Proximo

Posted: May 21, 2009
Score: 0



Stuarts28,

I agree with most of your suggestions and I want to thank you for taking the time to put that post together.

My main gripe is that Toodledo truly does not support Projects as they should in fact, I think Projects in Toodledo are simply work arounds and not a true Project focused implementation. Subtask can't be use while Nested because you loos the ability to get notified.

I also have used all the apps. you mentioned except for the Apple based ones. I also believe that Toodledo is the best and offers the most. Toodledo does need some work and I am sure that many of these things will be added, but it's still the better option right now.
Michael Durland

Posted: May 22, 2009
Score: 0



I haven't read every single post, so forgive me if this has already been suggested, but for me, simply renaming "Folders" to "Projects" would make a huge mental leap of improvement. Of course I understand people use Folders for many different things, so this would need to be an option.
Anders

Posted: May 22, 2009
Score: 0



Posted by Michael Durland:
I haven't read every single post, so forgive me if this has already been suggested, but for me, simply renaming "Folders" to "Projects" would make a huge mental leap of improvement.


The thing is that a lot of people are using tasks as projects, with folders used as areas of focus or some other form of categorization. It wouldn't really bother me too much because I don't really worry about names so much, but I would prefer if we got a new level between Folders and Tasks for Projects. Toodledo has hinted at adding an additional level, and I really hope they are considering doing it that way, although for some reason I suspect we will see another level of subtasks instead(only speculation of course).
You cannot reply yet


To participate in these forums, you must be signed in.



Toodledo Forums > Questions

Contact Us | Blog | API | Jobs | Press | Documentation | Forums Privacy | Terms | Copyright © 2004-2014