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saskia.x

Posted: Jan 25, 2014



I just wanted to say a huge thankyou for the "unstar when completed" feature! This has been like a missing piece in the jigsaw for me, I've finally got a task list that feels relatively manageable & reliable. I use the star to mark those tasks I want to focus on in the next day or so, which means the starred tasks act as a really functional "daily todo list" without distractions from other tasks. I had attempted to use the star this way in the past but found my task list was quickly littered with starred repeating tasks (giving me an extra "housekeeping" chore), now this isn't a problem!

Using the star like this has also improved the way I use the hotlist; I always struggled to get it to accurately reflect what I needed to focus on, and now it's working really well :)
saskia.x

Posted: Jun 26, 2013



I would suggest that anyone who wants to see Toodledo-IFTT integration submits a request at https://ifttt.com/help/channel_suggestion

Hopefully if they realise there are enough users out there interested in a Toodledo channel they will get round to making one!
saskia.x

Posted: Jun 26, 2013



Regardless of the fact that this thread is rather old, I'm going to go ahead and weigh in on the "is this a valid criticism of GTD?" question while I'm here!

I've also read the book several times (well, twice from cover to cover, and have "dipped in and out" more times than I could count) over a period of many years, and used to read a lot of GTD blogs/websites etc, so I think I have a fairly good handle on what GTD is/isn't and how various people seem to be using it. I totally agree with many of the arguments wksims86 made, at least if you assume they were talking about GTD as it seems to be implemented by many people. The original book allows for a bit more flexibility than many GTDers advocate - there seems to be a dogmatic version of GTD "out there" on the internet that isn't necessarily what I think David Allen envisaged (e.g. "never use priorities!", "calendars are only for absolutely fixed events!", etc), but yes, he did argue that traditional task management systems relied too much on prioritisation & due dates and that really you shouldn't be putting tasks in your calendar unless they actually had a certain date on which they should be done, so this dogmatic version isn't a million miles from "authentic" GTD.

Though I would point out that the bit about prioritisation seems to be about people using systems that they *call* GTD but clearly aren't really, since DA certainly never said you should be messing about with reprioritising "Level 3 Top Priority tasks" to lower priority when something more important comes up, etc. In fact he specifically argued against this type of thinking (it is one of the reasons why he suggests not bothering with priorities, because in reality they are far too fluid).

I also agree that contexts, as set out in the book and as used by many people, don't fit well with modern lifestyles. Of course, many people still do jobs that have a much more clear-cut separation between different contexts, and some people don't like to use their phone to write emails or whatever, but an awful lot of us nowadays live lives where these contexts are a lot more blurred & flexible than they were when DA wrote the book. And some of us have lifestyles where we have a lot of personal control over exactly where we are and what we're doing at any moment in time (e.g. people who work from home &/or are self employed) so we are essentially choosing which context to be in rather than choosing the task according to which context we're already in. Of course, there is still a place for contexts in order to group tasks efficiently (I need to be reminded about errands even though I'm at home, but once I go out to do a particular errand it makes sense to try to get several more done while I'm out and about), but they are not so useful for day-to-day prioritisation of tasks.

Personally I've found myself relying far more on priorities & dates than most GTDers would advocate, since without them it tends to result in one massive overwhelming list! "Strict" GTD relies on contexts, someday/maybe & regular reviews to keep lists short but since I mostly haven't been able to get contexts working this way for me and I lack the discipline to do full reviews as often as I need to (and when I've had phases of being better at reviewing I seem to need to do it more than weekly in order to stay on top of things anyway) I find priorities & dates keep things feeling manageable to me.

My current system, for what it's worth, could be described as GTD-inspired but prioritised and dated (I try to keep due dates only for tasks with "real" due dates, but use start dates for all active tasks), and when I'm actually working through my task list I usually do it more in the spirit of the systems set out by Mark Forster, i.e. I skim quickly through the list from top to bottom and just do the first thing that jumps out at me (sorting by date & priority helps with this even though it goes against what both David Allen & Mark Forster advocate, since if I start at the top of the list I know I'm more likely to get the things I've deemed important & urgent done). The use of start dates as part of the sort criteria means that those tasks I really should have at least started on by now but have been resisting keep getting pushed higher & higher up the list, without muddying the waters by appropriating due dates for this purpose. It's not perfect but most of the problems I come up against are more to do with me and the way my mind works (or doesn't!) rather than flaws in the basic system! However I do keep coming up against the problem of not being reminded of the correct tasks in the correct time & place, yet not finding traditional contexts quite right for me, which is why I'm interested in the more sophisticated level of context awareness wksims86 talks about.


This message was edited Jun 26, 2013.
saskia.x

Posted: Jun 26, 2013



Sorry, I've actually only just noticed that this thread started over a year ago! If you're still reading this, wksims86, I wonder if you'd comment on whether this system is still working for you or if you've had to do some tweaking?
saskia.x

Posted: Jun 26, 2013



wksims86 - one flaw I can see with location aware systems is that location is often not simple, particularly with those of us whose lives are not very routine-bound. As you highlight with GTD-style contexts, many tasks can be done in multiple places, including things like buying specific items (many things can be bought in various different shops, and I don't have a single set route past certain shops that I take every day). This is one of the reasons I've never really bothered with the location field in Toodledo, which is very simplistic. Does your setup allow for this?
saskia.x

Posted: Jun 26, 2013



Posted by s.l:
I somehow get the impression of compulsive behavior.
...
If I need to buy stuff, I try to keep it in my head


You either have an amazingly good memory, not much going on in your life, or not much to buy!

As curtisc_1337545806 said, some of us really do NEED this level of "over complication", either through having insanely busy or complex lives, or because of poor cognitive functioning like ADD or other memory/attention issues (or in my case, both!).

It is wise to avoid complicating stuff more than necessary, of course - there is a point where you are just bogged down in the system, but it sounds like wksims86 has found the right balance for them. Perhaps you are one of those lucky people who can manage their lives with a very simple system (like my husband, who just keeps short paper todo lists and seems to magically get stuff done with very little hassle!), but many people are not like that (and I'd hazard a guess that Toodledo users are, on the whole, people who feel they need a more sophisticated system, otherwise they'd be using paper or something like google tasks).

Personally I've found the bits of my life that work best are those where I have been almost obsessively organised. I am, overall, a pretty disorganised person, but with these weird pockets of OCD-style organisation that work really, really well! The trouble is these tend to require so much upkeep that I can't possibly extend them to cover my whole life or I'd never have a moment to relax or spend quality time with my family, so I'm always on the lookout for ways to automate & simplify stuff, and it sounds like the system that wksims86 has got going for themselves fits the bill for them. It looks like a lot on paper but when you think about it it's obvious that on a day to day basis it requires a lot less effort than many alternative systems.

Currently I'm coping with an ancient Android phone which has a mental breakdown if I ask it to do anything remotely complicated, so an app like Tasker is out of the question until I can afford to get my other phone fixed or get a new phone. But when I'm back in the year 2013 I'm definitely going to download it as I could really do with a more sophisticated reminder system that "knows" where I am and whether I have time to do a particular task.
saskia.x

Posted: Sep 16, 2012



I just signed up for IFTTT and think it's awesome, but was disappointed to see there is no Toodledo channel yet. I can see how I might be able to cobble together a few workarounds using my toodledo email address etc but it was be brilliant if I could use it properly with Toodledo.

Their website says
"Does IFTTT have an API? Can I create my own Channel?
We're building a Channel Platform to allow anyone with an API to create a Channel! To receive updates as development progresses, fill out this short survey. If you're a hardware manufacturer with an API, email us at platform@ifttt.com to discuss potential integrations."
So perhaps it's worth Toodledo contacting them to see if something could be worked out? It would be really good for Toodledo to be the first task app on there (don't let RTM get in there first!!!).
saskia.x

Posted: Jan 26, 2012
From Topic: New list of tasks



It sounds like your task list is still relatively simple, so I would agree with Peter that folders might be the best way to create a "separate list". However, if you're already using folders for something else there are a number of other ways you could make these tasks display as a separate list, like using "daily" & "weekly" tags, for example, and then viewing by tag to see each list separately. If you want to get a bit "fancy" you could use saved searches, one finding all "daily" tasks and one finding all "weekly" tasks, and then view your tasks via these saved searches.

One of the strengths of Toodledo is that there is often multiple ways to achieve essentially the same thing, so do whatever seems to make sense given the way you work, and how you see your task list developing.
saskia.x

Posted: Jan 26, 2012



I wouldn't use folders for this kind of thing, I'd definitely use tags as they have a lot more flexibility. My folders are very broad categories that have little overlap, each covers a particular area of focus in my life rather than relating to nitty-gritty details. Folders can be a really useful way to keep things like "home" & "work" tasks separate, for instance, but they're not so helpful for more detailed subcategories of types of tasks since the blurring between categories becomes more pronounced at that level.
saskia.x

Posted: Jan 26, 2012
From Topic: Toodledo and ADHD



Ah, a struggle I know well!!

I don't have time to post a detailed reply, but I will mention the Android app "Ultimate To-do list" that syncs well with Toodledo & has a decent reminder feature. The one thing I will say about reminders, however, is to use them sparingly; I used to have endless beeps going off to remind me of all of the things I should be doing but I very quickly got in the habit of completely ignoring all of my alarms!! And of course having a constantly beeping phone does tend to annoy those around you. So now I try to only use reminders for really important things and those I repeatedly forget. I do have a reminder every day to tell me to check my task list & calendar, which prompts me to remember some of the thing I might otherwise have had to set alarms for.

Good luck with finding the right system - if I have time (& if I remember!) I'll come back & post a bit about things that have worked for me and what hasn't, but as yet I'm still far from perfect (just when you think you've got things under control ADHD has a nasty habit of throwing a spanner in the works, doesn't it?!).
saskia.x

Posted: Jan 26, 2012



Given the fact that "hide future tasks" doesn't hide things starting today but with a start time later than now, I'd like to add this to the saved search I use for viewing my day-to-day tasklist (i.e. I want to create a search field that excludes tasks which don't start til later today). When searching for a due date, you can put "today" in the search field and it will only find tasks relative to whatever "today" happens to be at that moment (rather than only searching relative to a fixed date. Every time I use this search it remains current and I don't have to keep telling it what "today" is). With the time field, I only seem to be able to enter an actual time, so this isn't much use for creating a search that always stays current without me having to edit it each time.

Is there any kind of workaround for this that anyone is aware of, or am I just stuck with tasks I can't do yet showing up in my list? I submitted a support ticket a while ago asking for them to make "hide future tasks" hide tasks where the start time hasn't arrived yet, but until that gets fixed I'd really like a workaround if there is one!
saskia.x

Posted: Oct 20, 2011



Posted by Salgud:
Mine is about 1,250KB, and I don't have (ashamed to admit) thousands of tasks in my task list. I have about 150 active tasks.
(now leaving forum, head down, in complete humiliation and disgrace)


Be proud that you're not a disorganised mess who's trying to cram far too much into their life!! 150 active tasks sounds like a very sensible amount to me :)

I have 440, including those with a deferred status (only about 30 are deferred though). Probably should try to slim that down a bit but I do try to put EVERYTHING I think of in Toodledo initially (I do delete or defer quite a lot too though) and allow my system to filter them out a bit so they're not overwhelming.
saskia.x

Posted: Oct 17, 2011



Hi, this might be a silly question, but how big would you expect an average backup file to be? I just created a backup for the first time prior to trying out a major reorganisation of my system and the file seems disconcertingly small - 893KB. I realise this is probably fine (the data is really just simple text and numbers, I know it shouldn't take up a lot of space) and it's just that we've got so used to the idea that anything of any substance will be measured in MB nowadays, but just for my peace of mind could you reassure me that this really is about the right size for my entire Toodledo database?!

My task list certainly feels a lot bigger than that in my head :)
saskia.x

Posted: Sep 27, 2011



Posted by dyuhas:

Actually, no. Sinkov (Evernote's marketing droid) doesn't know what he's talking about, and no one from Evernote thought it necessary or appropriate to post a correction.

There are two applications that I know of that can use Evernote Note Links: Todist and RTM. It would be nice if TD joined that list.


It's really just about whether an app supports custom url protocols, which Toodledo doesn't as yet. Since most people have very little use for custom url protocols it's not all that surprising that they aren't well supported in many apps, although perhaps with the popularity of Evernote and the fact that they've introduced note links this may change.

Why not submit a feature request via the "contact us" page to suggest Toodledo introduce support for custom url protocols?

Personally I'm not too bothered as I do the same thing that DarylGriffiths does, using the standard html code to make the link clickable, and I don't find it too much hassle to just type "<a href=..." etc, but of course it would be nice if I could just paste the link like a web link.
saskia.x

Posted: Sep 27, 2011
From Topic: Chrome Toodledo App



Posted by dhbryant13:
How are you getting Toodledo to work in Chrome? It's nonfunctional for me in Chrome. I'm not yet a user, and trying to decide if i'm willign to deal iwth the browser switchign issues.


Another Chrome user here - no problems using Toodledo on Chrome on either of my computers!

What in what way is it nonfunctional for you? Is the site not loading, not responding to your input, not allowing you to login?

Sometimes clearing the browser cache solves weird problems with websites not working properly, it might be worth trying (it's often the first thing I do these days, after I've established that the problem is browser specific, and I've tried simple things like refreshing the page). If you try that and it's still not working, submit a bug report via the "contact us" page (under "help"). It isn't clear from what you've said whether you actually have an account yet - I assume you must since you can't establish whether it works or not without actually having an account, in which case submitting a bug report should be easy. If the site is so nonfunctional for you that you can't even set up an account or can't click on "help" I assume there must be some way to contact the developer but I'm not sure what it is!


This message was edited Sep 27, 2011.
saskia.x

Posted: Sep 26, 2011



One thing I sometimes do is add Toodledo as an attendee for events in my Google Calendar (using the email address that you use to email tasks into Toodledo - if you save this in your Google contacts it will be available to you in all the Google apps, so you don't need to remember or copy & paste the address every time). This then sends a copy of the event to my task list. Unfortunately it doesn't automatically fill in the correct date etc, but it does send you all the information that you've stored with the event, and you can easily copy & paste the date into the correct field. It also contains a handy link back to the calendar event.

I don't do this for every event in my calendar, only those where I know I'm likely to have a few tasks associated with the event (e.g. things I need to prepare for a meeting), and especially if I've put a lot of information about the event in the description field as this is just a nice simple way to transfer the info across.

You can also put links to individual tasks in the event description in Google Calendar, although it doesn't make these links clickable which is a bit annoying (although in my browser - Chrome - I can just select the link, right click & select "go to..." to follow it, so it's not too bad).

[If you don't already know how to link to an individual task: click on the "actions" menu for the task in question (the arrow which also allows you to clone/delete/create subtask/etc), right click "permanent link", then "copy link address" (that's what the menu option in Chrome is, it's different but similar in other browsers). Then you can just paste this link wherever you need it]
saskia.x

Posted: Sep 26, 2011



I have a saved search called "!Process" (exclamation mark sorts it to the top of the list of searches) that finds all tasks missing vital fields or with certain values in particular fields (e.g. "planning" status, which I use to mark those tasks that require more thought before I can act on them). I review this regularly and fill in the fields as appropriate, as well as ensuring the task is fully actionable in other ways. Since my main sort criteria is importance I try to use the priority, due date &/or star fields to mark the most urgent & important tasks as I add them, even when I don't have time to fill in the other fields. This means when I don't have time to go right through my "!process" list I can just process the top few tasks secure in the knowledge that I've probably caught the most important stuff! It also means these important tasks get into my hotlist even if I don't have time to process them, which I'm not always as disciplined about as I should be!

Although I could just process these things directly in the hotlist I prefer having a separate list for them as I do find the GTD-style "keep processing & action separate" rule quite a good one. It's best if I can look at my hotlist and know that every single thing on there is ready for me to act on, and not get sidetracked by fiddling around with my task list (easily done!). And then I can sit down to process my tasks in one go, which allows me to get in the right mindset for just working systematically through them and making them actionable.
saskia.x

Posted: Sep 26, 2011



If this task is one that you frequently add things to (especially if it's something you might want to add to when you don't already have Toodledo open), you could consider creating something like a browser bookmark or a desktop link to the task itself, using the "permanent link" feature (copy the task link by right clicking on "permanent link" under the "actions" menu for the task in question). That way you don't even have to bother switching to Toodledo from wherever you already are, navigating to search & finding your saved search in the list, you just click on your bookmark or desktop icon & you're there! Whether you use a bookmark or a desktop link mostly depends on whether you are someone who always has their browser open - if you have the browser running almost permanently it probably makes more sense to use a bookmark, otherwise a desktop link makes the most sense as clicking on the link will actually launch the browser for you too.

I have done something similar by putting a list of links to tasks in a note on my desktop (my Notepad replacement app, Metapad, automatically makes links clickable) or in Evernote, or in the note field of another task. For instance, I have a text file on my desktop that acts as a kind of "index" of all of my most used views & tasks, which is very handy for launching Toodledo in exactly the view that I want to see at that moment. Another situation where this kind of thing is very useful is when I'm trying to establish new routines for working with my tasks, using a series of links to individual tasks & views corresponding to each step I need to take in the routine. This is a great way to create an ordered, step-by-step process. In fact, just thinking about it now, I'm getting ideas about how to use this even more! There are quite a lot of instances where I want to complete a series of tasks in a step-by-step fashion but since Toodledo doesn't offer things like dependencies yet I work around this by just making a list of links to each task in the parent task's note.

Anyway, in your situation it might make more sense to just create an individual link to this specific task via your bookmarks or as a desktop link, but if you tend to find you have a few tasks like this that you need frequent access to perhaps you could put them all in a list somewhere. Obviously this idea can be applied to anywhere you can create links: bookmarks, links in other applications that allow hyperlinking, desktop links, links pasted into notes, sticky notes apps, etc. I often put links to relevant tasks in the description field of calendar events (although annoyingly Google calendar doesn't make these clickable, but if I select the link & right click I can easily launch it so it's not too bad!).
saskia.x

Posted: Sep 22, 2011
From Topic: Daily tasks



If you set start dates on these tasks to be the same as the due dates, then the task will be hidden until it becomes due (assuming you have future tasks hidden). This is what I do with all of my repeating tasks, the only time it doesn't work is when I reschedule a task that I haven't managed to do on time and forget to alter the start date!
saskia.x

Posted: Sep 22, 2011
From Topic: Sub-Tasks and Folders



I second the idea of using goals for this kind of thing.

Short term goals for me are basically like projects (in the traditional sense rather than the GTD sense) that I intend to complete within a year or two (although some are much more short term than that), so for instance I've had a short term goal recently to rearrange the downstairs living areas of the house, which has had a number of sub-projects (more like GTD projects) like putting up shelves, rearranging a specific area, etc. Long term goals are used in a similar but not identical way, many are specific projects I intend to complete in the next 2-5 years, but they're often a bit more "vague" than my short term goals as they tend to represent what you could call "visions" rather than specific projects as such. Lifetime goals are my overall aims in life to which everything else contributes, the kind of "what do I want to know that I've done when I look back on my life before I die?" type of things.

The only disadvantage with using goals for this is that I still feel the goals feature is a little underdeveloped and imperfect. With lots of goals it can get unwieldy, and there are a lot of things you can't do with goals that you can do with tasks. You can't, for instance, assign a due date or priority to a goal. Personally I've come up with a workaround which involves prefacing the short term goals with exclamation marks - 3 for high priority goals, 1 for low priority. This means they get sorted in order of priority in the list of goals, which is useful for keeping me focused on the most important goals.

I have at various points in the past wanted multiple levels of subtasks too, but when I started using the goals this way it all fell together and I haven't really had much need for further levels.

I don't use folders the way you do, though, for me these are more akin to GTD "areas of focus" - just a handy way of grouping tasks related to each area of my life, e.g. "family", "household", "work" etc. I've found them totally unsuited to organising projects as once you've got more than a handful of projects they get seriously unwieldy! Plus there's no way of organising folders, no way of indicating the timescale on which the projects are meant to be completed, etc.
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