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ccoleman

Posted: Apr 08, 2011



Star is a great way to "bump" items up to a daily to-do list without having to change any of the underlying contexts or folders. If you change your mind about its priority, you can just remove the star and it's still safe in its place in your system.
ccoleman

Posted: Apr 08, 2011



I hope I wasn't too harsh in my comment above. I would agree that subtasks as implemented on the iPad may be useful for some users. What caught me by surprise is that I assumed that under the "nested inside their parents" mode they would actually be visible on the screen when viewing the contents of a folder. Instead, you have to tap on the parent task to "open" it and see the subtasks, an operation that takes you away from the folder view.

The upshot is that if most of your true action items are really subtasks nested inside of a project (which I think is true for may GTD users), you cannot actually see a list of those action items in folder view.
ccoleman

Posted: Apr 07, 2011
From Topic: Toodledo App v. Slim



Thanks for the response. I purchased the app based on this recommendation, but it's completely unworkable for me. I'm not really worried about the three bucks, but in fairness to anyone else who might read this thread, be aware that the app is not only not capable of collapsing/expanding subtasks in a list -- it is not even capable of displaying subtasks in the list underneath their parent task. The only options are hiding the subtasks from view altogether, or else mixing them all together more or less at random with every other parent and subtask that sits in the same folder.

No doubt this is on the developer's to-do list, but it's a gaping hole at present.
ccoleman

Posted: Apr 07, 2011



Wow - just downloaded toodledo for iPad. I could live without visual indenting I guess, but I'm stunned that subtasks don't at least position themselves below parent tasks. It sort of defeats the whole purpose of having subtasks if they are mixed in randomly with and among various parents. I'm trying to think of any possible use of subtasks that could work without some minimal level of sorting. Trying, but failing . . . .

I get the feeling that the original database was constructed without subtasks in mind, and the developer is forced to try to graft them on after the fact. That's going to be a fatal flaw in the long run if it isn't fixed.
ccoleman

Posted: Apr 07, 2011



I don't believe this can be done. The big problem with Things is that (inexplicably) it does not support synching over the net. If it did, I suspect that a number of people would happily migrate over to it.
ccoleman

Posted: Apr 07, 2011
From Topic: Action Lists



Looked this over on your recommendation. Developer seems very responsive.

But unless I'm missing something, the program throws every "next action" into a single giant list that can only be filtered by the single criteria of "context." I have lots of NAs but only one or two contexts, so this isn't workable for me, unless I'm missing something.
ccoleman

Posted: Apr 06, 2011
From Topic: Toodledo App v. Slim



What does the iPhone and/or iPad Toodledo App give you that you don't get through the "slim" mobile version of the website? I realize it gives you offline access, but I mean in terms of the user interface?

In particular, does it give you a view that indents subtasks beneath the parent task, with the option to collapse or expand the subtasks into the parent? The main website does this but the slim mobile version doesn't seem to.

Thanks.
ccoleman

Posted: Apr 06, 2011



I'm glad to see this. And let me reinforce that iPhone and iPad development and support are extremely important in this sort of app. In fact, I almost never access the website -- only through iPhone and iPad.
ccoleman

Posted: Mar 30, 2011
From Topic: I am a newbie



I figured it out through trial and error and reading the forum, but I completely agree that a tutorial would be a welcome addition to the site.

And since it is on your to-do list, let me make a suggestion. Instead of just walking people through each of the features like every other product tutorial out there, create a video or tutorial that actually explains how a particular person has set up a toodledo account to create a particular system. In other words, don't just show me each of the building blocks and turn me loose; show me how to use them to build an actual functioning system that I can then tweak to fit my own needs.
ccoleman

Posted: Mar 29, 2011



For anyone who may read this, I found a way to make the Focus list and Starred lists separately useful. Sort of obvious in retrospect but it took me a while to realize this could be done:

Any actionable item gets a priority, and I have my Focus list set to capture any priority above none. So Focus is a list of all actionable tasks (which can then be filtered by context, etc).

That frees up the Starred list to be used as a Today list or other temporary holding spot for special tasks that I can quickly create by just starring items.
ccoleman

Posted: Mar 29, 2011
From Topic: My Ideal System



The problem is that ToDo will not show subtasks in a filtered list. Instead it shows the projects and you have to open the project to see the subtasks.

Fortunately there are two exceptions, Focus and Starred, which only show filtered subtasks. So as long as you have a system to get any next actions onto one of those two lists, which I do by giving all NAs a priority which bumps them to focus, then you can at least filter those NAs by subtask. That's a lot better than nothing and is a workable work around.

But you can't, for example, generate a list of all subtasks that are in your someday folder that are tagged Financial, or whatever. Instead you'll get a list of projects that have matching subtasks and have to open each project to see the subtasks. Not ideal but I can live with it for now.
ccoleman

Posted: Mar 29, 2011
From Topic: My Ideal System



My Dream System

I've read lots of posts on this and other sites where people describe their system (all very helpful).  But I thought I would do something a little different and describe what my ideal task management system would look like, partly to clarify my own thinking in terms of what I am looking for in a program as well as how to best set up the elements of my existing program (toodledo and todo) to come closest to what i need. 

I feel like my needs are very simple, and yet surprisingly hard to satisfy with what is currently available.  I break it down as follows:

First, I need universal access on iPhone, iPad, home desktop (Mac) and work desktop (PC). As a practical matter, that means i need a web based system with painless cloud synching.  For now, at least, that rules out Things.

My other requirements all flow from the stages of GTD processing, and can be grouped nude the four modes that i interact with my system, as follows:

1.  Ubiquitous Capture.  My capture tool is my iphone, which i always have with me, so this boils down to the requirement that i be able to get stuff into my phone at a single tap.  In practical terms, that means that the system must have an iphone app (as opposed to just a mobile webpage, which is too slow and unreliable).  Fortunately most systems have this (but, curiously, not Nirvana, which rules that out).

2.  Easy Processing. I have to be able to quickly get things from the Inbox into my system, as well as move items around within the system (e.g., promote task to project, someday to active, etc.). Every system can do this on some level, so this just boils down to user interface - which system is easier, more elegant, more "fun" to work with. But truthfully, this isn't that important relative to other needs because I don't really do that much processing, and i can live with clunky processing if everything else is good.

3.  Reviewing.  I put this ahead of Doing because it is more important to me. Some people just want to "file and forget" and prefer a system that only shows them tasks when and where they can do them. But i am just the opposite.  I spend a lot of time with my lists and use them as a springboard to think "big thoughts" about my life. So i need lots of different views that let me see how my tasks fit together to make up the whole of my life. 

At a minimum, i want to be able to call up a complete list of projects, with the ability to show or collapse tasks within those projects, as well as partial project lists filtered by area of focus, again with collapsable task view.  I would also like a robust folder/subfolder system that I can use to organize my projects. I want to be able to order these lists manually. And i would love the ability to attach icons, colors, fonts, etc. To individual projects or tasks to help me make those lists come alive visually. In short, i want to be able to play with my lists and think about my life. 

4.  Finally, i also sometimes like to actually get things done.  Here, my needs are pretty simple. I need to filter all tasks (including subtasks) by context or tag.  It Is crucial, though, that the filtered lists include and show subtasks (an area where toodledo plus todo falls down).  When im Doing, i just want the bare list of things to do, not have to hunt around in projects, etc. To find the tasks.

In addition, i need the ability to quickly create hot lists of tasks - to do today, to do while running errands, to buy at the store, whatever. I can always make these using tags, but i really want to be able to do this quick and on the fly. The Star field is a great tool for this, but you only get one star. My ideal system would give me three or four "stars" to use however i want. 

As a bonus, id like a reasonable price, a responsive developer, and an active user forum 

And that's it for me. Toodledo with a ToDo front end for iPhone and iPad is the closest I've come so far, but it isn't perfect and i still have my eye out.   
ccoleman

Posted: Mar 28, 2011



I'll be curious to hear how this works for you after a few months. If you aren't using subtasks then you almost have to create a new folder for each project. But I can see two potential problems with this down the line:

First, it may become extremely awkward once the number of open projects starts to expand. If you are really planning to track everything in your life and are faithful to defining any outcome that requires more than one task as a project, you may find (as I have) that the number of projects grows to several dozen. That seems like a lot of folders to deal with.

Second, relatedly, will this system give you a way to scan a list of your projects? I'm not sure -- it may depend upon exactly how you've set up your system. But that would be a potential concern for me.

All that said, though, these may not be obstacles for your particular set up.

The main alternative, I think, is to sign up for the Pro account, which gives you subtasks, and then make each project a separate item in one or more folders, with the actual tasks for each project listed as subtasks under the project. Unfortunately, subtasks management with Toodledo isn't all that it could be, either, so this system also has some limitations.
ccoleman

Posted: Mar 23, 2011



I understand there are reasons this may not happen, but let me add my vote for manual sorting. I don't need it for "doing" -- I can use contexts, tags, etc. for filtering in "doing" mode. I need it for "planning/reviewing" mode. Putting them into an order lets me walk through all of my open loops in a systematic way.
ccoleman

Posted: Mar 21, 2011



I went with Appigo ToDo on both iPhone and iPad. I tend to have a pretty simple set up -- just a few lists, just a few contexts -- and am pretty sure that most of the available alternatives could have managed my system well enough.

I really had only two priorities:

(i) My system had to be capable of smoothly synching my lists between online, iPad and iPhone. I've been pleased on this score -- all three lists synch wirelessly and it takes only a second or two to do.

(ii) I wanted my system to be visually appealling. This is a personal thing, but I really like the simplicity and clean lines of the ToDo apps.
ccoleman

Posted: Mar 10, 2011



PeterW,

Thanks so much for the reply. I've learned a lot from reading many of your other posts on this forum, so thank you.

Your response gives me comfort that, at least for a setup like mine, I'm not missing anything to think that the Focus and Starred lists are redundant and the All list isn't terribly useful.

I'm still a bit confused by the logic design of the Focus list. After some further experimentation, it seems that the Starred toggle functions differently than the other three Show Tasks toggles. No Due Date, Subtasks and Completed all determine whether those types of tasks will join Dated tasks in the initial "pool" of potential Focus tasks. That initial "pool" is then filtered through the Hide Task criteria regarding Due Afterdate and Priority. But Starred Tasks seems to bypass the Hide Task criteria altogether -- if Starred = ON, then all starred tasks are on the Focus List regardless. It's odd . . . but on reflection I suppose that's actually how I would prefer the list to work, so now that I've got it, I'm happy with it.

You are absolutely correct that my Starred and Focus lists, with your suggested settings (which I like), are identical. Seems like a wasted opportunity, but I can't think of what else to do with it.

Thanks again.
ccoleman

Posted: Mar 10, 2011



I've spent more time with the Focus list, and it's really, really confusing. (I'm using ToDo 4.2.1)

Here's how it seems to work:

By default, the list includes all Dated items. That is, if you turn off all of the toggles under "Show" and don't exclude anything under "Hide," the list will include all Dated items. You can screen out some future dated items by adjusting the "Due after" filter, but so far as I can tell, there is absolutely no possible way to screen out a task with a Due Date of Today.

If you turn "No Due Date" to On, then the list still includes all Dated items, and will also include all Undated items. In other words, this setting includes all tasks. You can still screen out future dated items by adjusting the "Due after" filter, but this will have no effect on undated items.

If the Star toggle is set to off, then starred tasks may or may not appear on the list, depending upon whether they qualify under the above rules related to date. In other words, the Star is simply irrelevant.

If the Star toggle is set to On, then starred tasks appear on the list unless they are filtered out by the date criteria.

The Subtasks toggle seems to work like this: If the toggle is Off, and if a subtask would otherwise qualify for the list, then the Parent task is shown, not the subtask. If the toggle is On, and if a subtask would otherwise qualify for the list, then the subtask is shown, not the parent.

Finally, the Priority toggle filters out tasks that would otherwise appear on the list if they are below the set priority -- except that the null priority setting (i.e., the dash) exempts items from this filter. In other words, items with a null priority are not filtered out.

There may be some underlying order to these various rules, but if so I can't see it. It just seems like a random mishmash of criteria for what gets on the list and what doesn't.

But the upshot seems to be this:

If you want the focus list to show all starred items plus all items due today or tomorrow, then set for No Due Date = Off; Starred = On; Subtasks = On; Due after = Tomorrow; Priority = Null.

If you want the focus list to show all high priority items plus all items due today or tomorrow, then set for No Due Date = On; Starred = Off; Subtasks = On; Due after = Tomorrow; Priority = High.
ccoleman

Posted: Mar 10, 2011



I'm implementing GTD using Toodledo and ToDo for iPhone and iPad, more or less following Proximo's set up -- with Actions, Projects, Someday and Waiting as my only folders, and Next Actions getting starred. I like this because all of my folders fit on a single iPhone screen with no scrolling.

I'm wondering, though, how to get more value out of the All, Focus, and Starred Lists. I guess I have two specific questions:

1. What is the difference between the Starred and Focus lists? (The Focus list on ToDo corresponds to the Hotlist on Toodledo.) I don't just mean the technical difference (though I'm confused about that too). Do people have ways of getting differerent value out of the two lists? Since I'm designating Next Actions as starred, the Starred list is a handy screen to work from. But then, what can I do with the Focus list that's any different?

2. In a system like this where the entries in my various lists include both actions and projects, is there any value to the All list? Any ideas on what to do with it?

Thanks
ccoleman

Posted: Mar 09, 2011



Sorry to glom on, but I have a related question that is driving me crazy and the responses on this post seem to suggest that some of you have the answer: How do I filter subtasks by tag or context? I have a single list that contains Projects, and the tasks for that Project are in subtasks. I can assign the subtasks tags and contexts, but when I filter the result I get is a list of Projects that have matching subtasks, rather than the subtasks themselves. So if I have "@errand" subtasks scattered throughout various projects, filtering by @errand doesn't give me the actual errands, but rather a list of every project with an errand in it, which is mostly worthless.

I'm using ToDo for iPad 4.2.1, by the way.
ccoleman

Posted: Mar 09, 2011
From Topic: ToDo Subtask Question



I'm using ToDo for iPad. I have a List of Projects, with specific tasks for the project as subtasks. The "All," "Context," and "Tag" views all seem to generate lists at the project level, rather than the subtask level -- i.e., searching for @errand gives me the list of Projects that contain subtasks that are errands, rather than just the list of errands themselves.

Is there a way to just get the list of subtasks?