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earthabbey

Posted: Nov 01, 2013
From Topic: Re-ordering tasks



Posted by JPR:
Posted by earthabbey:
...I wonder though, is there any way to sort a list by tags without having the separator bar between each tag?...


Sort first by "Date Completed", then tags


Oh that's tricky, I never would have thought of that.

Thanks JPR!
earthabbey

Posted: Oct 28, 2013
From Topic: Re-ordering tasks



Posted by Peter Scott:

That said, it might be worth adding an attribute called, say, "UserSortKey", for the user to populate with anything specifically designed for sorting. Sort in ASCIIbetical order and the creative user can put tasks in any position, e.g. between A and B with AM.


Jake's previous suggestion of using tags as position number instead of a tag is actually in response to me essentially suggesting the same thing you just did :) And it works as long as one doesn't use tags for other things. This is a workable solution for me and I'm happy to use it until something else comes up.

I wonder though, is there any way to sort a list by tags without having the separator bar between each tag?

Also, just to be clear, I totally understand how complicated, confusing, etc, it would be to have manual sort across the board with all the folders, contexts etc. Jake explained really well :) But having an option to have some items be manually sorted, without compromising the other features I feel is really important (even if it is only in one list, or even if you have to export tasks to an outline, etc). Using tags for numbers, for me since I don't really use tags, will satisfy this (i.e. I don't use tags much so it is not a bother to appropriate that field as my UserSortKey field).

The more I think about it though, the more a "send to" outline action w a link back to the original task would be pretty nice...be easy to sort it yourself with copy & paste if there was no way to move lines up/down. I hope that one gets onto the development to-do list one day!

Thanks for being open to feedback Jake & team, and thanks for sticking around in this conversation enough to suggest the numbered tag idea. I'll leave you be now that I have a solution that'll work for me :)


This message was edited Oct 28, 2013.
earthabbey

Posted: Oct 25, 2013
From Topic: Re-ordering tasks



Jake, you asked me to come up with a solution and then you just said "no" and simply repeated your reasons for before. Just as easily as you reply to all these requests asking for manual sort you could reply to requests asking for it in other lists by explaining the limits of the system. The only difference is then at least there would be an option for your users.

The problem with adding numbers to task items is, simply, I shouldn't have to. That is a work around, and a paid product shouldn't require work arounds, especially ones that take away other features (for example, being able to sort alphabetically unless a person were to go in and delete all the numbers now).


The problem with the scheduler is that it doesn't let you choose what goes on it. I love the scheduler and I think it is a really great feature but it is not at all a solution for when you have SPECIFIC things that need to be done because it chooses the items for you -- that's it's purpose. Also it doesn't let you specify the order.

You said yourself it is a popular request so I'm not sure why you are so unwilling to brainstorm ideas. I'm not trying to be critical, I'm trying to brainstorm with you. After all you did say that if there is a solution that works, you're interested in that.

Okay, here is another solution: You could have a whole new list that showed up in the main listing tab where the link to the starred list is, called the MANUAL list. Then no one will ask "why can I sort starred and not ___." Instead it would just be "oh, I better use the manual list for this."

Or a MANUAL tab if you want to remove the mental association people have with the lists.

Or a fourth solution: you could allow tasks to populate a list on the Outline tab. It doesn't even need to be linked / 2-way, it could just be an action that takes the task and puts it on an outline and then add a sort option to your outlines (which actually would be handy anyway for when a person wants to move a line up several lines, faster than copy & paste). Instead of providing a checkmark/sync between the outline and the task list (to me this sounds like a lot of programming work) you could just do that one way import and append the end of the line with the permanent link to the task so someone can check it off very fast.

Fifth solution: have a manual sort field that needs to be selected (much like how you must click if you want something starred). Then within that we can use your numbers idea instead of adding numbers to the title and only items with that field filled in would sort. This doesn't even need to be elegant or syncable with 3rd party apps because you can explain it was only added to try to find a solution for this. You could have this sort number field only visible when manual sort is turned on as a sort option and if people duplicate sort numbers you'd just pop to the next sort option to decide which is displayed first. That way when people change lists the sort order would remain and users would be able to see the sort number so they'd understand how the manual sort number is global and not list-specific. If you're worried about people getting confused you can also limit the number of items possible for sort, let's say 10, then provide a drop down list for the sort number so that they could not possibly duplicate numbers. Like I said, it wouldn't need to be elegant, just functional. Though my previous ideas sound like a lot less work for your developers, this one sounds pretty complicated, but it IS a solution.

I honestly can go on and on. I have not been dealing with this problem for years (?) as you and your team have so I'm not as frustrated with and tired of it as you guys probably are. I've got fresh eyes here! :) I'm sure my messages are a bit of a thorn in your side lol but I love your product, have already gotten 2 colleagues to switch over in the week I've been a user, and am not trying to imply otherwise. The thing is I just don't think there is no solution and I feel like not including this basic and common task management feature makes your product look incomplete.


Posted by Jake:
I understand your need for manual sorting and I know that this is a popular request. If it made sense for Toodledo, I would add it.

If manually sorting only existed as an option for the starred list, I think this would be inconsistent and confusing to users. Someone is bound to want it on the hotlist, or the top priority list, or the next action list and once you've picked one list for it to work on, you can't ever change it or add more because of the reasons I mentioned before.

If you need to be told what to do, please consider using our scheduler, in the Tools section. It does a good job of telling you what to do based on the task's priority, due-date and other factors.

If you really want to manually order those 12 tasks and you are ok spending the time arranging them, my suggestion is to prepend a number to the front of the task and sort alphabetically. This would probably take as much time as manually dragging and dropping the tasks and would accomplish pretty much the same thing.
earthabbey

Posted: Oct 24, 2013
From Topic: Re-ordering tasks



See I think the disconnect here is that because it seems like a waste of time for YOU, you are finding it difficult to understand why others wouldn't want to just look at a list and pick too. I will give you a specific example.

I have ADD, and a lot of creatives do too...that or OCD. For someone like me seeing that 12 items for example is really overwhelming if I am not TOLD what to do next. I become completely and utterly overwhelmed and paralyzed and won't do anything at all. My anxiety overtakes my desire to be productive. There is no way I can explain to you why, nor "just pick one". If I don't write down, in order, what I am doing that day, it could mean not doing any of the things at all(since switching to Toodledo a few days ago I am just making a paper list).

I'm sure every person who is posting this suggesting, and being so adamant about it being a necessary feature, has an equally good reason as the example I just gave. Another example: I am really excited about your collaboration and public sharing options. I can use this to provide lists of tasks for volunteers to do and update it myself on the fly. Volunteers are notoriously difficult to stay on task however, especially artists. If I don't tell them step by step what to do and in what order it's doubtful much will get done.

As for your programming problem, which I understand and I don't think it's the right option to allow manual sort across all lists either (unless you come up with some way of saving the sort order for every list, which could become really complicated for the end user when they forget that they sorted one list one way and another that way and then complain to you that it's not working properly, etc). What about if manual sort was ONLY available on one list. Starred for instance? Starred makes the most sense to me.

If this wouldn't work can you explain why? Maybe I can think of another suggestion if I know the limits of your system that are stopping something like this from happening (I used to program websites and databases a couple years ago so I do understand there are limits.) My understanding is you could create a new row in your table to assign a manual sort position number and then have the option to use that sort method only in the Starred list view and have the actual field hidden from view of the user even when "all details" are enabled in any list. That way it would be impossible for anyone to sort it into a different sort order on another page and it would appear to the user as though "only the starred list can be manually sorted", they wouldn't even see the value assigned for the manual sort and it would just be "magic" instead :)



Posted by Jake:
If you want to take your list of 30 tasks for the week and make a "today" list of the 12 you want to do, I would use the star, or if you are using that for something else, make a tag or goal called "today" and give it to all of those tasks. Now you'll have a list of the 12 tasks for today.

I understand that you then want to drag and drop those 12 tasks into an order that you want to do them. My argument is that it is a better use of your time to just scan the short list, pick the next one and start working on it. Spending time manually ordering 12 tasks isn't really going to gain you much in the end.

To answer your suggestion about making a sort option called "manual". Essentially a special mode that you would switch into. This is the best solution that we have come up with also, however it has a few issues that we have not resolved yet. Here is the main one: Suppose you are viewing your "Folder X" list and you have manually sorted the tasks just the way you want. Now you switch to "Folder Y" and manually sort those too. Super. Now you switch to the "All Tasks" list which contains a mixture of Folder X and Folder Y tasks. How is that list supposed to be sorted? Should all Folder X tasks be on top of Folder Y? Should Folder X and Folder Y tasks be interleaved? Should that list have its own unique manual sorting? If you can think of an elegant solution to this problem we'll have made a big step.


This message was edited Oct 24, 2013.
earthabbey

Posted: Oct 24, 2013



One of my fav features of Toodledo are the optional tasks. I have a ton of repeatable tasks I try to do every Tuesday but sometimes it doesn't get done and that's okay because in 7 days there is another Tuesday. Are there any Android apps that use this feature properly? Seriously if it is a crappy app but it does this well then I still want to know because I can use it only for these items.
earthabbey

Posted: Oct 24, 2013
From Topic: manual sorting



Thanks for the quick reply :) I added to that thread. I am really surprised this is not a feature at the very least for paid subscribers.
earthabbey

Posted: Oct 24, 2013
From Topic: Re-ordering tasks



Jake, many many other task management apps have found a way around this, I'm sure Toodledo engineers are smart enough to figure it out too. For instance, you let us change the sorting for every type of list we are looking at, why can't "manual" be an option for at least one of those lists? Let's say starred items, when we look at the starred item list, it would be pretty fab if we could turn on manual sort. Then all of your USERS would have a feature they could greatly use and YOU wouldn't have to compromise the functionality of your product.

The problem with your approach is maybe I have like 30 tasks and they all need to be done this week. I want to do 12 of them today, how do I make that list? I can't use the scheduler because it chooses for me (that's the point of it, and I love it, it's great) but I can't use due date either without going through and changing the date and time to today, plus estimated times for when they will get done. This is a HUGE amount of additional time. Then what if I only get 9 of them done? Now I have to go back and change the due dates on 4 of the items. So that's option 1. Option 2 would be to use a subtask list but what if those tasks are already subtasks for several projects? You want me to break it all up and move them all around and possibly really confuse myself as I mess up my very organized lists. Option 3 would be to star items and then have a starred list which is what I'm doing now to isolate the tasks so it's not so confusing looking at my huge lists but there is no order unless I go in and enter times but then we're back at the problem of Option 1.

I mean, it's just really confusing to me why you would think that this is a feature that is better not to at least OFFER your PAID subscribers who are used to getting this service for free from other companies.


Posted by Jake:
Toodledo works differently that other task managers. Instead of manually reordering the list, we allow you to sort your list by any of the columns. This approach is fundamentally at odds with manual ordering. For example, if you set your list to be sorted by due-date, but you then drag and drop a task to a different position, what does that mean for the date of that task? Should the date be changed, or should the list no longer be sorted? Its just a different way of handling tasks. We fell like our approach is more powerful and flexible than having to constantly drag your tasks around as priorities shift.

My suggestion is to use dates, priority and star to set the importance of a task and then sort your list by importance so that the important ones are near the top.


This message was edited Oct 24, 2013.
earthabbey

Posted: Oct 22, 2013
From Topic: manual sorting



Hi, is there any way to manual sort a list? And if not any suggestions? When I have a number of tasks to do and they are spread among folders/contexts I can't use the scheduler so I would like to be able to list them in the order I'm going to do them. I've used many task mgt apps and this is the first one that doesn't seem to have that option...hopefully I am just missing it...?