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Tyler

Posted: Aug 20, 2009
From Topic: Is it me or is......



@ Ryan

I didn't think there was anything "jerky" about what you posted... I feel the same way, and wondered about this.

@ Toodledo

Thanks for the explanation about this, glad to know and appreciate you keeping all of us in the development loop -- one of the best things about this service.
Tyler

Posted: Aug 17, 2009
From Topic: Daily Processing



Great posts from Lance and Proximo... I'm still struggling to put all this together (I find it's a bit like trying to repair a car engine WHILE you're driving it!), and its encouraging and helpful to hear how you approach GTD (and also TD).


Posted by Lance:

Couple of tricks-of-the-trade for me:
I have a physical in-box at home that my wife puts stuff for me she wants me to do. No kidding, because of the ADD in me I may be hearing whats coming out of her mouth, doesn't mean I'm processing it. It works for us.


Yeah, I think this is a great idea. I have starting leaving a stack of 3 by 5 index cards on my home desk by my inbox, so that I (or my wife) can just jot down something on the card and throw it in the box. Later I can process it and add it to TD...
Tyler

Posted: Aug 09, 2009
From Topic: Daily Processing



Posted by Alisa:
OK, I was searching around and did find a program that does exactly was I am looking for. [...] It is called Taskline and it allows you to "schedule" your tasks into your calendar. It actually schedules tasks itself based on available time and "working hours." I can set regular work hours (9-5) and hours for things like "Household Projects" (Saturday from 6:30-11:00). When you add the task you tell it which hours to use and it will schedule the task based on your priority, availability, etc.

It would be great if Toodledo could have a scheduling feature like this!


My understanding is that ToodleDo is to a large degree based on the GTD paradigm of organization, and a major aspect of GTD is that tasks are generally not scheduled on a calendar.

I can understand, though, why you are doing what you are doing... but I do wonder if perhaps you are overdesigning your approach.

There was a good post on Zen Habits about this -- not sure if I can find it right now -- but he basically uses a GTD approach, but he also prioritizes major tasks -- what he calls "big rocks". His idea is to set out out a "Most Important Task" for the day (he also does this for the week & month, etc.; it's a form of goal setting), which he calls a "big rock." After he does his morning routine (exercise, feed kids, etc.) he works only his "big rock" or "Most Important Task" (which is usually tied to a long-term goal in some way). That way he gets it out of the way before all the "little rocks" (the day-to-day stuff that just comes up during the day and eats up all your time) can prevent him from working on the most important things...

I'll see if I can find the link, but you might try googling for it.

His method keeps the flexibility of GTD, but also helps to emphasize working towards goals without rigidly scheduling tasks.
Tyler

Posted: Aug 09, 2009
From Topic: Proximo's GTD Setup



This is great -- thanks for taking the time to post this. I'm looking forward to the video.

I really like hearing the details about how other people are doing this.

(I'm still waffling around, trying to figure out my set up....)
Tyler

Posted: Aug 05, 2009



Posted by Proximo:
@Tyler

Exactly.

Hey, can I meet your friend. I need someone like that to keep me posted. :-)


Unfortunately, we no longer live in the same city, so I'm not going out as much!
Tyler

Posted: Aug 04, 2009



Posted by Proximo:


David Allen mentions that the Calendar is sacred and nothing should go on there unless it's truly due that day. This is why putting due dates on everything is not the GTD way.

Don't do this. At least in my opinion. Due Dates are for task that MUST be completed by that date. An example is a Monthly Report to the boss. You won't have the option to push this back if you don't make it.


This is true (I'm reading GTD for second time -- benefited a lot from first read a couple years ago, but never managed to get a real system going, and now trying again) -- but I wanted to add something that Allen mentions about calendars that is very useful to me:

They should only be used for dated events, BUT there are several kinds of dated events people don't realize would be handled well by a calendar. For example, things you would like to do on a specific date (concert, lecture, event, etc.) but not sure if you'll be able to.

I have a friend who really likes to go to interesting events, galleries, etc. so he sits down in the beginning of the week with various listings (Time Out, local arts paper, etc.) and marks all the ones that are of interest. He puts them in his calendar as tentative. The result is that he is always aware of interesting things to do every evening... and winds up organizing lots of people to join him when he goes because he's become the "go to guy" for urban cultural events...

The fact that lots of calendaring programs (e.g. Google Calendar, T-bird lightning) allow multiple calendars makes this really easy to manage. You can have a "hard" calendar of appointments, but other calendars that handle more optional items.

Some examples of tentative items for separate calendars:
-- project milestones (flexible but still date driven)
-- recreation (as discussed above)
-- religious/ethnic holidays -- I organize some team sports, and live in NYC where it's likely many of my teammates observe holidays that I'm not necessarily aware of (e.g. Rosh Hoshannah, Chinese New Year, Diwali), so I keep calendars of these events that I only turn on when I know these holidays are approaching
-- expiring coupons or sales, and other items that have a limited date-range

So, in my reading of GTD, the purpose of separating tasks from calendars is primarily to separate what is date-driven from stuff that can be done at any time.

This is so that you don't conceptually confuse the two: tasks are driven by time-available, context, etc. but date-driven events are pinned to specific times (and usually places as well), or ranges of time.

A lot of people try to schedule their (non date-driven) tasks, and overload their calendar, and, as Proximo points out, stop taking their calendar or their tasks seriously... the system falls apart then.
Tyler

Posted: Aug 04, 2009
From Topic: Redesign of Toodledo



Thank you, Proximo, for opening up this topic....

I have been meaning to post on this subject as well, but right now don't have time for the comprehensive overview that Proximo provided (which is great, btw).

I do think, however, given that ultimately the data is stored in a database and should theoretically be able to be served up in a huge number of configurations, it stands to reason that templates should be possible...

I think Proximo's idea of Templates are a fantastic one. This is exactly why, for example, WordPress is so hugely popular. I am a web designer with very limited experience in PHP (and none in js), and yet with WordPress I have been able to shape the way data is served into almost any form...

If TD offered users the ability to customize and style templates, it would take off like wildfire, and these forums would begin filling up with questions about how to design templates rather than questions on how to implement workarounds.

A great start would be in offering an easy way to call on user-created CSS files. That would be a good temporary solution towards a true templating system...
Tyler

Posted: Jul 31, 2009



Posted by Proximo:
Glad you love the service. Let's keep getting the word out and grow the user base. It will help everyone in the end as Toodledo continues to add improvements.


Yes -- writing reviews of the software for your blog, mentioning in Lifehacker forums/comments (when relevant), thumbing it up on StumbleUpon -- those would all be good ways of increasing the user base, and (hopefully) the budget/manpower of the development.

(Obviously, I'm *not* endorsing spamming of any kind. But if you participate in other forums or sites, or use various social networking sites, it would be good for TD users to offer their assessment of TD when appropriate.)
Tyler

Posted: Jul 29, 2009



I agree with Proximo --

However, I don't like the thumbs up/down system as a method of rating in any case, although I do think being able to mark comments is useful (and was a requested feature to these forums).

Here's the issue: on nearly every forum I've ever seen that has user ratings -- whether as simple as up or down, or a star system, people tend to interpret the system as meaning "I agree with this" or "I don't agree with this."

That's prob. why Vin Thomas (one of the most helpful and enthusiastic participants in this forum!) got his comment rated down: users felt "I don't agree with this" (or even "hey, he's dissing ToodleDo!") rather than "this is a legitimate observation whether or not I agree with it".

I think it comes down to semantics -- we automatically interpret ratings as measures of agreement, rather than measures of thoughtfulness, usefulness, etc.

So I think one simple, easy fix would be to change the tooltip text when you hover over the thumbs up / down buttons:

up: [hover text]: "Flag as Interesting or Useful"

down: [hover text]: "Flag as Inappropriate or Spam"

(There may be better ways to phrase this -- if anyone thinks this idea is worth pursuing, feel free to suggest alternatives.)


Actually, though, it would be better if the symbols weren't thumbs up or down as well.

My suggested alternatives to replace them:

--A green checkmark in place of thumbs up for "Flag as Interesting or Useful"

-- A red flag in place of thumbs down for "Flag as Inappropriate or Spam"

Any thoughts about this?

P.S. Posted by Toodledo:
One thing to note is that the thumbs up will work to counteract the thumbs down, so if a few people do a thumbs up vote on the post from Vin that you are referring to, it will no longer be hidden.


Yeah, I thumbed that post up, and so lessened the negative ratings. It does work. ;)


This message was edited Jul 29, 2009.
Tyler

Posted: Jul 29, 2009



Great resource -- love this forum for stuff like this. Thanks Vin.
Tyler

Posted: Jul 29, 2009
From Topic: GTD Flowchart



Cool, thanks!
Tyler

Posted: Jul 29, 2009
From Topic: repeating tasks



You could also create five numbered iterations of the task (e.g. 1. Go to gym, 2. Go to gym, etc.) so that you check off each one as you do it.
Tyler

Posted: Jul 22, 2009



I had several important features I wanted before committing to learning and using a task management app.

ToodleDo didn't have all of these, but had more than most, and also I was drawn by the strong relationship between end-users and developers in these forums.

(That indicated to me that the app was in constant development and had committed users, so I figured that the features I wanted would eventually be implemented. And in the short time since I became a paid member, I have indeed seen many, many improvements to the app, so I feel I made the right choice!)

Anyway, just wanted to say that the ability to easily delegate tasks with both TD users and others was one of the important features I was looking for -- Peter's outline of how this could work, or a variation thereof, seems like it would serve this function well...

So +1 on delegation features.


This message was edited Jul 22, 2009.
Tyler

Posted: Jul 22, 2009



Posted by Toodledo:
The out of the box forums have feature bloat and we wanted to keep things simple and not have to worry about staying up to date with their security patches.


Ok, makes sense to me (I myself have to worry all the time about WordPress updates) -- just wondered.
Tyler

Posted: Jul 21, 2009



Posted by mosherinc:
Help,

My Toodledo will not launch on my desktop, so I am not getting a sync with my iPhone.


This won't necessarily help you with the iPhone, but if you'd like to simulate using ToodleDo as a desktop app, there are a bunch of different solutions.

I personally have been satisfied with using Mozilla's Prism (an extension for Firefox), which allows you to launch ToodleDo in a simplified, standalone browser.

The purpose of this is that it is "distraction free" (kind of) -- you reduce the temptation of checking the NY Times for example. It is also faster because it's a scaled-down browser, and you can launch it from a desktop icon.

But it is still a browser, you need online access. (Many people have requested offline ability to edit their TD list, and I believe that the developers have said this is on their list of future implementations.)
Tyler

Posted: Jul 21, 2009



I'm curious why you don't use phpBB or some other "out of the box" app for the forums that have many of these features built in (yeah, I'm aware that all of them have their issues, but they've also usually got a pretty extensive feature set).

Not a priority question for these forums, but I have been curious, as it seems you do the coding for the forums yourself...
Tyler

Posted: Jul 20, 2009



Posted by mi.dollinger:
Great idea...I was looking for the same thing the other day.


The new ability to mark a topic unread is a useful halfway point.

Would still like to be able to keep a list of favorite threads, but this is a good compromise for now.
Tyler

Posted: Jul 16, 2009



Posted by Vin Thomas:
I have been getting more and more frustrated with the note-taking apps that are out there (specifically Evernote).


I found out about evernote from these forums and was planning to use it in the near future.

It's a bit off-topic for this thread, but would be interested to know why you are frustrated with it.
Tyler

Posted: Jul 13, 2009
From Topic: Can I link tasks?



On the rare occasion that I need ordering in my subtasks, I put a number at the front of the task name.


Would be useful to have some kind of automated behavior for this kind of thing. E.g. an option to automatically apply editable list numbers to subtasks.

But perhaps even more useful would be some kind of repository of frequently used prefixes for task titles (and the ability to add them in bulk). That would accommodate many different systems of using labels in the actual task title (e.g. "Project:" etc.)
Tyler

Posted: Jul 13, 2009



Don't want to take development time away from TD, but thought I would mention it would be useful to have a way to mark favorite threads in the Forum.

There is an unbelievable wealth of knowledge and insight here, but I can't always remember where I saw something. (Yes, I can use other means to bookmark, but right now using TD in Prism, so I read the forums one thread at a time).

The ability to star a thread or add it to a favorites list would be very useful....
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