ForumsNewsToodledo Roadmap Update


Toodledo Roadmap Update
Author Message
Jake

Toodledo Admin
Posted: May 17, 2016
Score: 0 Reference
We've been a little quiet for the last few months, so I wanted to give you all an update about what we’re doing. We haven't stopped working, thats for sure. If you've been reading our forums for a while, you'll know that we've spent the last 18 months redesigning our website to have a more modern look, to be more efficient, and to work equally well at any screen size (desktop, tablet and phone). We’ve finished this for Notes, Lists, Outlines, Habits, the Homepage, the Forums, and all the miscellaneous tools, help and settings pages that we provide (over 200 individual pages)!

For the Tasks section, we have made good progress towards our goals already, as you can see, but we have more work to do. We first built the Tasks section over 12 years ago, and while we’ve upgrade the technology behind it several times, there are still parts of it that are running on 12 year old software. In order to achieve all of our goals for the Tasks section we need to rewrite a big chunk of it using modern software tools. This is a big project, but it allows us get rid of the digital cobwebs and it will allow us to innovate faster in the future.

Some of the key benefits that will come from all this work.

1) Offline mode. Tasks will work in a web browser even if you don’t have an internet connection.

2) Faster. Currently, whenever you view a new list, change a filter or adjust the sorting, it must ask the server for the new list. This can take a few seconds, especially on slow internet connections with large lists. Using the newer technology, all interactions will be nearly instantaneous.

3) More Secure. After we finish this work, it will be possible for us to encrypt your tasks inside our database, so even if a hacker is able to get access to our database, all of your information will be encrypted.

4) Responsive. This means that the same webpage will work perfectly regardless of the size of the window. So if you are using a desktop browser or a tiny phone, the Tasks section will adjust itself automatically to work efficiently. No more pinching and zooming.

5) The same code will run on the web and on iOS and Android. We are using a new technology called React which allows us to reuse a significant amount of our code between the website and the native apps. This is really important because it allows us to keep our apps up to date and in feature-parity with our website. Previously, when we wanted to add a new feature, we had to build it 3 separate times (web, ios, android). This is why some features from our website are still missing from our apps - we just don’t have the resources to build everything three times. When we are done with this project, the apps and the website will all have the same features. When we make an improvement, it will be available everywhere, at the same time, because we will only have to build it once. 3x productivity boost!

For the past 3 months we have been working really hard on this and we are making great progress. We already have most of the new Task section working in read-only mode. The next step is to enable editing and adding of tasks.

We are very excited about this, and we hope you are too. Its going to take some time for us to finish, so things are going to continue to be relatively quiet around here for awhile. So, please don’t take our lack of updates as evidence that we are slacking off. We’ve got some really great things planned for the Tasks section of Toodledo.

-Jake
Duo

Posted: May 17, 2016
Score: 7 Reference
Thanks for the update, Jake.

Of the five key benefits that you listed three are things I have wanted for a long time: full encryption, decent mobile apps and responsive resizing.

The improvement in communication which occurred last year was the only reason I decided to give Toodledo another chance and the fall-off in communication was giving me cause for concern, especially with the major issues around the Android app (which may still force me to move on).

I would have much preferred that the efforts had been put into fully updating/rewriting the Tasks section first then the mobile apps rather than adding Habits and updating Lists Notes and Outlines, i.e. doing the most important things (in my view) first, but we are where we are now.

Do you have an ETA for the new Tasks section and Android app to be released to beta testers?

As I indicated above The Android app is a real issue and as far as I can tell no one at Toodledo actually uses this app as their main/only mobile app. If they did I can't see how the bug with subtasks creating a new non-subtask task for every change made on the app would not have been fixed ASAP rather then being allowed to persist for months. Due to this bug the Tasks section of the Android app would have been close to 100% useless for anyone using subtasks heavily.

Will there be a move to push notifications on Android? I find that the Toodledo app uses a lot more power (~2.5x) than other apps like Remember The Milk when handling exactly the same tasks.

Below are some of the other things that I would like to see from Toodledo in the not too distant future:

Really Need
----------------
Manual multi-select
Manual sorting of all tasks
Handling of Projects (no way to indicate them even using the GTD Status functionality)
Ability to turn off filters temporarily
A fix for recurring dates so that choosing a day like the 31st doesn't mean the task is skipped on some months.
Allow "day" to be a choice with recurring tasks - e.g. "the last day of the week/month/etc".
Indications as to which tasks are parent tasks (currently parent and subtask have the same symbol)
Deeper hierarchies
Multiple recurring dates for tasks, e.g. 5th and 6th.
Timestamp functionality in task notes


Would Like To Have
--------------------------
UI improvements - still some way to go here
"Pretty" non-US dates e.g. D/M/Y and not just for M/D/Y
Daily email reminder is sent out at midnight my time - not very useful. Needs to be configurable.
Transfer between tasks, lists, outlines and habits
Link tasks to habits
Time a task was completed and not just the date
Task comments with timestamp
A way to mark tasks that are in progress
Ann M

Posted: May 18, 2016
Score: 1 Reference
Just a huge thanks for the update as I have indeed noticed things have been quiet. Being able to work from the web browser "offline" is a game changer for me so THANK YOU.

Best,
Ann
Salgud

Posted: May 18, 2016
Score: -7 Reference
This post has been hidden because of negative votes. Click to reveal
melchizW

Posted: May 18, 2016
Score: 0 Reference
Good news for sure! Definitely noticed the quiet.
TheGriff

Posted: May 18, 2016
Score: 0 Reference
I appreciate the update and am excited to hear you'll be upgrading the back end to make future development easier and more consistent. I'm also a bit saddened as that also means new functionality will be delayed.
elysee

Posted: May 19, 2016
Score: 0 Reference
That are great news, Jake! :-) Thank you for the update!
DrFrankBuck

Posted: May 19, 2016
Score: 3 Reference
Jake,

Thanks for the hard work. You really have made some great improvements.

One of the suggestions Duo had caught my eye..."Timestamp functionality in task notes." For those who use Chrome as the browser, there is a great, free text expander called Auto Text Expander for Google Chrome. I have a "shortcut" programmed that stamps the date and another that date and time stamps.

I do find I use those quite a bit. So, even if the functionality is not built into Toodledo specifically, it's there as a browser extension.
dimitrias

Posted: May 21, 2016
Score: 0 Reference
With the ability to re-use code, have you considered adding UWP as a platform?
The limited platforms Toodledo is available on is the only reason to consider the competition at this point as everything else Toodledo does better.
coolexplorer

Posted: May 21, 2016
Score: -1 Reference
Posted by Duo:
Thanks for the update, Jake.

Of the five key benefits that you listed three are things I have wanted for a long time: full encryption, decent mobile apps and responsive resizing.

The improvement in communication which occurred last year was the only reason I decided to give Toodledo another chance and the fall-off in communication was giving me cause for concern, especially with the major issues around the Android app (which may still force me to move on).

I would have much preferred that the efforts had been put into fully updating/rewriting the Tasks section first then the mobile apps rather than adding Habits and updating Lists Notes and Outlines, i.e. doing the most important things (in my view) first, but we are where we are now.

Do you have an ETA for the new Tasks section and Android app to be released to beta testers?

As I indicated above The Android app is a real issue and as far as I can tell no one at Toodledo actually uses this app as their main/only mobile app. If they did I can't see how the bug with subtasks creating a new non-subtask task for every change made on the app would not have been fixed ASAP rather then being allowed to persist for months. Due to this bug the Tasks section of the Android app would have been close to 100% useless for anyone using subtasks heavily.

Will there be a move to push notifications on Android? I find that the Toodledo app uses a lot more power (~2.5x) than other apps like Remember The Milk when handling exactly the same tasks.

Below are some of the other things that I would like to see from Toodledo in the not too distant future:

Really Need
----------------
Manual multi-select
Manual sorting of all tasks
Handling of Projects (no way to indicate them even using the GTD Status functionality)
Ability to turn off filters temporarily
A fix for recurring dates so that choosing a day like the 31st doesn't mean the task is skipped on some months.
Allow "day" to be a choice with recurring tasks - e.g. "the last day of the week/month/etc".
Indications as to which tasks are parent tasks (currently parent and subtask have the same symbol)
Deeper hierarchies
Multiple recurring dates for tasks, e.g. 5th and 6th.
Timestamp functionality in task notes


Would Like To Have
--------------------------
UI improvements - still some way to go here
"Pretty" non-US dates e.g. D/M/Y and not just for M/D/Y
Daily email reminder is sent out at midnight my time - not very useful. Needs to be configurable.
Transfer between tasks, lists, outlines and habits
Link tasks to habits
Time a task was completed and not just the date
Task comments with timestamp
A way to mark tasks that are in progress


+100 My thoughts and frustrations exactly....concisely put .
nigelford

Posted: May 22, 2016
Score: 1 Reference
Another vote for much of the above but especially
Deeper hierarchies OR dependencies
Transfer Outline to Tasks


This message was edited May 22, 2016.
mariasmiles

Posted: May 23, 2016
Score: 0 Reference
Thanks for the update! I was getting worried, as the ios app hadnt been updated sine Nov 2015, following fairly regular updates. And, thanks for working hard to keep Toodledo awesome!!
Salgud

Posted: May 24, 2016
Score: 0 Reference
Posted by Jake:
We first built the Tasks section over 12 years ago, and while we’ve upgrade the technology behind it several times, there are still parts of it that are running on 12 year old software. In order to achieve all of our goals for the Tasks section we need to rewrite a big chunk of it using modern software tools. This is a big project, but it allows us get rid of the digital cobwebs and it will allow us to innovate faster in the future.

-Jake

Good programming practice. This is what Covey would call Step 7, in the "7 Habits of Highly Effective People", "Honing the Axe". This is the one that most people and organizations have a very tough time doing because it is time consuming and yields no immediate results in terms of bringing in new customers, but pays huge dividends down the road.

Kudos for making the effort. You and all of us will benefit from this kind of planning.


This message was edited May 24, 2016.
boydston01

Posted: May 24, 2016
Score: 0 Reference
Great to hear. Them sounds like good plans. Thanks for communicating!
ukz_

Posted: May 25, 2016
Score: 1 Reference
Posted by Duo:

Would Like To Have
--------------------------

A way to mark tasks that are in progress


It's only one of the many things on your note but you can use "Status" for that.
steve.fosdick

Posted: May 31, 2016
Score: 3 Reference
Posted by Duo:
As I indicated above The Android app is a real issue and as far as I can tell no one at Toodledo actually uses this app as their main/only mobile app....


I seem to remember Facebook had exactly the same problem. Like many people, I suspect, I make extensive use of a mobile app. Often the need to do a task become apparent when I am away from a PC and many of the tasks also need to be completed well away from a PC. For a while now I have used "Ultimate Todo List" for Android. I did try the official Android app when it first came out and wasn't hugely impressed so I avoided it for a while. I have now installed the latest update and it does seem to be better but if the re-vamp improves this still further this will be very welcome.


A fix for recurring dates so that choosing a day like the 31st doesn't mean the task is skipped on some months.


I gather this is for consistency with other applications which behave the same way. For me there isn't any right or wrong about that but it would be better if users were not taken by surprise. Simply failing to remind someone to do something because the date doesn't exist in a particular month may well be a nasty surprise depending on the task concerned. Maybe if you wish to keep the behaviour there should be a message, with an optional "do not show this again" if a user chooses to repeat on a day of the month higher that 28 warning about this behaviour?


Allow "day" to be a choice with recurring tasks - e.g. "the last day of the week/month/etc".


I guess this is not such an issue for weeks, which are fixed length, but for months this is important and, if it was possible, and obvious, how to set a due day of "the last day of the month" or even "three days before the end of the month" it may even avoid people getting burnt by the behaviour that applies to the last few days of the month above.

On the subject of communication and responsiveness I have to say my experience of Toodledo is that communication and responsiveness is much better than at Remember the Milk. A few years ago now I was torn between the two: RTM had locations and Toodledo had sub-tasks so I asked each to implement the missing feature. Toodledo quickly added locations and RTM argued about whether sub-tasks would make things too complicated. Nevertheless, each year when my membership is up for renewal I do look over there. Usually it is a no-brainer to renew with Toodledo but this year I noticed they had a complete re-vamp, have added sub-tasks and the harder repeat patterns like last day of the month is one of things they get right. In the end I did renew with Toodledo and yes, new non-task features were part of the decision, but the fact I had to think about it is an indication of how important the core functionality of tasks is so please use the redesign of the UI for tasks to iron out the niggles.
rashids94

Posted: Jun 20, 2016
Score: 0 Reference
no biggy, but wouldnt mind a better user interface for the iOS App, the current design reminds me of iOS 5
coolexplorer

Posted: Jun 20, 2016
Score: 4 Reference
The world (outside the US) is increasingly on Android. Mobiles are becoming the go to device.

If TD takes a very slow agonising journey to develop a good Android app with custom saved searches, it may be left behind by other fleet footed Apps.

I use and love TD, therefore the angst.


This message was edited Jun 20, 2016.
mmghobri

Posted: Jun 21, 2016
Score: 3 Reference
Ultimate Todo List is still the app of choice for power users of toodledo. Interface isn't the most "material design", but it has saved searches, as well as reactive widgets. Also interacts great with toodledo.

May want to give that a try, coolexplorer.
coolexplorer

Posted: Jun 22, 2016
Score: 2 Reference
Posted by mmghobri:
Ultimate Todo List is still the app of choice for power users of toodledo. Interface isn't the most "material design", but it has saved searches, as well as reactive widgets. Also interacts great with toodledo.

May want to give that a try, coolexplorer.

I have used UTDL for the last 3 years. I agree entirely with you. I particularly like the Nagging Reminders, two-way sync with GCal, Custom saved searches, and the new Manual sequence sorting (which doesnt sync with TD, but doesnt upset it either).

Would like TD to open up Lists, Habits, etc. for android app developers.
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