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Need the ability to add subtask to subtask



AuthorMessage
michgabriele

Posted: Jan 10, 2012
Score: 2



Hello,

I know (yes I know how to use the quick search field) that some people are asking for this since 2008 :

But why can't we add subtask to subtask ? That's a stupid limitation for me...
Jake

Toodledo Admin
Posted: Jan 10, 2012
Score: 0



multiple levels of subtasks is a very very complicated thing for us to add. It is on our to-do list, but please don't hold your breath.
Rainer M Krug

Posted: Jan 23, 2012
Score: 2



I agree with the OP - it would be very useful to have this possibility.

This message was edited Jan 23, 2012.
Purveyor

Posted: Jan 23, 2012
Score: 0



Posted by Toodledo:
multiple levels of subtasks is a very very complicated thing for us to add.
Instead of "multiple levels", what about "two levels"? Seems to me that would be easier.
Salgud

Posted: Jan 23, 2012
Score: 0



I believe that two is "multiple", i.e., more than one.
Purveyor

Posted: Jan 23, 2012
Score: -1



Regardless of what you believe, "two" is not the same as "multiple".
Salgud

Posted: Jan 23, 2012
Score: -3



This post has been hidden because of negative votes. Click to reveal
Purveyor

Posted: Jan 23, 2012
Score: 0



Perhaps your math is not rusty but your understanding of definitions is limited.

Anyway, here are the relevant options:
1. A system that allows one level of subtasks.
2. A system that allows two levels of subtasks.
3. A system that allows as many levels as the user wants to add.

Based on Jake's comment above, it seems that his "very very complicated thing" refers to option #3. I'm suggesting that option #2 is easier to design and implement, compared to option #3.
Jake

Toodledo Admin
Posted: Jan 23, 2012
Score: 0



Multiple levels of subtasks is something that is on our to-do list, but it is unlikely that we will do this soon. We are still trying to work out usability issues with 1 level of subtask, and we have not figured out a way to do multiple levels of subtasks without adding tremendous complexity to the website. We don't want to add this feature unless we can do it right, and we don't know how to do it right yet.

We may get a flash of insight, but right now it is likely that this will sit on our to-do list while we do other things that we know how to do. I am sorry to those of you who are disappointed by this news.
Purveyor

Posted: Jan 23, 2012
Score: 0



Thanks for the explanation, Jake. Makes sense. From a database viewpoint, it's a simple internal one-to-many relationship, with an indicator for the level. From a website/usability viewpoint, though, I can imagine that it's very difficult to manipulate and display multiple levels. (BTW, have you checked out this website: Outliner Online?)

Also, it's great that you participate in this forum and provide useful and meaningful comments.
alexborne

Posted: Jan 25, 2012
Score: 0



I have asked for this as well, but I found finally that too many subtasks may be a source of unproductivity.
Let me explain : I have described all the process of minor projects (such as to renovate a room) in subtasks in the past.
This resulted in a lot of clutter, made it necessary to play with filters and dates, took some time for managing and maintaining tasks (of course priorities and dates change often...), and in the end demotivated me when I saw the Number of tasks waiting for me to do.
I now prefer to keep all next steps I want to write down in the main task note field. I just copy the 1 or 2 next steps in subtasks. Much easier and more flexible to follow, modify, navigate the tasks list, and I am less de-motivated by the amount of tasks.
Possibly several levels of subtasks could help with appropriate filtering. but tasks notes as a bucket to store non-immediate subtasks works quite well as well.


This message was edited Jan 25, 2012.
baj3810

Posted: Feb 14, 2012
Score: 0



Posted by Toodledo:
Multiple levels of subtasks is something that is on our to-do list, but it is unlikely that we will do this soon. We are still trying to work out usability issues with 1 level of subtask, and we have not figured out a way to do multiple levels of subtasks without adding tremendous complexity to the website. We don't want to add this feature unless we can do it right, and we don't know how to do it right yet.

We may get a flash of insight, but right now it is likely that this will sit on our to-do list while we do other things that we know how to do. I am sorry to those of you who are disappointed by this news.


I'm also a developer and don't see why this feature would be more complicated then implementing a recursive linked-list. Have you already explored this approach?
Jake

Toodledo Admin
Posted: Feb 14, 2012
Score: 0



The difficulty is not with the back end data structure, but with the front end UI. I'll give an example. Suppose you have 14 levels of subtasks and the sub-sub-sub-sub-sub task is due today. That task has its own multiple levels of sub-sub-sub-sub tasks. How do you display that task on the hotlist? Do you display it nested deep inside the 14 layer onion? This will show lots of unimportant tasks. Do you display it all by itself? This will cause you to lose context. Maybe you compromise and display its immediate parent only? Then what happens when you want to go up a level and view the parent's parent? I think you can see that interacting with the data gets really complicated when you have so much nested structure.
luckyday1266 Post deleted
Purveyor

Posted: Feb 15, 2012
Score: 1



Posted by Toodledo:
Suppose you have 14 levels of subtasks and the sub-sub-sub-sub-sub task is due today. That task has its own multiple levels of sub-sub-sub-sub tasks. How do you display that task on the hotlist? Do you display it nested deep inside the 14 layer onion?
This is why I suggested having just one more level of subtasks. Seems to me that the user interface would be simpler to implement if there were only three levels (parent task, and two levels of subtasks) compared to having an unlimited number of levels.


This message was edited Feb 15, 2012.
Salgud

Posted: Feb 15, 2012
Score: 0



If you were going to add only 1 additional level, would Sub-folders accomplish the same thing, but with less added complexity to the task interface?
Jake

Toodledo Admin
Posted: Feb 15, 2012
Score: 0



Adding one more level, either as a subfolder or sub-sub-task would still introduce much of this complexity. Im not saying that we will never do it. It is on our to-do list. Im just trying to explain that it isnt as trivial as people seem to think. There are a whole bag full of usability issues that need to be resolved. And to be honest, I think our current 1-level of subtasks has some usability issues that we have not yet fully resolved.
mhm802

Posted: Feb 15, 2012
Score: 0



Maybe it's because I have never overly relied on the outlining approach to projects, but my work flow hasn't really been impeded by the lack of deeper levels of subtasks. In fact, although I upgraded earlier this year in order to o have access to subtasks, I've decided after a couple of months experimenting, that they add needless complexity to my system.

I had hoped to refine my system to make the task the project, and then utilize the subtask function for the tasks. But I found it very confusing to move between the flattened, indented and hidden subtask views. I also found myself using a prefix to connect the subtask to the project anyway (necessary to differentiate similar tasks related to separate projects in some cases, and necessary to clarify when using the flattened view, in others. I also struggled to add a project task that would visually stand out (I tried all caps).

I'm glad I upgraded to pro subscription and I’m happy to support this fabulous site. But I've simplified my approach considerably.

I have two contexts: Home and Work. I use folders (5) for work only, named by area of responsibility. I use tags for home and work related things: individual family members, agenda items to review with my direct reports, standing meetings, my boss, errands, etc. I love being able to have as many tags as I need to for an individual task!

For work projects, I make sure that each task includes a prefix or single word that relates to the specific project. I create a saved search based on that prefix/word. Voila! I have all of my project tasks together. It doesn’t matter if the tasks are in different folders (they often are) or even occasionally in my different contexts (for me, occasionally work and home tasks bump into each other related to the same project).

From the view created by a saved search, I have all the tasks in a project together, and it's easy enough to sort, date, add, etc. As a bonus, the accumulated saved searches become a defacto project list.

When I’m focused on the HOME context list, I usually look at the full list, which is sorted by due date, or occasionally for planning I’ll review by tag. At WORK, I find it most useful to get a quick and comprehensive overview of my day by reviewing my lists quickly by folder/area of responsibility, tag or specific project/saved search – the order of review will depend on the nature of the day.

I have tried to simplify my system as much as possible and still stay on top of things. So far it’s working…YMMV.
pjlewis

Posted: Mar 06, 2012
Score: 0



Can I humbly suggest a few approaches to consider when dealing with deep relationships in tasks?

1. I think people want multiple levels of tasks to enable complex tasks to be sub-decided into simpler tasks. The is really outlining and is part of an organising activity rather than doing. One approach may be to consider an organising / outlining tree like view for task creation which is different to the doing view?

2. Context within the tree could be shown using a breadcrumb attribute on the task, so that when a task is listed, the context can be seen if needed. Microsoft explorer has this sort of approach in the header.

3. It would be worth reviewing omnifocus to see how this problem is addressed there. I realise this is not a web app, but is recognised as a great productivity app and addresses some of these issues.

Just a thought.......
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