ForumsTips & TricksJP's Task Management Process with Toodledo: Part 2 'Views'
JP's Task Management Process with Toodledo: Part 2 'Views'
Hi all, I'm long-winded so will try to make this easy to parse. ;-)
I'm finishing up my first year with the app so I'm cutting my teeth, which is great. I want to ensure I adopt best practices that is the key to being successful with most anything, IMO.One of specifics I enjoy most about Toodledo is the support community. There seem to be a lot of 'raving fans' and I'm definitely one.
As mentioned in Part one of 'my process' the my intent with Toodledo is about one thing: views. That is what I want. Give me what I need to see, nothing more/nothing less, when I need/desire to see it, and I will take it from there.
The 'Search' feature has been my favorite library within the app. I'm a data guy so used to just opening Query Analyzer and grabbing what I want and typically always ask for raw data so I can build my own reporting structure...but not needed here. Man, this team has some attentional to detail. There are many enhancements I'd like to see, but am rolling stock and barrel with the following.
Views are tricky as I tend to have a lot, and trigger them off of events and/or manage by exception. I use the iOS and Chrome browser app 50/50.
I spent a month noting what views I'd like to see, giving a single point each time I thought "that would be a great view". I tallied the points so that I could create a schema that is somewhat proactive and still reflective--progressively--throughout the day. In other words I stack ranked them.
I took this data and categorized it. Thankfully the report name field allows special characters, so it's pretty easy to 'format' the menu.
WIGs: If I see it in this view, I am not allowed to look at Toodledo again until I have complete the top task, it or at least put in 30 minutes on it. These tasks must have all the following:
So far it's worked well. It's very rare I will spend that much time processing tasks, so if I do it's usually very important. Thus I keep the integrity of this view. It's my final-final. But... I am sometimes scared to look at that view because it it's in there it's drop everything and get busy bat signal!. ;-)
Below are the top level categories.
NOTE: I'm corny with a lot my report names. I figured I create them I can reference them however I want it. ;)
I used a schema starting with spaces. It's clean on both the browser and iOS
Thus ***WORK*** is preceded with 10 spaces. It contains all my tasks within work-specific contexts.
***Personal*** Preceded with 9 spaces, and so on...
To prepare for
To review (this is automated)
Movies to Watch (Status=Reference, Context=Family Time)
Games to Play (see above)
Issues to Conquer (My wife and I are very involved in our two young teenagers lives...they hate it, but we make them spit it--as we all do..Plus it primes them and keeps communication going. Ha ha)-
Area of Focus=#Leadership folder
***PROJECTS*** (All projects)
Work Snapshot/Waiting On
Personal Snapshot/Efficient Non-Family Time
Any jump start I can get to current or future weekend activities. Example, my son and I are planning a trip to Kyle field (Texas A&M football game) a few weeks from now. When I have an hour to spare on the weekend and feel like doing something for this cause, I select this , which will show all like projects. From there I can drill in to more granularity and report with a cubed mindset.
In all, I'm running my scene with ~15 total views, accessible any where. I'll take it! ;-) There are MANY things I'd like to see, but for now enjoying what I am currently capable of doing, ensuring I give it its due diligence. I have some key indexes in Work and Personal, and try to keep 2-3 evolving (try out) so I'm keeping up to date. Finally, I reward myself so have historically measured progress in a myriad of ways. Right now I've leveraging the habits section. I need a simplified, unbiased method for measuring my process (so essentially I'm creating a Score Card) out of habits specifically for how this process is working for me. i.e. I'm all in. You'll notice I take a drill-down approach. Meaning that it's dangerous to report off of dynamic properties (folders) so best to roll it up and then select from all folders current to the system.
I do believe this team often takes a 'we know what's best for you' attitude, but this is far more desirable than a 'we know what's best for us' one.
I'll look to see if there is an official 'Must Have Views' thread, but if not, I would love to read what you guys look at. How often per day?
This message was edited Oct 03, 2015.
One additional note here:
I'm reconciling the use of my views against what I logged while not having them. My intent there is to further stack rank them for a virtual 'dashboard of my top 2-3 KPIs.
Jake, have you guys ever considered a dashboard with this? I hope your entire team slowly rubs their hands together in eagerness when this is mentioned as there is some stout potential IMO. Additionally, let's be candid--it sells. A guy wants to roll it out to his team and needs to give his boss a quick demo, pretty colors and big buttons will grab the boss attention while he gets beaten down with intense customization features in genera: : 'Approved!' ;-)
Seriously, is itton your roadmap? Obviously the web app is where it would shine, but even on the mobile side having an opton to create a row that contains three views "saved or canned'. User can toggle among them at will. What you guys have is very nice, and I like the new interface design...this seems in line with that.
This message was edited Oct 03, 2015.
Thanks for sharing! I just want to understand it correctly - talking about views, do you mean saved searches? And those spaces you've mentioned are before the names of those saved searches? Are those subviews saved searches as well?
And my second question is - how do you verify/know if there is nothing that is not covered by those views? You know, to avoid missing something because it is not covered by any views. I'm asking not to challange your system, I just wonder how you handle this, I try to convince myself to using saved searches more often as I can see many people use them as a base for their systems, but I am always not comfortable with the fact that they might not show me 100% of my tasks and that is why I preffer using standard views available on the Ribbon/Breadcrumb Bar. It is possible that I'm missing something here so your comment on this could be very helpful.
Great question, and actually ask folks to challenge my system. Obviously any system is subjective to holes...I would rather know about them for I can work around it rather than find out at an improper time. To answer your questions:
1. By 'view' I mean any result set. So you have the 'canned' ones 'Starred', 'Hotlist', etc. and then you have the custom ones (Saved Searches)
2. The spaces are to delineate areas of focus. So examples below. What you cannot see is all the 'work' views are prefaced with 10 spaces. Then the 'Emails' views are prefaces with 9 spaces (and so on).
1. Daily Planning
2, Due Today
1. To Send
2. To review
The 'parent' views (with the ***) are a saved search in itself. In the above example, ***WORK*** contains all tasks within a work-related context. I take that view and 'drill-down' in to things I want and they become there own 'sub view' below it. ***EMAIL*** contains all tasks associated with emails (I use a #Emails) folder to bucket that area of focus and during process I define if need to create or review (via tags).
As for orphaned tasks...that is a great question. Later today when I publish my daily process, I'll go in to some detail how I employ checks and balances to give me confidence in everything..
This message was edited Oct 03, 2015.
The main thing offered by GTD is "peace of mind". For that to happen our system must be (1) Fail-safe (2) Relatively Easy to use (3) Focused i.e. only a few urgent-important tasks should appear in our focus at a time, based on the Day/Time and Context (opportunity of doing work). Energy is another dimension (I don't currently use because its one more subjective variable to enter).
I don't see a problem separating Work tasks from Home or Personal tasks in the system as I do not need/use Location Reminders and therefore have re-assigned the TD Location field from geographical locations to use as my "work-spaces" i.e. Anywhere, Work, HomeEvening, HomeWeekend, Outdoor/Errands, Travel, Computer, Phone (the last two can be put in Contexts, but one cant use multiple contexts so I put it here).
I use Custom Saved Search Views to only present what I want : !Pinned Daily, !Today Hotlist, 1.Inbox, 2.Next Tasks, 3.Delegate/Waiting, Frogs/Schedule, All Tasks, Buy List, Top WORK Tasks, Top HOME Evening, Top HOME Weekend, Future Schedule, Meetings/Appointments, Outdoor/Errands, PROJECTS (context), PROJECTS+subtasks, Repeating Tasks, xCompleted All, xCompleted Today, xNEW Tasks (last 3 days).
I do not use the Status and Timer fields but have incorporated "Waiting", "Plan/Clarify", "Project", "Idea/Reference/Hold" in my Context fields along with names of persons who I delegate to frequently and "Delegate Other" and "Buy".
In Tags field I have numbers 1, 2, 3, .......a11, a12,...a20. Also "Checklist, from Evernote, GCal (for events), IFFT, subtask, etc. I have mainly used the number tags to set up my onetime !Pinned Daily routine. Maybe too much trouble to keep fiddling with changing priority tags for other tasks.
I have many repetitive tasks as subtasks in various Checklists (Provisions, Travel kit, Medicine kit, Vacation home, Work Templates, etc) that are in my Checklist folder. All are marked low priority and are never normally seen unless I open the folder. I just Star them to pop them into my !Today Hotlist, and when I finish doing them I don't check them off, but just Unstar them so that they sink to the bottom until next needed. Starring IMO is the fastest way of selecting priorities (until tagging is improved). My New tasks come into my Saved Search Inbox with a Star and Top Priority. I constantly unstar and downgrade the priority of tasks so that I am not constipated with too many top next tasks.
This year there has been a flurry of design and functional improvement in TD. What I would love :
1. Tagging potentially could be the most powerful element since one can use multiple tags on a task. Currently I under-use it.
2. Would love to manually sequence my tasks for the day.
3. GCal 2-way sync and a "week at a glance" calendar in TD.
4. Start alarms, with an optional "persistent pestering notification".
5. Better integration of Goals and Habits within my Task list . (90% of the time I use only the Task list, as I also use Google Keep and Evernote)
6. Custom Saved Searches in TD android. I currently use the awesome "Ultimate ToDo List" which has most of what I require with a tolerable UX design.
Hope my description of how I use TD helps others clarify theirs. I must admit I am not 100% satisfied with my current system and am constantly tweaking it.
The awesomeness of TD allows me to!
This message was edited Oct 06, 2015.
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