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wondering what others thought about this task reorder behavior

 Hi,


I found out that you can change a task's due date by dragging it in the task list!


This was quite disturbing as that was not what I had intended.  As part of my daily review, I was reordering my task list so that the task I wanted to work on first, was first in the list.  Dragging a particular task (with no due date) to the first position, I had to drag it past another task which DID have a due date.  The effect of my dragging was for the dragged task to get the same due date as that other task.


I asked the support team and they indicated that this was "by design", I had a hard time imagining that anybody would consider this correct / logical / desired behavior.  For me, due dates are really DUE dates ... if I get a mail that a proposal must be turned in by March 13th, then March 13th is the due date.  If I get a mail that my director wants a manpower estimate ASAP, it does not get a due date because it does not have one, but it does get marked high priority and it goes to the top of my task list.


Having drag and drop change the due date is, in my world, just crazy.  Does anybody actually use & like this feature?  If not, maybe we can get them to change it!



Best Answer

This has never been an issue for me and I've been using Todo for a number of years now.


I want tasks with a due date to sort in due date order. Tasks with no due date have no place being in the middle of tasks that do. They belong at the bottom of the list. It makes perfect sense for Todo to automatically assign or change a due date for a task that is dragged into the are where tasks have a due date.


I understand what you want, I just don't think that's what most users would want or expect. If Appigo provided such an option to sort manually I can imagine the support load it would create for them (helping users who can't understand why their tasks seemingly sort randomly).



I agree with every point you made.

Is there a way to create a preference that you can disable changing dates when reordering tasks?

 

Hi Peter, I guess the big difference is being date-driven vs importance driven (where importance is defined however you like). For some people, the date defines the importance. These people probably like the current behavior as you do. My tasks are not sorted in random order, they are manually sorted by me in the order that I want to do them. Date is sometimes important - they day taxes have to be paid or the annual report article has to be turned on ... But most of my tasks have no due date. I know some task managers equate due date with a scheduling date ... I plan to work on this today, so I mark it "due" today. This doesn't work for me because then I have to think, which one of the due tasks today are REALLY due today. And if by dragging a task elsewhere in the list, I change the due date for a task that really does have a real DUE date ... I can't trust the system to keep it straight for me. I've moved on to Todoist in the meantime. It also makes a bit of the same mistake - to set the due date you tap on "schedule it" ... But at least you have to explicitly change the date, it doesn't get changed simply by a drag action. Have fun with Todo Pro, other than this behavior and a couple other date related oddities, it's a real nice program.
Hi Jeff, I understand how you intend the product to work, that's not the problem I have with it :-) I think it's just horribly wrong. For me, position in the task list is a reflection of the importance or urgency of the task. Tasks on the top I want to remember to work on in the very near future. Due date may be a factor in that decision, but it is not the only factor. So it is not the case that a change in task position should change the date. For me, this behavior is essentially equivalent to having a list sorted in alphabetic order; then you choose the task "get milk" and move it to the top, above "bring coffee cup back from work". By moving the task to the top, the program now automatically changes the moved task name to "Aget milk" because otherwise the alphabetical order no longer makes sense!!! There was a related issue about interaction between start dates and due dates, I don't remember the details, as I stopped using todo pro because of this date weirdness. It's too bad because other than this point, I thought todo pro was really great. The ui on the phone is amazing. This point of date behavior unfortunately is too important to ignore, I lost a couple of important appointments because task reordering changed dates behind my back.

How about in addition to sort by Due Time, Priority and Alpha, add an option to sort "manually" or "none" like Outlook does. Problem solved.

Michael I agree with you about the "both methods of sorting" having merit. What I can't get my head around is the idea that dragging a task would change the due date. I think the correct approach would be, if due-date sorting is being enforced, to have drag-and-drop reordering turned off. Want to reorder? Then change the due date. As I said, due dates really should be due dates. When something is DUE. The way it works now, they are being treated as DO dates. Which is ok except it means that is product does not support true DUE dates. The behavior that I would prefer to see is the following: Due dates are immutable except by actually changing manually the due date. Due dates are when something is DUE. Like April 15th for US taxes. Start dates could be a date on which you want to start working on something, or perhaps a date before which, you cannot work on something. These should be seen as separate from due dates, ie don't mix up the sorts: if I sort on date, force me to choose either start date or due date, don't do the use due date if present, otherwise use start date thing. You may want to implement a 3rd date which is the DO date, the date on which you want to do something. This is definitely separate from DUE date, you could make a case for having the DO date be the same as start date, or you could just use the task ordering as the DO information.
I agree with the first poster. Dragging the tasks up and down should NOT change the due date. In the Focus view, many of us drag tasks up or down to create the order in which we will be working on the tasks during day. We don't want the actual due dates to change, just the order in which the tasks are displayed. All you need is the option to sort manually OR by due date. Most todo apps allow you to reorder by drag and drop and they do NOT change the due date. This feature is so basic to my workflow that it makes Appigo a no-go for me. I hope you will consider a change to your otherwise great app.
Answer

This has never been an issue for me and I've been using Todo for a number of years now.


I want tasks with a due date to sort in due date order. Tasks with no due date have no place being in the middle of tasks that do. They belong at the bottom of the list. It makes perfect sense for Todo to automatically assign or change a due date for a task that is dragged into the are where tasks have a due date.


I understand what you want, I just don't think that's what most users would want or expect. If Appigo provided such an option to sort manually I can imagine the support load it would create for them (helping users who can't understand why their tasks seemingly sort randomly).


One more comment before I go.  I made an offer (IIRC) to Appigo staff to consult with designing what (IMO) a "sane" date behavior is.  I meant what I said above : this product has real potential (especially if the reference is the iPhone / iPad app).  The UI is great and a lot of the power features are there.  There are a lot of "us" out there looking for the app that gets it all right; I thought Todo was really close, except for this, in my opinion, horribly broken behavior / philosophy around handling of due and start dates.

The offer only holds if there is really a committment from Appigo to work on it; it would be a lot of work for me to put it together, I'd need to migrate my system back to this product in order to make comments at a detailed enough level to be useful to you.  If you are interested you will let me know :-)

 

Essentially, if I want to start my day by manually ordering tasks in the order I want to do them, I can't if there are tasks with due dates.
Other apps allow this - you can sort them any way you wish and nothing is changed within the task except the order.
Both philosophies of sorting have merit. Therefore, if there could be a preference as to how manual sorting functions, that would be perfect. Then whatever method you feel is most effective for you can be used.

 

Jeff,
Todo sorts task by due date. If move a task up in your list then you are indicating that the task should be due before (or at least on the same day) as the task below it. If the sort was not done in this manner then you would not be able to see your task in a chronological order.
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