Start a new topic
Answered

Todo Cloud 7 is NOT a true "GETTING THINGS DONE" app... yet.

It looks like a sports car on the outside, but it's only got a 4 banger under the hood, with no fuel injection and no turbo.  Thank God it's pretty, because changing a Tasks' Type, Context and Tags; associating it with Lists and Projects; and setting due dates is like solving the most difficult Sudoku puzzle ever devised.  Trying to understand how the Edit Task and Quick Menu pop-ups work together (or not) makes my head explode. 

Now...  Here's where it falls short on GTD... Way short.  

  1. Todo Cloud does not differentiate between Projects, Tasks and Checklists.  Tasks and Checklists can be associated with a Project, but they CAN NOT be associated with a Project AND a Personalized List at the same time.  For example, you create a Project called Remodel Bathroom and a Personalized List called WAITING.  You then create a task to get a quote from a contractor and associate it with the Remodel Bathroom Project.  While you're waiting for the quote you might want to put the Task in the WAITING list.  As soon as you do, Todo Cloud will disassociate it from the Remodel Bathroom Project.  
  2. You create a Checklist that contains a few Subtasks.  You then assign a due date to the Checklist.  If you practice true GTD methodology you'll want to put the Checklist in your CALENDAR List.  Unfortunately, Todo Cloud does not allow you to put a Checklist in any Personalized List.  So, whynot dump the Checklist type and let the Normal Task type allow Subtasks? 

These two issues make Todo Cloud fail the GTD methodology.  

I've tried flipping the method.  Using Todo Cloud Projects for my GTD buckets and Personalized Lists as my "projects".  Sound confusing?  It is.  And, Todo Cloud fails GTD there as well.  

If Appigo fixes just these two issues they could then truly sell their product as a GTD app.  Until they do I think Appigo should remove the "PROVEN GTD METHODOLOGY" reference in the iTunes product description. 

Dave

Best Answer

@Dave


Dear Dave,


@1 The way I handle the WAITING list is to assign a context WAITING to the task. The task itself remains in its project. Works perfectly for me.


@2 Subtasks would be easier indeed. What I do now is not using a CALENDAR list but just assign due and, if necessary, start dates. Works fine for me.


I hope this helps you. For me GTD is awesome and Todopro a great tool for it.


Jan Paul




8 people have this question

@Calvin 


Brilliant! That's pretty much what I was looking for. Awesome. So, now my focus list works the way I want it to, the last piece of the puzzle is "waiting" tasks. Would you recommend creating a "waiting" context instead of a "waiting" list for tasks that are pending some external trigger (i.e. waiting for an email or phone call with a bit of info before I can complete a particular project subtask)

@Bill Sourour


I think that depends on how you have Todo set up.  For me, having a list named "waiting" would never work.  I use tags as status because I can turn them on and off to filter out tasks I don't want to see.  I also have a lot of tasks in different lists (and I use Todo Cloud so many of my lists are shared lists with other people).  The tag filters will stick so if you don't want to see the "waiting" tasks while working on everything else you can turn that tag "off" in your views.  Contexts are designed to only be able to see either all contexts, tasks with no context, or a specific context.  Because of the nature of a context, you can't mix and see more than one at a time.  That's why tags will give you more flexibility there.

@Calvin Gaisford


Thanks. Is there a way to select a particular tag for exclusion (other than selecting every other tag and omitting it)?

Hi,


In my opinion ToDo is a proven GTD app. Let me introduce my setting, which solves the dilemma of the original starter of this thread who complained that a task cannot be associated to a personalized list and a project at the same time. In my model it can!


My LISTS

- NOW     (tasks in this list are shown in the Focus list)

- NEXT    (tasks in this list are not shown in the Focus list)

- SCHEDULED  (tasks in this list are shown in Focus list when due)

- SOMEDAY   (tasks in this list are not shown in the Focus list)

- WAITING    (tasks in this list are not shown in the Focus list)


My CONTEXTS

- Private

- Work

- Family

- Project 1

- Project 2

- .....



Let's follow the life cycle of a fresh task "Order christmas gift" that sits in my Inbox: 


1) decision which context it belongs to: Assign it to context "Family".


2)  When shall I place the order?  Someday? No.  Next? Yes -> Move it to list "Next" (task has now context Family and sits in list "NEXT").


3) Christmas is approaching very fast. Ordering becomes urgent -> Assign task to list "NOW". The task still has context "Family" but is in list "NOW). At the same time the task is now showing in the built-in Focus list (even without a due date)


4) I have placed the order at Amazon:  Assign task to list "WAITING" while waiting for the delivery. Task is still in context Family but in list "WAITING" now".


5) Amazon has delivered the package. I complete the task



Another example


New task  "Clean attic" which I hate to do.


1) Assign it to context "Private"

2) Assign to list "SOMEDAY"

3) Schedule it for next spring (set due date to 1 MAR and assign it to list "SCHEDULED"

Task will show up in Focus list on 1 MAR when it's due

4) On 1 MAR I procrastinate -> Assign it to list "Next" and it vanishes from my Focus list :-)


This kind of "flow" is working for all kind of tasks in any of my projects, even when I delegate a task.

I can filter the context and see the status (NOW, NEXT, WAITING, SOMEDAY") of all the tasks in this single project (technically context) or remove the context filter and see the status of all tasks over all my projects (which are contexts technically).


Summarizing, a tasks stays in its original context (representing the GTD project) over its whole life-cycle and is only moved between the lists, which represent the time dimension (the GTD buckets).


Perfect GTD for me!  


Frank



Great discussion about Todo and GTD and it's timely for me because I'm re-reading David Allen's book at the moment and re-considering my setup in Todo. For some time I've used personalised lists in Todo to represent the main GTD buckets, e.g. Next, Waiting for, and Someday. I also have dedicated lists for projects. I use contexts in the usual fashion and have just two tags - business and personal. However after reading Calvin's posts above and from my re-reading of the DA book, I'm thinking that this isn't actually a good way to work. Calvin suggests use of tags for the main GTD buckets and I'd like to try this out but my concern is that the main Todo interface is totally built around lists. If we should use tags for the main GTD buckets, wouldn't it be logical to put tags in the main left-hand side navigation pane as is done in the current Mac version? At present, tags and contexts are somewhat hidden in the iOS versions. Would it be possible to have an option that allows the user to decide whether they want to see tags, contexts or lists in the left-hand side navigation pane (or maybe tags & contexts, or lists)? It would certainly make Todo more flexible for those who follow GTD and less "list" centric. And apologies for the lack of paragraphs in this post. I'm posting from an iPad and all carriage returns are being automatically removed when I post.
I had some time today so I've made changes to my system along the lines mentioned above... Personalised lists: Personal, Work Contexts: home, office, errands, anywhere (will add more as needed) Tags: Next, Someday, Waiting for, Project. I've updated all my tasks and it looks good. The project tag will be used with one of the others as needed, otherwise tasks will just have a single tag.
Peter,

I have added your suggestion for making tags and context more accessible in Todo 7.
Thank you for your suggestion. I am glad you are finding success in your new organization methods.

 

Hi! Does somebody know how to link a file from GoodReader to ToDo task? . I've bought already second ToDo app - and when I select a file in GoodReader and click on ToDo list button it takes me to ToDo where I don't find a GoodReader icon!! ????
I think you can select 'Link' in GoodReader and paste it into ToDo. But I hope Appigo will implement Files/Photos-attachments like they said...

Hi- I'm new to TODO and this conversation is very useful to me because I'm a regular user of the GTD system. I currently use ToodleDo to back up my system and enter information into it online. For the most part, I think I've figured out how to configure TODO to work with my set-up in ToodleDo. Except for one little problem...


When I create project files with subtasks that are tagged differently than the main project (e.g., tag  = waiting) and then do a search on the tag, the main project comes up instead of just the subtask that has the specific tag I searched on. Is there a setting I'm missing that 'frees' the subtasks, so they show up on their own?


I know I can click the task and the subtask will show, but that's extremely inconvenient when you're trying to assess your lists.


Thanks in advance for any help or suggestions you might have.


D


P.S. This app is so pretty, but it sure would make life a whole lot easier if it had the option to create smart lists based on tags and/or @contexts.

@ Dee Mart,


The behaviour you're asking for does exist but only in the Focus list. There is a setting in the Focus list named 'subtasks'. When turned on, and you filter for a specific tag, only the subtask will be displayed rather than the parent.


@PeterWatters


Thank you! I got it working. Unfortunately, Focus was the one list I was planning on not using... I can certainly use it instead of All Tasks for what I do, but I also have pretty much no reason to use any other lists in the main view. Everything needs to be organized by tags and contexts then searched to narrow it down. Since there's no way to save any of those searches as smart lists (based on tags or contexts) it seems like I'm leaving myself open to a lot of room for error. Plus, having sep useable list really helps organize and narrow things at a glance. 


I'm thinking maybe TODO isn't quite right for my system. Bummer, because I reeeeally love the look of it over any other GTD app. If I'm missing anything here, please feel free to set me straight.

@ Dee Smart,


You're not missing anything. Saved filters aren't possible.


I was a Toodledo user a few years back and used their 'saved searches' feature, but it was only available on their web interface - the iOS app didn't have that functionality. But in any case the UI of their iOS app (and the website to be honest) was horrible.


But I don't miss that feature. It's really only three or four clicks to select a context and one or two tags and for some reason I kind of like doing it manually - something about being in the driver's seat so to speak, and being purposeful about what I am doing.


For me, Todo is a very powerful app with a great, clean, minimalist UI that stays out of my way and doesn't tempt me to play and tweak all day. It just helps me get things done.


Login to post a comment