Better control over task order
I think there should be a smoother way to re-order tasks. I'm a bit long-winded here, but I do think finding a way to address this would be a major improvement for taskcoach...
Here's how i see the problem: Task dependency (not yet implemented) partially address this, but falls short if you plan to tackle subtasks from more than one parent task in the short term. Priority is helpful, but falls short in that you have to manually go in and increase or decrease tasks one at a time to get them into an order of what you would like to do next. Due date falls short in that some tasks might not have due dates, or may actually be very low priorty.
I see a few possible ways to implement this:
1> Allow sorting by more than one criteria. I think this would be a partial solution, but a definite improvement.
2> Allow tasks to be re-ordered by drag and drop. Perhaps each task would have an order index number which would be controlled by taskcoach by default, but if the user drags the task to a new position, it would "stick" in that position and a checkbox would be enabled for "user position". Meanwhile the rest of the tasks would continue to flow around this position.
3> A more complex system allowing the user to sort by an algorithm. This is what I would prefer, although I can see it might be difficult to implement. For instance, taskcoach could account for how much time i've budgeted and how long until the due date, calculate a daily time budget. Then I could sort my tasks by 45% daily time budget, 30% priority, and 25% off of an urgency field. I like this idea, but I'm guessing it's too complicated...
4> Allow another view that only shows tasks that I explicitly choose to do next. These would be assigned an order number for this view. There could be a keyboard shortcut to enable the task in this view, perhaps even one to go to the top of the list and another to the bottom. Re-ordering the list should be easy. Since the list would be small it seems reasonable to have it automatically numbered (as opposed to the maximize/minimize option for priority which ends up creating negative numbers or leaving gaps in the numbering). It is said that we are able to focus on no more than 7 items at once so i think this could be limited to a small number, like 10 or 20 items. This idea seems best to me, because it sounds very easy to implement, wouldn't slow taskcoach down, and easily allow me to plan my day.
I'll donate $10-30 if any of this gets implemented. thanks for all your hard work
In the latest versions, both reordering by DnD and stable sort across multiple instances work.
Carlos Eugênio commented
It says it's complete, but I can not sort by DnD. Any setting in specifies to enable this feature?
DnD = Drag and Drop. Sorry for the jargon :)
Reordring by DnD. what is DnD?
Yep, that's what I call stable sort. Available soon.
Hi there! Thanks a lot for working on this! Will dual column sort be considered someday? I would be happy to be able to automatically sort by status+priority (like I do now) AND manually order tasks within same priority group. Being able to specify secondary sort column would help to achieve this.
Manual reordering is indeed in the latest release. I still have to do stable sort before I mark this completed :)
Heather Green commented
Oh my god this was implemented in the update yesterday. This was, literally, the ONE thing that I wanted Task Coach to have. I am so happy right now. hazysonic, I know you posted this 5 years ago but I would still give you a big ole hug if this wasn't all cyberspace and such.
When having a lot of things to do, the great feature of task management tool is to suggest an order in which those things should be done.
A good example of task ordering is Eisenhower Method:
With this idea in mind we could order tasks by due date and then by priority (tasks that have no due date yet could be displayed after those that do).
Another thing to consider is requirements. Required task should be displayed above because it obviously should be done before.
"You really shouldn't need to spend tons of time with Task Coach," - that's totally true! That's why i'd like to be able to set task attributes once and then always see a list of well-ordered tasks. Right now I'm spending tons of time sorting tasks by this and that, scrolling up and down, opening editor to view requirements and then scrolling there to see what tasks are checked... Still nothing better that TaskCoach out there, but it's a great inconvenience.
Hans Mabelis commented
YES, Drag-and-drop ordering would be a GREAT improvement!
After trying numerous others, I found TaskCoach only a few months ago and this program really promises advantages, IF ONLY it wouldn't insist on exclusively using pre-programmed parameters to ORDER my tasks. Aron Wolf insists "TaskCoach already offers many options for sorting", but that doesn't convince me; no programmer, however clever, can hope to catch in parameters the pragmatic mix of 'systematic' and 'priority' arguments I use for effective ordering - if only because MY 'systematic' is, in all probability, noone elses. I want a program to help me, not one trying to re-educate me.
I'd go even further: when comparing a simple text document (as still preferred by many) with a dedicated program, I'd say that the ability to drag-and-drop tasks in any order would be THE foremost advantage of a dedicated program.
This is close to what i want.
I just want the ability to manually order tasks (by dragging and dropping).
Sometimes you want to plan your day
or the order of a (large or tiny) project (ie. multi-task job).
You need to play around with different orders to see what is most efficient/timely/necessary.
It is FAR TOO UNWIELDY to sit there and change the dates (or even 'priority') on everything, just to experiment with different orders
(and arrive at a different order)
"But TaskCoach sorts items by a PARAMATER - manual sort is incompatible. It will mess things up."
Not true - I've seen quite alot of apps that do this and people LOVE IT.
I think it works as follows:
the app simply REMEMBERS the manual order, so that if a different order is used and then manual-sort is returned to, it simply reappears
It's a seperate 'realm' of sorting that only operates when one sorts with manual order.
This app is briliant but M.S would be the crowning glory for me.
3> A more complex system allowing the user to sort by an algorithm.
Yep, it is the thing. As for me, I would prefer an ability to write custom python function that produces a value for each task so that TC could sort all displayed tasks by this value (just like "key" argument in "sorted" function in Python std lib). I understand that this way of ordering tasks is not for everyone, so I think that some kind of GUI for specifying a weights for columns to sort by would be enough for me and helpful for others.
Kevin Johnson commented
I agree with the drag and drop arrangement. Limiting tasks to alphabetical order is not a good thing.
AdminAaron Wolf (Admin, Task Coach) commented
I looked at those other things before, and they aren't flexible enough for me.
Note that Task Coach does not require any dealing with priorities or prerequisites etc. unless you need them. It is quite flexible. I really need to get to my plans for tutorials…
You really shouldn't need to spend tons of time with Task Coach. You do NOT need to plan projects down to every detail. Task Coach does not suggest or require that, even though it is possible. In my experience, just simple real-world things need some of the capabilities of Task Coach. Just putting tasks within other tasks, effort tracking, and other features are very useful and not complex.
I have some ideas about how we could get to Drag n Drop within our current functioning. We could just sort by priority and have drag-drop automatically adjust priority to get the new order.
Absolutely support the comments asking for drag'n'drop or any other simpler way to rearrange tasks. I do understand it's tricky to implement as other order mechanism still should work. However I don't want (need!) to plan every little project down to priorities, dependencies, due dates etc. to make the task appear in a certain order. It's about getting things done, not spending hours in TaskCoach to organize it without real need. Please have a look at GQueues, absolutely amazing. Nevertheless I would prefer an offline application (I can sync). Also VERY promising: Getting Things Gnome
Nevertheless, thanks for all the efforts and in general awesome program incl. Linux support!
Maybe I can use it one day....
AdminAaron Wolf (Admin, Task Coach) commented
I thought about this a bit myself. A lot of this is now functionally possible with the latest version now in 2012.
#1 is already possible, but it requires reclicking a bunch of things after sorting has gotten messed up. I fully support persistent settings for multiple sort criteria so that this works better.
#2 I think that drag and drop is the wrong answer here. Tasks can already be grouped easily, and sorting by priority allows custom ordering pretty much. I see the appeal, and I was used to it using Things before, but it is too easy to get messed up after any sorting is done later. I think using sorting is better. Drag and drop should be a low priority at best. On the other hand, I would like to have custom drag/drop ordering for categories.
#3 I don't think I'd use it, but seems interesting.
#4 This is already possible. What you do is simply be more selective about marking tasks active. Mark tasks planned when you aren't putting them in this select list. When they show up as planned, either commit to them by marking them active, or put them off by changing or removing the planned date. It is easy to hide complete and inactive items. The active list can then be sorted by priority or by due date / time left. So we're good to go on this aspect!
Dani Müller commented
My absolute favorite: drag'n'drop!
For me the priority value could even be skipped in favor of a dynamic priorisation: Priority depending to where I drag the task or where I click to create it. I'll donate $ 20 for that.
I see it like this:
1) allow a task in a tree to be marked as "action" (or whatever you might call it)
2) create another, separate view / pane / window for those actions
Actions for me means things that I have to do sometime around now, not necessarily today but withing a couple of days. That's why I suggest a separate view - to be able to focus on what is to do now - not being forced to search in a tree what to do.
3) Within this "action window" allow to move tasks up and down and add special "arrow" icons for this to make it easy. This is to sort them in order of priority. I will place those that I want to do immediately on top in an exact order that I want to perform them. And this order should be independent from the way they are placed within different places in a tree.
Please, have a look how Leadertask organizes tasks.
Besides, create beneath this "action window" comment pane/window so that comments may be accessible / visible directly, without any hidden / pop-up windows.
Peer Sommerlund commented
I agree that all the proposed changes are good, but I doubt all of them will be implemented at the same time. Therefore I have made a separate idea for the drag-and-drop reordering. All the other proposals should probably also have separate "ideas"
Roberto Penzo commented
I definitely vote for drag-and-drop way, the more intuitive one.
My simple proposal on how it shoud work:
1-It should be a button to choose if the sorting active is the present one (column sorting) or the DRAG-AND-DROP mode: a previously dragged-and-dropped position task by task (so, you are free to play with column sorting and, after that, choose to get the previously dragged-and-dropped situation)
2-Two different and independent arranging situation should be available:
-the first one when the task list window is in the "Tree of tasks" mode;
-the second one when the task list window is in the "List of tasks" mode.
This let you to define:
("Tree of tasks" mode): the desired order (we also can name it "time sequence", "position", "priority") for tasks and for projects (i.e. parent tasks), based on your long-term priority considerations; note that in this situation, if you drag a task from a parent to another, you also get its parent changed.
("List of tasks" mode): the desired order for the tasks, based on day-by-day considerations. Note that in this situation you are not viewing parent tasks, so by dragging a task you never change its parent.
3-(OPTIONAL) a global flag could be added to choose how the "List of task" is shown: as described above (its own dragged-and-dropped situation, independent of that of the "Tree of tasks" order) or the same order as defined on the "Tree of tasks" (but obviously no parent will be visible): if you choose the second one, you should be not allowed to drag-and-drop, but only view the tasks order defined on the "Tree-of-tasks" mode.
Hope it is clear and it meets the wishes of most of you.
I actualy bought a paid program "swift to-do-list" because this simple but crucial feature was missing. I would start a to-do-list program with that feature and then add other things. Task Coach is almost getting to complex to use whil a simple 2 buton option "taks up" and "taks down" is not an option. You would have to tweak with dates or priority's to get this setup. And if you have a lot of task(the reason in the first place to use a program like this) you need an extra task just to make time arange you priority's. A taks could change from priority in minutes. Then it would just be nice to select, taks up when it is more important. Just like those download programs, you can always setup the priority to download by up and down.