Prompt for all attributes when adding tasks, projects, etc.
In general, I really like the visual layout of Todoist, but I'm finding its data entry restrictions rather frustrating.
Data entry is slowed down both by the requirement to be within a project to be able to add a task at all, and by the fact that many attributes of a task can't (easily) be added (unless you have memorised the shortcuts / syntax where available) without having to go back and edit the task after it has been added. While it is useful to be able to edit information about a Task, Project, Label, etc., I work much more efficiently if I can (and am reminded to) fully define all the required attributes of a task (or other entity) when adding it in the first place.
For ease of use, you should never need to use the gears or (usually invisible) notes icon to access all options when initially creating a Project, Task or Label. Also, fields for all possible attributes should be displayed (even though shortcuts in language can also be used to create some of them in the task details field).
* When adding a project, you have to first add, then edit to set a colour for it. Why not have a colour choice (with the default / inherited colour pre-selected) when adding the project in the first place?
* When adding a task, you have to first add, then edit to set a reminder (other than the default one for a task with a due time)
* When adding a task with a label, the Manage Labels button appears, but if you use it, you return to the list of labels, not to the task you were in the middle of adding, thus losing all the details of the task completed so far.
I would like to be able to add a task from any view (not just from within a Project), and for each attribute of the task to have its own keyboard-friendly field (pre-filled with the default, based on the user's preferences and the current view). This will help users not to forget useful criteria.
* Task (free form text, as now, including all the same quick-add keyboard syntax for other attributes)
* Project (required; defaults to current project if the view allows this to be determined; otherwise the presence of this field is the thing that will allow actions to be added from any view within Todoist. You could allow users the option to set a default project (or to choose not to), such as InBox for quick idea dumping from any view, for later review and refining).
If the user is adding from within a Project, pre-fill with that;
if not, but the user has set a default Project, pre-fill with that;
otherwise, leave blank and require a project to be chosen; present sub-projects as a path (e.g. Work/Project-A) or indented under their parent project
* Label (auto-completing as now, but available either in the task field or in a separate label field - i.e. a keyboard-selectable field, rather than a label icon that has to be mouse clicked. (Currently, the very subtle label icon looks more as though it is has something to do with the due date field.) Display label(s) here if the user typed any in the task field.)
* Due date and time (date picker or natural text)
* Priority (auto-complete / drop down)
* Reminder (pre-filled with the default if the task has a due time, with an option to add extra reminders, with a date picker or natural language options for absolute reminders)
All field defaults to be as now, i.e. no label, no due date, no priority, no reminder for tasks without a due time / 1 reminder for tasks with a due time, no notes.
I appreciate that not all users will appreciate the "clutter" of a multi-field task entry dialog, but that is easily addressed by giving the user a preference for Compact (current) or Verbose task creation. Alternatively, you could display the current box, but have the additional fields open up when the user tabs beyond the date field to "More ..." (Save is still keyboard accessible by pressing Enter)
2 comments, asked by Julie Wills on Jun 24, 2011 - 22:03