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Todoist disregards manual ordering of tasks


We have discussed this issue four months ago (I sent you several screenshots, check email for 07/25) and while things temporarily improved, we are back to square one.

PROBLEM: Ever since experiments with HTML5 and item reordering have begun, Todoist disregards manual order of tasks via drag-n-drop and doesn't properly synchronizes it between different machines.

EXAMPLE: Assume we have projects A and B, with tasks A1, A2, A3, and A4 and similar in B. Say, I manually order odd-first within each project, i.e. A1, A3 followed by A2, A4. Same for B. The tasks have same due date and priority. No labels are used.

I would expect the following:

a) When I switch from the project A or the project B to a combined view (such as Today or 7 Days) I will see tasks as follows: A1, A3, A2, A4, B1, B3, B2, B4 everything else being equal.

b) This order will be preserved when I load Todoist on another machine.

ACTUAL RESULTS: I constantly get things mixed up such as A1, B3, B4, A2, A3... Not only the order of the tasks isn't preserved in a combined view, even the ordering of projects is broken there. To add insult to an injury, whatever ordering I do on machine Home is completely lost once I come to machine Work, and so I have to repeat the whole routine there too...

Without knowing how Todoist implements this functionality in the backend, it's hard to say what the solution should be, though I can see at least 2-3 fairly efficient implementations.

Could you please look into this? This Christmas tree of mixed up projects and tasks is unbearable. I'm seriously considering closing my account at this point as I'm spending more time restoring order of things than actually managing them.

Thank you.

All responses

David Trey  staff
Replied on Nov 30, 2012 - 10:46 UTC

Hello Nick,

We're very sorry to hear that. So far, since we've fixed this issue a couple of months ago we can't reproduce it under any circumstance and we didn't have any reports about it anymore.

Although we can't guarantee maintaining the order of tasks on the 7 days view (to keep the correct order please use due times such as tom at 7:00 and tom at 7:01 in which case the second task will always be displayed under the first one), but within the project view, the order must be preserved.

If you see differences between different computers, please try to clear the cache to make sure that the new order is being loaded from the server and not from the offline storage file.

Best regards,

Replied on Nov 30, 2012 - 11:05 UTC


Thanks a lot for your reply!

While the order of items within a project is kept correct indeed, it is the combined views that matter. I usually work against combined views, not project-specific ones. You would probably agree that being able to see all tasks in one place is why people go to task management systems in the first place.

Using the time to enforce a particular sort order is extremely inefficient: try updating it if you have 15-20 items in a single project per day alone, and something has to be postponed/moved. Prefixing things with numbers has the same limitation (in addition to be ugly, with all numbers in the tasks).

Likewise, I'd rather not rely on cache clean up as a way to keep things properly in sync. It kind of defies the purpose: a local data cache is here to make things faster and smoother and perhaps support offline, not to make my life harder.

Is there a reason to get an older version of Todoist somehow? (I see v=76 in the URL, so I'm wondering...)

While I like a lot of what you've done recently, I feel that this combined view task ordering debacle and synchronization issues are simply not worth the trouble frankly. I'd rather have a few page reloads and a bit of slowness but see my tasks sorted correctly across multiple machines in Today or 7 Days views...

Thanks again!

David Trey  staff
Replied on Nov 30, 2012 - 13:40 UTC


I've only asked you to clear the cache to see if it makes any difference for the purpose of debugging this issue. Of course you shouldn't have to clear the cache every time you use Todoist.

It's not possible to use an earlier version of Todoist as this can cause unexpected issues.

We're sorry for the inconvenience, but the order of tasks on the 7 days view may indeed not be maintained. There are 2 options how to set a fixed order - due times and priorities. You could try to add numbers in front of the task names as a reference to which ones need to be done in which order.

Also, if your daily tasks are the same every day, you wouldn't need to update 20+ tasks if you use the import/export template features. You can set up a set of repeating tasks in a project, set due dates and times to them and then import this set every day from the saved file.

Best regards,