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How can I set a start date?


I have a task with a due date, but it can only start 3 weeks before the due date.
How can I set a start date (like in Outlook) so that I can then sort my tasks by start date?

All responses

David Trey  staff
Replied on Mar 18, 2013 - 14:31 UTC

Hello Sebastien,

Unfortunately, it's not possible to set start dates in Todoist, you can only add one date to a task (the due date), but we may consider adding such option in the future and you're welcome to vote for this request in our Votebox: http://todoist.com/Vote/showProposal/415/

For now, as a workaround, you could try to consider due dates as start dates and use labels as deadlines so, for example, the task's due date can be set to the time when you must start working on it and you could put a label showing the deadline of when this task must be completed. You could type @20/4 within the task name to do so.

Also, with Todoist Premium, you could use the due date as a deadline and then set an email, SMS or mobile push reminder to 3 weeks before this deadline to remind you about the start date.

Best regards,

Replied on Mar 19, 2013 - 01:54 UTC

This is an interesting solution. Another could be to put an item's due at it's start time, and a child item as it's deadline. Eg.

☐ Open your test booklets > Mar 18 @ 1:00pm
       ☐ Final problem due > Mar 20 @ 2:00pm

Then you would get a reminder of when you can start on a project, continue to be nagged if you choose by leaving it unchecked, and also get a final reminder when whatever is due, that can be dismissed when you have completed it.

Simon Bonner  premium
Replied on Jul 24, 2014 - 02:55 UTC

The startdate feature is something that I have missed since I started using ToDoist, but the ease of syncing across multiple devices is too good to leave.

These are great suggestions and I will have to give them a try. Just wanted to say thanks to Sebastien for addressing this!

gregory.krasutski  premium
Replied on Jul 24, 2014 - 04:46 UTC

Create a sub-task "Start this task". Its due date will be your start date.

Coming from OmniFocus, I can say that start time/date is superfluous feature in most situations and only clutters the interface.

Replied on Aug 20, 2014 - 22:14 UTC

Just when i thought i finally found the perfect to-do app, i read about this HUGE issue about not being able to set start dates…

Not wanting to sound offensive, but that's just plain ridiculous

If i get it right, it means that under Label (the GTD contexts) you always see every task with that label, even if you can't do nothing with it till a future date
(birthdays are a simple but very clear example, i guess…)

A starting date may be superfluous if you manage your life by 'Today, Next 7 Days'
But it's simply ESSENTIAL if you manage tasks by labels/contexts (GTD anyone?)

After a very short love story with Todoist, i'm sadly leaving the place, back at OmniFocus…

gregory.krasutski  premium
Replied on Sep 24, 2014 - 11:43 UTC


Jamie Phelps
Replied on Oct 10, 2014 - 14:28 UTC

I'll second what A/M says. Specifically, if you put things into your task manager so that you're not thinking about them, this can include things that might be far in the future.

In OmniFocus, I have a project for renewing my driver license. That occurs only every six years. Why is this in my project list now? Because I already thought about it, decided what it is and where it belongs in my life. I shouldn't have to think about it ever again.

Another example: I have a task for putting out the trash. Our trash collection is on Wednesday and trash can't be put out on the curb until 18:00 the day before. That's a fairly specific window of time and seeing "Put out trash" in my next 7 days view all week long is an exercise in stupidity and inefficiency.

I'm not going to sit around looking at a project or task that I can't do anything about… I'm also not going to have my brain trying to remember when to start toward getting my license renewed or when I'm allowed to put the trash out. I *know* when these things can and need to happen. I've already done the thinking part of this and these silly computers I'm using all day are supposed to be good at the remembering. Start dates keep my list of projects and tasks clean so I can actually focus on completing what I can and should do now without sifting through irrelevant cruft.

markus karlseder  premium
Replied on Nov 25, 2014 - 19:56 UTC

+1 or omnifocus :/