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Why do my sub-projects randomly re-arrange themselves for no apparent reason?

Earlier I asked why my sub-projects rearranged themselves when they were "un-archived" and the answer was that in archiving the structure is not maintained the same way as it is in non-archived projects; fine, I can live with that by being more organized and maintaining fewer archived projects or using Evernote or something for archived projects.

But today I started noticing (thanks to the color-coding) that my active sub-projects would just randomly "jump" from one main project to underneath another, for no apparent reason.

Once this happened while the page seemed to "refresh" itself when I moved a task from the Inbox using the "move to another project" and once more when I logged into the page I noticed the projects were in a totally different place.

I am using Chrome to view the page on Mac OS X 10.6 at the moment; I'm not sure if this is specific to this or on the server side.

While I have no problem manually moving the sub-projects after moving from unarchived to archived, if I have to constantly check my project structure every time I log on to see if it is how I left it, then this transgresses the single number one most important rule of GTD: trust in the application selected.

Seriously, I don't understand how/why this happens; there is another app that I use (will discuss in private with Todoist staff so as to not advertise) that is a great complement to Todoist and also saves things in a similar template fashion that can potentially have a much more massively complex structure that NEVER randomly reassigns anything!

Seriously if things have to be constantly checked on and then manually moved it is not really a productivity system unless one considers "check every morning if my productivity system randomly rearranges itself" part of a productive workflow.

I am liking Todoist a lot so far and can appreciate the active maintenance and rapid response to questions and I thought long and hard before asking this question, but really I consider this feature so basic that it is hard to know how to proceed without figuring out what I do to trigger this behavior and how this will be resolved as time progresses.

Thank you in advance.

All responses

David Trey  staff
Replied on Sep 30, 2013 - 19:22 UTC

Hello Adrian,

We're sorry to hear that, I can assure you that this is the first time we've got such report now so of course this should never happen.

First of all, after moving a task to a different project, the page should certainly not refresh itself so at this point already something isn't working as it should. Please tell me - are you using any plugins in your browser that may block scripts, ads, try to "improve" internet connection, force HTTPS or similar? And can you actually reproduce this in a different browser by following the same steps?

So far we weren't able to trigger it so if you could provide the following details it would be very appreciated:
- Can you trigger this in a different browser?
- Which version of Chrome are you using?
- What are the exact steps and the situation in which you can reproduce it (what's your start page, on what view are you in, do you right-click on a task or drag & drop it or multi-select tasks and move them all at once)?

Also, do you use any third-party Todoist-based mobile apps?

Best regards,

Adrian  premium
Replied on Oct 01, 2013 - 02:10 UTC

Thanks for getting back to me so quick; as far as I can tell:

1. I may be able to reproduce this in a different browser, but as far as I can tell this seems to happen when I use Chrome which I use for using Tinkercad.

I'm not sure if it is a plugin for Chrome, I have about a dozen+ plugins, nothing specifically for what you mention but then again I don't know what other functions they plugins have that are not explicit.

So far I have not had the same experience with Safari other than the page suddenly scrolling up when I choose to move a task that is on a bottom of a list, then the page suddenly scrolls up when I choose the project (but then this may be expected behavior, I don't know).

Chrome Version on my 10.6 OS X iMac says Version 30.0.1599.66 beta.

I have been away for the day but earlier I would start in "Overdue, Today and Seven days" and when I would choose the inbox then click the drop-down arrow on the right, then select "move to another project".

To tell the truth I don't recall whether I was using left or right click as they both seem to have the same function.

And the last question is no to the third party stuff.

As far as I can tell this is Chrome specific (I don't recall this happening when I was using Safari, but I could be wrong).

Also I had a few tabs open, I believe Tinkercad was open when most of this happened but in one instance I'm pretty sure it was just Todoist.

The reason I mention Tinkercad is because aside from being resource heavy for rendering, I noticed something funny in that Tinkercad (no plug-ins, just the site) started behaving a bit weird and not rendering properly last night (I'd get that broke Chrome puzzle piece sad face) and my problems with the sub-projects started shortly thereafter.

I'm sorry if I jumped the gun, it may just be a Chrome issue unrelated to the app itself in which case I'd be fine just using either the native app on my MacBook with 10.8 or on Safari.

I don't know if this helps, but another thing I recall happening was when I would click a main level project or sub-project, sometimes all or some other projects would "open up" and display all the sub-projects even though I didn't choose them. Not sure if related.

Thanks. Please understand my frustrations come from liking and caring about the direction of the app and not with you guys personally; this team has been without a doubt by far the best software/web-service experience I have had bar-none.

Brendon Wadey  staff
Replied on Oct 01, 2013 - 02:38 UTC


I would suggest going into your Extensions area (Chrome Settings, Tools, Extensions) and disabling (not removing) all installed extensions. Also, just have Todoist open, and see if the issue happens.

If it doesn't, turn things on one by one and see what happens.


David Trey  staff
Replied on Oct 01, 2013 - 11:18 UTC


Also, please try to avoid using a beta version of Chrome. We've had a lot of reports of strange behavior of our app on many different beta versions of Chrome, but every time this version because a final public release - all issues were gone.

That said, please install the latest publicly available version of Chrome and let me know if the issue persists there.

Best regards,

Adrian  premium
Replied on Oct 01, 2013 - 17:29 UTC

on Oct 01, 2013 - 12:25

So I wasn't even aware I had a "beta" version of Chrome to begin with, I re-downloaded the latest public release which now says the same thing except the "beta" part is missing.

I tried using Todoist a few times on this and the only thing that happens is when I move an Inbox item to a project via mouse-click, if that project is a sub-project then the "main" project opens up and cascades the sub-projects to show the sub-project I moved the Inbox item into; I don't know if this is expected behavior.

But other than that, I guess I can't replicate yesterday's weirdness with this non-beta version of Chrome; from now on I guess I'll just use Safari with Todoist (not sure how I wound up with beta releases of Chrome since I don't even recall any update message s and I definitely didn't d/l it manually).

Funny thing is now with this "non-beta" version of Chrome (same number as the beta) the problems I had with Tinkercad rendering yesterday also disappeared.

So I think it was a Chrome thing. Happy to switch to just Safari.

Sorry, and thank you guys for helping to clarify this!

David Trey  staff
Replied on Oct 01, 2013 - 19:44 UTC


Reg, opening of the sub-projects if you move the task there - I'll pass it to the developers as I'm not sure if that's expected behavior.

We're glad the other issue no longer occurs for you. In case for some reason it would ever reappear in the future, please let us know.

Best regards,

Andrew  premium
Replied on Oct 21, 2013 - 09:38 UTC

Hi David,
This isn't the right place for this query, but can't work out where to start a thread. Anyway, this is too basic. I am getting on fine with Todoist and recommend it to everyone including my son who is now a devotee.

My query is that I need a mugs guide on how to better use projects and tags to organise my tasks (which i am hardly using at all). Is there such a thing? Obviously other people are using multiple projects and tags all the time and I suspect it is a personal thing, but if there was anywhere I could look to have it spelt out with examples, it would help a lot.

Keep up the good work.


David Trey  staff
Replied on Oct 21, 2013 - 13:48 UTC

Hello Andrew,

The simplest answer would be - use projects as "categories" (Work, Home, Vacation etc.) and labels either as contexts @laptop, @garage, statuses: @next, @working, @waiting or delegations: @Marc, @John.

But of course it depends on your workflow and you may prefer to use them differently. Please check our blog at https://todoist.com/blog were we post productivity tips, our users talk about ways they use Todoist and more.

Here are some interesting posts about using labels and some other tips:

Best regards,

Andrew  premium
Replied on Oct 21, 2013 - 14:13 UTC

Thanks David
Most helpful, as ever.