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Grouping tasks by times intended to work on them

I have a list of tasks for the day based on due date and demarcated by priority.

However, now that I know what needs to be done, I want a way to plan my day, where i can easily organize tasks by window of available time and have a view that lets me see what i intend to work on when. For example, I'd like to quickly group a set of the tasks to do between 9a-10:30a, another set for between 2p-3p, etc. These are not deadlines, they are times I'd like to work on them. Its a different view of the day's tasks. Also, my hope is that there is a way to do this so that I don't need to create permanent labels, since each day will have different available windows of available time.


All responses

Brendon Wadey  staff
Replied on May 08, 2014 - 15:58 UTC

Hi Jonathan,

The only real way to do this would be for our system to have a duration of a task, which we do not currently have. You could have a due date, and add reminders to it, add an hour before, 2 hours before and that would work, but not ideal.

We will look to improve this in the future. Feel free to add this to our Votebox. http://todoist.com/Vote/


Jonathan Levinson  premium
Replied on May 08, 2014 - 16:43 UTC

This is a big deal. maybe a dealbreaker for my being able to get value from todoist.

Based on your understanding of how people use the view of tasks assigned to a day, how do they plan out when within the day they do tasks ?

This seems like it would be a very common need... just picking from a list when there is free time does not let people plan for which task is best suited for which available time slot (or if there is enough available times over the course of a day to do the tasks listed).

Jonathan Levinson  premium
Replied on May 08, 2014 - 16:51 UTC

Also, if I were to take my today tasks and label them things like @1-morning @2-afternoon @3-evening, would I be able to have some sort of view that would structure them as follows:

Priority 1 items
Priority 2 items
Priority 3 items
Priority 4 items
Priority 1 items
Priority 2 items
Priority 3 items
Priority 4 items
Priority 1 items
Priority 2 items
Priority 3 items
Priority 4 items

And, if so, will I be able to manually change the sort order at any level. If I do, will that effect the sort order within the original project lists?

David Trey  staff
Replied on May 08, 2014 - 17:01 UTC

Hello Jonathan,

Technically, when you're on the today or any other date-based view, you can reorder your tasks as you like anytime as long as they're within the same priority group and don't have a due time.

For example, if you have a list like this:

13:00 Task 1
14:30 Task 2
P1 Task 3
P1 Task 4
P1 Task 5
P2 Task 6
P2 Task 7

Then on a list like this, you can not move Task 1 and 2 at all as these are "appointments" (tasks with a specific set time) - they always stick to the top to make sure that you can't accidentally move an important appointment to the bottom and forget about it.

You can change the order of Task 3, 4 and 5 as you like as long and they're all within their Priority 1 group together, so you can move them: Task 5, 3, 4 or 4, 3, 5, but you can't put Task 4 below Task 6 because Task 6 and 7 are Priority 2 tasks.

If you have to move it to the bottom, right-click on the task and make it a priority 2 task (or p3 or p4).

That said, if your workflow involves detailed reordering of tasks based on your choice every day regardless of their priority, we recommend not to use priorities at all if you'd override them anyway. This way, all tasks will have their default priority 4 and you can reorder them as you like with no limitations.

Using labels could be a workaround in this case as you could still drag & drop tasks on the today view and see what label they have, but if you still plan to reorder everything then the order will show you what's to do when anyway in which case labels would not be necessary.

Best regards,

Jonathan Levinson  premium
Replied on May 08, 2014 - 17:08 UTC

Sorry -- i think you may have not understood what i need to do. before todoist, i would have to go through all my to dos in MS word and then make a TODAY list manually that would look something like this:

P1 - Item X
P2 - Item Y
No Priority - Item A
No Priority - Item B

P1 - Item L
P2 - Item M
No Priority - Item N
No Priority - Item O
No Priority - Item P

Can I go through everything in my today view and attach a label, do a view that sorts by 1) Today the 2) label, then 3) by priority. If not, can I do a view that sorts by 1) label and 2) Priority?

Sorry... but this is a big deal.

If the above is not feasible, can you tell me other methods by which people plan out their days without this?

Jonathan Levinson  premium
Replied on May 08, 2014 - 18:41 UTC

Just like there is a 7 day view that sorts by due date and then priority, can one make a view that sorts by label and then priority (where you have more than 1 label in a view... (ie, I don't want to see just one label at a time, I want to see all labels or a group of selected labels)

David Trey  staff
Replied on May 08, 2014 - 19:57 UTC


My explanation earlier included 2 ways of sorting your daily tasks which are commonly used - either stick to priorities and don't reorder anything to avoid procrastination by trying to do a p1 task late in the evening or don't use priorities at all and move everything around each morning to set your own order. Alternatively, use specific times "today at 2pm", "today at 16:45" etc. - this will also set a fixed order on your today list.

These are 3 most common options to plan your day. If yours must include a clear split to 3 "sections" of the day (morning, afternoon, evening), then yes, labels would be the only way to go.

Once you label all your tasks like this, you can then save a filter with the following query:

@morning, @afternoon, @evening

and you would see a list with 3 sections, in each section tasks would be automatically sorted by priority first and then by date. The only "downside" in this solution is that label lists can't be reordered so you won't be able to move tasks account in this view and would have to strictly stick to priorities.

Also, since the query above would include labeled tasks with any date, if you want so see just today's tasks there, please use this one instead:

(today & @morning), (today & @afternoon), (today & @evening)

Best regards,

Jonathan Levinson  premium
Replied on May 08, 2014 - 20:09 UTC

thank you -- this is great! I ultimately chose to do:

(today & @morning), (today & @afternoon), (today & @evening), (3day & !@morning & !@afternoon & !@evening)

Since I now need to sort by label, is there a fast way to add a label to a group of tasks?

David Trey  staff
Replied on May 08, 2014 - 20:34 UTC


Unfortunately, there's no way to mass-label multiple tasks, but since editing a task requires just one click, you could try this:

1. Copy the text @morning into your clipboard including the one space before the @ sign.
2. Left-click on a task.
3. Ctrl+V
4. Left-click on the next task.

...and so on, the moment you click on the next task, the pasted label in the previous one will be saved. You can label a lot of tasks very quickly this way :-)

Best regards,

Jonathan Levinson  premium
Replied on May 08, 2014 - 21:00 UTC

OK. Thanks

Clinton Skakun  premium
Replied on Mar 23, 2015 - 16:03 UTC

This is something I need as well. I find it hard to group tasks by a chunk of time in the day, say @9-12 or @12-1 @1-2 etc.

Hell, I might build a chrome extension to do this. Would be a feature that tops off todoist.