Close the gap between the ToDo List and the Schedule - allow task drag-and-drop into Calendar
While I use MLO and GTD with the best intentions in the world, there is a fundamental disconnect between my Schedule/Calendar, and my ToDo list.
While MLO prioritises my tasks well based on hierarchical priorities, contexts, etc., I will always run a 'manual override' across the upcoming task list to see how it fits into my actual schedule for the day/week.
Invariably, I find myself making calendar entries in Outlook / iOS Calendar, noting the tasks I intend to complete in a particular timeslot. In effect, I find myself manually re-writing those tasks into the notes field of the appointment.
This manual effort required to connect the intended (Task List) with the actual (Calendar), is crazy, when the apps could bridge the gap.
The function I would like to see is:
- Provide a calendar view, that, if possible, either imports Outlook/Smartphone app calendar entries, OR exports date/time-specified ToDo entries to the Outlook/Smartphone calendar (eg. using cloud .ICS subscription) so that they can be viewed coherently in one calendar view
- Allow prioritised ToDo entries to be drag-dropped from whichever view, into the calendar. The key here is streamlined use; no filling out dialogues/popup calendars/time rotators for each task individually - just drag,drop,forget.
- Allow entries to be dragged from one slot in the calendar, to another (eg. if missed/incomplete)
- Allow entries to be hidden from certain ToDo views list if they are 'scheduled'
- Allow entries to be removed from calendar/returned to the view if the timeslot has passed
For a bonus (but a possibly contentious issue): Autofill the calendar using the tasks in priority order, with additional filling based on context open/close times. Possibly contentious, as this may suffer the same 'reality check' issue as the one I describe above (ie. the auto-generated task order may never actually be followed).
With this overall feature in place, a user can quickly fill their day/week with their task list, and absorb how realistic their remaining ToDo list is.
Thomas K commented
Being able to automatically push timed tasks to Google Calendar (or any other such shared calendaring system) would be really golden.
Doesn't have to be complex, just show them whenever they have a time attached.
Organize Nic commented
yeah, very well said, I was just about to create the same request.
A seamless integration of MLO and electronic calendars is a must have feature for the future. I would actually prefer if MLO came with a built in Calendar because 1. there would be no compatability issue and 2. I am convinced the MLO team could create a calendar that rocks, is slim and adjustable any way one could desire. and 3. compatability would also not be an issue in the future.
you have my vote now.
Let me add the following:
*tasks that are due this day should autmatically be put in the calendar on the corresponding day.
*if one drags tasks (that have "time required max" specified) by hand the size of the timeslot should be created automatically so one only has to drop it at the desired starting time.
Very well said
I just checked back to see what's changed in the last 18 months or so :-)
I've had a great, relaxing weekend, camping, hanging out on the beach, and getting all these great ideas that I've put into my MLO inbox and promised myself that THIS time, I'll get them done! Now I just need to make that a fact... and I logged in to check whether there's any progress on making MLO a bit more helpful for me in that!
As always, the feature that I really miss from MLO is a calendar view. I DO see that the iPad v2 version proposes that there is one in development, with a tasks-per-day view. That looks great.... but... I still need more.
You see, there's two ways of thinking about the calendar view. I presume most people are talking about being able to see the tasks in MLO that have a date and time, in their calendar, so that they can plan around them. Now, that's very handy - but it only really works for tasks you create that have fixed dates and times.
For me, the problem is completing the tasks that DON'T have an assigned date/time. What I need a calendar view for, is to be able to drag-and-drop *un*-dated/timed tasks that are highest priority in my list, INTO my calendar - to take the tasks that otherwise lurk in the background with no assigned timeslot, and fix them with a solid date/time in my calendar so that I commit myself to work on them!
It not only helps me to commit, it also helps me avoid planning to "do that tonight", forgetting that I'd already planned to do some other task tonight. Ideally, it would even force me to cancel meetings and appointments, to make way for more important tasks that I would otherwise only put in the gaps between those meetings.
I recently found yet another new app that comes close-ish. I saw a review for Timeful on Lifehacker: (http://lifehacker.com/timeful-intelligently-arranges-tasks-and-events-on-your-1616073913). While it looks nowhere sophisticated enough to replace MLO (nor is on Windows, etc), it does do one thing that I want to do - allow me to drag-and-drop tasks into specific timeslots (see 00:30 in the video). It even autolearns and autoplans - again, something I can do without - but in its place, having MLO consider the place/context that I will be at (and is open) when it auto-schedules, would be great!
Ideally, I could sit in the MLO interface and see all my calendars (synced from Outlook, say) in a day/week view, along with my next tasks by priority on the side. I could then drag-drop the tasks into the gaps in my calendar - maybe allow a few tasks to be dropped into the same timeslot (eg. "I'm going shopping from 10-12 tomorrow, and I need to do these things - in this order" // "I should call Marcel at 9am tomorrow, and I have these 5 different things from different projects to discuss with him").
At present, the best case is that in the evening I will look at the next MLO tasks, then switch to Outlook and create appointments for those tasks, to ensure they're scheduled in. It comes to the same end, but it requires me to manually transpose everything from MLO into Outlook, which a lot of additional manual effort. It also clutters my schedule, and requires switching between tools a lot.
I guess another way of saying it, is that I'm looking for a Gantt chart auto-integrated with my existing Outlook schedule, in a Calendar View! It would just be nice to be able to do all of this management in one tool - MLO - in a quick and productive way!
<cross posted to a few other relevant threads>
There are some good ideas here. For other's reference, here's two other threads related to Calendar and/or Gantt display:
Fernando Claros de Luna commented
Might this be a duplication of this other feature, which is already planned?