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Due dates all mucked up when traveling

reid.priedhorsky says:

I live on the East Coast and just returned from a trip to the West Coast; i.e., a time change of three hours.

This resulted in a bunch of failage in the due dates of my tasks. For example, when I arrived on the West Coast:

- a bunch of my existing tasks were now due a day earlier than they were, both in Android app and on the web
- new tasks due "today" would show up as due today in Android but due yesterday on the web
- new tasks due "today" on the web would show up as due today in both Android and the web

Some of the reverse happened when I returned East.

Now, the FAQ (or something) suggests changing the time zone setting to match where I am currently. But: (a) this doesn't help, and (b) I shouldn't have to mess with time zone settings to get due dates to work correctly when moving between zones that are only three hours apart.

Certainly, the Android app knows exactly what time zone it's in. And the behavior above isn't consistent with the web displaying in one time zone and the Android app in another.

Any help would be appreciated.

Reid

Posted at 9:03pm on October 7, 2011

reid.priedhorsky says:

Something still seems to be wrong – I've got tasks randomly becoming due a day earlier whenever I do stuff on the Android app. This is despite resetting all the data in the app twice.

Posted 2 years ago

neilkrey Pro says:

I posted on this same issue a year ago. See http://www.rememberthemilk.com/forums/android/11248/

Look like still no movement. I would think that an app designed for a MOBILE phone would do better in a MOBILE environment.

Posted 2 years ago

brendan Pro says:

Hi Reid,
Unfortunately we don't currently support shifting timezones; when a due date is set in one timezone, the task will be due at the start of that day (i.e. midnight) in that timezone. When viewed from another timezone, this may cause the incorrect day to be displayed. Sorry for any inconvenience this causes.

Now that you're back in your normal timezone, you should be able to correct this by resetting the tasks' due dates, i.e. simply editing the due date and pressing Enter in the web app should suffice. (You may want to do this for all tasks you added or modified while traveling; the addedAfter: search operator may help.)

Hope that helps!

Posted 2 years ago

reid.priedhorsky says:

Hi Brendan,

Thanks for getting back to me! I hope that I have not been and aren't too cranky. I have a rant, some suggestions, and some questions.

Rant: It's extremely disappointing to hear you describe the problem as a missing feature, rather than a bug. As @neilkrey argued a year ago, tasks that are due on a particular day are *not* due at any particular time on that day, and assuming that they are is just wrong. The explanation you give is not helpful. What you are describing is simply an implementation detail leaking into the user interface to the detriment of users.

It is also extremely disappointing that there are already year-old complaints on this matter and you've done nothing. In fact, your explanation to @neilkrey a year ago was almost identical to the above.

Frankly, I would much prefer if RTM did absolutely nothing in regards to time zones, instead assuming that all times were local, and made no attempt whatsoever to make zone corrections. (For example, if I enter at home a task due at 4pm for when I'm traveling in the future, it's almost certain that I mean 4pm in the away time zone. But instead, I have to realize that RTM assumes it's in my current time zone, know that RTM will "correct" it once I'm away, and reverse that correction manually. Lame!) Instead of doing this, or doing time zones right, you've chosen hidden option C, which is to do time zones wrong.

Suggestions: Here are a couple of easy fixes. You could change the internal implementation of due-on-a-day to be due at noon instead of midnight. (@neilkrey suggested this a year ago.) This would greatly reduce the likelihood of encountering this bug. Or, when the time zone is changed in the Web UI, adjust the internal due times on appropriate tasks.

Question: Is there any way to work around this (beyond fixing the breakage after the fact)? Can I avoid it by not changing the time zone in the web interface? Is there some way to tell the Android app to assume time zone X instead of whatever the Android OS tells the app?

Anyway, the bottom line is that Remember the Milk is incredibly useful, but it has a variety of frustrating quirks (example: selecting items in the web interface works like no other selecting in the world), and this one is a doozy. You tell me it has to do with time zones, but I don't buy that. To me, it's just a data-munging bug, nothing more.

I'm willing to put my money where my mouth is. I'll be happy to sign up for N more years of Pro, for some N, if you guys implement a reasonable fix for this bug. But the lack of visible progress on RTM's various warts has led me to start looking at other task management options. I haven't yet done so seriously; should I? This is an opportunity to keep or drive away a paying customer.

Thanks!

Reid

Posted 2 years ago

brendan Pro says:

Hi Reid,
Thanks for taking the time to give your feedback on this. We appreciate it.

Unfortunately, we don't currently have any announcements concerning support for moving between timezones. The Android app takes its time and date from the device, so it's not possible to force the app to use a certain timezone unless you prevent your device from automatically adjusting timezones while you are travelling. Sorry again that this is causing problems for you.

In the meantime, apart from fixing the tasks after the fact, if you don't generally use due times on your tasks, you may be able to set the due times for your tasks manually to work around this. As you mentioned, setting a due time of noon, for example, will reduce the likelihood that the day itself will be incorrect.

Thanks again for your feedback on this.

Posted 2 years ago

tpak says:

just back from a trip to India and this caught me off guard but was luckily not catastrophic - I would like to see you guy put some brain power behind it, it's not an easy issue to fix - it took Google Calendar a couple of years to get around to it. I'd also add that setting things due in the middle of the day would make things worse for some people - it would have made things really annoying for me while in India which is 11.5 hours off from my home time zone. The assumption that noon would help if entirely North American centric thinking which I can understand but 'd rather see nothing done than assume noon.

Posted 2 years ago

revenc Pro says:

I encountered this problem recently when I took a trip to the Central Time Zone (UTC-6). I live in the Eastern Time Zone (UTC-5) and I have my RTM account set to the Eastern Time Zone.

While on my trip and after returning, my due dates got shifted as described in the previous posts. However, now that I have returned, I cannot get the due dates back in sync.

If I explicitly set a due date for a task in the web app, it will still appear one day earlier on the Android app. However, if I explicitly set a due date for a task in the Android app, then it will show up as the same day in the web app. Here are some examples:

Set due date to Dec 10 on Android app -> shows up as Dec 10 on web app
Set due date to Dec 12 on web app -> shows up as Dec 11 on Android app

This problems seems to be permanent. It seems like the time zones have become permanently out-of-sync, even though I am now back in my home time zone.

I have tried experimenting with different time zone settings and resetting my RTM data on my Android app. Nothing has helped so far.

Please help me!

Posted 2 years ago

revenc Pro says:

I seem to have resolved my problem by performing the following steps:

- Cleared RTM data on my Android App
- Uninstalled Android RTM
- Reset my phone
- Reinstalled Android RTM and resynced
- Manually corrected all of my due dates in the web app

Now, when I set a due date for a task in the web app, it is correctly synced with the Android app.

I am not sure which of the above steps corrected the problem, but it was seriously messed up.

This problem was a big hassle for me. I would like to echo the sentiment of the other posters. If the RTM team can afford the "manpower" at some point, it would be worthwhile to investigate these time-zone related issues. I know these sorts of problems are not easy to resolve, but with some effort, a solution could be found.

As users, we just want RTM to work. We don't want to have to spend time troubleshooting problems like this one.

Posted 2 years ago

brendan Pro says:

Hi revenc,
Thanks for your feedback on this as well, and thanks for letting us know about the steps that resolved the issue for you. Glad to hear it's working now.

Posted 2 years ago

myttymessmer says:

For me the due dates go wrong when i enter new task from my android (due date tomorrow @android, shows due date today @computer). And im not travelling anywhere.

Posted 2 years ago

brendan Pro says:

Hi myttymessmer,
If you're finding that due dates are incorrect and you're not traveling, can you contact us? It's possible there may be a timezone mismatch causing this problem.

Thanks!

Posted 2 years ago

This topic has now been closed automatically due to a lack of responses in the past 90 days.