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Start dates

jsellen says:

I really like this software/service. I have been trying to ramp up on it for a few weeks now, and integrate it into my daily routine. It does so many things well, but one problem that I (and many others) seem to have is the sheer volume of tasks can crowd out the truly critical ones. The addition of a 'start date' would greatly help in managing the daily picture, and focusing rapidly on what needs to be done.

I understand this feature has been requested before
6 months ago:
http://www.rememberthemilk.com/forums/ideas/1338/
1 year ago:
http://www.rememberthemilk.com/forums/ideas/817/

But many, many people in the meantime are requesting this feature, without knowing that they are requesting it:
http://www.rememberthemilk.com/forums/help/2171/

This feature should be almost trivial to add. The logic, field parsing, etc. is identical to the 'due date' field. I don't see why it hasn't been added yet. Given the tagging paradigm of this product, and the recent addition of the smartlists, the ability to filter tasks based on their start date would be killer functionality upgrade, with very little sweat.

Some helpful users on the forums have provided workarounds, such as (/other criteria/ AND dueWithin:"1 week of today"). However, not all tasks are created equal. 1 week's notice may be sufficient for 'purchase milk for saturday's picnic', but it is not sufficient for larger or more important tasks & projects.


Example: Buy tickets for X. Tickets go on sale June 1, event is in July/Aug. If I make a due date of June 2, it is arbitrary. Especially as it starts showing up 1 week prior, when I can't do anything. If I'm not ready to buy tickets the first week they go on sale, then I need to postpone the due date, etc. I could cleverly engineer my due date to be June 8, so it starts showing up in my '1 week' search on June 1, the first day I could do something about it, but I'd rather the clever engineering be in the software itself, not my system. Plus, this now ties me down in the future to a 1 week window.

This 'start date' feature not only applies to a number of one-time tasks, but it also applies to almost every 'repeat after' task that I can think of. ('Clean Fridge', 'Fertilize Lawn', 'Get Haircut', 'Review financial portfolio', 'check smoke detector battery', whatever) The idea with all of these tasks is the same, once I've done them, there's some set period of time when I don't even want to have to think about them again, until they are almost due.

Another workaround is to screen on priorities, I suppose. But that means I have to keep twiddling with the priorities of tasks as the due date approaches. That adds a lot of extra overhead.

For GTD'ers. A 'start date' would let you use RTM for ticklers, which is currently clunky. The workaround of arbitrary Due dates just so that something can show up at the right time adds to your sacred 'hard landscape', and adds clutter and stress.

---

Whew! To summarize: It shouldn't take much effort to add, and wouldn't add clutter or fundamentally change anything about RTM. If you don't like it, you can always not use it. For many, it would be a huge benefit. And the current workarounds are all flawed. So, who's with me!
:-D

Posted at 5:51pm on May 24, 2007

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danielgc says:

I'm with you! I am trying this service for the very first time (I want to use it on my netvibes) but when I tried to calendarize my vacations, I couldn't find a start date! So, plz add this feature! (btw, great post jsellen)

Posted 7 years ago

raymond.bergmark ProPower Poster says:

Good description jsellen, I agree too!

Example: I write the notes from a weekly meeting, due in two days. I have set this up as Repeat every week due two days after the meeting. When completed it shows up on top of my tasks. As there is nothing I can do about it until after the next meeting I think the start date idea would solve this nicely.

Posted 7 years ago

tvjames Pro says:

I would like to put a vote in for this as well.

I actually have a homegrown To Do list solution that I'd like to replace with RTM. (Because it's on my previous employer's server and one day they're going to find it and turn it off.)

The Start Date or Appear On date is calculated simply as Due Date minus X. (You enter the Start Date and Due Date and if you postpone, or when you mark done with recurring, it just calculates the Start/Show date on its own. No real magic to it.)

Posted 7 years ago

raibaz says:

I second this, would be a very useful feature.

Posted 7 years ago

jsellen says:

bump

Posted 7 years ago

jsellen says:

Here are three other pretty examples where you and I could really use a start date.

I ordered some filters online, from a vendor that I have not done business with before. If they haven't arrived in, say, 2 weeks, I would want to follow up on the order. Ideally, I would create a new task "Follow up on filter order if not yet rec'd", tag it, give it _no_ due date, and a _start_ date of 2 weeks from now. Then, my smartlists could easily filter it out (based on start date) and automagically, it would pop into my smartlists when it is time to take action.

Another is that I have to give my dog flea/tick/heartworm meds every month. I can't do this early, but when it is time, it is a very high priority. If I set it as a high priority, it clogs my lists. If I set it as a low or no priority, it's not as easily visible, and, it's not correct, because it _is_ a high priority task. Even if I try the workaround suggested by others, to use smart lists screen out tasks that are more than 7 or 14 days distant, then it is still hanging around for 7-14 days. (Also, that would screen out some other things that I _do_ want to keep an eye on).

The last example is that I recently went on a business trip. My employer is supposed to directly deposit my reimbursement to a company credit card (but that is in my name, I am liable). My employer is large, so there are a lot of rules and inflexibilities, I just have to deal with it. But basically, if the bill for the credit card comes due and there is still a balance, I have to pay off the credit card to a zero balance, and then my employers reimbursement will show on the next billing cycle if the reimbursement paperwork doesn't come through fast enough. Since I have submitted the paperwork, there is nothing more I can do from my end, all I can do is wait. 10 days from now, I log in, check the balance, and pay from my own personal credit card if there still is a balance. Again, this is a relatively high priority task, but something I can't do anything about now, so if it had a 'start' date, it would just pop in to my lists when it was appropriate.

Posted 7 years ago

luke.kanies says:

I also could really use this feature for essentially every single one of my repeating tasks. It's certainly dismaying to check off "pay credit card bill" only to have the same task reappear immediately. :/

Posted 7 years ago

cheeseslope says:

This seems like such a natural feature. I'm curious if there's a reason it HASN'T been added yet. Is a start date contrary to one of RTM's goals?

Posted 7 years ago

bzpilman says:

I also long for this feature! So simple yet so much potential to it.

Posted 7 years ago

padhia says:

I second this feature. In the past it has been argued that people following GTD principles don't need start dates. But, I am not a GTD follower and I refer a simple old todo list. This is one feature that is keeping me from trading my outlook with RTM.

Posted 7 years ago

krypticide says:

Same here, we need this! Some tasks are set for a certain date and I don't want to clutter up my calendar with them, so a start date would help me keep my list clear until they're active.

Posted 7 years ago

wcitypoe says:

I've seen people request the ability to hide. I've also seen people request the ability to have nested lists. As a corollary to people's requests about nested lists, I've seen people request the ability to have dependent tasks, in which, say, in a list of 10 dependent tasks, #2 doesn't show up until #1 is marked complete, #3 doesn't show up until #2 is marked complete, and so on.

Here is how you could go about that.

You would have to first create the ability to have nested lists -- to have, in other words, subtasks.

You would have to then create a new element for every task, called "hide until" that could be used in tasks OR subtasks. The "hide" variable would accept two types of input.

For tasks and subtasks, it would accept a date (with RTM's lovely flexible date input such as "in 10 days" or "Wednesday", etc.). For subtasks only, it would accept "until parent task is marked complete". (I'm not sure how you could simplify that wording, but I'm sure you could.)

In this manner, you'd end up having the following abilities:

(1) Someone could create a nested list with no hidden attribues whatsoever, allowing them to see the entirety of the list, but segregated. This would be useful for project management, I imagine.

(2) Someone could create a nested list in which each item was nested beneath its parent and marked with the "hide until parent is completed" attribute. This would essentially fulfill the "dependent task" request.

(3) Someone could not use nested lists at all but instead simply hide a task as requested in this thread. This is very useful because it gives you a very fine, granular control over what tasks are put on your plate. Smart Lists can give you a sweeping control over that, but it is like trying to cut a single blade of grass -- but no other blades of grass -- with a scythe.

As a human example of a case in which the above attributes would be desired, I get paid every other Thursday. I would like, every other Wednesday, to have a dated task appear with the top-priority attribute set (so that it bounces to the top of my list) that tells me to in advance prepare checks for bills and such, so that when the paycheck is direct deposited, I can stick them in the mail. However, I cannot set it as a top-priority item without it always being at the top of my list, and scheduling it for every Wednesday will always keep the item visible on my to-do list perenially -- both of these being undesirable outcomes.

Posted 7 years ago

graeme.mccormack says:

I've implemented a "notice period" feature in my Yahoo widget, "Mind Like a Sieve", which shows upcoming RTM tasks. You indicate the notice period in a tag or note, and only tasks within "n" notice periods show up.

A core RTM facility would be able to provide a richer experience; for example: a specific field; and immediate interpretation of the notice period. But I think the basic idea is sound.

More info here:
http://www.rememberthemilk.com/forums/ideas/2500/

See the widget here:
http://widgets.yahoo.com/gallery/view.php?widget=42266

Posted 7 years ago

richard.shafer Pro says:

I think people have done a great job of listing the reasons why this would be so beneficial. I'll just sign the petition. This would be a great improvement.

Posted 7 years ago

dena.grabinar Pro says:

i'm adding my vote! start-dates would be awesome.

Posted 7 years ago

graham.reeds Pro says:

I agree that a start date would be good.

Wouldn't take much to add - like a previous poster mentioned - most of the work has already been done. The DB might have to go down while they perform an ALTER on the tables but that shouldn't take more than a few seconds to perform, and their might be a bit of sluggishness while they fill the start dates with the creation date (is that kept?) or the current date as the default.

Posted 7 years ago

vor0nwe Pro says:

Well said jsellen!

Let me put in my vote for this as well; it's the only thing preventing me from completely embracing RTM!

Posted 7 years ago

lyuki says:

I'd love to see that feature as well. I really hate not being able to know when I created the task.

Posted 7 years ago

barkerja says:

1 more vote.

Posted 7 years ago

mortuis says:

Another vote for start date. I would love this feature as it would remove a lot of list maintenance from using RTM.

Posted 7 years ago

caregiver_creator says:


I'll echo (and change) wcitypoe's great idea.

The Start Date feature should allow for entries like "when prerequisite task is marked complete".

So we also need a Dependent Task feature. (wcitypoe calls them Subtasks)

Thus, #2 doesn't show up until #1 is marked complete, etc.

I'll change one thing.

wcitypoe wrote (edited by me):
"Someone could create a nested list and leave "hide until" ("start date") blank, allowing them to see the entirety of the list, in order(!)."
Better than forcing users to leave start date blank if we want to see the entire list of dependent tasks, enable:

Toggle on/off: "hide tasks with future start dates"

"Subtasks" is an ambiguous term, so should not be used. It could mean dependent tasks that follow upon completion of a prerequisite task, or it could just mean the small tasks that in combination form a larger task.

Posted 7 years ago

petewarnock says:

I vote for this feature, too.

Posted 7 years ago

ranbarton ProPower Poster says:

Clearly, many people desire start dates, and they'd have all sorts of uses. In the meantime, I keep wondering why you don't use smart lists to exclude future items so they are not cluttering up your lists until they are relevant. You can combine priorities or tags with different time thresholds to permit more advance warning of more important things, all within the existing smart list framework. You can use an inverted smart list to only show you advance things and thus serve as a radar to what's coming down the pike, too.

Posted 7 years ago

wcitypoe says:

You can do so, yes, but the problem is that using a smart list to mimic start-date functionality is like trying to cut a single blade of glass with a scythe.

Posted 7 years ago

ranbarton ProPower Poster says:

Wcitypoe - the flip side of that coin is that if I used start dates to address the issue, I'd need to add a (potentially) unique start date attribute to, in my case, hundreds of tasks, whereas my smart lists accomplish the issue with no additional data entry required. To my mind, that's using a scythe to cut a whole lawn, and that makes sense to me.

Posted 7 years ago

angela.randall says:

another vote :)

Posted 7 years ago

bzpilman says:

ranbarton, you could always ignore start dates altogether and just keeps using your system.

But for some of us Start Dates would be more versatile.

Posted 7 years ago

wcitypoe says:

"I'd need to add a (potentially) unique start date attribute to, in my case, hundreds of tasks, whereas my smart lists accomplish the issue with no additional data entry required. To my mind, that's using a scythe to cut a whole lawn, and that makes sense to me."

(a) People did used to use scythes to cut their lawns. :)

(b) I assume that (i) start dates wouldn't be needed for all tasks; (ii) the use of multi-edit mode would facilitate it greatly; and (iii) we're speaking of adding a feature. Adding a feature isn't going to prevent you from employing any technique you want.

Posted 7 years ago

johnfoland Pro says:

Check this thread out. :-)

Posted 7 years ago

carib says:

I guess the easiest work around is as follows:

-create task ABC with due date 9/30/07 for example
-create second task " Begin task ABC on date 9/20/07".
You end up creating two tasks but it can be done.

It ain't pretty, but its easy and doesn't require any Smart List wizardry.

Posted 7 years ago

carib says:

Heres another and even simpler workaround-just think of your due date as your start date. It is, in away-its the due that you should start work on your task .
you need to keep in mind the expected completion date, of course. simply call it something other than " Due date" - delivery date, for example.
As long as you keep the different names for different systems straight, you should be OK

Posted 7 years ago

jjeudymd says:

I see the public demand but I'm still not exactly sold on the idea of a "Start Date"
A Date is a Date no matter what you call it (Start Date/Due Date). Always finite. That date is the date you should focus your attention on whatever task.

The primary issue I see discussed is simply about filtering: you have an event or trigger that you don't wan't to be bothered with until a set moment.

The easiest way to do this is with a filter. The one that works best for me is:

1-(Query) NOT 2-(dueAfter:tomorrow AND tag:zzz)

Part 1 is the general query. Part 2 is the filter for my "sleeper tag". In other words, anything that I have tagged 'zzz' will not appear on my smart list until the day before it's due. That's the essence of most events. Paraphrasing some of the previous examples:

* Tickets go on sale on Oct 1 and the concert is on Nov 24. I set my trigger date for Oct 1 and give it a sleeper tag. The concert is an event and thus gets a separate date because it's going to happen irrespective of whether I'm getting a ticket. If I'm not ready to buy the ticket, I can postpone or reset the date of my trigger and again, it won't pop into any of my lists until then.

* I order some death ray guns online which should take about 2 weeks to arrive. I set a task "Follow up on shipment" with a sleepr tag and date to trigger in 2 weeks. I forget about it and 2 weeks later, Bam! There's my reminder...and my ray guns.

* I'm planning to take over the world. It's a high priority task. But I know I need to finish the last 2 seasons of '24' which should take me another 10 days. I make task 'Take over world' Priority:1 with a sleeper tag and date of 10 days. My list remains simple until that moment when the Priority 1 Task arrives.. then laugh maniacally...

* Okay, my first plan to take over the world hits some speed bumps. I brainstorm weekly with some friends and I make meeting notes due 2 days after our session (tough being a rookie). I set a task to Repeat every week due two days after the session, but I also add my sleeper tag. After I've completed, my tasks stay clear of the reminder until next week.

Even if you are making new smart lists constantly, it's not that hard to cut&paste this little addition to your search query. You would have to add an extra condition to your search query anyway (Query AND startDate:whatever)

I've optomized my smartlists so that I don't have to create new smart lists regularly. Like the commercial says, 'Set It, and Forget It!'

I support everybody's wish for new features and if by creating them it makes us more productive, well that's GREAT! However, there are even basic solutions already possible with the tools Bob the Monkey has already given us!

Posted 7 years ago

raymond.bergmark ProPower Poster says:

jjeudymd: Really clever idea! I adjusted it to 1-(Query) NOT 2-(dueAfter:today AND tag:zzz) in order not to see tomorrows tasks today.

I use this now for the notes I have to write from a weekly meeting, I don't see the task until the meeting has taken place.

Posted 7 years ago

raymond.bergmark ProPower Poster says:

I also added it to repeating tasks like "clean the fridge". I now no longer see that task in my smart list "Home" until it's due. I love this!!!

Posted 7 years ago

raymond.bergmark ProPower Poster says:

More ideas, sorry for multiple posts but this really solved a problem with RTM for me:
At work: location:@work AND NOT (dueAfter:today AND tag:zzz)
At home: location:@home AND NOT (dueAfter:"1 week of today" AND tag:zzz)
At cabin: location:@cabin AND NOT (dueAfter:"1 month of today" AND tag:zzz)

Posted 7 years ago

ranbarton ProPower Poster says:

It's almost as if tags and smartlists obviate the need for a start date! Eureka!

Posted 7 years ago

wcitypoe says:

See, I have to emphatically disagree. I, too, have a sleeper tag: two, actually, "@hold" and "someday". But the thing is, with no disrespect intended, I completely disagree with your basic premise: a due date is emphatically different than a start date, and viewing one as the other isn't going to work for a lot of people. It wouldn't for me.

Posted 7 years ago

wcitypoe says:

Essentially, what your technique suggests is that people use the "due date" variable as, instead, a "start date" variable.

The "start date" variable would not need a smart list to activate, because, at least the way I'm seeing it proposed over and over again, it essentially acts as a "hide until" variable.

For example, I have a task that is this: "Go through budgeted items for tomorrow's paycheck and write checks for all non-online payments." I get paid biweekly on Thursdays, so I don't want to see that task all the time. I just want to see it the day before. I'm saying "hideUntil: day before". I'm saying "start date: day before".

But it's not due the day before. It's due, well, let's say in this case the next day (payday); it then becomes overdue past that.

If I start using my due date as my start date, I lose the functionality that a due date gives me, and I lose the functionality of being told a project is overdue, as well.

Posted 7 years ago

jjeudymd says:

wcitypoe: I do see your position. It's simply a difference in philosophy...

What I am saying is that one shouldn't make a difference between a start date or a due date. Whether it's starting or finishing, there is a date that an action must happen...period. It is WHEN you want to be reminded of that action that is most often the concern. You say you want to "hideUntil:day before"... Using both the example you gave and the example I gave, my list does just that:

"Go through budgeted items for tomorrow's paycheck and write checks for all non-online payments."
-- When do I want this action to happen? Let's say next Thursday. I type the task, I set the tag, then I'm done.

"I get paid biweekly on Thursdays, so I don't want to see that task all the time. I just want to see it the day before."
-- My smartlist is set up to tell me tasks the day before they're due (Wed), just like you said - 'Query NOT (dueAfter:tomorrow AND tag:zzz)'.

"But it's not due the day before. It's due, well, let's say in this case the next day (payday); it then becomes overdue past that."
-- Exactly!... just like you said...

"If I start using my due date as my start date, I lose the functionality that a due date gives me,..."
-- Maybe I'm getting a bit Zen, but I think that this is where the difficulty is. When I consider:

*Gas bill is due next Friday.
*Start looking for a suit for job interview on Thursday
*Do laundry 2 weeks from Saturday

However you want to classify these tasks, the bottom line is that at a determined time there should be a determined action. Whether you call it a start date, due date, action date, whatever.. it doesn't change the meaning of that date - an action is meant to happen. I say forget the label, remember the purpose...

"I lose the functionality of being told a project is overdue, as well..."
-- Now this is more interesting. Let's say I have a project which starts October 1st and ends on October 5. I'm assuming you want to the make a single task (Ex: start WorldTakeover project) and create both a start date when it shows up and an end date, beyond which the task is overdue. My philosophy, is that these are 2 separate events: a trigger (start the project), and a deadline (project must be done by this day). When the trigger comes, it's purpose is served and then completed/repeated/postponed/rescheduled to another date. Deadlines do not necessarily depend on the trigger, so I prefer to consider these independantly. Obviously this is my own view and others will differ.

" The "start date" variable would not need a smart list to activate, because, at least the way I'm seeing it proposed over and over again, it essentially acts as a "hide until" variable. "
-- If you told me, "Hey I don't use smartlists at all! This doesn't solve my problem" Then I would agree wholeheartedly. But that's exactly why smartlists are so useful! They apply much more power and flexibility to looking at your tasks than just a straight list. Why NOT use them!

Listen, I'm not here to change people's opinions, but rather share my own. I know this won't be for everyone, but I'd bet that many people will find this approach useful. :)

Posted 7 years ago

carib says:

Have to say , this problem seems a wee bit twee to me. people were complaining that in Outlook,there is a start date. for example, people were complaining that outlook has a start date feature-why doesn't rtm?
Well if having a start date is so darned important, lay out that $100 plus for outlook then!
moreover the start date in outlook has absolutely no functionality that I can see. Its just a date. The reminder is by default set to the due date.
I'm afraid I cant see the problem folks.

---------------------------------------------------------------
For example, I have a task that is this: "Go through budgeted items for tomorrow's paycheck and write checks for all non-online payments." I get paid biweekly on Thursdays, so I don't want to see that task all the time. I just want to see it the day before. I'm saying "hideUntil: day before". I'm saying "start date: day before".

But it's not due the day before. It's due, well, let's say in this case the next day (payday); it then becomes overdue past that.
------------------------------------------

So what ? isn't the crucial thing that you get a timely reminder? Are we talking about anything serious here?

Posted 7 years ago

wcitypoe says:

carib, this ain't a fight. RTM isn't failing at anything crucial for me. I'm saying that a "hiding" ability would be useful in keeping me focused on what I can do at the moment, by putting away clutter that isn't timely.

jjeudymd, I think you're right ... it's a difference in philosophy. It's cool for you that the approach you describe works for you, but I don't think it's sufficient for some others, myself included.

Posted 7 years ago

carib says:

Hey, its all cool. Didn't want to make it seem a fight. We'll just agree to disagree.

Posted 7 years ago

carib says:

Another hack for those who want a start date:

1. add a note
2. Enter your start date in that note using the syntax of your choice, eg . start date: xxx.
3. create a smart list search based on " start date:"

There are probably lots of ways to get the thing done. I guess the issue is: is there anything that NEEDS to get added to the interface, given that one of the advantages of RTM is its clean, slick interface?

Posted 7 years ago

khaled.allen says:

It seems to me that there are people who are actively opposed to a start date function, which strikes me as odd, since it would just be an extra feature that you could use or not use depending on your personal organizational style. I don't really use the feature for setting estimated time to complete a task, but I can see how it would be useful for some people, and I don't think it should be removed, even though I don't use it.

My argument for implementing start dates is mainly for completeness. This is something Outlook does really well, and several potential RTM fans have stated that the lack of start dates prevents them from adopting it completely. So put it in. You won't lose anyone over it, and can only gain. Lightening/Sunbird does it, and that's not even a dedicated task management program, it's a calendar.

For me, it has to do with schoolwork. As a college student, I get all my papers and assignments at the beginning of the quarter. I like to put them all in at once. However, I do not want to see them all at once, because I would probably freak out. If my task manager can help with both the organizational part (by keeping everything recorded) and the motivational part (by presenting me with my assignments in small, easy-to-handle chunks, one step at a time, without me having to work too hard at it with workarounds and stuff), that's even better.

For a lot of people, the logic and involvement needed to create elaborate filters and smart lists is too much investment in something that should be as easy as a list taped to the fridge. The whole point of digital task lists is to replace the pad and pencil with something more useful, not require complex smartlists and jumping through logic hoops. Suggesting workarounds is fine, but if you want a successful system, make it work for people, don't make people work according to the system, because then they'll just go find a system that works for them, and you've lost your support.

Posted 7 years ago

johnfoland Pro says:

khaled.allen - I entirely agree with the meat of your post. It's true, the system should be easy to use for everyone.

On top of that, I think the perfect solution to start dates has already been invented, and because it wouldn't interfere with the setups of existing users, I don't really understand why anyone would be opposed to it.

On the other hand, regarding your last remark :

...don't make people work according to the system, because then they'll just go find a system that works for them...

One of the beautiful things about RTM is that it is so flexible. With RTM's versatility, you can do almost anything with it, in almost any way you want. I don't think it's a matter of forcing people to conform or use the system in a certain way. Instead, I believe the concerns regarding start dates originate from a fear of the system becoming less malleable or bogged-down.

Posted 7 years ago

johnfoland Pro says:

Oh yeah, and I propose the new feature to be entitled "Sticky-icky due dates"! :-)

Posted 7 years ago

bzpilman says:

jkalvin, from the last blog post:
"... Bob could use some help finishing off this first Pro feature..."

Let us have hope.. =D

Posted 7 years ago

jjeudymd says:

Echoing some of the other comments on this post and on some others..

Saying one is going to abandon an entire platform for the "lack" of a random feature is something I can't take too seriously. You mean there are no other products out there that you couldn't add an extra feature to?

RTM has been a great resource, and I've tried a bunch. Even though there may be this or that one thing which another product may have, the flexibility of what the team here has put together is truly remarkable.

The only other system which I put out as a recommendation is Tracks which, built on Ruby, you have to host on your own server or find a hosted solution. And even with that, RTM still wins out big for me. This whole thing of "I want my feature or else!" is getting a bit old.

khaled.allen: Please don't take this as directed at you but rather the culmination of the last few forum posts I just read. I agree with jkalvin whom also agrees with you, that the system should be easy for everyone to use.

Perhaps what is needed is a Tips&Tricks section of the forum to help people figure out solutions to their task needs...

Hmm.. I think I'm about to make a post!

Posted 7 years ago

graham.reeds Pro says:

I haven't read all of the arguments above (I got bored half-way through).

Surely start-dates wouldn't interfere with the way people work.

The start-date could either be 'never' (like due date) or default to the date you created the task. Either in my mind would be acceptable. The first would probably be better and easier to implement & test.

Posted 7 years ago

jamezzz says:

I'd like to see this. Count another vote!

Posted 7 years ago

richie_p says:

Some interesting suggestions on workarounds, which I'll probably try at some point, but I'm still going to vote for the addition of start dates. :)

Posted 7 years ago

carib says:

This is something Outlook does really well, and several potential RTM fans have stated that the lack of start dates prevents them from adopting it completely. So put it in.

===========================================
Contrary to what's stated above, Outlook DOES NOT hide tasks with delayed start dates in its default view. You have to do a work around there too, by adjusting the views.
I have no problem with a HIDE UNTIL.. feature which is what people really want, and its a good idea ( several other online task managers have it).

However, there are several workarounds and rather than waiting for what may never happen, we should use them. Maybe its just me, but I'm not much for begging. There have been several requests, they have been ignored, and my attitude is simply to get on with it, and hope that it may happen in the future without pining for it.
For me, the best work around is simply to have a Deferred Tasks list. That way you don't have to look at the task until the reminder pops up.

Posted 7 years ago

bgkendall says:

I'm definitely in the separate start and due dates camp!

My workaround was to use Time Estimates to indicate the time before the Due Date that a task needed to be started. I then used the following search to find things that I should be working on today:

(dueBefore:"today") OR (due:"today") OR (due:"tomorrow" AND timeEstimate:"> 23 hours") OR (due:"2 days" AND timeEstimate:"> 1 day") OR (due:"3 days" AND timeEstimate:"> 2 day") OR (due:"4 days" AND timeEstimate:"> 3 day") OR (due:"5 days" AND timeEstimate:"> 4 day") OR (due:"6 days" AND timeEstimate:"> 5 day") OR (due:"7 days" AND timeEstimate:"> 6 day")

It's a bit cumbersome and somewhat incomplete (it won't handle something due in 8 days that I want to start 8 days before, etc. without extending the query). Anyone have any better ideas for this?

BGK

Posted 7 years ago

bzpilman says:

bgkendall, dude, that's brilliant!

Posted 7 years ago

akoylds says:

Definitely agree with bgkendall. Great idea. This could then be made into a feature request to extend searches to have something like:

(due:"<= timeEstimate")

it might require special delimeters like:

(due:"<= :timeEstimate:")

Is that possible? That would be pretty sweet.

Posted 6 years ago

akoylds says:

sorry that would be:

(due: <= timeEstimate:)

or additionally

(due: <= (timeEstimate: + 1 day)

for people who want a preview

Posted 6 years ago

gondwana says:

Got lost in the arguments, but I vote for start dates!

Posted 6 years ago

krypticide says:

I also really need start dates, as it's silly to have a task due in a year appear on the top of my list, especially when I have a bunch of other undated tasks that I should probably get done before then, but which don't have a definite due date.

Put my pro dollars to work! =)

Posted 6 years ago

ranbarton ProPower Poster says:

For the umpteenth time, with no disrespect meant to those who desire start dates or hide until or what have you...

You can stifle future tasks, right now, today, using RTM as it is, via Smartlists. I get that this may not be ideal, but surely while you wait for ideal, don't you want to have useful list views in the meantime?

Something as simple as dueWithin:"1 week of today" can revolutionize how useful RTM is. Try it, it's not hard.

Posted 6 years ago

wcitypoe says:

Ranbarton, due dates aren't ontologically the same as start dates, and they're not even really the same functionality.

Posted 6 years ago

ranbarton ProPower Poster says:

Wcitypoe - I get it. I really do. I know that start dates and due dates are different things. But, until Bob sees fit to code in start dates, so many users who get frustrated seeing all of their tasks in giant lists could get most of that out of the way via the above suggestion.

Of all of the many suggestions put forward on this theme, I personally favor the ability to make the due date a range, but that's just me.

Posted 6 years ago

kraftbj says:

I've tried reading most of the arguments above, but here's my reasoning for wanting a start date (or a sticky due-date or whatever anyone wants to call it).

I have some tasks that are due by a certain date, but could be acted upon at anytime (including today):

1. Call Parking Company regarding reserving parking lot for ABC Event.

I have some tasks that can only be done within certain dates:

2. Update personal calendar with revised bus schedule.

In the above case, the transit agency won't release new schedules until August 1 that will be effective August 24th. I need a August 24th due date, but showing up on my task list today is not helpful and takes my away from doing tasks that I can actually do now. Having a start date (in whatever fashion) would allow me to use a smart list to show only "active" tasks.

Another example:
I publish a weekly newsletter for a non-profit I work for. I have four reoccurring tasks.

1. Complete draft of newsletter due every Monday at 5 pm
2. Finalized newsletter due every Tuesday at 5pm
3. Submit newsletter to printer due every Wednesday at Noon
4. Upload newsletter to website due every Friday at 5 pm

While subtasks/dependent tasks would be nice, a start date would also be very nice, as I can't begin on drafting until Friday afternoon of the previous week.

I understand the idea that the duedate in RTM is simply a trigger date and you can do with it however you please; however, if I have a trigger date of August 1st for the bus schedule example, there is not a way for me to say that it is needed to be done, but not "overdue" (aka big and scary) until the 24th. Postponing it every day seems odd, and no way for me to simply keep track of when postponing it is no longer possible (since it does have a hard deadline, the 24th in the example).

In short, vote +1 for start dates or at least a due between August 1st and August 24th field.

The one problem with the Aug1-24th sticky due date is how would is display (for example, in RTM/Gmail, would it be a task due "today" or the actual due date?). My thought is the actual due date would be the due date, but you can easily filter it so it will not appear until it is active.

Like most people have said, it seems like an easy addition that would help a lot of people and wouldn't break the way current users are working around the issue.

Posted 6 years ago

andre.grego says:

Well, vote for it. IS ANYBODY FROM RTM ACTUALLY READING THIS? If yeas, Why not implement the issue? Seems like piece-of-cake programming and adding to Help, since Due date already exists...

Posted 6 years ago

michael.severance says:

I'm in full agreement on start dates, I've posted on this before, I guess one more vote for. Although I would like to note to ranbarton that I very much appreciate the comments and suggestions. I tried it before and am going to do so again--your help is much appreciated.

Posted 6 years ago

max.dammers Pro says:

+1

Posted 6 years ago

cursedbeast says:

Add this feature and you've got yourself a new paid subscriber!

Posted 6 years ago

rolandgiesler says:

+1 !

Posted 6 years ago

dringerb Pro says:

YES! I actually just came to this forum to post exactly the same request. I think of it as Date to Activate Due Date. Prior to that that date, the task should just sit below all due-dated tasks; you can see it, but it's not "due" in the same way. But once the "Start Date" or "Date to Activate Due Date" hits then it becomes a different kind of task and rises above all the non-due tasks in the priority.

IMHO, this will greatly improve RtM.

Thanks in advance!

Posted 6 years ago

guice says:

Yes Start date would please my boss as there can be a level of tracking of how long ago the task started to the time of completion and also as above you can segregate tasks on there length of time.... Gareth

Posted 6 years ago

vintagedance says:

Some acknowledgment from RTM support would be nice on these ideas, even if it's just, "Thanks for the ideas, we'll consider them for future enhancements"

Posted 6 years ago

gondwana says:

I'd like to see this idea too!
If people don't like it, they don't have to use that feature, but so many people have been requesting it for so long, I think RTM should at least consider it.

Posted 6 years ago

jim.donovan says:

I've only been using RTM for a day or two and already I'm finding it frustrating that there is no start date, started task visibility, or time spent/%complete/time to complete/estimated complete date. Adding these would lift RTM into a powerful new category. As it is, I (like others it would seem) am fudging the system to get visibility of tasks not yet due. RTM is very vulnerable to a competitor offering these simple features.
At the very least, a start date and visibility of started tasks would be "a start".

Posted 6 years ago

sorin.ionescu says:

This is a killer for me because I would have to manage the start date in iCal. I like to use iCal for just events/appointments and keep my todos separate. It's also quite messy.

Posted 6 years ago

rgfleck says:

I vote for a tast start date. That seems to be the most glaring missing feature, and it is a feature that many people want and would likely be possible to implement.

Posted 6 years ago

solarusdude says:

I would be a huge fan for specifying start dates and hiding tasks which have not 'started' yet. Since the GTD method forbids putting un-actionable tasks in the Next Action list, I can not allow myself to enter these tasks into RTM. My current system is to put un-actionable tasks into a tickler file and then enter them into RTM when they become actionable.

If RTM allows start dates, I can do away with this workaround.

Posted 6 years ago

alysson says:

Count my vote! I am transferring from I Want Sandy and this is the only thing that I am having a hard time without.

Posted 5 years ago

mwhite says:

I would also like this feature and the ability to sort tasks by start date (to get FIFO-ness in my next actions).

Posted 5 years ago

ranbarton ProPower Poster says:

A quick aside - the FIFO comment makes me wonder if we're confusing a start date with date added?

If that's not the case, excuse my confusion, but you can get RTM to display date added, you just can't sort by it. Sorting by many more things than the current choices is an enduring hope of mine for RTM.

Posted 5 years ago

mthall says:

This is THE big hole in RTM. Although this should not be a "pro" feature, it would allow me to finally migrate completely to RTM and thus consider a "pro" upgrade.

Posted 5 years ago

gbeham says:

I also see this as a very important feature for RTM. The current events exported to Outlook really confuses me as the all have the same duration.

Posted 5 years ago

michel.welgraven says:

Please RTM give us a start-date... it will make RTM even better!

Posted 5 years ago

jgreene77 says:

Is anyone from RTM reading this? When will this feature be available?

Posted 5 years ago

adam.elman says:

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE add this functionality! It would make my use of RTM truly seamless.

Posted 5 years ago

outtram says:

another vote for this... only been using this a short time and really missing this functionality

Posted 5 years ago

vintagedance says:

Hmm... I've been using Toodledoo for a while now, but thought I'd come back and see if RTM had made any improvements regarding start dates, adjusting the almost identical blue colors for priorities, or better integration with Mailplane.

Answer: Nope -- or who knows? No acknowledgment of any kind from RTM support in the last 6 months.

I'm also looking for drag-n-drop reordering of tasks / subtasks which Toodledoo doesn't support yet.

However at least Toodledoo Support has acknowledged that arbitrary ordering of tasks is a major feature they are working on, but that it is a complex problem that may not be solved anytime soon.

Toodledoo Support is also good about acknowledging new feature requests on their forum, even if they can't give any details about possible implementation dates.

Looks like RTM Support is still completely invisible and uncommunicative on the RTM forums.

A simple acknowledgment post in some of these forum threads that says, "Thank you for the feature request. Currently RTM Support cannot comment on plans for future features." would go a long way towards establishing more trust and communication between RTM Support and the RTM userbase.

As such, I guess I will look elsewhere for a more responsive / communicative application community.

Posted 5 years ago

ranbarton ProPower Poster says:

It's not hard to find hundreds of replies by Emily alone on these boards (google search).I agree that more interaction is always more rewarding, but I think you're being mighty hard on an outfit that began as one couple and a stuffed monkey.

Having said that, I think that RTM's focus on other platforms (Windows Mobile, Blackberry, iPhone, iGoogle, Gmail, etc.) has really distracted them from adding to the core RTM website. I hope very much that their new staff can turn their development attention to any number of longstanding issues and address many of requests from these fora.

Posted 5 years ago

emily (Remember The Milk) says:

> A simple acknowledgment post in some of these forum threads that says, "Thank you for the feature request.
> Currently RTM Support cannot comment on plans for future features." would go a long way towards establishing
> more trust and communication between RTM Support and the RTM userbase.


Hey vintagedance,

I'd recommend checking out the Ideas forum guidelines for our policies. :)

"Reply policy

Please note that while RTM staff do read all of the posts in this forum and consider all feedback as we work to improve RTM, we're sorry we're not able to respond to questions such as:

- What do you think of my idea for feature X?
- Are you planning on adding feature Y?
- When will feature Z be available?

Thanks for your understanding!"

Whether or not you agree with our policies is up to you, but I just wanted to make it clear that they do exist (RTM has more than a million users, and for a number of reasons we can't provide individual feedback to every feature request that we receive, sorry).

Posted 5 years ago

savaged says:

Please, please, please can we have a start date?

Posted 5 years ago

mariano.benitez says:

+1

Posted 5 years ago

lennyjpg says:

+1

Posted 5 years ago

innovator says:

+1

The usage of startDate is quite essential when you try to implement
the Total Workday Control method by Michael Linenberger, a variation of the GTD methodology designed for Outlook.

Posted 5 years ago

ranbarton ProPower Poster says:

@innovator Regarding your request, if you're interested in a workaround while waiting for this feature to be implemented, I encourage you to review the links found here: https://www.rememberthemilk.com/forums/ideas/6962/

Posted 5 years ago

turadg says:

+1

Posted 5 years ago

risus says:

+1 startdate please

Posted 5 years ago

jsellen says:

To rebut some of the other comments:

-I'm asking (as are many others) for a *second* date field. I'd have no problem re-purposing the 'due date' field, but I want another date field.

-If you don't want to use it, please keep your mouth shut. ;-) . By this I mean, it would just be added as another field, like location, time estimate, or url, that you wouldn't have to use if you wouldn't want to. It would not affect you.

-This feature would be TRIVIAL to implement. All I'm asking for is a COPY AND PASTE of the existing User Interface and logic for the 'due date'. Just make another one! On the back end, yes, this would require adding an additional field to just about every table, etc, which is unnerving but not technically challenging. For everyone else's reference, as a developer, this request is way easier than adding nested tasks, a iphone/twitter interface, individual notifications, opt-out of multi-select, or any of the other things being asked for.

Here is my workaround: When I create something, I always tag it with an @context, and then ONE of the following (someday, tickler, na) with na being next action. To me (and David Allen), if something is an 'na' there is nothing preventing me from doing it now. The start date has already passed. Anything tagged with 'na' shows up on my smartlists. Unlike David Allen, I do assign hard due dates to my 'na' items as required. If I tag something with 'tickler', then I must give it a due date. But in this case, the due date is really the start date. My smart to-do list will only show items that have a 'tickler' if the date is passed.

If it's something easy, then I just do it and mark it off. (If it's repeating, it regenerates and is hidden, because it still has 'tickler'.) If it's not something trivial, the next time I see it, I can re-tag it from 'tickler to 'na', and change the date I was using as the start-date to be the real due date. if the due date isn't obvious, I coudl put it in the name of the task, or a note.

Posted 5 years ago

ranbarton ProPower Poster says:

It saddens me that this thread dates back two years, and that it and so many like it (many of them even older) have gone essentially unheeded by RTM in that interval. It's such a great site, and many of us cannot help but think that two or three more additions, and it would be perfect. I am among those, so please don't think I am being critical.

Having said that, I want to note something regarding the second point@jsellen made just above. "If you don't want to use it, please keep your mouth shut. ;-)" I appreciate the smiley, and I think I understand exactly what you are saying.

I do think that this line of thinking (the "you could just not use my pet feature if you don't need it" idea) ignores something that is at the heart of our frustrations with RTM. These forums are full of passionate suggestions for changes, enhancements, refinements, or additions to this powerful site. Yet RTM's development creeps along. I will ignore for the moment why this is, but I think we all need to remember that the amount of time the RTM crew is willing and/or able to spend on changes, enhancements, refinements, and additions is so small as to be almost invisible to even the site's most fan-boy-ish users.

Therefore, when one says my feature would not affect you, one ignores the fact that the coding and development of any feature brings with it the opportunity cost of that time and effort not being dedicated to some other feature. If Bob were going to code one new feature every 18 months, it had better be the right one, right?

And so I say again, with no offense meant towards those who desire a start date feature of some sort, that to spend time coding something that can already be effectively accomplished with smartlists seems, to me, to be a waste, when RTM lacks any number of features for which workarounds do not exist.

I used to think improved reminders were a must, but the Gcal-workaround has handled that. I would love to see customizable per-list multi-variate sorting, but that's not essential. I think printing with notes is essential. I think fixing the UI disaster of multi-edit is a critical issue. I'd love to see RTM be smarter about parsing metadata like tags and due dates from the text of an email. And on and on.

My point is that should any of these requests ever be heeded, there will be tradeoffs, and we need to be mindful of how our various requests interact as RTM ponders how they wish their site to evolve.

As I said in another thread earlier today, Google rolled out its Tasks application today, which is an existential threat to RTM in my mind. While some will still choose to pay for RTM, I think a free built-in app that works with Gmail and Gcal is going to be a real obstacle for RTM's continued growth. Now more than ever, RTM needs to think clearly about how it plans to distinguish its product, and to my way of thinking, they can use the agility that comes with their small size as a strength against Google. Will they do so? We'll see.

Posted 5 years ago

jsellen says:

Ranbarton-
You are correct to point out that every new feature comes at the expense of something else. (opportunity cost, I believe it would be called).

You are wrong in that there is not a workaround for this. There is a way using smartlists to sort of maybe have a less than 50% solution. But there is no way to use smartlists to fake keeping track of two different dates when only one date field is offered for input (and storage in the RTM database).

Yes, there are dozens of people with suggestions. Again, I will repeat. This is the smallest possible feature request (other than, say, changing the color of priorities) that is frequently requested. The opportunity cost for this addition would be VERY VERY low. It would make many people VERY VERY happy. It would NOT negatively impact anyone's workflow (unlike some other requests, which would require changes or subtractions, this is an addition only).

Posted 5 years ago

siylc says:

I was going to suggest a sort by date created but this will get the job done even better for me.

Posted 5 years ago

rebeccacappel says:

I would really like a start date feature.

(Even after reading through 80% of this thread, and despite feeling comfortable with smart lists....)

Posted 5 years ago

chaerani says:

+1 for start date
also request dependency (one task will be visible when another task is checked complete)

Posted 5 years ago

mjwood0 says:

Having just jumped on the RTM bandwagon, I'm really becoming attached to it!

With that said, there are two features where I think it falls short for my needs. The highest priority one for me is a Start Date field. While I understand that some people clearly don't see the point, I can't imagine how they stay on top of hundreds of tasks without it.

Here's the issue. Smart Lists can pop things up to visibility if the due date is a specific time in the future (example: due in one week). This is great for people who have tasks that take a day or so to complete. However, for those of us working larger projects, there are some times when it is necessary to schedule start and end times for things. I don't want to see "Weekly Status Report" pop up a week in advance. But I would like to see "Prepare Slides for Major Presentation" pop up say 2 weeks in advance.

So ya. Here's another vote for a "Start Time" field!

Posted 5 years ago

chlobe says:

+1 for start date, please!

Posted 5 years ago

drasla says:

Bump.

Posted 5 years ago

sebastiangeiger says:

I would love to see a startdate (and a general evolution of RTM) I'll go pro in the next days to support this project, but if there was no developement in one years time I'll be gone.

Posted 5 years ago

emilla19 says:

+1

I was about to post a new message with topic "Setting a repeat after task with a due date of never," but then near the end realized I was asking for a start date... here's what I had written already...


In GTD tradition, I'm trying to not set due dates on anything unless it has a specific calendar date that it needs to be done... however, occasionally I have a task that needs to be done on a regular basis.

I've been trying to set a repeat after for several tasks with a never due date, but once I complete the task, it will automatically generate a new task with a due date of, say, 2 weeks or 1 month later. What I would like to see happen is that it would not generate the new task and reappear on my list until after the 2 weeks or 1 month, etc., has passed (i.e. Start date), but the new task would still have a due date of never.

Posted 5 years ago

timjph says:

I'd like to support start dates too. I've emailed RTM about this before, several times over the years - it seems to be a popular request.

Posted 5 years ago

risus says:

bumping.. still miss this feature, trying smarlist hack for the time being

Posted 5 years ago

solarusdude says:

For me, the lack of a start date attribute forces me to keep most of my tasks which aren't immediate next actions (ie. someday/maybe tasks and future project tasks) offline in a master projects list on my desktop. Having this separate list is a real inconvenience since I have to be constantly checking it to see if there are tasks which are actionable and ready to be imported into RTM. A start date (or conditional start) feature would really help me in keeping a unified GTD system.

Posted 5 years ago

heiko.bleeker says:

Please add a start date. It makes life much easier for a GTD user. I have experimented with smart lists. This is not the solution, but a mediocre workaround (for all the good reasons listed above).

Having read most of this two year old thread, I hope RTM will tell its users if and when this feature will become available.

Posted 5 years ago

jesmithiv says:

+1 for start date. This would be a great enhancement.

Posted 5 years ago

dumbbum says:

+1

Posted 5 years ago

spdy says:

I agree with the startdate thing!
We need this !

Posted 5 years ago

davidbwagner says:

http://www.rememberthemilk.com/forums/tips/590/

search for "zzz"

It's only a workaround but it's a dandy!

Posted 5 years ago

davidbwagner says:

I thought about this a little, and I just want to add my voice to the "come on, it's just copy and paste!" crowd.

All you have to do is:

1. copy the code that does due dates
2. paste it back
3. change "due" to "start"

Voila!

Android? iPhone? MilkSync? Don't bother, I don't use those. Those are for losers who pay for pro accounts. I just want to use the free website.

Hold on, I guess you have to modify the add dialog in the gmail gadget too. But that's it!

Oh, hang on, I forgot about the igoogle gadget. Really, now you're done!

Google calendar gadget? Really?

Be sure you don't forget to add keyboard and smartadd shortcuts for the new field!

Oh, and parse the "start date" line in e-mail task adds that I send you.

Uh-oh, I guess you have to modify the code that exports ical format. That's easy, it's just ASCII!

Oh, I forgot about the atom feed.

Shoot, I just realized that you have to do something about converting all of the existing user data to contain start date fields. But you're probably using some industry standard web app database and it's just a batch script. (I suppose it could be tricky during the transition period, though, if you want to avoid downtime.)

Oh, I guess you might be using a different data format for the local copy of the data on the iPhone. Well..

And the local copy of the data on Android?

Oh crap.

Then you gotta QA all that stuff...

BUT -- speaking as a user who knows absolutely nothing about the internal architecture of you application, I'M SURE THAT IT CAN'T BE THAT HARD!

;-)

Posted 5 years ago

davidbwagner says:

P.S. I forgot to mention: if you do this for me, I promise I'll upgrade to a pro account! ;-)

Posted 5 years ago

tahoekid71 says:

ditto. +1

Posted 4 years ago

elliotmoore says:

+1

Posted 4 years ago

peter.stahl says:

+1

RTM: Please, after almost three years give us at least a feedback.

Posted 4 years ago

txtxyeha Pro says:

I've learned to replace sub-tasks by using tags. Start date would be great.

Posted 4 years ago

iamjud says:

+1

and feedback would be nice.

When? OR Why?

Posted 4 years ago

aditya.sharma says:

This is one of those things which stop me from going pro. Ever since I started using RTM extensively, looong list of tasks have been a pain point all the time, most of which tasks would get hidden if I could use "hide until" or "start date". Please add this functionality, or have some way of me pledging my membership fee to this, and I will go pro :)

Posted 4 years ago

guy.winterbotham Pro says:

Start date would I think mean I could implement this method in RTM alone

http://store.michaellinenberger.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=MS0501B

Posted 4 years ago

mr_martin_smith says:

+1

Posted 4 years ago

takseng34 says:

Totally agree with this request.

Being a student, I schedule all of my exams, papers and class readings using RTM. It's amazing and so handy, user friendly and helpful. However, I only get notified of readings that are due ON the due date. Really, I need to start reading them and see a badge on my iPhone to remind me. So, I'd love to see a start and finish date, with the latter being the Due Date. Also, I need to start studying for a test or even working on personal projects such as Christmas shopping or begin working on home projects.

I just got my wife signed up with RTM and the sharing function is lovely. If you add this, it would just make it PERFECT.

So, I'll beg and plead for the added functionality. Please, please, please, please!! :)

Thanks for the great product.
Tak-Seng

Posted 4 years ago

webrunner says:

+1

Posted 4 years ago

terri.hamilton says:

+1

Posted 4 years ago

alange Pro says:

+1

Posted 4 years ago

scot.hastings says:

+1. I, too, am waiting on this before going Pro.

Posted 4 years ago

jesper.ryskin says:

I think we could write +1.000.000 without effect :). This thread goes from 24th of May 2007.

I am a Pro user, but I really have an issue with the missing start date. I am really trying to think of a REAL workaround, but no ideas yet..

I was using Astrid on the Android, and it essentially worked better because of the Hide Until date. BUT, it did not have smart lists...

Posted 4 years ago

johnix says:

+1

I currently make extensive use of start dates in Outlook, and I can't seem to fit my brain in a task manager that doesn't support start dates.

Posted 4 years ago

elspeters says:

+1
Waiting on this feature befor going Pro.

Posted 4 years ago

alange Pro says:

+ 1 for "start date"

Posted 4 years ago

giltrap says:

+1
I'm trying to think of or find a smart list work around, but none work as well as I'd like them to.

Posted 4 years ago

dftranslink says:

+1 for start date

Posted 4 years ago

hychen0 says:

+1 for start date

Posted 4 years ago

sethman says:

With MilkSync now available, the absence of Start Date becomes an even more relevant issue. I moved to RTM because my corporate email is Google (not Exchange) and I've lost the ability to leverage Outlook Tasks across multiple machines (desktop, phone, etc.). MilkSync finally brings all of this together for me except that my default task view in Outlook 2003 is the Taskpad's "Today's Tasks" which only shows you tasks that Start today and are overdue - USING START DATE, NOT DUE DATE.

Tasks created in RTM sync to Outlook with no Start Date, causing all of these tasks to show up in this view by default but with no date to sort on.

Can we at least get MilkSync to map Due Date in RTM to Outlook Start Date?

Posted 4 years ago

johnix says:

+1 for start date

And no "due date" smartlist hacking for me, please.

Posted 3 years ago

grollen Pro says:

+1

Posted 3 years ago

newmilkentry Pro says:

A start date field, or start x days before field, would surely be a simple addition to the due date field. What a great improvement it would be. All of my important tasks require this because the due date is a deadline, not a start date.

It might require the developers to review the iPhone application, since by deafult it displays lists for Today, Tomorrow and This Week.

Posted 3 years ago

joe.mallion says:

+1 for start date, any idea if this is going to implemented. I understand all the smart list stuff but to me this just seems like a much cleaner solution.

Posted 3 years ago

mawosch says:

+1 for the start date.
But please remember to add it into the Android App too.

Posted 3 years ago

danep Pro says:

Not that it'll make much difference, but... +1

Posted 3 years ago

tonyx says:

+100, please add start date!

Posted 3 years ago

xinyu_lin says:

Please add "Start day"!
Thanks! Otherwise when imported into calendar client, it is crowdy.

Posted 3 years ago

alasnik says:

A hearty "yes, please add start-date functionality!" for all the reasons thoughtfully suggested above.

Posted 3 years ago

fwhipple Pro says:

Adding my "me too." Start dates are sorely missing, and apparently are years overdue!

Posted 3 years ago

amirmasoudabdol says:

+1

Posted 3 years ago

iaind1957 says:

+1

I'm building a house and many tasks take longer than a day so having a start date as well as a due date is really important. I will happily upgrade to Pro account when this is implemented!

And VERY curious why no response from the developers...

Posted 3 years ago

parudox Pro says:

Can we please have this? I was sure that RTM would be able to hide a task until a set time, and was unpleasantly surprised to find not only that it can't, but that this is a four-year-old feature request.

As I see has been pointed out above, it's essentially the "tickler file" from Getting Things Done. It would be enormously helpful to be able to put in a task that I can forget about until a certain date.

Posted 3 years ago

naygoo Pro says:

Yes, yes, start date, please! I use this field in Outlook and it is the primary basis for sorting my tasks lists. I would love to have the start date added to RTM.

Posted 3 years ago

orsigno says:

Voted yes to this. It only makes sence that you would need a start and due date for some tasks. I've found myself wanting this feature as well.

Posted 3 years ago

esasse says:

+1 for this.

I understand some people workaround this missing field using combinations of smartlist, due dates and tags, but it is just counterintuitive.

Another good reason is that some tasks simply don't have real due dates, so I want to leave this field empty so that it doesn't red on my.

If you keep gettting red tasks that are not really important you start ignoring the red flags and your entire task management is in risk.

Please, add start dates ASAP.

Posted 3 years ago

bill.sanford Pro says:

Been looking for this feature. Will have to try workarounds in the meantime, but yes, would love to have a "start date" field. Thanks!

Posted 3 years ago

issjvi0 Pro says:

Adding start dates to RTM is what I have been looking for all the time. So: YES!

Posted 3 years ago

fwallenberg says:

+1

I use the Today list a lot and I want things to become active, show up there, before they are due (varies from task to task). Having a strategy day would be the easy way to do this. Smart lists are nice, but require a lot more work to set up properly. Fine for power users, but not necessary for casual users.

Posted 3 years ago

timjph says:

+1

Posted 3 years ago

davidgoddard says:

+1

Posted 3 years ago

andredragaesser Pro says:

+2

Posted 3 years ago

craig.floyd says:

+1
I want this for things like Take my Fish Oil vitamins, or water plants. Things I don't want to be bothered with at all until they're due.

Posted 3 years ago

guice says:

Yes this would help for scheduling items without having to create multiple tags.

Posted 3 years ago

nlwclark says:

I came back to this forum to see if there was any progress on this request, especially with the implementation of real voting for features. I have stopped using RTM, but would come back (and go Pro) if just this feature were added. (not saying i wouldn't also love sub/dependent tasks). Like many others, I realize there are workarounds, but I want to be able to set a start date without having to use a smartlist.

Posted 3 years ago

eugene.lisitsin says:

Petition signed.

Currently the major drawback as it drastically reduces the ability to eliminate irrelevant items.

Posted 3 years ago

deirdre.hess says:

yes yes yes!! I love it when my task list gets SMALLER, that's why I make task lists: to remind myself I'm accomplishing things! If I do a task, and check it off, and it immediately reappears, it's like a no-fun game of whack-a-mole.

Posted 3 years ago

dftranslink says:

+1

Posted 3 years ago

murky Pro says:

This may not be the most voted item, but in terms of 'bang for buck' - I'd like to see it first (before dependencies and subtasks .... and I also want those)

Posted 3 years ago

johnstonf says:

It's HUGE for me!... PLEASE implement this ASAP!
VOTE VOTE VOTE!!!

Posted 3 years ago

rendlm5 Pro says:

I love having a START DATE !!

It should be by default the "TASK CREATION DATE" with the option of choosing a later date.
Many people wanted this feature already: http://www.rememberthemilk.com/forums/ideas/11229/

Selling it as a "start date" that may be the task "creation date" or later is a good option.
another way more precise way to go is to have a

1. Creation Date
2. Start Date
3. Due Date

All 3 are important

Posted 3 years ago

lefedor Pro says:

Give us start dates already!

Posted 3 years ago

rendlm5 Pro says:

Please implement "Start date" AND/OR "Created" field !

It was asked for already multiple times (MERGE THE VOTES?):

https://www.rememberthemilk.com/forums/ideas/11229/
https://www.rememberthemilk.com/forums/ideas/2177/
https://www.rememberthemilk.com/forums/ideas/13150/

THANKS !

Posted 3 years ago

webrunner says:

+1

Posted 3 years ago

dhgunn says:

A creation date is the day a task is created. A notional start date is the day the user wishes to see the task in his or her list. They are not the same thing.

Furthermore, proper use of sleeper tags saves you from needing a start date, so you can start using that today and stop whining for the obviously-overwhelmed Bob T. Monkey to get around to this.

Posted 3 years ago

pootel says:

Another vote for this!
RTM is really awesome, I guess this is the only feature that is missing on RTM.

Posted 3 years ago

jsellen says:

@dhgunn: I agree with you that creation date and start date are not the same thing. But I disagree very strongly regarding sleeper tags. Sleeper tags do not save you from needing a start date. They are limited in the functionality that they provide, and they are a bit of a hassle to set up.

The biggest limitation with sleeper tags is that once the start date happens, you have to manually go in and edit the due date to what should be the due date. (I guess this isn't an issue for tasks that only have a start date, but if it's a time-bounded task that has a start date, it very likely has a firm due date as well). This is not only extra work, but requires you to put in the item title the due date so you don't have to look it back up when the task start date occurs.

The reason why this request should be high priority (besides the fact that ~2000+ people have requested it) is that all required functionality exists within RTM right now. The due date field simply needs to be cloned as a start date. The colloquial term for this would be 'low hanging fruit'.

So, we will keep 'whining'. I'd suggest that you down-vote if you must, but your critical commentary is not necessary. The votes speak for themselves, sorry if you don't like what they are saying.

Posted 3 years ago

jondcoleman says:

+1

Posted 3 years ago

lumbric says:

+1

Posted 2 years ago

bascht says:

+1

Posted 2 years ago

deondevilliers says:

+1

Posted 2 years ago

brinstar Pro says:

I would like start dates. Here is a use-case example: I am taking one particular medication that requires me to take different dosages for a certain period of time: 4 pills once a day for 3 days, 3 pills once a day for 3 days, 2 pills once a day for 3 days, and 1 pill once a day for 3 days. I would like to set up recurring tasks that correspond to each of these periods of time. They are similar tasks but with different parameters (dosages) with specific start and end dates.

This something I am dealing with right now, and it's critical for me to remember to take my medication every day with the right dosages. I rely on RTM for things like this. I haven't figured a work around for the start date issue. If anyone could help me, I would appreciate it.

Posted 2 years ago

dhbryant says:

Add me to the mile long list of people who want this. I have many reasons, but consider these:

1) Free permanent advertising for RTM from Priacta Consulting if you add a start date. They offer a very popular inexpensive time management course online that tells you exactly how to set up task managers to work with their system. lack of Start Date is a deal breaker.

2) People who need task managers either a) have poor memories, or b) suffer from overwhelm (or both). Without a "start date" field, your lovely solution becomes useless.

My two cents. I'm dying to switch from ugly Toodledo to RTM, but lack of Start Date is just too big a deal for me.

Posted 2 years ago

lucianop says:

+1. This is the one feature that prevents me from being a customer.

Posted 2 years ago

cdingui Pro says:

Add me to the mile long list of people who nées this.

Posted 2 years ago

simonx182 says:

+1 for this! very important!

Posted 2 years ago

rosh1182 says:

+1. This is the one feature that prevents me from being a customer.

Posted 2 years ago

jessicamiller00 says:

Yes! I searched the help trying to figure out how to make a task I *couldn't* do yet not appear in my list until I could do it. This would solve that!

Posted 2 years ago

zinoff says:

This is the single reason why I basically stopped using it and didn't renew my pro account.

Posted 2 years ago

runec says:

My example is: I have a smart-list "hotlist" which includes all tasks with due date within one week (among other things).
Now I have a task which has due date within one week forward, but which cannot be started before in 3 days.
It _can_be "fixed" if I change due date to 3 days + one week now and then resets due date when it appears in hotlist, but that is an ugly hack...

This thread is soon 5 years old. Do anyone from rememberthemilk actually read this?

Posted 2 years ago

rayalan says:

+1. I'm not hopeful (as this thread has existed for years without any implementation), but the inability to set reminders is the number one reason that I struggle with regularly using RTM. I tried about a year ago, but the clutter from tasks like "remember to change the oil in 3 months" was obnoxious. I didn't see sleeper tags then, which looks like a viable if clunky way around it. It'd be really nice to have the actual feature implemented, though.

Posted 2 years ago

john.long says:

Come on guys. This is not hard. I'm a pro user, and will remain one regardless (honestly), because your API's are excellent and I integrate my own system with yours. But I use StartDate HEAVILY in my own system, but cannot get that in my RTM mobile apps at all. So things I shouldn't be concerned with clutter my list of options. I HATE that.
Ubiquitous use case (for everyone!): There is a project or task that you just are too busy for right now, but won't be in a week, or a month, or whatever. Set the start date, and the item just disappears until you aren't so busy. For those of us with a lot going on, it is completely invaluable.
And as others have said (and also, being the developer for my own system), this should be low hanging fruit and make many users quite happy. Do it! Free bananas if you do!

Posted 2 years ago

kraftbj says:

I renewed my pro membership, at this time, because I haven't researched other solutions. Start date is something I wanted from the beginning and, yeah, we can do all this funky tag:zzz crap, but ugh.

How about give us the ability to create custom fields and declare them to be numeric, date-based, short-text, long-text, etc (thinking custom WordPress metaboxes...)? If you want to invent your own system using tags, thus filling up your tags with a bunch of random things, great. If you want to create your own custom tag class, great.

I'm thinking on my iPod Touch trying to add tags, it's a pain in the ass with tags doing everything.

I don't know how many years I've been with RTM, but I'm tired of simple features lacking and seeming nothing new (that helps me) coming down the pike.

Posted 2 years ago

richard.shafer Pro says:

I really hope this one can be implemented soon. It's the one thing that keeps me looking at other solutions. I like for some tasks to appear a certain amount of time before they are due. The only way I can do this now is with a bunch of tags that muck up my tag cloud.

Posted 2 years ago

belidzs Pro says:

+1

Posted 2 years ago

yurius.r Pro says:

want this feature.

Posted 2 years ago

mgercke says:

+1

Posted 2 years ago

scottjkruse says:

Wow, I just paid for RTM and am amazed that you can't set a start date. I have always used start dates. I plan stuff years in advance and don't want to clutter up my lists with it. I don't want to see it until it is time to start. "Aug 1 2014 book event center fall concert" Please add this or I will have to switch back to what I was doing before.

Posted 2 years ago

beppegg says:

+1 to suggestion.. It's hard for me to think that in 6 years from proposal this is still undone! :-O

Posted 2 years ago

kucukturank Pro says:

this is a must

Posted 2 years ago

wilsota2 says:

I absolutely must have start dates. This is the reason I'm no longer using RTM and won't be renewing.

Posted 2 years ago

atabasco Pro says:

I agree

Posted 2 years ago

radegast13 says:

+1

Posted 1 year ago

bgrams Pro says:

This would also help as I use Milksync, and start dates are how I sort my corresponding list in outlook. As it is, I have to check my "No Date" tasks to see which ones have a due date, and add a start date if they were added in RTM rather than in Outlook. One more housecleaning task that I would prefer just took care of itself.

Posted 1 year ago

xpuffy says:

It's unusable complicated without start dates +1

Posted 1 year ago

timoteoga Pro says:

This is such a no-brainer that I keep waiting on. Please, please, PLEASE add start date.

Posted 1 year ago

bjzhou2010 says:

Start time is useful in daily life.

Posted 1 year ago

tokageseijin says:

i agree

Posted 1 year ago

relevart Pro says:

Start dates are a must! It makes your task list so much shorter. You don't have to pay attention to tasks that are not doable until certain time.

Posted 1 year ago

stravieso Pro says:

+1
Please, make it happen

Posted 1 year ago

tripleacs says:

+1

Posted 1 year ago

benkolera says:

Late to the party here, but +1. :)

Posted 1 year ago

rairmet Pro says:

yes please!!

Posted 1 year ago

versus Pro says:

+1

Posted 1 year ago

watkinscj Pro says:

This is a key feature that we need. I keep finding myself tricking the "start date" by creating tasks like "Do X (Start on 11/1/2013)" in the task name, which is silly.

Posted 1 year ago

durquhart Pro says:

Agreed.
I personally use the "due date" field as a "start date" - using filtered views. However this work-around means I don't have a functional due-date field any more.

Proper support for start-date would be very helpful!
I would suggest making it an optional field and giving it a keyboard-shortcut. That way it has basically no impact on people who don't use it, but helps those of us who do.

Posted 1 year ago

sajtbaba Pro says:

There should be at least two dates for a task:
- A "Deadline" belongs to the task as a fix information.
- "Start date" or "Planned date" is where I plan to do it.

Currently I use "Due date" for the deadline, but if I create a daily or weekly plan, and change the due date, I lose the deadline.

Posted 1 year ago

amkbcn Pro says:

+ my vote

Posted 10 months ago

mxq Pro says:

Start date is essential in ToDo lists, though RTM does not have it.
So I am using due date as a start date. and I put a dead line date
at the tot of task name, such as

[12/23] Buy a present for my kids. ^11/30

With this trick, I can search tasks having deadlines in
a certain month as

search [12/ ]

Of course, to have start date function is much better...


Posted 5 months ago

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