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Instead of blue checkmarks on every day, show different color icons depending on whether tasks are due

jbensley says:

Hello, I've recently started using RTM in conjunction with Google Calendar to manage tasks. Previously I was using sets of Google Calendars to mark specific events, but I'd like to move away from that to the more task-oriented paradigm that RTM provides.

However, I am a little disappointed in the view of RTM in Google Calendar. Having a blue checkbox icon for every day on the calendar adds no information - it simply provides a place to click to view my tasks. Other types of calendars, both in the standard format and Google's enhanced format provide information without having to select the icon.

Therefore, I think it would be nice if we could configure task thresholds of which to show different colored icons. For example, a user could set '0 tasks due' to the standard blue checkbox, '>1 tasks due' to a green checkbox, '>5 tasks due' to a yellow checkbox, and 'overdue tasks' to a red checkbox. At a glance you could see your upcoming busy days without having to check the RTM icon for each day. For me I think it would be an improvement if I could simply have no icon (or blank) if I had 0 tasks due on a day.

I've looked in the settings, both at RTM and the Google Calendar RTM, and found no kind of filter or anything that will enhance the information content of the calendar view. If I've simply missed it, please let me know.

Posted at 3:52pm on August 28, 2007

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Answeredemily (Remember The Milk) says:

Thanks for your feedback! We'd love to be able to have different icons depending on whether a day has tasks -- unfortunately due to some technical limitations with Google Calendar, this hasn't been possible to date. It's something that we're continuing to investigate, and hope that we'll be able to support in the future.

Posted 7 years ago

alejandrops says:

excelent idea!

Posted 7 years ago

jeremy.bower says:

I agree, there is no useful information conveyed by having a blue checkbox on every day. I'd rather see no checkbox or a very light gray checkbox for days with zero tasks. It shouldn't be distracting.

Posted 7 years ago

arankine says:

Maybe this will be possible using the recently introduced Google calendar gadgets?

Posted 7 years ago

emily (Remember The Milk) says:

arankine, this feature actually already uses Google Calendar gadgets (which were previously known as Google Calendar web content events). Hope this helps!

Posted 7 years ago

jbensley says:

Emily, I do have a couple of suggestions with regards to the technical limitations on Google Calendar. I understand that GC caches the calendar content itself, and there's really not much you can do to avoid this. However, I have discovered that they do not cache the icon images, and refresh of the Google Calendar page will send a request to reload the image(s) from the server.

So my two solutions to the caching limitation are thus:

A) Have a single iCal template for all users, but each day has its own icon image; e.g. instead of referencing 'task.gif' you would have 20070829.gif, 20070830.gif, etc. These would not be static images, but rather generated on-the-fly based upon the user. If not logged in, you could display the standard blue checkbox.

Advantages: Calendars could immediately reflect changes in tasks.
Disadvantages: Image bandwidth increases by at least 30x since you are sending a different image each time, also with a CPU hit to find and 'build' the image. Also users will have to refresh the Google Calendar page to see the updates.

B) Have a different iCal for each user, and reference the appropriate images based on current information.
Advantages: Negligible CPU and Image bandwidth change.
Disadvantages: Higher calendar bandwidth, since each user is using their own copy instead of a standard template, and data will only be refreshed when Google Calendar refreshes its cache (3ish hours?)

I've made an assumption in this post that these are the technical difficulties to which you refer, and I hope that RTM is considering one or both of these as viable alternatives to the current display. My wife's first reaction upon loading the Google Calendar module was confusion, followed by slight annoyance at all of the little blue checkboxes. I think that either of these solutions, while not perfect, would still be a significant improvement.

If there are other technical limitations please elaborate (via email if preferred); I would like to help RTM achieve its goals, and have a bit of technical knowledge and free time.

Posted 7 years ago

graham.reeds Pro says:

I wonder how the weather module works as that only has images for the current and forth coming 3 days

G.

Posted 7 years ago

graham.reeds Pro says:

Using Jbensley method you could have 1x1pixel transparent gif icons for day's that do not have any tasks. So if you don't have task that day you will be sending out just a few bytes. There won't be much of a hit for CPU usage since the server could cache the task icons and just send them on renamed for the dates.

Also the weather module seems to have it's own icons: mostly_sunny.gif appears for a few days in a row. There must be a way to set the calendar function up with it's own icons for days that only have tasks.

Posted 6 years ago

jennyusagi says:

Or a completely different idea based on how I originally thought RTM integration would work with the calendar - I'm not sure why the tasks aren't just added as calendar items on the Google Calendar. They could then be removed after being marked as complete to keep from cluttering up the Google Calendar (or an option to determine whether to do this or not). This would really only work for items that have specific dates, but that would apply to the custom icons too.

Posted 3 years ago

jennyusagi says:

If you stick with icons, numbers would be better than color coding: https://www.rememberthemilk.com/forums/ideas/11470/

Posted 3 years ago

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