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Start Date & Projects

ian.sharman says:

I miss a couple of functions of Omnifocus in RTM.

The first is start date - I want a task to appear on a list for 'Today' when I am able to start it - not when it's deadline is due! So that 'Today' would show all task that are available.

For instance, I have a task for my car MOT / annual legal service due on 31st Jan, but I need to know about it on 7th Jan so that I can start to book it in with the garage, etc.

Another missing function that I find useful is the ability to sequence tasks into a project. One task follows another and is only available to be done once the previous task is done (setting stepped deadlines does not deal with this since earlier tasks may have no deadline - it is only the whole project/ final task that has a deadline).

I feel that this concept of 'available tasks' rather than 'hurry up this is due' lists is an important part of GTD - would love to see them addressed in RTM because I love its sync functions.

Posted at 12:16pm on November 29, 2008

ian.sharman says:

Would be really useful to know if other people can replicate this - the recurrence on this one was 'After month on last Thursday' (custom recurrence)'

It allows you to set up the task, but it crashes for me when hitting 'Complete'.

I've now replicated it on other tasks with a similar kind of recurrence.

Thanks.

Posted 5 years ago

ian.sharman says:

Oops - ignore my first reply above - it was intended in relation to another positing of mine!!!!

Posted 5 years ago

jhollington says:

Definitely agree on this one. This is probably the number one thing that makes me keep looking back wistfully at OmniFocus.

I've sort of been using due dates as start dates with a combination of tags and Smart Lists that bring them onto the radar at the appropriate times, but that's a messy work-around.

For one-time tasks it's not really a big issue, as these rarely need any kind of date on them, but you can't make a task recurring without putting a due date on it, and that gives it a misplaced sense of urgency, since many of these tasks are recurring but not critical, and having to repeatedly hit "postpone" just doesn't feel right from a GTD point of view.


Posted 5 years ago

amswitzer says:

I vote for this as well. There needs to be a method to link tasks together in a project with some of those tasks being dependent on parent tasks, while others are not dependent on others. This would be a VAST improvement to an already great package of tools.

Posted 5 years ago

johnwin says:

Personally I prefer the simplicity of rtm 'as is'. For larger scale project planning I use other tools (mind mapping software and *gulp* a pencil and some paper)

Just a shout out for those of us who want to keep it simple :^)

Posted 5 years ago

nicolas_thomsen says:

"Another missing function that I find useful is the ability to sequence tasks into a project. One task follows another and is only available to be done once the previous task is done (setting stepped deadlines does not deal with this since earlier tasks may have no deadline - it is only the whole project/ final task that has a deadline). "

I totally agree, this is the only thing I miss from Omnifocus. Instead of tagging a thing as Next Action, and then create smartlists to find those, and afterwards tag a new thing as Next Action once the first is complete is really a troublesome way to do it. How it is done in Omnifocus is much better as it automatically tells you what is next action.

Posted 5 years ago

davidscottweaver says:

I'm a big fan of simplicity too, however adding a single field, start date, wouldn't kill RTM's simplicity at all. Those who don't feel like using it don't need to. Those who do gain tons of power by having adjustable lead times. That's one of the things the ugly Toodledo app has going for it.

Posted 5 years ago

nutela says:

Totally agree, not having a start date is like having the task not written down at all until you find out on the day it is due, then it is already too late.
And what's the point in having a time estimate when you can use it as a start date. If Omnifocus had a webinterface I'd be gone but the Iphone version doesn't handle recurrence which is even worse.
And for the Project/Group missing in RTM this is really a huge miss too.
And why can't any app at least put reminders in the Iphone Calendar, goodbye enterprise Apple.

Posted 5 years ago

kentelo29 says:

I love RTM. However, I am torn between RTM and Omnifocus. I totally agree with ian.sharman. Please add some way to do projects and link task to Parent Task. If the developers are reading these post please take a serious look at Omnifocus. By adding just a few extra features to RTM, you will convert many Omnifocus users to RTM. Your product has a nice interface, quick and is actually fun to use. I have Omnifocus and RTM side by side on my iphone. Add those changes and I and many others would delete Omnifocus in a heart beat!!!!!!!

Posted 5 years ago

nicolas_thomsen says:

I second what kentelo29 says. I don´t know of complicated it is to implement parent tasks, but it would take the last pro away from Omnifocus and give Omnifocus users more reason to convert to the beloved cow:)

Posted 5 years ago

jyrinx says:

Keep in mind, folks, that the RTM people are very, very careful about feature creep (looking up to Google has that effect :-) ). I suspect that the two features mentioned here - start dates and outlining - are the two best candidates for major new features. But it's not just because OmniFocus does those things. Those needing an object lesson in featuritis need only glance at ToodleDo ... *grk* *twitch* ...

Like I said, if any two features are likely to fit into RTM, those are them IMHO. But I'm not sure I'd hold my breath; I have a feeling the response here may be "so go use OmniFocus and be happy."

Posted 5 years ago

jhollington says:

Setting "next-action" style sequencing might be a bit complicated to implement in the current RTM design, so as nice as it would be to see that, I'm not really holding my breath as it opens a whole new can of worms on how to handle things and in fact does tend to defy the "keep it simple" principle.

Start dates, however, should be a relatively simple thing to implement, since it's really just another field. I'd be quite content to rely on smart lists to filter things by start date rather than having RTM make assumptions about what I want to see, since that would risk making things more cumbersome (ie, deciding whether you want to see future tasks or not in every list). IMHO, just providing the start date field and the same search capabilities that are currently available for the "due date" field would more than suffice.

The biggest issue for me is the sheer number of tasks that don't need to be on my radar until after a certain date, but at the same time don't need to be *done* on a specific date.

Posted 5 years ago

ian.sharman says:

If there was to be a priority in provision of these features then I do agree that start dates would make a big difference most simply.

Given, however, that the back-end of this application is a database, if that database were a relational one then sequencing needn't be overly complicated to implement nor use (especially as any sequence fields could be hidden as a default).

Posted 5 years ago

mark.millsap says:

I've been using RTM for about a year now and really, really like it. It's been a god send in my job as a construction project manager and the iPhone app is icing on the cake.

Having said all that, I agree with the posters that are requesting sub-tasks, ah-la outlining as my number one wish item and then start dates on items as my number two wish item.

Posted 5 years ago

daniel.ford Pro says:

I am seconding the request for start dates. It won't overcomplicate RTM (and its simplicity is why most of us are using it, I suspect) and those who don't want it can easily ignore it. For those of us who do want it, it will make a HUGE difference in task management since there really is a big semantic difference between when a task can be started and when it is due.

Posted 5 years ago

learned says:

I'm trying this after having been a Life Balance user. In life balance, they have a concept called "Lead Time" which is how soon you want the task to start showing up. For items with no date, it's meaningless, but for items with a due date, lead time lets you indicate how soon they appear. In Life Balance, they increase in priority as the due date gets closer, but just having the lead time would be sweet. Especially with recurrings

Posted 5 years ago

courtney.lowe says:

I agree that start dates would be a nice (uncluttered) addition. I put tasks on my smart lists radar as "next actions" during my weekly review, but the ability to do something similar with a start date would be a good fail-safe mechanism.

Posted 5 years ago

nicolas_thomsen says:

on December 25 Jyrinx said: " But I'm not sure I'd hold my breath; I have a feeling the response here may be "so go use OmniFocus and be happy."


- I actually did do that, I even bought the Omnifocus desktop client for 80 bucks. I have really gotten used to Omnifocus and all the benefits that comes with it.

Then today I reinstalled RTM again on my iphone, simply because I miss the iPhone client. I love the RTM client, the fast sync, the polish, the feeling of using it.
But there was a reason why I stopped using RTM in January and switched to Omnifocus, I was just getting into GTD and I felt that RTM lacked some features that I really missed; start dates, sequentual projects, sub projects, sub contexts ect.

Now that I reinstalled RTM to see how it would feel to use again I am even more dissappointed than when I decided to switch to Omnifocus in the first place.
RTM is like a really beautiful girl with a really low IQ. You can have a good time with her, but any serious relationship is doomed from the beginning.
I have reached the conclusion that RTM is not for me as it is now, compared to Omnifocus it is a toy, a toy that I wish I could play with.

I tried to set it up with all the projects I normally have, and I ended up with a long list of 44 lists and some strange list names to keep some sort of order in my lists, since there is no reorder option whatsoever.

I tried to set up a project like I normally do, with 7 actions from start to finish. Normally I can drag and drop the actions so that they are in the right order, but here no such thing. Then I started to experiment with using priorities to fix the order of the actions, but that is simply too silly. Then I could of course make deadlines for each action to force it to have the order I need but why make deadlines when they are not needed? It is simply useless for sequential projects or projects where the actions should be done in a specific order.
I won´t even go into how much I missed things like Next Actions and Start Dates.


I don´t believe anyone with needs for more than a pretty todo list can be effective with RTM, it is so limited in every way.

Don´t get me wrong, I am not writing this to bash RTM, I like the concept, I love how the iPhone app is made, and I am just really dissappointed in realising that it is rather useless as a GTD client.
I like the people at RTM, every time I have been in contact with them they have been nothing but great. But I am surprised to see how little they do to please the people who pay for it every year. I see that people have been asking for sub lists now for about two years and still nothing has been done about that.
Maybe it just isn´t the right app for people who need a serious GTD app :(


Posted 5 years ago

chriswitt says:

@nicolas_thomsen

I couldn't believe when I read your post: I'm in the exact same position, and spent this past weekend trying to get RTM to mimic omnifocus - ha!

Couldn't be done of course, but I wish it could. I think a desktop app is the only way to emulate omnifocus' Clipping feature.

Oh well - still waiting to see what RTM rolls out!

Posted 5 years ago

p.puk says:

I agree: start dates would be a great help. The zzzz-lists is a work-around, but if everbody copies the zzzz-list routine, it definitily would be easier to add a start date, without losing the beauty of simplicity of the cow.
What tasks and subtasks are concerned: I am very happy with the solution posted elsewhere on the forum, using priorities to divide projects (pr.1), subprojects (pr2) and next actions (pr3).
This only works for rather simple project management, but that's all I need, so it works fine for me.
I am a newbee on RTM, but I *think* lots is to be gained with smart use of the tags. I think I tend to be using the lists the same way I would make them with the old pen and paper, but I think tagging gives way to a really different mind set of organising tasks. Don´t you think?

Posted 5 years ago

p.puk says:

I agree: start dates would be a great help. The zzzz-lists is a work-around, but if everbody copies the zzzz-list routine, it definitily would be easier to add a start date, without losing the beauty of simplicity of the cow.
What tasks and subtasks are concerned: I am very happy with the solution posted elsewhere on the forum, using priorities to divide projects (pr.1), subprojects (pr2) and next actions (pr3).
This only works for rather simple project management, but that's all I need, so it works fine for me.
I am a newbee on RTM, but I *think* lots is to be gained with smart use of the tags. I think I tend to be using the lists the same way I would make them with the old pen and paper, but I think tagging gives way to a really different mind set of organising tasks. Don´t you think?

Posted 5 years ago

letsdesign says:

i'd second the START date idea, but I think I'm like 32nd.

Posted 5 years ago

ranbarton ProPower Poster says:

If the zzz list routine does not appeal to you, how about making two entires for a task? A start task foo today task, and task foo is due task. No futzing with tags, should work pretty cleanly.

Posted 5 years ago

nfitzhugh says:

+1 for start dates

Posted 5 years ago

whizzard Pro says:

I've got a "deadline" tag and an associated "Work Deadlines" smartlist. The "tasks" in this list are really just project deadlines, often not actions at all.

With this in place, Due Date field for other tasks then means either Start Date (when it comes up I clear the due date field) or is to be done exactly on that date, not before, not after (i.e. the task is a GTD deferred action).

I don't tag those two separately, I usually remember which is which when I see them. Could always have a "deferred" tag if it got confusing.

Posted 5 years ago

faviomasulli says:

RTM, you really gotta work on your customer relations, just get one person to talk to us full-time, it'll be well worth the money!!! (and would keep a lot more happy and staying)

Posted 5 years ago

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