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Summary Tasks remain hidden in smart lists

himanshu121b says:
Hi,

I use smart lists extensively, using tags and location to organise my tasks. I have 500+ personal tasks (and lots of work tasks too), and 86 smart lists (a lot of these are helper lists). All this is for a workflow developed over 10 years and works effectively for me.

In my smart list, I do not display the parent task, as they may have 10 subtasks in them. I'd rather see the sub tasks in single search screen with no need for further clicks/touch of finger. E.g. Bday prep for son - D minus 30d, D minus 15d, D minus 5d, these are things I should be doing certain days before. And what are these things? Well, rather than me guessing when I do the search, I setup my smart list to show these sub tasks, as they have due dates. When I tick off the parent task, this would appear nicely set for next year and all the subtasks would also have due dates set, ready to remind me on the correct day, with correct lead time I set up.

I upgraded to pro recently to use the subtasks feature to be better organised but have run into an issue which I can’t find an answer for.

Is there a way to show both the summary task(parent task) and the subtask together? If it can't be then this is an issue which will keep some tasks hidden in your workflow. Here's an example.

Create a test list: zList.
In this list create a task: SummaryTask. Make it due today and repeating every week. tag it test
Create 3 sub tasks called/tagged as following:
-0Today, due today, tag test
-1Tomorrow, due tomorrow, tag test
-2never, due never, tag test

If you tick off this task, all the subtasks would be setup for next week. If you tick off the subtasks first and then parent tasks, it would be setup nicely, again, for next to next week. What happens if you are seeing the tasks via a smart list?

create a smart search as following:
tag:test and ( (hasSubTasks:false or isSubTask:true) OR (hasSubTasks:true and isSubTask:false) )

You should see your sub tasks (and not the parent task as the last part of list should do). tick them off one by one. Once they are ticked off, you see nothing. Now where is your parent task? Before you say its in the list, I have 500 tasks/sub tasks and I setup my smart lists to make it easy to forget granular details. I will have to remember when I have ticked off the last subtask, to tick off parent task, which RTM is not displaying alongside subtasks in first place.

What I would rather expect is, a search operator along the lines of hasPendingSubTasks, or count of openSubTasks. Then based on these, either track separately all summary/parent tasks ready to be ticked off
OR
RTM displaying the parent task when there is no subtasks open/all subtasks closed off, whenever a smart list is trying to display both parent and sub tasks together.

Or it could be me not understanding the subtasks and search operators around this properly?

Thanks
Himanshu
Posted at 7:30pm on September 23, 2018
andrewski (Remember The Milk) says:
Hi Himanshu,
Subtasks collect under the main task when they both appear in the same view, which is why you don't see them both when a search returns them.

Thanks for your feedback about what you expect here, which I've passed on to the development team for review. You can also vote on this topic in our Ideas forum which suggests showing subtasks in a different way.

Let us know if we can ever help with anything else!
Posted 7 weeks ago
himanshu121b says:
Hi Andrewski,

Having thought about this, it needs more careful consideration.

If I have a summary/parent task due on a date but subtasks are not due, a search string looking for dates will skip those subtasks as they have no date. I would need functionality to include such sub tasks and their sub tasks if possible. I chose to not date subtasks as parent has a date, and for some I want to override the parent's dates. Both these scenarios are valid use cases.

I have a list of leftover tasks, these don't appear any of my key lists. At the moment all subtasks having no due dates are coming up there, when the parent task wouldn't have appeared in this search.

What if subtasks have a due date not aligned to parent task? If a default behaviour is implemented, then we should be given ways to override that, via new search operators or settings.

I believe there are many more scenarios and search operators that can be brought in around subtasks, which can be used to setup smart lists in a way which works for everyone, all in different ways.

few example:
For subtask - isParentRepeating, parentHasDueDate, parentHasStartDate, parentIsLocated, parentHasTag, parentHasPriority1/2/3/None and so on. All that you can search for a task, to be available for parent and more

For subtasks not aligning with parent - parentDateDifferent(due/start) , parentLocationDifferent, parentTagsDifferent, parentPriorityDifferent

For parent - hasOpenSubtasks, displayParentIfNoOpenSubtasks, subTasksHaveNoDate (Due/Start),subTaskHaveLoction etc. Here

I hope above give you guys an idea how much more around subtasks can be controlled if we have the correct search operators/settings.

Some of it will get complex, and should be allowed to. Those who do need it, will use the complexity to their advantage, and it will start making RTM a class apart from other todo list apps.

Make it difficult for power users to leave, just because there isn't the kind of search available anywhere else.

Thanks
Himanshu
Posted 7 weeks ago
andrewski (Remember The Milk) says:
Hi Himanshu,
Thanks for all of the feedback here! I've passed this along to the development team for review.

Let us know if we can help with anything else in the meantime!
Posted 7 weeks ago
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