Discuss all things Remember The Milk.


Search and replace on task names

steve.whitney says:
I'm using RTM to manage all of my projects and action items for my work and home life as well as future goals and possible projects (using David Allen's "Getting Things Done" framework) . That ends up being a lot of lists and list items.

Anyway, every so often, I do something like a bulk move from one list to another and I want to change a word or phrase in a lot of list items. For example, I just moved 46 projects from my current project list to my "someday-maybe" list. All of the project names started with ".project" which is my code for projects. Now I'd like to change that since I'm not doing them right away. This has come up other times too.

Ideally, what I'd like to be able to do is to select one or multiple lists and then do a search and replace operation on a string within the task names. (For example, in my someday-maybe list, change all instances of ".project:" in a task name to "possible work project:")

It seems that a search and replace/find and replace function would be useful for all sorts of things.

When we changed office managers at work, I wanted to change all items that mentioned "Karla" to "Nancy." Having to select each one and edit it - even with keyboard shortcuts - takes a long time for a human but is easy for a computer.

Thanks for considering it!

Posted at 1:15am on March 13, 2010
ranbarton Power Poster says:
You might find that tags really help with these bulk management tasks.

Posted 10 years ago
bonam says:
Tags might help in the future, but due to limitations in the e-mail import, I had to embed the due date in the subject and in the body. i want to repeat them annually, so a way to search and replace the date in the task name would be great.
Posted 10 years ago
steve.whitney says:
I keep wishing we had this, and it should only require a pretty simple MySQL query. I do understand that every change and feature requires time to test and support. Still, it seems that if RTM is going to work for more than shopping lists -- and I have hundreds of items in my GTD system stored on RTM -- we need some tools to minimize labor-intensive processes like editing multiple task names.

bonam is right. I'm putting my GTD contexts on the task names (e.g., @home, @office, etc.) to make it easy to send things over by email or from ReQall. I recently changed a list name and had to edit all the tasks from "@coffee:" to "@thinking" at the beginning of the name. Being able to "find and replace" would have saved me a whole lot of tedium.

I'd even help with the code if you want.


Posted 10 years ago
antoinebugleboy says:
Tags are great! But it's nice to be able to see task information at a glance in the task title. A search and replace feature would be awesome.
Posted 1 year ago
stefcameron says:
YES, PLEASE!! This is sorely needed. In my case, since the list name is not displayed on tasks like tags are, I end-up creating a lot of tasks in different lists with the list's name as a prefix, like "LIST: Do something". When the list changes, or when I need to move/copy a bunch of tasks from one list to another, that's a lot of manual work to do in order to update all the task names.
Posted 9 months ago
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