Wish: To-Do/Task List

so
so1102
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Jul 13, 2015 9:05 pm
Platform: Windows

Thu Jul 23, 2015 6:30 pm Post

I would love if the product had a built in to-do/task list -- essentially a list of tasks that you can use as reminders, and then check them off when done.

In addition:
- add the ability to delete all completed tasks
- add the ability to automatically add a task based upon text entered into a scrivening (for example, in MS Visual Studio, I can add a comment in my code that looks like //TODO: (some text), and it automatically creates a task with that text. Very convenient to not interrupt the flow of writing, but still capture something you really need to remember -- the task would also link back to that specific comment in the scrivening, so you could quickly find the place where your to-do item applied to.

re
reepicheep
Posts: 492
Joined: Sat Aug 22, 2009 5:11 pm
Platform: Mac + iOS

Thu Jul 23, 2015 6:53 pm Post

For to do items in my projects I change the relevant document's Binder icon from its default to something else; thought cloud usually for a document that needs more thought; eye for a document that needs to be reviewed; magnifying glass for a document that needs in depth review and examination. Using the Inspector's status and label features would provide something similar. Set the document/project progress and then use Outline mode with the Progress column displayed. Use the Keywords feature for target dates and show them in Outline.

Then there's the feature of Scrivener that I abuse on a daily basis: Collections. Have Collection for TO DO, or refine by having a Collection for TO DO: reason.
Techie details in case I forget

Scrivener 2.8.1.2 (26324)
Mac OS X 10.8.5 (mostly)
Scrivener 1.1.1 (20170800)
iOS 9.3.5/11

User avatar
KB
Site Admin
Posts: 19198
Joined: Tue Jun 13, 2006 11:23 pm
Platform: Mac
Location: Truro, Cornwall
Contact:

Thu Jul 23, 2015 9:13 pm Post

My development project - the Scrivener project I use to keep to keep track of what I need to do for the next version, and the version after that - is one big task list. I also keep task lists in other projects. The way I do it is to have a "To Do" folder and create a separate document inside that folder for each task. That way I can view the folder in scrivenings mode to see them all at once, and I can either delete them or move them to the "Done" folder when I'm finished with them. As reepicheep says, you can also change the binder document icons and use the label colours for more information in there if you want.

All the best,
Keith
"You can't waltz in here, use my toaster, and start spouting universal truths without qualification."

User avatar
gr
Posts: 1596
Joined: Wed Feb 14, 2007 3:57 am
Platform: Mac + iOS
Location: Florida

Thu Jul 23, 2015 9:43 pm Post

I wonder if Comments might serve many of your purposes. (I am speaking of the Mac version, but the Windows version either has this ability or will when full parity is achieved.) You can associate them with particular points in or chunks of text, they have their own dedicated view in the Inspector and you can survey the comments across groups of documents when in Scrivenings mode. Each comment has a handy close box for when you are done with it.

To-Dos that are not associated with particular documents might want to be placed elsewhere (project notes?), I suppose.

--Greg

P.S. I have not been in the habit of using comments like this -- just thinking aloud. I use a dedicated To-Do app for my general To Do needs and I use a system of document Labels in Scrivener (together with some coordinated Smart Collections) to reflect the general where-I-am-with-that-bit and hence what I would need to do next with it. I use in-line annotation to jot down things when I need to flag some point in a text with something I need to deal with. My needs may be simpler than yours.
Last edited by gr on Fri Jul 24, 2015 8:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
AmberV
Posts: 20613
Joined: Sun Jun 18, 2006 4:30 am
Platform: Mac + Linux
Location: Santiago de Compostela, Galiza
Contact:

Thu Jul 23, 2015 10:09 pm Post

I have posted a few how-tos on the forum regarding this:

  • Outliners are great for tracking things you need to do.
  • Embedding todo lists within your text.
    Interestingly, this one sounds a lot like what you are already used to doing (even down to the punctuation---though I understand in your case part of that is a comment indicator---in Scrivener the analogy to comments are inline annotations, but I use punctuation to make searches precise instead of pulling up any old mention of the word "todo"). Scroll down to the highlight text in that post, I was responding to a number of different questions in that thread. I also don’t believe I mentioned it there, but what I actually do in my projects is create a saved search collection that hunts for TODO //. Thus whenever I mark something down as needing to be done, it pops up in that list (and goes away once I change the punctuation to no longer use both slashes—or of course if I delete the comment/annotation entirely).
Some of that is Mac-specific, but I can think of nothing within these concepts that would be crippled by a missing feature. All of the core concepts can be done on Windows.
.:.
Ioa Petra'ka
“Whole sight, or all the rest is desolation.” —John Fowles

ca
castefer
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2016 8:23 pm
Platform: Windows

Fri Dec 23, 2016 7:40 pm Post

Yes, it would be a great characteristic similar to Eclipse or Netbeans

so1102 wrote:I would love if the product had a built in to-do/task list -- essentially a list of tasks that you can use as reminders, and then check them off when done.

In addition:
- add the ability to delete all completed tasks
- add the ability to automatically add a task based upon text entered into a scrivening (for example, in MS Visual Studio, I can add a comment in my code that looks like //TODO: (some text), and it automatically creates a task with that text. Very convenient to not interrupt the flow of writing, but still capture something you really need to remember -- the task would also link back to that specific comment in the scrivening, so you could quickly find the place where your to-do item applied to.

ab
aberrey
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Mar 28, 2017 8:02 pm
Platform: Windows

Tue Mar 28, 2017 8:09 pm Post

I'd like to put in another vote for this feature. To help the developers a few more details.

For an individual document I want to be able to create a to list for that document. I imagine this would be a new tab in the inspector that would show me a list of tasks I put in. I think a simple task list would do with the ability to add, delete, re-order, and complete tasks. It would be nice to have a the ability to toggle the visibility of completed tasks.

Then ideally there would be a global view of the to do list in an outline view that is grouped by document. I could see this as a fourth view in addition to the document, outline, and corkboard. That way you could see tasks at different levels in the project (e.g. document, chapter, entire manuscript.)

Here are the kinds of things I'd imagine tracking in tasks:

Changes and additions that need to be made to a document (e.g. fix dialog section)
Listing specific editing or copy editing tasks (e.g. check dialog, check directions, check name spellings)
Instructions to my self for new content to add (e.g. add scene about foobar)

Anyway, that's my two cents on this topic.

P.S. I love this product!

li
liz
Posts: 44
Joined: Sat Mar 25, 2017 6:40 pm
Platform: Win + iOS

Wed Mar 29, 2017 1:16 am Post

This would be an extremely useful feature--I'm also using a workaround like the suggestions above. It sounds like the requested feature is a lot like something OneNote does right: You can mark some line(s) of text with live checkbox(es) and then automatically compile a list of them in a separate page, with each item linked back to its source. You have the option to filter/sort the summary page when you create it, for example by document or by date. Scrivener is so good at helping to manage chronic disorganization that it's a bit surprising that there is no such feature already.

Maybe this is easy to do on Windows since OneNote already does it?

Ah
Ahab
Posts: 619
Joined: Sun Oct 01, 2006 8:00 pm
Location: Maine

Wed Mar 29, 2017 10:27 am Post

I keep my To-Do list in Project Notes, where it's always one click away and can float accusingly over my working desktop without ruffling the Binder.

The more I use Scrivener the more useful Project Notes becomes, everything from lengthy time-lines to capsule character sketches.
Individual document tasks I keep in Document Notes, which are likewise readily available, particularly when writing in Compose mode.

jc
jcarman
Posts: 82
Joined: Sun Nov 01, 2009 6:28 pm

Mon Apr 17, 2017 10:28 pm Post

Scrivener has a Favorites feature which I use to keep a list of docs as a general todo list. I use the doc notes for, well, things to do for that doc. :D

User avatar
rdale
Posts: 932
Joined: Tue Jul 14, 2015 1:07 pm
Platform: Mac, Win + iOS
Location: St. Louis, MO
Contact:

Tue Apr 18, 2017 2:26 pm Post

With respect to TODO code comments vs Scrivener, You can just use Inspector Comments. When you load a document into the editor, and click on the text linked to your comment, it loads all of that document's comments in the inspector and scrolls to the specific comment associated with the text you clicked on. Unlike most word processors, Scrivener's comments are all stacked together in the inspector, so you don't have to scroll to find out if there are more of them lurking down the page.

Keywords can be used to list tasks that need to be done to a given document. You can order them however you like, delete them when you're done, view them in the outliner mode or as colored chips on the cork board mode.

Alternately, you can put your task list in the synopsis. The document notes field is a little less visible, but also good for task lists--as a bonus, it's rich text, so lists and strike-through work in that part of the inspector.

If you use chapter folders that don't contain text themselves, you can write your task lists there ("on" the folder instead of in a sub-document of the folder), assigning a distinct font/font color to make them stand out in Scrivenings mode. Most out-of-the-box novel templates/compile presets exclude the text written "on" folders, or you can customize your compile settings for that outcome.

At the top of any document, you can write your task lists in rich text, and mark that text as an in-line annotation. In the Compile settings, you can strip out all inline annotations from the output.

Another option is to do what Keith does and make your to-do lists in another folder; creating one binder entry per task, grouping those tasks into folders named similarly to the document they're related to. Use the Reference tab in the inspector to link to that list's folder from the relevant document, or use Scrivener links in the main text or the document notes for that purpose.

No matter how you do it, making use of the Status built-in metadata lets you see at a high level which documents need work, and what level of work is required, by making "BIG revision", "Moderate Editing needed", or "Needs polish" types of statuses that you can choose from.

You have a plethora of options to accomplish what you need that don't require a new feature added... you just need to familiarize yourself with the tools in your Scrivener workshop.
FKA: robertdguthrie
AKA: R Dale Guthrie, Robert, Mr. Obscure, and "Oh, it's you again".

li
liz
Posts: 44
Joined: Sat Mar 25, 2017 6:40 pm
Platform: Win + iOS

Fri Apr 21, 2017 1:00 am Post

It's certainly true that Scrivener is feature-rich enough that one can hack a task list functionality--it's what I'm doing right now--but this is completely besides the point. There are plenty of examples of Scrivener features which to some extent duplicate or overlap other features, but L&L decided to build in a dedicated feature rather than just advising people to repurpose some other feature as a workaround. The suggestion on this thread is that the same be done for task list functionality, which is apparently useful enough that many people (including you) have taken the trouble to come up with workarounds.

User avatar
AmberV
Posts: 20613
Joined: Sun Jun 18, 2006 4:30 am
Platform: Mac + Linux
Location: Santiago de Compostela, Galiza
Contact:

Fri Apr 21, 2017 1:51 am Post

I think the main difference in how you are thinking between how we are thinking is that in a program like Scrivener, which is a system built of many small tools, part of using the program is developing larger workflows out of the various combinations of those smaller tools you can make use of. Hence, if one is building a workflow out of the toolset Scrivener provides, it isn’t a “workaround”, it’s called using this kind of software the way it is meant to be used: the ability to exert your creativity upon the software (which in accumulation is something we could never fully predict), rather than having to wait for developers to grant upon you the capability to do so in prepackaged features is in itself the big feature.
.:.
Ioa Petra'ka
“Whole sight, or all the rest is desolation.” —John Fowles

li
liz
Posts: 44
Joined: Sat Mar 25, 2017 6:40 pm
Platform: Win + iOS

Fri Apr 21, 2017 4:21 am Post

Your point is well-taken, but these various methods for task tracking are all from my perspective still "workarounds" because none of them actually do what I wish I could do. The only existing feature that comes close would be Comments/Footnotes, but you cannot view them in Scrivenings mode (at least not in Windows--I've never used Scrivener for Mac). So if I use the Comments workaround, I cannot see all of my tasks at once. Even if I could do that, I still wouldn't be able to sort, filter, reorder, or otherwise manipulate my task list. Similarly, if I use the Binder workaround, I have access to the functionality of the Outliner, but I need to manually insert a link back to the document the task refers to and/or search for it, and then find that bit of text within the document. And so on.

It might be the case that the L&L team doesn't think there should be a text-integrated task management feature in Scrivener, but as far as I can tell, it's really not true that some combination of existing features already meets that need. At least not very well, especially when compared with how good the implementation is other functionality.

I want to add that Scrivener for me isn't just a useful tool, it's really life-changing software given how much I struggle with disorganization. (The people who are organized enough to use some multi-step system for task management probably aren't the people who REALLY NEED Scrivener.) I'm just trying to constructively delineate a suggestion for feature which (1) seems to periodically come up and (2) would add to Scrivener's already numerous strengths.

de
derick
Posts: 264
Joined: Mon Aug 11, 2008 9:58 pm

Fri Apr 21, 2017 5:00 am Post

Hmmm the notion of having my tasks in with my manuscripts seems v. misguided to me. I used to do this but have become much more efficient at getting writing done by moving all the tasks, notes on issues to resolve, etc. into separate text files (using Taskpaper format). I can look up next tasks on a second monitor or ios device while devoting the computer to writing. For me this has been a much better solution than jumping between tasks and writing in the same app.