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Better & unified ToDo sytem

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User avatar hook
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Better & unified ToDo sytem

Mon Apr 25, 2011 8:12 pm
The basic idea is to unify the currently ambigious ToDo/Reminder system(s) across the whole KDEPIM package and make it a lot more user friendly.

Problem of current system

Currently there are too many ToDo systems in certain KDEPIM components (e.g. KMail) while in others (e.g. Akregator, KJots) there are none. Also some of the options, especially in KMail are confusing, replicating basically the same function and in general not very user-friendly.

Currently in KMail you can:

  • create a ToDo/Reminder from an e-mail - i.e. it lets you add a new ToDo entry into your default calendar in KOrganizer, at which point you are promptly asked to either:

    • attach the e-mail as a link - i.e. the basic e-mail headers are copied to the ToDo entry text and the link to the rest of the e-mail is added as an attachment to the ToDo;
    • attach the e-mail inline - i.e. the basic e-mail headers are copied to the ToDo entry text and the the rest of the e-mail is added as an attachment (including e-mail's attachements);
    • attach the e-mail inline - i.e. the basic e-mail headers are copied to the ToDo entry text and the the rest of the e-mail is added as an attachment (but the e-mail is first stripped of its attachements);

  • mark an e-mail as an "Action Item" - i.e. it get's tagged (ignoring Nepomuk);
  • tag an e-mail as "ToDo" - i.e. it get's tagged (by Nepomuk).


Needless to say, for a normal user, these options are not very nice.

Rethinking the ToDo system

The whole idea of creating a ToDo is to make a quick notice (of anything really) that a person thought of right now and would like to do sometime in the future.

So the main goals should be that ToDo's have to be:

  • easy and intuitive to create, regardless of the content
  • easy to notice (and well organised)
  • present where the user expects it
  • dynamic (responding to time)
  • agnostic of content it is related to


Proposal

Creating a ToDo

Wherever the user is (KMail, Akregator, KJots, Dolphin, Kate, Konqueror etc.) the they should be able to create a ToDo from something (e-mail, longer note, website, document, file etc.). I imagine this would be the easiest to do with a single entry in the right-click menu.

After that the user would get small calendar popup (like already in KOrganizer when entering dates) to select the date. If a user selects a date, the ToDo gets an end date. If the user doesn't select a date, the ToDo is created without an end date. The calendar dialog should automatically disappear after a while and be cancelable by the user (like already the Klipper menu).

When a ToDo is created, two things would happen:

  • the said thing would get tagged by NEPOMUK as "ToDo"; and
  • a ToDo would be created that would by default include just the link to the said thing and the end date if it was entered (and of course other automatically added NEPOMUK info as well).


Displaying of the ToDo

Of course a ToDo is only useful if it can be easily and meaningfully used later on.

So here's how the user would be presented with his ToDo:

  • the thing would carry a "ToDo" tag (assigned by NEPOMUK);
  • the ToDo would be present in the calendar/ToDo applications (e.g. KOrganizer's ToDo section, Kontact's overview), where the user could also extend the information provided to a full-fledged ToDo as we know them today.
  • in the programme which handles things like the thing that was tagged as ToDo, there would be a list of things that need to be done.


On creation the user would not be asked about reminders (they can still set them later), but automatic dynamic groups or tags would be created that would include all things/ToDos that would regarding to how far the end date is. By default let's say "ToDo next week", "ToDo in 3 days", "ToDo today", "Overdue ToDo", but the user could change them, remove or add new ones. Of course there should be a general "ToDo" group that includes also things without end dates.

These time-related dynamic groups could be present in all three ways stated above - the programmes, the calendars and just searchable via NEPOMUK from anywhere.

Needless to say, when the user would resolve or remove the ToDo, the tag removed from the thing and if the user resolved the ToDo, KOrganizer should record it as done as well (instead of deleting the ToDo entry).

I imagine that from the technical point of view this would need some Akonadi- and NEPOMUK-fu, but I think it that is exactly why we introduced these two pillars to KDE. Also it would make sense to rethink the ToDo view of KOrganizer/Kontact or make an alternative app for it. It would make only sense to be able to organise the ToDo list by the type of "thing" that it was created from/is attached.


It's time to prod some serious buttock! ;)
User avatar J_L
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Better & unified ToDo sytem

Tue Apr 26, 2011 9:12 am
I would really like to see something like this implemented, as I easy forget things to do. I'm no technician and really haven't understood some of the technologies like nepomuk etc.

What I would like to add is to have somewhat of cross plattform implementation like to be able to sync this with a mobile phone/device (android and the KDE/Qt/Nokia project).

For easy in-hand add ToDos on your hand held and sync it with your workstation/laptop.

Maybe OwnCloud would be handy for this task?
User avatar hook
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Better & unified ToDo sytem

Tue Apr 26, 2011 11:57 am
@J_L: Syncing and hosting it on ownCloud seems like a great idea!

Since, as I imagine it, these ToDo's could still stay in the form of VTODO in an iCal, ownCloud (or any other system) could manage it just fine in a plugin (or just host it). Then we'd probably need Akonadi to sync the things.


It's time to prod some serious buttock! ;)
User avatar hook
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Better & unified ToDo sytem

Wed May 18, 2011 6:20 am
Maybe as an editor MindMirror would work nicely with this idea.

http://cmollekopf.wordpress.com/2011/05 ... mindmirror

So when a TODO item would be created by tagging something (e-mail, file, contact, whatever), it could show up in MindMirror and the user could then edit and manage it there.

Of course it would be up to the user to decide which application(s) and work flow they will use with such a TODO/tagging system. I'm just mentioning MindMirror specifically because it happens to have a very similar work flow in mind as I imagined and it is therefore easier for me to illustrate what I had in mind.


It's time to prod some serious buttock! ;)
apache
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Better & unified ToDo sytem

Mon Jul 11, 2011 8:21 am
+ from me.
I like your ideas. I also think that notes should be able to changed easily into to-do task and the other way round.

I also proposed an improvement to to-do list:
brainstorm.php#idea95277_page1

1) add description view and edit function in to-do list
2) add active links functionality to description view, as it is in Tomboy

 
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