More powerful check lists and and tasks

Sometimes a check list is just a check list - perhaps a list of stuff to pack - and nothing more is needed.

But a check list - or a least a check box - implies a task (in my mind anyway). It’s clear visual indicator of task that needs to be done. Yes, and #action tag is searchable - but it needs to be automagically deleted when the check box is ticked. And, in keeping with the date-focus of Agenda, really cool for the date of completion to be recorded (editable, so you set the actual date if you completed it but forget to check it off!)

So, a way of viewing all outstanding tasks is required (and has been mentioned as under consideration somewhere else). (Hopefully wih options to view just specific categories/projects etc).

And a task often has a due date. #due sets that. So, this gives us two types of task, ‘anytime’ tasks with no due date, and ‘time-dependent’ tasks. Some way of viewing these two types separately would be useful. And also, for the time-dependent tasks to appear (optionally) in the calendar list in the sidebar.

But this means the to do list can get really massive (and depressing!) with lots of entries that you can’t, or don’t want to, actually deal with right away. So a task needs a start date as well as a due date. Then the search/filter can excluded tasks where #start is in the future.

Sometimes you can’t do anything about a task because you’re waiting for something. For someone to reply to an email, to send you more details, because a decision needs to be made by someone else etc. So, the task needs a #waiting tag, ideally a #waiting(date) tag, so the search/filter hids the task until that date - when it will re-appear. If the person has got back to me in the meantime, I can cancel the #waiting checkbox or delete the tag. If they haven’t I know I need to chase them.

I started trying to see how these scenarios might look written down:

[ ] Write progress report #start(1 March 2018) #due(5 March 2018)

[ ] Write proposal for @greg #due(20 March 2018) #wait_until(01 March 2018) for @donna to confirm budget

It quickly got confusing. I can imagine that typing tags and dates could work for powerusers, it would be confusing for many - myself included, too easy to forget the tags or format the dates wrong. I think such functionality would need some kind of pop-up where one could select start, due and waiting dates. Any paragraph which starts with a check box would have such a popup available.

I’m sure there are simpler and better ways to implement a system like this - I’m just a user! But I’m increasingly seeing the potential of Agenda, and I’d love to be able to manage tasks here as well. I don’t like the idea of jumping between Agenda and Things - too many opportunities for tasks to get lost in the gap!


Thanks for the suggestions, we indeed have a number of improvements and additional options in mind when it comes to working with lists. Both in terms of managing and editing task lists, as well as presenting overviews of tasks.


I look forward to reading your proposal! :joy:

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Ha! Sorry, I hadn’t realised tagging people worked in the ‘community’!

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Is there an update to allow check boxes in tables? I have a table that I use to track bills and such and I’d like to be able to mark the item paid with a check box.

Drew just answered a similar question + suggestion for a workaround here: Checklists in tables?