# Sort by earliest date doesn't sort as expected when there are end dates

Hi,

As an example, I have a note assigned to the date range 22 March – 16 April, and another note assigned 29 March – 15 April, but when sorting by ‘earliest date first’ I get:

Note: 29 Mar - 15 Apr
Note: 22 Mar - 16 Apr

To me, this doesn’t make sense as the earliest date is 22 Mar.

Thanks

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The problem is that you can interpret multi-day spans in several ways, one is what you do here is to look at the start date and say the earliest is 22 Mar. That does make sense. The other one is to say, if we go back in time which one ended the first, which is what Agenda does and also makes sense depending on how you look at it.

There are things to say about both, the reason we picked this one is that if you flip the sort order you would expect the notes to appear in “the same order” but exactly reversed. If instead we would pick the other option you would get in the situation that you could be flipping the sort order and still end up with the same order of notes. Again, it might be technically correct and there is the argument to make for it, but for now we wanted to keep it simple. The solution would be to add more sort options in the form “ended first”, “started first”, but we’re in general resistant to add more options unless there’s a big demand.

Thanks for explaining, there is a lot to consider here!

When looking back at notes in the past, I’m totally with you - I want them reverse chronological by end date. But when I’m looking forward, surely chronological by start date is the equivalent that makes the most sense? What reason(s) are there that anyone would want differently than these two ways?

I’ve been planning out my next 6 weeks and sorting using the “earliest date” option, but as I scroll down there are occasionally notes that start after other notes coming before them. It feels broken. Consider 3 events with a note for each, sorted by earliest date. Currently you would get this:

13 - 18 March: Event 3
12 - 19 March: Event 2
10 - 24 March: Event 1

I don’t see any scenario where this order would be desirable?

Thanks,

Alex

In my world the due/end date is the primary parameter for processes or actions like todo, task, project. The start date is based on the estimated time required. For calendar events ie; appointment types, the start date would be the primary and the end date would be fixed or estimated.

For scheduling purposes an item can be only one of the two. The type would determine the assigned date for the note.

Hi @mekentosj , just wondering if you had any further feedback on my comments?

You explained that “if we go back in time which one ended the first, which is what Agenda does and also makes sense depending on how you look at it.” And I agree, when browsing in reverse chronological (latest date first), sorting by the end date makes sense. However, when browsing chronologically (earliest date first), the key date is the starting date because that’s when the activity begins. Another activity that begins after coming before it makes no sensee.

As in the example I gave, consider 3 events with a note for each, sorted by earliest date. Currently you would get this:

13 - 18 March: Event 3
12 - 19 March: Event 2
10 - 24 March: Event 1

Does anyone find this ordering helpful? It’s like a calendar showing you Wednesday before Tuesday because the thing you’re doing on Wednesday ends on Thursday but the thing you’re doing on Tuesday ends on Friday.

@BruceN , even in your example, I need to know what to start first, regardless of the end date.

Thanks,

Alex

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