* A simple to-do list

For existing requests please see The Wish List
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WilliamFrier
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A simple to-do list

Post by WilliamFrier » 04 Apr 2019 10:50

I would love a simple to-do list with heading, note, date and reminder. I know there is a work around, but it is the one thing I asked about when I changed from Family Tree Maker a good few years ago and it is the one thing I still really miss. I tried using my Outlook todo list but it ends up being huge as I have lots of things that take a while to get to (Family tree) and then have things I do in my day to day life mixed in with it. I just liked that I could put a quick note reminding me of things to do, places to visit and where I had left off the last time I was working on FTM (Now FH) all in the one place.

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Re: A simple to-do list

Post by Jane » 04 Apr 2019 11:18

Have you experimented with Named Lists, this is what they were designed for, remember you can add Note Records to lists to hold stuff if you don't want to assign it to specific Family or Individual records.
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Re: A simple to-do list

Post by tatewise » 04 Apr 2019 11:24

Hi William, I have moved this to the FH General Usage Forum as advised in Please Read Before Posting Wishes (6176).

There is no record of any earlier posting by you on this subject.
In fact you have no earlier postings at all before today.

There have been many discussions on this topic and there are several FH features that offer at least partial solutions.
See Knowledge Base > Create Work In Progress or Research To Do Lists that has links to related Forum discussions and cross-refers to Knowledge Base > Named Lists that provides further tips similar to Jane's suggestions.

Those features should provide most of what you requested with the exception of an automatic reminder alarm, but I suspect that a Query or Plugin could be written that when run manually lists any outstanding tasks.
Mike Tate ~ researching the Tate and Scott family history ~ tatewise ancestry

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Re: A simple to-do list

Post by WilliamFrier » 04 Apr 2019 13:45

Hi Mike,

I never posted anything about this, I called Calico Pie to ask a few questions before I purchased FH to change from FTM (when they were going through their own troubles) and was told there was a workaround but not a solution. I guess Named Lists suggested by Jane is the workaround. I will look at Named Lists and see if it can be set up with reminders etc as I had suggested. I did think where I put the post was the correct place for improvements/suggestions as what Jane suggests, if that was the workaround not a solution I was told about at the time, (which is why I have never looked at it) and why I suggested a to-do list as a solution not a workaround.

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Re: A simple to-do list

Post by ColeValleyGirl » 04 Apr 2019 14:21

There isn't a way of working at present that will automatically generate reminders that pop-up or whatever... your options at present to identify tasks to progress are to use one of the methods that relies on Named Lists or Notes (as per Knowledge Base > Introduction) and run a query regularly. Alternatively you could explore the solution at Knowledge Base > Research Planner which creates a Fact per Task (and you can of course associate a date with a fact, although that isn't done by default). You'd still need to run a query but you could filter the results by date to identify the ones that are 'overdue'.

Mike, I can't see why we shouldn't generate a Wish List item for this, as something that has 3 workarounds documented, none of which are entirely satisfactory.

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Re: A simple to-do list

Post by WilliamFrier » 04 Apr 2019 14:31

Wow I just had a quick look at the workarounds and I hope they are not as hard to get my head around as they looked. I found a link to a post somewhere by someone who said the same as me, that they missed to-do list in the opening screen of FTM but found FH better in every other way. A SIMPLE to-do list, not something that sounds great if you are willing to put in a lot of effort.

Can this be put back in the wish list?

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Re: A simple to-do list

Post by Jane » 04 Apr 2019 14:58

Named Lists are simple.
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Re: A simple to-do list

Post by tatewise » 04 Apr 2019 15:06

Happy to put this in the New Wish List Requests Forum.
There we can agree a consensus on the features of a Simple To Do List.
Then a Wish List entry can be created to gather Votes and maybe Calico Pie might implement it someday.
But don't hold your breath. (This explanation is simply to clarify expectations of the Wish List process.)

In the meantime, I consider Named Lists a solution not a workaround. They are not complicated at all.
They provide general purpose simple lists of any types of records with attached notes that could include dates.
Yes, they are different from FTM but so are most of the FH features.

The only feature that is not built-in is automatic reminders, and workarounds just for that have been suggested.

In the foreseeable future, the only options are Named Lists or Custom Facts in FH, or some other tool outside FH, unless somebody was prepared to write a Plugin dedicated to providing a Simple To Do List function.
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Re: A simple to-do list

Post by ColeValleyGirl » 04 Apr 2019 15:34

unless somebody was prepared to write a Plugin dedicated to providing a Simple To Do List function.
Out of interest, Mike, what would need to be added to the Research Planner plugin to achieve this?

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Re: A simple to-do list

Post by tatewise » 04 Apr 2019 15:54

I was thinking of something that provided the complete data list rather than templates for custom facts.
So the entire To Do List would exist as Plugin Data managed via the Plugin GUI, and automatic reminder messages would popup as required by comparing Dates in the list with the OS Date.
Perhaps the list entries could also link to FH records where appropriate.
I am not considering writing such a Plugin, but just mentioned that as a possible solution.
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Re: A simple to-do list

Post by ColeValleyGirl » 04 Apr 2019 16:11

Mike,

I did look that that sort of approach, but because the only way to start a Lua programme with access to the FH API is to do it from within FH, there's no way to get automatic reminders -- you have to run the plugin, and you can't schedule a plugin to run.

Which is why I adopted the approach of implementing the to-do list as a set of facts (i.e. putting all the data within FH, optionally with due dates) and allow it to be edited and queried using standard FH facilities. (The only benefit of using the plugin is if you want to create 'task' facts en masse for an individual with optional templates).

If you're going to use a standalone programme that doesn't use the FH API, you might was well use something like ToDoist or WunderList or even Microsoft's ToDo.

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Re: A simple to-do list

Post by Gowermick » 04 Apr 2019 17:26

tatewise wrote:Happy to put this in the New Wish List Requests Forum.
There we can agree a consensus on the features of a Simple To Do List.
Then a Wish List entry can be created to gather Votes and maybe Calico Pie might implement it someday.
Miketate,
I’m confused about this comment, as this request WAS added to the wish list, but you moved it into general queries.
I, for one would support this wish list item! Can you move it back?
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Re: A simple to-do list

Post by tatewise » 04 Apr 2019 21:05

It is simply that the stated FHUG preference is to discuss such requests in the General Usage Forum if it is possible that existing FH features might satisfy the request.

What exactly are the required key features of a Simple To-Do List?
These will be used to compose a Wish List entry to give Calico Pie a reasonably unambiguous definition to work with.
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Re: A simple to-do list

Post by tatewise » 05 Apr 2019 12:17

I believe this request is another that might be satisfied if Wish List Ref 547 Run Plugins via Expressions were implemented.

I assume Named Lists offer the basis of a viable solution, but need reminder alarms to be added.
There are two aspects of such alarms: 1) Setting the Date. 2) Raising the Alarm.

1) Setting the Date needs a Reminder column configured for the Named List.
The Reminder column Expression needs to be able to adjust the Date and save it for the Alarm.
That is where running a Plugin via an Expression comes into play.
The Reminder Plugin would interactively manage the Date and save it in a chronological list of pending Alarms.
However, for this to work, all such column fields need to be writeable similar to Property Box custom Tab fields.
(For the technically minded each Date could be saved in the Plugin Data folder against each Record Id.)

2) Raising the Alarm needs to check the chronological list of pending Alarms.
When FH is opened the File Root person's Property Box is displayed.
That invokes the Caption Expression that would run the Reminder Plugin in Alarm mode.
The Plugin would check the Alarm Date at the top of the chronological list against today's Date and produce a popup Reminder dialogue to allow the user to manage the Alarm Date, associated record, etc.
The Plugin would note today's Date was checked to minimise its run time whenever an Individual Property Box is opened.

BTW: This last technique would be a way of invoking any Plugin when FH is opened.

The concepts above illustrate the power of implementing the Wish List Ref 547 as that generic improvement offers many ways of enhancing FH.
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Re: A simple to-do list

Post by ColeValleyGirl » 05 Apr 2019 13:23

Mike, we're falling into the trap of designing a solution rather than specifying a requirement!

Any solution should offer:

As a minimum (for a very very simple to-do list)
  • the ability to record an item of research to be carried out to whatever level of detail a user chooses
  • the ability to record progress/status as work is carried out and completed
  • the ability to query and report on research items and their progress, filtered by (e.g.) status, linked item(s)...
Ideally, data entry would not require the user to remember specific formats for text as this can lead to reporting errors.

Very nice to have
  • the ability to associate a research item with one or more individuals, places, sources and/or repositories
  • The ability to assign due dates to items, and report on those that are due or overdue
  • The ability to associate structured fields with a research item defined by the user (e.g. priority, a detailed objective, a set of multiple research notes, one or more flags, links to a media record such as a spreadsheet being used to track detailed searches)
  • The ability to group items to form research plans and to report on those research plans.
However, these are my suggestions only and I hope some TMG users will join in based on their experience using the facilities in TMG; I'm also very sure that different people will have different priorities.

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Re: A simple to-do list

Post by Valkrider » 06 Apr 2019 07:25

One thing to add to the minimum imho would be 'Repository' be it website or physical location such as library, graveyard etc.

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Re: A simple to-do list

Post by ColeValleyGirl » 06 Apr 2019 08:42

Colin, I'd put repositories in nice to have alongside sources etc. (even though I think they're essential, not everyone works that way) -- interested to know why you've pulled out repositories as essential but not sources?

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Re: A simple to-do list

Post by Valkrider » 06 Apr 2019 09:42

Helen,

I think that Repositories is more important if for instance I am going to a particular Town, whilst there go to the graveyard and search for xxx gravestone. So a search on 'what have I got to do at this repository' only one item so check others and at 6 at this other repository so I will plan a trip there and leave a trip to the first one until I have more to look for.

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Re: A simple to-do list

Post by ColeValleyGirl » 06 Apr 2019 09:48

Colin, thanks for the clarification. to offer my view I think sources and repositories are equally important -- if I'm going to say (Worcester Archives) I want a list of the documents I need to consult while I'm there (saves a lot of time if you have it before hand, and also avoid the 'rats I should have looked X' afterthought as you're pulling out of the car park :D

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Re: A simple to-do list

Post by tatewise » 11 Apr 2019 21:05

There does not yet appear to be a consensus on what are essential features for a simple To-Do List and what are optional.

The OP William wants "a simple to-do list with heading, note, date & reminder".

Whereas Helen wants status, querying & filtering as 'a minimum' and classes date & reminder only as 'Very nice to have'.

Does anyone else have any ideas before I try and compose a Wish List entry?
Mike Tate ~ researching the Tate and Scott family history ~ tatewise ancestry

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Re: A simple to-do list

Post by davidf » 11 Apr 2019 22:16

Can I complicate things?

Do we want this as a feature of FH or do we want a "to do list" which can integrate with FH (like AS?) either as a new application (like AS) or by integrating an existing application?

For instance I have been looking at the wiki software Zim and its add-in task-list
The tool itself I find useful as an informal project management tool / journal tool - but
If
  1. I could drag an individual/family/source etc into a Zim page - thereby creating a hyperlink
  2. A Zim page could be a shared note (Individual Zim pages are individual text files)
  3. The Task List addin could handle custom fields (possibly as with FH Label: Value pairs)
I am in danger of designing a solution rather than specifying a requirement, but muse about the above just to ensure we are looking in the right direction. Another Example might be how todo.txt can integrate into the Calendar of the Thunderbird EMail Client

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Re: A simple to-do list

Post by WilliamFrier » 11 Apr 2019 23:02

I have to say that I was only looking for, as I said a simple to-do list.
1. I wanted it so that if I was working on something and had to stop halfway through I could put a heading/subject line of say Name, then a note section so that I could leave myself a message (possibly an image) to remind myself why I had made the to-do entry in the first place (and where I had left off) a date to let me know how long I had ignored it for :lol: and a reminder in case I had some time sensitive thing to do (visit some one).
2. Another reason is that I sometimes find I come across something that is nothing to do with what I am doing but maybe requires further investigation later and I just need a gentle prod to have a look at this at a later date.
3. Finally, something just pops into my head that I need to do with my tree, but nothing whatsoever to do with what I am doing at the time.
I have no need to interrogate this information, as it is just reminders to jog my atrocious memory and the notes would allow me to put enough information to do that, hey I could even do without the reminder as long as the information was all together in a list of entries that were available at the click of a button.
I have kind of cured my problem at the moment, I didn't realise that Microsoft Outlook's to-do list could be separated into different folders the same way it's calendar can. I can have for example a task list and family tree list which all show up in the main to-do list but if I click on the family tree folder only those entries show up, kind of what I said I wanted when I put up the initial post (My bad?). I would still prefer it in FH as it would keep everything together, but I can do this at the moment. I am quite sure that one of you will reply to this saying that is how Names Lists works (ya eejit) and I should spend a bit more time learning how all the bits of FH works :lol:
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Re: A simple to-do list

Post by Gowermick » 12 Apr 2019 05:32

I have been giving this some thought, and have just realised the solution is already in FH.
Why not create a ‘Note Record’?

This note doesn’t have to be assigned to anyone*, contains free text so can be organised anyway ones wants, and is aways available via the property box. This is similar to the facility within FTM, which is in focus when FTM starts.( if memory serves me right). Being free text, the to-do list order can be shuffled around to suit users, and items added or deleted whenever one wants.

Perhaps the wishlist can simply be to arrange that this note opens on start-up.

*You have to create the note by linking to a person, but once created, you can delete the link for this person, leaving the note with 0 links
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Re: A simple to-do list

Post by LornaCraig » 12 Apr 2019 10:13

*You have to create the note by linking to a person, but once created, you can delete the link for this person, leaving the note with 0 links
That's not necessary. You can create a new Note Record by clicking Add>Shared Note, or simply by left-clicking in an empty space in the Notes tab of the Records Window and selecting New Note.

Jane has already suggested using Note records, in conjunction with named lists:
"Have you experimented with Named Lists, this is what they were designed for, remember you can add Note Records to lists to hold stuff if you don't want to assign it to specific Family or Individual records."
Lorna

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Re: A simple to-do list

Post by Gowermick » 12 Apr 2019 10:30

Lorna,
I tried and tried to find out how to add a new note without linking to an individual. Where is the Add>Shared Note situated?
EDIT Found it, don't know how I missed it :oops:

Janes idea seems to be lots of Notes linked to a named list. I was suggesting just a single note containing all the ToDo’s. Much like a notepad. :D
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