I embark on the dangerous mission of changing task management software

@macbikegeek I’m a heavy Obsidian user and I gave the Tasks plugin a good thorough workout a year or two ago, but abandoned it because I find the Obsidian iPhone app to be not up to snuff when I think of something I want to add when I’m out walking around somewhere.

Also, I have two vaults now, one for work and one for everything else, and I don’t want to maintain two tasks lists. That wasn’t an issue when I tried the tasks plugin, but it’s an issue for me now.

@Synchronicity What do you use for task management? Pen-and-paper? A list in Notes/Word/plaintext etc.? Reminders? The Calendar app?

Did you ever try opening your Obsidian tasks notes in another markdown editor (iA Writer, 1Writer, etc.) for that kind of quick capture?

@Synchronicity What do you use for task management? Pen-and-paper? A list in Notes/Word/plaintext etc.? Reminders? The Calendar app?

Currently I’m using a markdown note with a simple list of what to do for the day, basically the digital equivalent of a list on a sheet of paper. I also keep some separate notes with larger contexts of goals and projects. I have ADHD and find I need to keep my daily tasks note as simple as possible to keep focused. In Obsidian I can link that daily tasks note to other notes with more detail so I access it instantly if I need to without complicating the sheet with my daily tasks.

As I said, I liked Logseq even better for this specific purpose, but can’t use it until they fix its severe syncing and associated data-loss issues. In the meantime, Obsidian is rock solid and I know I can count on it.

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I’m a steady Things 3 user, but Cultured Code’s lack of communication about the future of the product continues to disappoint me. Don’t get me wrong, the app still works as advertised, but I find my favorite apps (like CleanShot X, for example) have a steady pace of improvement and do a great job communicating them.

Anyone else feel this way about Things, or is it just me?

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I dunno. They put out a steady stream of updates, mostly bug fixes and small improvements, but they’re actively engaged with the product and keeping the code up to date. And they manage to remain the #2 productivity app (with a 4.8 rating) in the App Store without resorting to subscriptions. They seem to be doing a lot right.

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This has little to do with Mitch’s specific struggle (sorry to take over Mitch), but I am curious if anybody could recommend something for me.

I’d like a task manager that:

  • Has native apps for Mac, iPad, iPhone
  • Supports comments in tasks
  • Has project and task deadlines (start dates don’t matter much)
  • Has project sections (like Things)
  • Doesn’t hide completed tasks
  • Attachments at the project and task level would be great

Omnifocus is close, but unfortunately, the way it archives tasks makes it a non-starter for what I’m looking for. I’d like something sort of like Asana, but native. Things won’t work either; it moves completed tasks out of context and places them in a different area.

I’m relatively close to assuming the best solution is actually just an Apple note, which is bananas to me because Apple Notes doesn’t include support for due dates or anything like that.

If I should start a new thread, I will.

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You don’t have to archive if you don’t want to. Archiving tasks is not automatic. It must be manually selected from the menu bar.

This is pretty much a feature unique to Things. I don’t know if any other app has something quite like this.

It is possible to create a OmniFocus custom perspective that will show completed tasks and remaining tasks.

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They are basically running shop by keeping Things perfectly updated and adjusted with the latest OS updates. Regarding the product itself, it would seem they consider Things to be feature complete. I personally respect this vision, though it’s certainly not very fashionable these days when we all expect a series of more or less major feature updates, what with all the subscription models.

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Wouldn’t Reminders actually fit those needs? I’ve really grown to love the sections in a list and you can keep checked tasks visible inside the context of a list. It’s all native too

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I believe, as @JensV suggests, Reminders meets nearly all of your criteria.

:white_check_mark: Has native apps for Mac, iPad, iPhone
:white_check_mark: Supports comments in tasks
:white_check_mark: Has project and task deadlines (start dates don’t matter much)
:white_check_mark: Has project sections (like Things)
:white_check_mark: Doesn’t hide completed tasks (can be revealed)
:white_check_mark: Attachments at the project and task level would be great (at the task level)

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Reminders has sections that function the same way.

And can additionally be viewed in a kanban kind of view :blush:

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My tasks have been archived automatically many times in the past 10 years. I open the app, there’s a modal asking where to save the archive, and then it’s all gone. I beg to differ on this from my own repeated lived experience.

Asana, Todoist, and Reminders all have this Afaik.

@Bmosbacker I’ll see about Reminders for this. Very interesting. Thanks! (Update: completed tasks stay visible, but still move to the bottom of their section. I don’t love that. I also realize now I’d love templates, but I guess one could use Shortcuts for that. I’ll need folders though.)

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This is not really a reply to @snelly because this app doesn’t meet all their criteria, but I’m taking the opportunity to mention Amazing Marvin again.

It’s not a native Mac app, all the apps are web apps as far as I can tell

But it’s great at time blocking.

More date fields than any other app:

  • Due date
  • Start Date (don’t show it to me before this date)
  • Scheduled Date (this is the date I plan to work on it)
  • Planned Date (week or month when I intend to work on this)

Easy time tracking. Incredibly customizable. Under active development.

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I agree - it worked brilliantly and I loved it as a concept, but unfortunately both performance and continual data loss (even using their own sync system) meant I had to abandon it.

I’ve settled (for now!) on Obsidian. It works brilliantly. I can create a task in a daily note using a QuickAdd macro in seconds if I’m in Obsidian using a keyboard shortcut. The brilliance for me is cross linking with other notes I make (which are usually on the Daily Note, except where they’re permanent or expansive).

So for example:

  • Phone [[@johnsmith]] to discuss his ongoing issues regarding [[Project A]], particularly in [[California]].

Within each of the linked records I have dataviews which show all the outstanding tasks and notes for that person at a glance, and a history of completed tasks. No need for any action or switching systems. I have similar for recurring meetings, so when something occurs to me I can simply type:

  • 08:35 At the [[Central Board Meeting]] in June I’ll need to discuss the widget budget, as raised last time by [[@johnsmith]].

Load time has improved enormously since I switched to Obsidian Sync from iCloud. However, I also have a shortcut to append a task or note on the fly to my daily note which loads quickly, saved to the home screen of my phone. It tags the item #inbox so I can review it. The only downside is it doesn’t offer auto filling of linked pages as QuickAdd does, but that’s not a huge issue as I can usually remember the common ones, and I can add them in later if the task/note is worth keeping.

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Reminders offers Templates: you can save a list as template and recreate as needed. However AFAIK it’s a static template where you cannot have tasks changed on certain criteria like a date - this could be done via Shortcuts though.

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Obsidian may be my favorite app of all time, especially for writing and long-term notes. It’s much more versatile than Logseq, and the way it formats and stores files is more future-proof. I went back to using it for tasks as well after my Logseq experiment.

I just liked Logseq’s approach for day to day tasks, projects, and temporary/short term notes, but had to abandon it for the same reasons you did.

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What are you currently using today? Thank you

Obsidian for everything. Even if they fix the problems with Logseq, I’d only use it for tasks and related short-term notes, and keep using Obsidian for everything else.

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Can you share how you use Obsidian for tasks?? or point me to a good resource?? Thanks !

I’d be concerned that the iPhone version of my daily note isn’t synced with the desktop version, unless I make a point to sync the iPhone version before I switch to it from my desktop.

I guess that’s not an issue?