Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Get Organized With Toodledo (Part 2)

In the last post, we discussed why you need a digital to-do list, how to establish an account with Toodledo, and how to acquire apps for your mobile devices which sync with Toodledo. If you are transitioning from another digital list, you saw a link to a post which will help with the transition. In this post, we examine some basic navigation.

Entering and searching for tasks
Time ManagementFirst, how do you get tasks into the software? Click on the box marked "Quick Add Task." Key your task and hit "Enter." That's it. Start dates and due dates are automatically assigned according to whatever you put in your settings. I have mine set to the start and due dates defaulting to "Today." If you click the "Add Task" button, you have the ability to assign a start date and due date, as well as enter as much information as needed into the note section.

Time Management

Second, how do you find something you have entered? On the right-hand side of the screen is a search window. Enter your search term and press "Enter." Toodledo filters the list to just the tasks which include the search term in the name of the task. Erasing your term from the search window returns you to the full list.
Time Management
A much more robust search is available by clicking "Search" in the left-hand pane. Here, you can look for text that is in the note section of a task, find tasks with a certain repeating pattern, or use any combination of filters. Clicking on "Main" and "All Tasks" returns you to the normal view.  

Learn the keyboard shortcuts
Learning common keyboard shortcuts will save time every single day over performing those same functions with the mouse:
  • f moves the cursor to the search window. Think of it as standing for "find."
  • n moves the cursor to the new task box. Hit "n," start typing, and when you hit "Enter," the task is in Toodledo. The start and due dates will be automatically assigned according to what you established in your Toodledo settings.
  • z opens/hides the note section of the entire task list. For me, this feature is a great help. By hitting "z" once, I can scroll down the page and see all of the notes which accompany all of my tasks. 
  • r reloads the page.
  • ? opens the list of shortcuts. You do not have to press "Shift" when pressing the "?" key.
Other shortcuts are available; however, the ones I have listed are enough for me.

What about speed?
With a web-based tool, you may be concerned with the time required for the site to refresh when you make changes. This area is another where Toodledo shines. Toodledo only writes back to the server when you manually refresh the page or when you close the window to exit Toodledo.
  • You will notice when you add a new task, it is placed right at the top of the list in green, regardless of the start and due dates. 
  • When you check a task off as "done," a check appears in the box, but the task remains visible.
  • When you change the due date on a task, you see the new date, but the task remains in the same position.

When you manually reload the page, the changes are read by the server, and you see a very different look when the page refreshes. Tasks which were marked complete have now disappeared. New tasks now appear in correct chronological order by due date. Tasks whose due dates were changed now appear in the correct chronological positions.

In the next post, we will begin examining strategies for using Toodledo on a daily basis.
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