Tutorial:Simple To Do List Enhancements

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« Page as of 2016-09-28, editions Mobile 3.9.7, Desktop 1.0.3 »

This tutorial page walks through implementation of enhancements to the Simple To Do List.

Show only incomplete tasks

This enhancement is done by a user viewing the list of tasks to be done, not by the library editor. It can be done two ways. The first is simpler.

Group the tasks by Done?

Separate the tasks that are completed from those that are still to be done.

While viewing the list of tasks, open the Right-Side Menu by swiping from the right side of the screen to the left.

Select the Group option from the menu.

A card will be displayed showing a list of fields in the library as radio buttons. Select the Done? field, saying to group together tasks whose Done? boxes have the same value. The card will exit right away.

Now, only group bars are shown, one for each value of Done? in at least one entry of the library. Touch the No bar to see tasks that are not yet done, and touch the Yes bar to see completed tasks. To see all the tasks, either open both bars or select the Group option again and select the No grouping option.

Filter the tasks by Done? being unchecked

The following accomplishes more or less the same thing, showing only the tasks that are yet to be completed.

This enhancement is done by a user viewing the list of tasks to be done, not using the library editor.

While viewing the list of tasks, open the Right-Side Menu by swiping from the right side of the screen to the left. If the list is already grouped, turn that off by bringing out the Tools menu again and this time selecting Group and then No Grouping.

Select the Filters option from the Tools menu.

A card entitled New filter will appear, with a blank containing "User filter" for the filter name.

Enter a filter name, such as "Incomplete tasks", and press OK.

A card will be displayed showing a list of fields in the library. Select the Done? field and uncheck the box, saying to show only tasks whose Done? boxes are unchecked. Press the checkmark in the upper-left corner to save the filter and exit the card.

Now, only incomplete tasks tasks are shown, and as they are checked as done, they will disappear from the list the next time the list is generated. To once again see all the tasks, select the Filters option again and select the No filter option.

Categorize tasks

By adding one more field (Category or Priority, Urgency, Importance, etc) to the library,

  • The tasks can be grouped, sorted, or filtered by it.
  • The Category field may appear in the list as an entry description or an entry status.
  • Tasks may be moved between categories without having to edit the entry.

What field type?

So, let's add a Priority field to the library. The first thing to decide is what field type to use. A Text field could be used, and Memento's Autocomplete feature for Text fields would help a little with that, but it is an inadequate choice in many ways.

Memento has a couple of multiple-choice field types — Multiple-choice List and Checkboxes — and if a task must really be able to be in multiple categories, they may be used, but they come at a cost, as sorting doesn't work on them and they present other anomalies, as well.

Ideally, a task can be in a specified category and in only one category, and if that is true, it can be used in Memento to maximum benefit for the user. We will assume that a task has at most one priority. That makes sense.

Given this, there are two field types to consider — Single-choice List and Radio Buttons. Radio buttons are simple and familiar to most users, so let's use that field type.

Add the Radio Buttons field

Let's begin in the Library Edit screen. Press the blue + button in the lower-right corner, then select the Field menu option, and then select the field type Radio Buttons to add the field to the library. That brings up the Field Edit card.

While on the MAIN tab of the card, enter a name for the field. I suggest calling it Priority. Then touch to open Where you can edit, check all the boxes, and press OK. This allows the category to be changed from within the list.

Under Display Options, touch Display in the list as and select Entry status so the priority will be displayed in the entry's list bar.

Add the priorities

Now select the ITEMS tab, press the blue + button in the lower-right corner, and begin entering the priorities you want. For this example, we'll use High, Medium, and Low, so these categories can be used to indicate the priority of the task. In fact, the field could also have been used to indicate local tasks vs tasks in other locations, his tasks vs her tasks, or whatever else. So, consider adding category fields as needed.

So, after pressing the button to add items, enter "High" and press OK, then the same for Medium and Low.

Save and exit

Finally, press the checkmark in the upper-left corner of the card to save and exit the card and go back to the Library Edit screen and then press the checkmark in the upper-left corner of the screen to save and exit the screen and go back to the Entries List screen.

Test using the category

If you have task entries already, note that there is a new 3.5-line icon now between the checkbox and the task name in the list. to give each task a Priority, press that icon and select the priority you want. Then add tasks, if you like, to have enough tasks with enough priorities to have a good test.

Now you can try sorting by Priority, grouping by Priority, and filtering by Priority; I tend to use grouping more than the others, though if you have more than one category-type field, grouping by one and sorting by the other can work well. You've already seen that a task can be moved from one category to another directly in the list.

If you include Done as a Priority, you can simplify by eliminating the checkbox for Done?, but it'll one extra button push to check off completed tasks.

My shopping lists have a category for the stores I might visit, so I know what to buy at what store. My task lists have a category for the GTD (Getting Things Done) phase of a task and another to identify my tasks vs those of my wife. I'm sure you can think of more.

Aggregate and chart tasks

If your tasks have something quantitative about them, like an estimate of the time or money it'll take to do them, then Memento's aggregation feature can really help.

Let's switch to bigger tasks now, like the tasks of a project — perhaps building a workshop add-on to your home. Once the time required for each task is estimated and entered into Memento, aggregation and charting can help you visualize the project.

Let's keep the tasks we've defined above, but before we begin, let's change the categories a bit.

Categories of a different nature

It might be useful to be able to see the tasks that will be done by a particular person or contractor. It might also be useful to see the tasks that require electricity or water to already be on, foundation to have been laid, etc.

To do this, let's create two more category fields: Contractor and Phase. For Contractor, we can define items Painter, Electrician, Plumber, and General, for a general contractor. For Phase, let's define items Planning, Materials, Foundation, Plumbing, Construction, Electrical, and Painting. After doing Priority above, you should be able to add these on your own now.

Of course, with this example, much of the work done in each phase will be done by a particular contractor, but the general contractor will work in all phases, and there could be other crossover. It is assumed that the construction work will be done by the general contractor.

Planned vs Actual

Let's say we'll measure work in days. Define an Integer field for Estimate sms another for Actual. So, whenever a team is created, the user enters the task name and priority, identifies the phase the task will occur in and the contractor who'll do the work, and then will provide an estimate of the days it will take to complete the task. As each task is completed, the user can enter the actual number of days it took.

If you really wanted to, you could get rid of the Done? checkbox another way — by filtering on Actual being 0 instead of Done? being unchecked. Again, that makes it harder to check them off, but if you're going to enter actual days each time, anyway, it's actually a bit easier.

Viewing Your Tasks