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Author Topic: Wanted: Calendar/to-do manager with special repeat patterns (for students)  (Read 15759 times)
alxwz
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« on: January 02, 2008, 09:56:08 AM »

In another forum, I came across a very interesting question regarding calendars (or task/to-do management apps), their repeat patterns and students' needs wrt learning and repeating.

The request was to find a calendar (IMO, a task manager that somehow collaborates with a calendar would be better) that can repeat a task/event after one day, one week and one month, one time each.
All calendars I know of only allow a repeat pattern of either daily or weekly or monthly, not a mix of those patterns.
Many to-do apps don't even have repeats, and those that do have the same shortcoming.
I was unable to find anything that can match these patterns.

Does anyone know of a viable solution?

The ultimate solution would
- work closely with a good calendar app (e.g. Outlook) without cluttering it,
- have templates for quickly creating those task in one step.

If it's a standalone app, a calendar would probably be preferrable to a to-do manager. A standalone to-do manager should be able to display a timescale.

I could even imagine an online solution that's iCalendar-enabled, so tasks could be subscribed to in Sunbird, Outlook or Apple's iCal.

BTW: What exactly is the difference, in English, between "to-dos" and "tasks"?
« Last Edit: January 03, 2008, 07:08:32 PM by alxwz » Logged
tomos
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« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2008, 10:59:28 AM »

I'm afraid the only thing I can help you with is the last question
via dictionary.com, the Online Etymology Dictionary description of "task"-
General sense of "any piece of work that has to be done" is first recorded 1593
i.e. in this context they the same
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Tom
alxwz
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« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2008, 02:06:47 PM »

I'm afraid the only thing I can help you with is the last question
via dictionary.com, the Online Etymology Dictionary description of "task"-
General sense of "any piece of work that has to be done" is first recorded 1593
i.e. in this context they the same

I almost suspected that. Maybe "task" has some broader meaning, depending on context.

Regarding the original question, maybe that would be a trivial exercise for a VBA programmer.

Any takers?
(Disclaimer: It wasn't my own question, so I'm not gonna pay anything...)
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Curt
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« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2008, 04:24:38 PM »

I believe ReminderFox, addon for Firefox and for Thunderbird, the can do this.

http://reminderfox.mozdev.org/
https://addons.mozilla.or.../en-US/firefox/addon/1191

{ada4b710-8346-4b82-8199-5de2b400a6ae}
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alxwz
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« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2008, 05:21:37 PM »

Curt, thanks,

but from what I see on the ReminderFox website, I doubt that you can mix recurrence patterns.
Looks like you have to choose a certain pattern (yearly/monthly/weekly/daily) from a dropdown list.
Maybe you can set up multiple reminders, but that's hardly a solution for the situation I described.
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cmpm
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« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2008, 06:14:31 PM »

try coordinating it with e-mail

this is the closest i can find

http://chandlerproject.org/

could be way off, but it's certainly different
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tinjaw
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« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2008, 07:44:29 PM »

Would this be something you would want to be added to HowLong2It? Would anybody else? If there is need/demand for it, I can probably add it in a few weeks time. I am too busy now.
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alxwz
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« Reply #7 on: January 03, 2008, 02:18:04 PM »

tinjaw, thanks for this offer, but I don't think that the UI and the concept behind HowLong2It match this task very well.
So even if you would create an easy entry method for the recurrence pattern, the result would be of limited use.
HowLong2It seems to serve a very different purpose.

Personally, I would be intimidated if I had to look on too much of my curriculum at once.
IMO there had to be a day or at least a week view (or a way to at least filter it down to today or the next seven days) to clearly see the task at hand.

@ cmpm:
I don't quite understand what you were suggesting. The original request was meant for a single-user scenario, so email probably has no role here.
From what I've seen from Chandler, it has only the usual recurrence patterns.
But maybe I missed something.
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cmpm
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« Reply #8 on: January 04, 2008, 12:07:15 AM »

Well you can e-mail yourself for mainly and what I was thinking.
These solutions seem to be for groups, but I think it would work for an individual also.
Since you can e-mail yourself with the same e-mail program or using two e-mail programs-which I don't think would be neccessary but could help with organizing.
I came across that program in a related search.

Here's another search-

http://www.google.com/sea...cheduling&btnG=Search

adding outlook comes up with some interesting results also-

http://www.google.com/sea...g+outlook&btnG=Search

Scheduling e-mails is different then having a recurring appointment calendar.

For e-mails you can be a lot more flexible in setting up a schedule then in just a calendar program.
If one can get the e-mail to do the schedule you want.
I do believe it's not limited to daily, weekly, monthly, etc....
I haven't played with any e-mail programs in this light.
But the search results seem to be that e-mail is very flexible concerning scheduling.
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cmpm
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« Reply #9 on: January 04, 2008, 12:25:21 AM »

http://www.google.com/sea...+by+email&btnG=Search

http://www.google.com/sea...l+outlook&btnG=Search

a couple more

if one can get the right combo of search words
no telling what could be found
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Gordhan
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« Reply #10 on: February 07, 2008, 06:36:21 AM »

Alxwz

Would this help?

http://freenet-homepage.de/ukrebs/

Best
Manoj


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alxwz
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« Reply #11 on: February 08, 2008, 06:38:34 PM »

Gordhan, thanks.

I've already been in contact with the author.
While it's a great idea to use templates for repeat patterns (which is why I contacted the author), the built-in repeat patterns don't support the case I described. Unfortunately, the author doesn't seem to agree upon the real-world need of multiple alternating repeat patterns.

I really like his app (although it has import/export deficiencies), but to this date it doesn't help yet.
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« Reply #12 on: February 10, 2008, 12:16:37 AM »

I too, have been searching for a similar app, but just for myself.  I use Outlook at work, & like the scheduling part, but have not found any small app that does similar, until recently.
I have been using Vorg Express Version 1.6 something from www.vertikalsystems.com.
In addition to the standard daily, weekly, monthly, etc., it allows recurring patterns such as the 3rd Monday of the month.  But other than that, I don't think you can mix patterns.
Like Outlook, you can have multiple resources (people) for tasks.  If you want to categorize items, you can add new categories, & add your own icons to them.
I also like how I can minimize it to the System Tray instead of to the task bar.
The icon does have a little flasing red square on part of it, when a reminder has been activated.
CONS:  I don't like the way it starts up in full screen, instead of remembering the state it was in when it was closed.
The pop-up reminders are not persistent, and & come up fairly small, & from the systray.  Quite often I do not notice them sliding up, & therefore miss the reminder, as I normally keep the taskbar hidden.  I have asked for this feature to be updated, and they are looking at that, but no word on how soon it will be added.
There are times that I think the app is a resource hog, & slows down my old system when left running in the background, though.
There is also a commercial version named VORG, which has more features, I presume.

Email tech support is fairly responsive, usually within a couple of days at most.
Since the Vorg Express version is free, you might give it a try.
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Dormouse
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« Reply #13 on: February 10, 2008, 04:28:22 AM »

VORG looks like an Outlook clone, so it would not be a surprise to find it hogging resources. As far as I could see, the only extra in the paid for version is multiple users.

What really gets to me is that like many/most of these calendar programs it appears not to have a year view which is a critical feature for me.
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Dormouse
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« Reply #14 on: February 10, 2008, 04:55:26 AM »

The request was to find a calendar (IMO, a task manager that somehow collaborates with a calendar would be better) that can repeat a task/event after one day, one week and one month, one time each.

All calendars I know of only allow a repeat pattern of either daily or weekly or monthly, not a mix of those patterns.
Many to-do apps don't even have repeats, and those that do have the same shortcoming.
I was unable to find anything that can match these patterns.

Does anyone know of a viable solution?

The ultimate solution would
- work closely with a good calendar app (e.g. Outlook) without cluttering it,
- have templates for quickly creating those task in one step.
Since the pattern you describe is not likely to be in mass demand, what you are really looking for is an individually configurable recurrence pattern that can be saved.

I don't know of one and would not expect it to exist outside of a niche product. And I'm also not sure how much time it would really save.

Surely the easy thing to do is to use a calendar and enter a single task without recurrence. Then to copy and paste that task on to the future dates you want. Easier to do that on a year view scale. Takes seconds (I've just tried) and infinitely flexible.
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Armando
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« Reply #15 on: February 10, 2008, 10:38:46 AM »

VORG looks like an Outlook clone, so it would not be a surprise to find it hogging resources.

[off topic] Sorry to be a bit off topic, but I'm curious about the persistent idea that Outlook (2003) is a resource hog (I'm reading that quite a bit everywhere). I actually find Outlook quick with my 500mb PST file and not that much of a resource hog (especially considering all it does : email, calendar, tasks, notes, storage). On my system, it consumes between 3mb and 50mb depending on if it's minimized or not, cpu is at 0%  when it's not "active", and I don't remember seeing it go over 10%. That seems on par with other similar good apps I've tried... [/off topic]
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Darwin
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« Reply #16 on: February 10, 2008, 10:45:07 AM »

[off topic]The main issue with Outlook in general is that if you leave an instance of it running, it gradually sucks up more and more of your RAM. The "fix" is to periodically bring it to the foreground, if it is set to minimize to the taskbar. Better yet, in my experience, set it to minimize to the system tray/notification area (right click the Outlook icon in the system tray and select "Hide when minimized".[/off topic]
« Last Edit: February 10, 2008, 10:46:44 AM by Darwin » Logged

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Armando
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« Reply #17 on: February 10, 2008, 10:53:20 AM »

[off topic] Hummmm... thanks Darwin. So maybe I've never experienced the problem because I'm using Outlook a lot, so it gets minimized, maximized, trayed, etc. quite a bit during the day. Still, I've never seen use it more RAM than firefox  Grin... And, by what you say, it also seems that this RAM is easily gained back (unlike firefox for instance). [/off topic]
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"I suppose it can be said that I'm an absent-minded driver. It's true that I've driven through a number of red lights on occasion, but on the other hand, I've stopped at a lot of green ones but never gotten credit for it."
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« Reply #18 on: February 10, 2008, 11:15:45 AM »

[off topic] I find Outlook a total abomination. Have to use it at work. Frequently locks the whole computer when it is trying to do something like Search (and so slow there) or the network is overloaded or off or it is looking for the Exchange server.

Never have a problem like that with Firefox. I mostly use Opera with 2 instances running at home but there is usually one of FF and no problems.
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Armando
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« Reply #19 on: February 10, 2008, 12:24:46 PM »

[off topic]Oh, maybe it's more network related. Because I have never had any problems with Outlook slowdowns, computer freezes, etc. And I've been using Outlook 2003 extensively for the last 4-5 years.  huh[/off topic]
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"I suppose it can be said that I'm an absent-minded driver. It's true that I've driven through a number of red lights on occasion, but on the other hand, I've stopped at a lot of green ones but never gotten credit for it."
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« Reply #20 on: February 10, 2008, 02:22:19 PM »

maybe it's more network related.

[off topic]It's not the network freezing my computer(s). Never a problem if Outlook isn't on or if it is just left doing nothing. Some programs get stuck and it only affects them; others affect the use of the whole computer - and Outlook is one of them. Has been an issue for at least the last 10 years. I accept it is much less of a problem when the network connection & server is steady.

I've taken to having 2 computers hooked up just to avoid any problems; we use ToDoList extensively over the network with no problems or freezes at all.

This is a long way from the only reason I find it an abomination, but it's the most annoying example of it hogging my resources.[/off topic]
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tamasd
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« Reply #21 on: February 10, 2008, 02:30:56 PM »

This might be a shot too far away, but you know the flashcard programs out there designed for students to memorize Q&A pairs, at least one of them had the repetition pattern customizable, so that you could set first repetitioin to 1 day, second 7 days, etc.
If interested try jMemorize or Pauker, not sure which it was though....
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Armando
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« Reply #22 on: February 10, 2008, 02:32:08 PM »

(sent PM to avoid over-off-topicness  smiley )
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"I suppose it can be said that I'm an absent-minded driver. It's true that I've driven through a number of red lights on occasion, but on the other hand, I've stopped at a lot of green ones but never gotten credit for it."
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« Reply #23 on: February 10, 2008, 08:39:10 PM »

hmmm maybe rainlender might fit your needs?
Quote
Rainlendar is a feature rich calendar application that is easy to use and doesn't take much space on your desktop. The application is platform independent so you can run it both on Windows and on Linux. The appearance can be customized with skins and you can even mix different skins together.
 
It is possible to use Rainlendar with other calendar applications too. Rainlendar uses the standard iCalendar format to store its events and tasks so you can easily transfer them between applications. You can also subscribe to online calendars and see your Outlook appointments directly in Rainlendar*.
 
Rainlendar is an unicode application and support localization so you can use it on your own language.
http://www.rainlendar.net/cms/index.php
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Darwin
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« Reply #24 on: February 10, 2008, 09:36:06 PM »

PaladinMJ, as far as I can tell, the big problem is
The request... to find a calendar (IMO, a task manager that somehow collaborates with a calendar would be better) that can repeat a task/event after one day, one week and one month, one time each.
All calendars I know of only allow a repeat pattern of either daily or weekly or monthly, not a mix of those patterns.

Can Rainlendar do this?
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