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Author Topic: Mini-review: Agenda at Once  (Read 11718 times)
urlwolf
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« on: October 15, 2006, 05:56:07 AM »

My review is here:
http://www.academicproduc...vity.com/blog/archives/15

There is a current 30% discount going at DC here:
http://www.donationcoder....orum/index.php?board=85.0

I think this is a fantastic program and very useful for the current GEO experiment running. I think it is particularly relevant to those trying to implement Mark Forster's ideas with a program.
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mouser
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« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2006, 10:27:27 PM »

Just getting around to reading this now - fantastic work  thumbs up
Really nice how you review it from standpoint of getting organized ideas.  thumbs up thumbs up
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nudone
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« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2006, 03:51:47 AM »

thanks for the review, urlwolf.
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vradmilovic
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« Reply #3 on: October 16, 2006, 11:43:49 AM »

Urlwolf, Dataland Software thanks you for great review. It couldn't be better time for such thing, as we are working on next major update of Agenda At Once. As a matter of fact, it was long time before last major update, so it would be better to say that this one need to be and will be a giant update.  embarassed

Your negative comments are specially useful (among with all e-mails that you have sent to us in the past period), and they will all be seriously considered. Hopefully we will succeed in attempt to correct majority of problems and flows that you've encountered.

If anybody has any other suggestions we will gladly hear them.
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urlwolf
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« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2006, 11:19:40 AM »

Thanks for stopping by vradmilovic. I'm glad to hear you are planning a major update smiley.

It is surprising how many good decisions you have made in terms of GUI and usability. The form for a new task is small, concise, and just what is needed. Drag and drop is a good idea. I'm gladly surprised seeing that M$ missed the point with outlook and a small company such as dataland did it right the first time!
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urlwolf
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« Reply #5 on: October 17, 2006, 01:16:58 PM »

one more idea.
It'd be great to add to AAO some nice ideas found in this program:
http://www.sciral.com/consistency/

right now, the scheduler and todo list are pretty much independent in terms of completing a task. E.g., I can cross out a task in the todo list, but it still shows in the scheduler (I guess you have plans to fix that).

But making them to be crossed-out in synch is just one possibility.
Recurring tasks offer a new way of tackling this (as an option maybe).

Imagine the follwing escenario.
I have in my todo list "water plants", and it is scheduled weekly in the scheduler. each time I cross it, I don't want to lose the task 'water plants' from the todolist, I want to have some stats that I actually did it, but I want the task to stay there so I water the plants next week! For that, the http://www.sciral.com/consistency/ approach is the best I have seen. Maybe changing colors in the scheduler may support that. In a way, the calendar/scheduler view would work as the matrix in the sciral program.

Does it make sense? Do you think it'd be a sensible feature to have?
It'd be killer I think!
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vradmilovic
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« Reply #6 on: October 18, 2006, 07:42:50 AM »

>It is surprising how many good decisions you have made in terms of GUI and usability.

After reviewing number of PIMs back in 2002, I noticed that all are bloated or unintuitive or both. Idea was to make PIM that requires as little clicks as possible.

>Recurring tasks offer a new way of tackling this (as an option maybe).

Actually, this is already possible. If you set to-do task as recurring, it will uncheck itself automatically when needed. Let me know if it doesn't work as you expect.
« Last Edit: October 18, 2006, 07:50:00 AM by vradmilovic » Logged

urlwolf
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« Reply #7 on: October 19, 2006, 07:50:33 AM »

Hi Vladimir,

I just came up with a few more AAO feature requests:
(1) Have a 'back' button to take the user to the last task he was in. There should be one for the outliner, another one for the scheduler/calendar, and a checkbox to synch them.

(2) Improve import/export. For example, import from/export to XML. Ideally, one should be able to copy/paste stuff from the outliner into say word and keep the indentation or the structure (e.g., top level is heading1 in word, second level is heading2, comments are body text, etc). This would make it possible to do e.g., mindmaps with the todo lists!. Right now, it is pasted as a table.

(3) Screen real state: save by combining toolbars. e.g., the dark gray toolbar that contains the title of the subwindow (i.e., schedule) should be combined with the toolbar immediately below.

Also, in the case of the scheduler the toolbar is way too thick just because of the 'days'

(4) better report funcionality. E.g., I want to see on a list what things I did the last week or so.

(5) Sometimes AAO doesn't come back from try after I hit the global shortcut (alt + Q in my case). At times, I have to hit it twice. Why is that?

(6) automatic coloring. Set up colors in the scheduler so they can be assigned to any feature of a task. I like to color (by hand) blue the recurring tasks, red the 'have to do' tasks, with a strong deadline (i.e., if I miss the date the opportunity is gone) and white everything else.

If this could be done automatically it'd be great. And of course, tasks you actually did and and crossed out in the outline, should show as grey in the schedule.

Thanks!
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tomos
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« Reply #8 on: October 24, 2006, 10:42:58 AM »

I'm just after installing this, (thinking of buying before the weekend)
It does seem very usable & useful smiley

Urlwolf's requests would be great if implemented.

For me,
I dont like sound reminders - prefer a popup window, that doesnt seem to be an option at the moment.

Also, maybe I'm just a very superficial guy,
but the colours out of the box are terrible imho.
I know you can change some, but not the calender colour - & its a struggle to find colours that dont clash with that colour!
I think if you trying to get people to try & buy - if its more attractive out of the box, I reckon you'll sell more/quicker  smiley

PS thanks to Urlwolf for the review & to Vladimir for the programme and for coming to the forum  smiley
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Tom
urlwolf
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« Reply #9 on: October 25, 2006, 12:19:43 PM »

Some more feature requests.
(1) Please, take a look at www.joesgoals.com. This is similar to the Sciral concistency program; something as simple as being able to check tasks done and get an overall score. Of course, this is for recurrent tasks only. This needs the feature I requested before, where recurrent tasks don't disppear from the todo list after I do them one day.

If you could implement something like www.joesgoals.com that'd be great

(2) a 'journal' section on the scheduler where we can annotate e.g., hours worked per day, pages of writing generated etc. And an easy way to graph it... maybe by exporting them to excel.

(3) option to make visible/invisible some todo sections in the scheduler. Imagine that I have a work branch and a life branch, and I only want to see one of them displayed in the scheduler; That should be possible.
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urlwolf
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« Reply #10 on: October 25, 2006, 12:29:11 PM »

Quote
>Recurring tasks offer a new way of tackling this (as an option maybe).

Actually, this is already possible. If you set to-do task as recurring, it will uncheck itself automatically when needed. Let me know if it doesn't work as you expect.
------

Hmm, no, I don't think it does what I intend. E.g. simple scenario.
1 - add a task to the todo list
2 - make it recurrent, daily
3 - drag it to the scheduler. it will show everyday
4 - complete the task one particular day. If you mark it as 100% complete in the todo list (ctrl + 1), nothing happens in the scheduler, the task is still there.
5 - the task is crossed in the todo list but still present in the scheduler (grr!)
6- What I meant is that I completed the task one day; so it should go grayed out in the scheduler, and not disappear in the todo list till I mark it complete
7 - if I delete the task from the scheduler in a marticular day (as a ruimentary way of marking that I completed the task that day), it disappears from the entire scheduler, but it is still present in the todo (grr! smiley )

We need some way to mark a task as completed in the scheduler, with the todo task reflecting that the task was completed that day, but not disappearing. For example, it'd be nice to have a column to show statistics (see my post on joesgoals.com ideas) of how often we complete that daily task.

Example tasks: eat breakfast, buy groceries, have a haircut, etc

Makes sense? This is what I think would be a killer feature. And I'll stop now smiley
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tomos
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« Reply #11 on: October 25, 2006, 12:53:54 PM »

Quote
7 - if I delete the task from the scheduler in a marticular day (as a ruimentary way of marking that I completed the task that day), it disappears from the entire scheduler, but it is still present in the todo (grr!  )

I already miss this: -
you might have a recurring task which you want to do most days (i.e. I have it in the daily planner for the same time everyday),
but I cant remove it from any single particular day if I want to.
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Tom
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« Reply #12 on: October 27, 2006, 01:36:00 AM »

Wow... This forum is really a gem.  Thmbsup So much great ideas... Life is short, and v3.0 development period even shorter, Wink so I can't promise that all requests (including those via an e-mail) will be implemented in the next update, but I can promise that we will do our best and that all of them will be considered. Most of requested features are really a must, so I hope that you will be satisfied at the end.
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tomos
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« Reply #13 on: October 27, 2006, 03:35:23 AM »

Quote from: urlwolf
(6) automatic coloring. Set up colors in the scheduler so they can be assigned to any feature of a task. I like to color (by hand) blue the recurring tasks, red the 'have to do' tasks, with a strong deadline (i.e., if I miss the date the opportunity is gone) and white everything else.

It would be great to be able to do one or both of the following:


1) Mark a block of time in the day-schedule for a sinlge project/Main-task (could be done using colouring).
Then, to be able to add sub-tasks within that block
e.g.:
Mark [8am till 12noon] for Project A
Then: [8.00 - 8.30]-Prepare text; [8.30 - 9.00]-Talk with J.; etc. etc.


2) It would often be helpful if a sub-task in the scheduler had a reference to its parent/main-task (be it colour, text, numbering)

e.g. at the moment I have:

Maintask=Broadband Connection:   Subtask=Phone.
Maintask=Pay Bills:                      Subtask=Phone.

I drag a "Phone" subtask to schedule, but then I dont know which task it refers to.
-
(I realise there are ways around this - being more specific, notes, etc. but I think this feature would be very helpful & would love it to be implemented in some way)
« Last Edit: October 27, 2006, 03:38:02 AM by tomos » Logged

Tom
urlwolf
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« Reply #14 on: October 27, 2006, 02:07:50 PM »

Thanks Vladimir, it's great to have you here and know that you are listening to users  thumbs up thumbs up

One thing that is a favorite of mine, but might be difficult to implement is the 'email follow up' feature.

I'd like to have a program (it could be AAO) that lets me know when I haven't emailed a person in a long while. Kind of a reminder. I have read a lot on the importance of keeping in touch with people, keeping your network, etc. I just trust my memory (oh, I haven't talked to X, Y ,Z in a long time!), but that sucks.

I'd like a program in which you can enter a task list (e.g., emails, and recursive dates that it should remind you, e.g., monthly) and it just warns you that you should contact them!

Ideally, it should cross out the task as 'done' when you mail them.
the problem is that different people use different mail programs. This program should then monitor outgoing email (maybe directly listening to whatever port mail uses?) and check the to: field of the outgoing messages.

I'd be willing to pay $$ for such a feature, and I think it'd be a killer one.
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urlwolf
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« Reply #15 on: October 27, 2006, 02:09:47 PM »

btw, congrats on your new forum being up and running!
http://www.datalandsoftware.com/forum/
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vradmilovic
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« Reply #16 on: October 27, 2006, 02:44:29 PM »

Thanks, urlwolf. In recent months PhpBB forum was really badly hacked and whatever you do, spamming is continued. It became impossible to maintain it which means that bunch of visitors read posts about medicaments and other naughty things. smiley

After seeing SMF here on DonationCoder and little investigating, we decided to give it a try. Very nice forum system, by the way.
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« Reply #17 on: November 05, 2006, 02:11:30 PM »

I will be using AAO to try to organize my time for a project since I no longer have a job to worry about.  I really enjoyed that job.
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vradmilovic
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« Reply #18 on: November 07, 2006, 03:30:05 AM »

Hello Calvin,

Good luck with new project! Hopefully, you will not miss your old job. smiley
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urlwolf
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« Reply #19 on: November 07, 2006, 01:52:08 PM »

Here is one more idea.
This application:
http://www.crypto-central.com/html/timekeeper.html
Does a lot of thing right. I wouldn't buy it because it looks like deadware... but it has many good ideas in it. it is similar to DC's tasklog, but with the advantage that you can type in the task you are doing instead of picking it from a set of alternatives.

If AAO could get something like this going for its (probably coming) timer feature, it'd be great. What I mean is to have a "what task you are doing now" feature, with a popup window every now and then, to help tracking time.

Thanks
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Steven Avery
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« Reply #20 on: May 09, 2008, 07:58:48 PM »

Hi Folks,

Agenda at Once is definitely a strong competitor in this field.  The base should be integration of ToDo with calendar, PIM contacts is secondary (e.g Time & Chaos has fine PIM, weak To-Do).

Nobody is perfect, I found that out quickly, although ToDoList (AbstractSpoon) is nice and MLO, with some calendar lacks and weaknesses if I recall right. And Priorganizer too, although it has no blog entries since Sept 2006. Quick ToDo was pretty, but lacks hierarchal tasks.

One basic is sub-tasks, and Agenda has that nicely.  Similarly recurring tasks. And the ToDo is very nice in a couple of ways, easy to move the view fields around, and both a Category and an Assignee (you tend to want to have multiple groupings, I would even like one more, user defined.. e.g. "where"  so you could group together by another conceptual basis).The Notes implementation related to Tasks is simple and clean.  Thinks like priority and sorting by various ways looks very nice, I think that is partly a function of solid programmers seeking out good toolkits and mixing them together (that is also the difficulty of this whole genre, nobody can easily pick up these programs if they are ever put down, as occured with Keynote.  However if the program is good enough, then you don't mind so much, and you hope it will be lasting).

As mentioned above there could be better ToDo-Calendar integration.  Time & Chaos had a wonderful drag and drop of a contact into the scheduler.  Stuff like that is really kewl. If feels so efficient, they would even bring the phone# in !  smiley

And the contacts in Agenda is a bit shallow, it looks like a more recent add-on, and needs the type of field flexibility that the To-Do list has in viewing. Anyway it is nice that there is something there to build on, some good ToDos have nothing.

I don't think you can move the tree of To-Do around, e.g. - make a task into a sub-task.  That becomes real helpful if you working with your structure and some of the ToDo programs have that nicely (probably Abstract Spoon and MLO).

One area I have not tested yet is printing.

Anyway, overall I'm impressed.  Despite my harping on some needs and weaknesses, it is strong enough to be a keeper at this time.  And give it real use time (bought under Bits).  It seems like the developer is working hard on improvement.  Very good, and I do not know another program that is better on the overall view. Hopefully they can implement tree/subtask manipulation and better integration.  If that is in the works in the months ahead, then all is fine and the birds are chirping.

Shalom,
Steven
« Last Edit: May 09, 2008, 08:43:10 PM by Steven Avery » Logged
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