[chandler-users] Unscheduled Tasks, Views, Calendar Events & the Triage

Graham Perrin G.J.Perrin at bton.ac.uk
Mon May 18 13:17:24 PDT 2009

Hi Owen

I had thoughts similar to yours on many occasions, but ultimately I think
that Chandler is OK, possibly better (simpler), without an 'Unscheduled
items' button/filter. Consider the points below and please, feed back. 

As a starting point, I assume that we use the star as a sign of importance…

Owen-2 wrote:
> At the moment, if I do not star a note when it is created then it is
> difficult to find it later. 

Is that the main problem — repeated difficulty when finding single
unimportant items? (This question recurs below.)

> … non-calendar notes that had NOT been starred (or, in the old jargon, had
> not been turned into Tasks) …

AFAICT it's not different jargon. There are different *purposes*. With
<http://blog.chandlerproject.org/category/productdesign/> as reference, we
must make a clear distinction between:

• the task stamp, which existed in the beta (not in Chandler Desktop 1.0)


• the star stamp, which serves a very different purpose.

(Side note: presentation of the blog may be imperfect at the moment, there
was an issue with WordPress plugins. Grant has done some work towards

> All, Starred … and Calendar. In my view that is one too few. 

Personally, defocusing from the toolbar, I sometimes think that three is too
many! Overall, I wish for *fewer* aspects to the UI. 

(I often wonder why I can't see what I want, then realise that I forgot to
click All.)

> … unstarred notes simply get lost, since the only way they can be seen is
> by looking through the All listing, where they are successfully hidden.

The All button does not hide. 

In the summary table, at the head of the star column: 

• click the star. 

Unstarred items should be uppermost. If not, click once more to reverse the

If I do that in my largest collection, I find myself in an ocean of DONE
(this collection has more than 1,000 done items, most of which were
unimportant, not starred). This ocean could bother me, but it doesn't; I ask
myself, am I: 

a) looking for a particular unimportant item?


b) preparing to act upon a mass of unimportant items?

For me, it's nearly always (a), and I tend to use /find in the quick entry
field. The accelerator key makes this very usable.

In practice, I rarely sort by anything other than the triage column. 

(It's neat that other columns can be sorted, but my need is not great.) 

> … storing unscheduled notes.

That's a key point, a wish that will surely be repeated. 

Let's step away from software for a while, and think about things. Think
about items. An unscheduled item either: 

i) will never be added to the calendar


ii) probably will end up in the calendar. 

If items were on scraps of paper, I might separate the scraps into two piles
(i) and (ii). 

In Chandler, I might create a collection for the second pile. 


It's true that other applications (e.g. Apple iCal and Mozilla
Lightning/Sunbird) force an absolute separation between scheduled items and
unscheduled items, but I'm not convinced that Chandler should follow the
lead of such applications. 


if Chandler does gain an additional button/filter for Unscheduled items,
then the radio button approach should be dropped; people will wish to click
both Starred *and* Unscheduled, and so on. 

IMHO, this way lies danger; as the click matrix (toolbar buttons, overlaid
collections, non-overlaid collections, Dashboard, In, Out, spheres, /find
etc.) becomes more complicated, so the risk grows of items being
unintentionally hidden. 


Owen and all, what do you think?

When you seek a store/collection of unscheduled unimportant items, what's
the purpose? If the items were on scraps of paper, how would you organise
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