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

John Beardmore John at T4sLtd.co.uk
Sun May 31 15:30:14 PDT 2009

Graham Perrin wrote:

> 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…

Many people might, but I don't know that it can always be taken as a given.

> 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.)

There is a difference between importance and urgency -  people may be
using start in subtly different ways, and I hardly use it at all because
a boolean star or not star isn't that good for prioritising.

>> 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 wish for the minimum that can do the job nicely.  Not quite the same

> 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
> or
> 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. 

I'm not sure. Scheduled items are things which you don't have to thing
about -  you just follow the program.

Unscheduled items are where you go when you want to schedule some
productive activity in some unallocated time slot.

I think they are quite different bests from an organisational point of view.

If I was working with postit notes, I''d probably make a calendar out of
the scheduled tasks, and sort the unsceduled ones by

     class of activity

     strategic importance



where strategic importance and urgency are NOT the same things.

(At busy times some urgent tasks (close deadlines) have to be dropped.
Strategically important issues must be pursued, even if they have no

> Re
> <http://blog.chandlerproject.org/2008/06/05/next-steps-for-the-task-stamp/>
> 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?

As a newcomer to Chandler and the underlying data structures I can't
help that I wouldn't have done it this way.

To me, we seem to be heading for something where the use interface isn't
intuitive, and I don't find my organisational needs being fully met.
I'll comment more when I've got more familiar with Chandler and maybe
found time read the documentation.

> When you seek a store/collection of unscheduled unimportant items, what's
> the purpose?

To organise, understand, prioritise and ultimately schedule them.

> If the items were on scraps of paper, how would you organise
> yourself?

See above.

By the way -  please don't take the above as personal criticism. I do
understand that some of the limitations of Chandler may arise as a
result of the need for interoperability with other applications, and in
many ways it looks as if Chandler is 'best of breed'.  It's already
better than a paper diary in so many ways, but there are still areas
where it's looking for the 'great leap forward'.

Cheers, J/.
John Beardmore, MSc EDM (Open), B.A. Chem (Oxon), CMIOSH, AIEMA, MEI
Managing Director, T4 Sustainability Limited. http://www.T4sLtd.co.uk/
Energy Audit, Carbon Management, Design Advice, Sustainable Energy
Consultancy and Installation, Carbon Trust Standard Registered Assessor
Phone: 0845 4561332   Mobile: 07785 563116   Skype: t4sustainability

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