A macro to move items between Parent categories

Imagine you have the following Kanban / Trello / Project management scenario and you have just started working on Task 2 and want to move it into ‘Ongoing’.

At the moment, Dynalist doesn’t allow you to do this with ctrl + down (it cannot move outside of the current parent list with this function - I imagine it is like this to prevent accidents?) This often means dragging the item, which often ends up at the wrong place and you have to shift it around etc.

However, this can be automated and turned into a macro with Phrase Express or other macro programs easily. The steps are:

To move to a category below: Shift + Tab, Ctrl + Down, Tab:

  • Phrase Express code: {#SHIFT {#TAB}}{#CTRL {#DOWN}}{#TAB}

Or to move to a category above: Shift + Tab, Ctrl + Up, Tab:

  • Phrase Express code: {#SHIFT {#TAB}}{#CTRL {#UP}}{#TAB}

The item you want to move doesn’t even have to be at the bottom of the current parent list, so even Task 3 can be moved to ongoing in one press like this:

I currently have these on ctrl + shift + up/down


Edit: This macro moves items to the bottom of the parent list. If you want it to go to the top just add a load of ctrl + up’s to the end (this only adds a fraction of a second to the length of the macro and is still <1 second).

Phrase express code for down: {#SHIFT {#TAB}}{#CTRL {#DOWN}}{#TAB}{#CTRL {#UP -count 20}}


Nice one!

PS: you can also use the MOVE function (ctrl shift m under windows)

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Mmm that is nice too, I would just hope it didn’t send it to some other ‘Ongoing’ bullet in a completely different project? Hopefully given the recent change to prefer local items this wouldn’t happen. Your approach could be macro’d up too e.g. {ctrl + shift+ O}{Ongoing}{Enter} could automate sending it to ongoing / done etc - if you do a lot of Kanban this could speed things up


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stephen this is how I currently have my kanban setup, I have not used it enough to really test whether it will stick for me.

My current setup for tasks is more of a “project roadmap guide” with large checkpoints (Each Task takes minimum of a day or a couple of hours), all my other small tasks are just on stickynotes around my monitor.

The problem I have right now is I want to focus 90% of my efforts on writing things & logging things I do towards my goal everyday instead of using kanban (LEAN principle- CAPTURE EVERYTHING). With my current system, I probably finish, 1-3 tasks a week.

That, and I currently have been setting up my dynalist system / testing a lot of workflows lately, so I didn’t have a huge amount of time experimenting with dynalist task management, I just used what I was used to, stickynote - kanban methods. I stick stickynotes all over my monitor in certain areas to desginate what I’m working on. I find that, if its a shortlived task (Less than 5 to 30 minutes to do), I get no RoI in time spent jotting down on dynalist what I have to do, and then moving it around, crossing it out, etc and that I am far better off picking up a pencil, scribbling on a sticky note, sticking it on my monitor, and when its done archive it by date.

Another problem I have with my system, since its slow moving, its hard to “reward yourself” by crossing out items frequently and therefore less checked often. At the same time, since all my tasks are major critical points, I can look at what major tasks I’ve done too

I am unsure of whether I want to use colors for tracking still

I think I will try your system, for my personal projects. And this current system I have for work

There might be benefits to using a more “road map approach” then a “fast-moving kanban approach” to lists, depending on what you are doing

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Hi Vincent yes I totally get what you mean with short tasks - I have a notepad by my computer which I sometimes use for things like that just like your sticky note

I’ve tried this and it works, but it leaves behind a “◘” in Dynalist. I can’t see anything in the macro that would do this. Mmm.

Ah interesting. That actually doesn’t happen to me with this one, but I have been getting exactly the same issue with other macros. This never happened with workflowy and so must be some interaction with dynalist. When it’s happened to me it has seemed that alt has become stuck (I.e. I have to press alt before I can delete the odd little symbol or do anything) … Will continue to test and try to figure out what’s happening.

Yes, I mapped the shortcut to SHIFT-ALT-UP as it is part of my muscle memory from Workflowy, Word, and Google docs. It must have something to do with the ALT key in Dynalist.

Interesting, I don’t think we’ve ever specifically inserted the symbol ◘ anywhere on our end, so that’s definitely weird :confused: