Nothing's perfect - a hybrid model of Dynalist usage


#1

Dynalist is my most important workbench, but it lacks one special feature - a dashboard.

A dashboard for me is a place to plan my day (less often week, month and year). I need to check on what’s due today and structure my time. A key to this is being able to manually sort tasks so that I can construct a working day. The most important tasks may be something I do at the end of the day when time is more open-ended. As I’m working, I can then quickly check what needs to be done next, as it rises to the top of the list.

With Dynalist’s improved due dates feature, it is possible now to give an item a recurring date. But still, a search by today’s date will usually create a view with items scattered across the list which cannot be ordered. You can create a new heading for today and manually copy the link across for each due item, but that is cumbersome.

Thankfully, we have @Piotr’s Powerpack 3. With it, you can generate a neat Agenda list of due items, though that cannot be sorted. Actually, the key advantage for me is the Workspaces feature, which enables you to create work panes that can contain external sites.

I’d been occasionally using Todoist for tricky recurring items that couldn’t be integrated into Dynalist. The recent new feature of recurring items paradoxically pushed me back to Todoist as it was so much better at natural language and recurrences such as “first saturday of month”. But then I inevitably came up against its limits, particularly its stubborn refusal to have manual sorting in filtered views (like Google, it relies too heavily on the algorithm).

Then I found TickTick, which not only has manual sorting, but also checklists within repeating tasks. What I can do now, thanks to Piotr, is create a workspace with the left pane set to - https://www.ticktick.com/#q/all/today. I can then use that as my dashboard throughout the day.

It’s not perfect. Unlike the internal date items, links open in a separate tab rather than in the adjacent pane. But as a hybrid model, it’s looking to be a very workable way of getting through the day.


#2

I’ve been through similar journeys trying to find the perfect system - a trade off I have been back and forth with is manual vs dynamic (i.e. based on date tag / tags etc and searches).

I am currently at a fully manual / almost no search system that looks a bit like this:

So you see my tasks at the top divided into day time and evening / weekend tasks. Then there’s my focus list which is things which I currently want in my headspace but which don’t have a specific date (this system has been made far more functional by the change to quickdynalist so that I can quickly add things directly to this list, as well as to my more general inbox).

Then comes today - the green ‘Weekday’ is a recurring daily checklist of things which I just move manually to the next day each time - although a little clunky I actually like that it gets in my way like this as it forces me to engage with it.

Purple items are events - you can indicate items that would need to be done on a particular day, or have a deadline of a particular day (I use :pushpin: for this) easily.

I like that my focus list is right next to ‘today’ so I can easily see everything that needs to be done at the moment.

You can also see that I ‘plan’ in the note section of the week. I can also plan in the note section of days in the future, and I also journal in the note section of the current day (replacing the plan) and send it to the past.

It’s just one way of doing things - one flaw would be if you had a lot of recurring events (you have to manually create them but to be honest it’s not that hard - as I work to academic years I just do this at the start of each term as I can predict that far, but might be more annoying for some).

What I like most about this system is for planning - I can write all over my days, weeks and months, both in the note section and even just in nested bullets so I have nearly the same expressive power as a paper diary - the lack of this is what I really don’t like about digital calendars a la google.

Final note - although the days do have date tags, I don’t really use them …

All the best,

Stephen


#3

This looks like a good working system. I forgot about the usefulness of emojis. I also have a focus list which are projects I need to check in on every day. I move each one from Today to Tomorrow when I feel they are sufficiently updated. But I also have dozens of complex recurring tasks (I’m editing a magazine) and still feel the need for a prosthetic task manager like Ticktick.


#4

Can I ask what problem you find with dynalist for this? I don’t have a lot, so I wouldn’t know, but what would be the problem with a checklist like my weekday one which you duplicate each day?


#5

Yes, I used to do this myself and it wasn’t so bad. But what I wasn’t able to get is a dashboard (and phone widget) which responds to a complex set of recurring tasks. I’ll revisit it when this feature in Dynalist evolves further.


#6

Ah yes I see what you mean - I would do terrible things to get a phone widget of my focus and today lists :slight_smile: