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Currently

I currently use:

  • Google Calendar to track things that take place at a specific, predetermined time
  • Todoist to track things that are due at a specific time, as well as activities that I want to complete every day

My current strategy is to set aside time each Saturday to plan my activities for each day of the coming week, and then each day of the week I complete all the tasks I had planned on Saturday, but not in a predetermined order. However, this combination of tools is proving to be insufficient for my needs.

Problems

  • Todoist doesn't have a view for tasks due further than one week into the future, so if I want to plan to work on tasks that are further away, I need to drop down into each of my individual projects to remember what those tasks are.
  • In a similar vein, the support for subtasks in Todoist isn't great. (Incidentally, both of those links mention TickTick; if that has all the features I need, please post an answer saying as much.) Not only do the daily and weekly views not show the parent task, but also there's no way to batch-postpone a group of related tasks in case of delays.
  • Most importantly, Todoist doesn't allow me to track how long I've spent on tasks in the past, or how long I expect to spend on tasks in the future. This makes it very tedious to plan out when I will do each task, since I need to copy out all the relevant tasks into a text editor or something, jot down my duration estimates for all the tasks, divvy up those tasks (evenly?) into different days, then copy those newly planned activities back into Todoist. In addition to being tedious when I do my planning, this is also brittle during the week as I shift things around, since I'm just looking at Todoist's view, so I have no way to tell at a glance which days are tighter and which days can take some more tasks.
  • I realize that Todoist's Google Calendar integration would partially solve this issue, but 1) the integration isn't working for me (it creates the calendar but doesn't copy any tasks over) and 2) that still wouldn't solve my problem completely, because it would force me to schedule times for every single task (tedious) and would still be brittle because of fragmentation as I moved tasks around.

Wishlist

I would like a web/mobile app that provides the following:

  • Integration with Google Calendar, or enough functionality to replace Google Calendar. I'd like it to look at my calendar events (and take parameters for times I wake up and go to sleep) to determine a number for my time budget for that day.
  • A calendar view. Or at least, something that lets me view what things are due more than a week away.
  • Actual subtask support. I'd like it to let me create items with due dates, and then create subtasks for those items which have scheduling dates. The due date and the scheduling date are fundamentally different concepts, because the former is usually a specific time of day in which I'll give something to someone, while the latter is just a day on which I'll do some work. The app shouldn't let me schedule a subtask later than the main item is due.
  • Time tracking, estimation, and budgeting. I want the app to have a pool of time for each day (calculated as described above), which will fill with tasks as I schedule them for that day. When I create new tasks, the app should populate the duration based on how long I've taken to complete similar tasks in the past, but also let me change it if I think I have a better estimate. I should be able to see at a glance how full these pools are for a given range of days (e.g. a week).

Is this all functionality I could get using features of Todoist I don't know about (e.g. Premium)? Or is there another app out there that I could use? Or is this something I'd have to write myself?

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I'm not sure if this a complete answer. As for as I remember ToodleDo should have all your requirements. Some things need to be enabled in the settings.

  • Ah thanks! Toodledo seems very impressive. It looks like it fits all my requirements except for the one about budgeting time in the future (seeing how much free time I have left in a given day in the coming week); is that one of the settings that I need to enable? – Sam Estep Jan 20 at 12:37
  • Actually it looks like the calendar view displays sums for length and timers. I'll play around with Toodledo some more and accept your answer if it fits all my needs; currently the only things that seem like possible issues are related to functionality in the Android app. – Sam Estep Jan 20 at 13:22

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