How I ran my todos with Joplin

Hi all,

A recurring theme about Joplin is that it lacks capabilities to manage to do lists. But, with the emerging plugin system, I think Joplin is more than capable to manage todos. You only need to find the system/plugin combination that works for you.

Here's mine, after some experimentation (and feel free to share yours in the comment):

  • I have a notebook for todos and than sub-notebooks divided by topic/project
  • I use the actual todo notes to capture my tasks.
  • At the beginning of each todo title I add the prefix to assign priority. For example [P0] for highest priority, [P1] for lower and so on
  • I then set a separate sort order for the notebook and choose alphabetically (right-click the notebook and choose "Toggle own sort order").
  • Sorting alphabetically makes it so the notebooks are sorted by priority (e.g. P0 on top and so on). Every note without a priority will be at the bottom
  • Any task I'm blocked on, I add the prefix [Blocked] after the priority. This moves the note to the bottom of todos with similar priority
  • Any todo with a due date, I set a reminder
  • To conveniently see all of the todos and reminders in one list, I use the note-overview-plugin and created a Tasks Overview note.
  • To make sure the Task Overview is always showing in View mode with html rendered but other notes are shown in the markdown editor, I use the Persistent Layout plugin
  • To easily access the Task Overview note I use the Notes Tab plugin and pin it

What are the advantages of this system:

  • Easy to add tasks - all of the info is in the title and it's as simple as creating a new todo note.
  • Mobile friendly - not heavily reliant on plugins. No need to wait for syncs since each todo is a separate note
  • High priority is always on top. Easy to change priorities
  • Note overview to see all the todos in one page

Thank you for sharing it can inspire me.
Would you be OK to share a screen capture ? Iā€™m a bit confused between notes priorities and notebook priorities.

Sure thing.

I'm attaching a screenshot just with the notes. Notebooks are just used to organize the todos by topic. So I have one notebook for "Personal todos", one for "Project X todos" etc... but that's optional. I started with having just one Todos notebook

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This is interesting, thanks for sharing. However, there are some important things (for me at least) that you don't include:

  • task planning (the reminder is not a due date)
  • the separation of "professional" and "personal" tasks

Are these features not useful for you? Or is it a lack of Joplin that you have identified?

Thanks for this !

i was 80% there using agenda & tabs, but the note overview plugin to create a manifest of all tasks is a great work around!

I hope agenda plugin continues to add functionality, it is very close to ticking all the boxes (heh) for me.

All i need now is a reliable way to color code tasks in either the agenda panel or in the overview manifest , seems like it should be doable just using tags.

thanks again for the insights

For task planning - most of the times priorities are good enough for me. When I have a specific task that needs to be done by a certain date, I just set a reminder for the day before (or whenever I want to be reminded)

Separation - I just used different notebooks and use the notes overview tab to see all in one place. You can also use the [Personal] and then all personal tags will be grouped together

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Thank you, it clarifies a lot for me!

Hi all, just wanted to offer a few enhancements I've found useful:

  • As well as adding [Block] to demote tasks I can't do anything about now, I also use [Wait] to demote tasks that are blocked by me waiting for other people/things not just blocked by tasks

  • Joplin's search let's you filter to only show tasks that are incomplete with iscompleted:0

  • I keep one list of every task but also have a list of tasks that aren't blocked with -title:[Block] (I haven't yet figured out how to remove Block and Wait tasks, don't know if it's possible)

  • I add a decription to each note and use Note Overview's excerpt option to show the description

  • Use the notebook option to see what project it belongs to

  • Whenever I add a task that;s blocked I add links between them to remind me what's blocking what (use Right Click > Copy Markdown link to grab the link without leaving the note)

Here's my full set up in case I missed anything:

<!-- note-overview-plugin
search: notebook:To-Do type:todo iscompleted:0 -title:[Block]
fields: title, notebook, todo_due, excerpt
alias: title AS Name, notebook AS Project, todo_due AS Due, excerpt AS Description
sort: title ASC

(remove -title:[Block] to show every task)

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Re separation: Note Overview let's you filter notes by whether they do/don't include any particular tags

Re planning: You could also add the due date to the title in [YY-MM-DD] format which will order them by date alphabetically. If you format as [Px][YY-MM-DD] then it will order by priority first and date second, if you do [YY-MM-DD][Px] it will be vice versa. (This idea is actually really similar to the todo.txt spec)