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Common Concepts Relating to Task Attributes

Person / People

A field that implies a Person doesn't need to be an individual person. It can be a client name or ID, department, or other entity. Usage is up to you.


There are a number of attribute fields represented by droplists: Allocated To, Allocated By, Category, Status, Tags and Version.

Default values can be set in Preferences > Tasks > Defaults > Dynamic Droplists. These values are then available to all tasklists. A checkbox is provided to “Make this list read-only”. When this checkbox is NOT checked, you can enter a new value in a task and that value is then available to all other tasks in a given list. When checked, you must select a value from the default list. (Some fields allow multi-selection and some are single-select.)

Default Field Values

Settings are available under menu > Tools > Preferences > Tasks > Defaults > Inheritable Attributes > Default Attributes. Several fields can have defaults set here. So when creating a new field the values here will be used, but they can still be manually set to other values.

Attribute Inheritance

Settings are available under menu > Tools > Preferences > Tasks > Defaults > Inheritable Attributes > Attribute Inheritance. Check desired fields to have subtasks inherit those values from their aren't when they are created. Many examples could be cited where this does and does not make sense. Choose the fields that make the most sense for your purposes.

There is also a setting here to “Continue to update subtasks as parent changes. As an example, if the Status of a parent task is set to Assigned, then all sub-tasks would similarly be Assigned. If the parent is set to Complete then it's assumed that all sub-tasks are also complete. That may or may not be logical for some project types, and while it might be reasonable for most tasks it might not apply in all cases.

:warning: Be careful when setting these flags that cause automatic changes of sub-tasks. If sub-tasks are not rigidly tied to the values of their parent tasks then you might not want to set some of these values.

Dates and Times

Settings are available under menu > Tools > Preferences > User Interface > Tasklist Attributes> Date/Time Formatting. Note that these are application-level settings, not per-tasklist. For projects (clients, departments, etc) that require different formatting, see [Multiple Instances](UI-Multiple-Instances).

  • Hide 'Start' and 'Due' dates for completed tasks : The idea here is that once a task is complete, the start/due dates have less relevance. Sorting the grid by the start/due dates might be confusing if it mixed in completed tasks.
  • Hide zero 'Times' and 'Costs' : If no time or cost has been spent on a task this optionally displays an empty value for those fields.
  • Display date and times in ISO format : This only applies to the grid, not to the edit area. ISO format is YYYY-MM-DDTHH:M where the letter T is actually the letter T. Note that this doesn't mean GMT/Zulu time where a Z would need to be appended. All Date/Time fields are local to where ToDoList is running.
  • Include the weekday when displaying dates : Prefix the first three letters of the day to date/time values in the grid, not the edit area.
  • Round 'Time Estimate/Spent' to whole numbers : Some jobs are defined as whole days or hours, with no fractions.
  • Display 'Estimated/Spent' times in HMS format : The default is to display estimated time and time spent as “1.5 H” or “21.00 H”. When this option is checked the format is changed to “1h30m” and “2d5h”. (The 21 hours is translated into 2 days because of the setting in Preferences > Tasks > Time Periods, where “One day equals '8' hours” (2 days = 2×8 hours, and 21-16 hours leaves 5), and of course that value can be changed. Also under that setting is “One week equals '5' days”. So if the time is 50 hours, that's 5 days times 8 hours which becomes 1 week with a remainder of 10 hours, or 1 day. In this case the displayed value would be 1w1d and the last two hours would be left out. Larger value like 2y5m are also limited to two significant qualifiers, and in this case the number of days, hours, and minutes are omitted as irrelevant.
  • Append the users 'Created By' name when pasting the 'Date/Time' :
  • Append the following text when pasting the 'Date/Time'

Time Units

Time Estimates and Time Spent allow for a time value to be entered as an integer “1” or a floating-point value “1.25”. In the edit area with the numeric field is a dropdown list with values for (m)inutes, (H)ours, (D)ays, (W)eeks, (M)onths, and (Y)ears. You can quickly set the value of both the number and units. For example, on entering “4d” the 4 will stay in the numeric area while the dropdown will change to Days.

attribute-concepts.txt · Last modified: 2020/11/21 02:21 (external edit)