Tasks, GTD and Kolab

Thomas Brüderli bruederli at kolabsys.com
Mon Sep 24 18:43:08 CEST 2012

Hello Kolab devs

During my vacation I read throgh David Allen's Getting Things Done® and I'm
now in the process of setting up the newly developped tasks module from the
Kolab 3.0 web client as my primary tool to manage things.

While real support for projects and contexts is still missing in Tasks, I'm
able to circumvent that lack with tags. I just defined my contexts as tags
and the client allows me to filter the tasks list by these. The same goes
for projects, they can be modeled as tags or with separate lists.

And here some basic questions raised in my head concerning the storage of
tasks in Kolab 3 and the further implementation of the tasks module:

* The straight-forward attempt to manage tasks in different lists is to
create IMAP folders representing those lists. With the recent commits in
git, the web client even allows me to drag & drop tasks to any list/folder
I have write access to. But what about the Inbox? GTD suggests to have a
list named "Inbox" to collect tasks in order to process them later on.
Naturally I want to create a list (i.e. imap folder) named Inbox. But my
IMAP account already has a folder named INBOX for obvious reasons. Of
course I can name it differently or create it as a subfolder of Tasks or
whatnot but I assume lots of future users running into the same issue.
Another possibility would be to give it an arbitrary name and to add an
option to the client which allows one to claim a certain folder to be the
inbox for tasks. And how to store this information? a) use the
"tasks.default" IMAP annotation for that or b) define a new special type
annotation like "tasks.inbox" or c) store it individually on each client.
I'd vote for a) or b) here.

* A common use-case is to create a task from an incoming mail. The web
client therefore has the option "create task" in the mail view. This will
then copy the mail body and all attachments to the new task item. But in
order to keep the full reference (maybe a complete mail thread) and to
avoid duplicated attachments it'd be nice to simply "link" the original
mail message with the task record. The message ID could serve as a unique
identifier but I'm wondering how to store that reference in the Kolab task
object. The Kolab XML Format 3.0 doesn't specify a dedicated attribute for
that. It could, however, go into a custom property. Any suggestions?

* Similar question about "flagged" tasks. Nowadays, most task management
tools out there, provide a way to flag/mark/star a task as important and
to filter the list by such flagged items. Here again the Kolab format
doesn't specify an attribute for such a mark. The current implementation of
the web client uses IMAP flags to store this information but that's
probably not the perfect way to do so. I'm all ears for a better solution.

Having these few questions answered will hopefully lead us to a basic but
still powerful tasks management tool ready to be deployed with the Kolab 3
groupware suite.

Best regards,

More information about the format mailing list