Helping people easily create, share, and collaborate on task lists and outlines
About keyboard shortcuts in web applications
Spending time on an abstract topic is a good idea only when you know there are people interested in your musings :)
In our case our friends who are working on a sophisticated web app themselves, asked to summarize our own experience implementing keyboard shortcuts in web apps. The result is a rather long blog post — J, K, or How to choose keyboard shortcuts for web applications
We know there’re some people involved in web development here, so who knows, may be you’ll find it interesting, too.
More fixes and improvements
Most of our attention goes to the new mobile app, but of course we cannot ignore the existing Checkvist problems you tell us about.
So we’ve rolled out a small bugfix update on the Checkvist production site, and here is a list of noticeable changes:
From now on, repeating tasks with “Repeat from due date” mode require task completion before due regeneration. Previously, the due date was refreshed on the next day after due date, even when the task wasn’t yet completed. It turns out that this behaviour went against people expectations, so we decided to change it.
Also, when editing a repeating task, the next due could occasionally switch to the next year. Now fixed, thanks Olli.
- Click on an external link now should open it in a separate tab
- There was a bug when a list was open in unexpected “hoist” mode in the Firefox sidebar. Fixed
- Under some rare conditions, there could be a data loss when people reorganize the list with ctrl+arrows, now should be fixed
- On the Due page, lists with tasks with the same due were sorted by internal ID, now they are sorted by list name. Thanks George Hill for noticing this.
- Fix another bug with URL recognition (when links contain ) - thanks Olli (again)
Starting a new year with bug fixes
It’s rather strange, that we celebrate new year in winter time. After vacation, refreshed, relaxed, ready for new challenges — it’d be so much more appropriate to do that during autumn. And for Checkvist it’s a true new year, because the project went public in August, 2008, so it has just passed its 5th anniversary.
But enough relaxation, back to development. As usual, we work in parallel on new big stuff (read: mobile app) and on fixing and improving the existing code. This update is dedicated to the latter.
Recurring task notifications bug
There was a bug which we noticed when failed to pay our own internet provider on time. The bug occurred when you reconfigured the repeating settings of a due task. We’ve fixed this problem as soon as we’ve noticed it, hopefully it didn’t affected many people.
Filtering speed on (very) large lists
That’s something that was caught and fixed with the help of our long-time customer. Checkvist would filter a long list with considerable hickups. No more. The filtering speed has x3 times improved, and it’s not the limit, we’ll continue working on that. Thanks a lot @tedpearlman!
Opening large lists
Empty Due page bug
The bug made the Due page look empty, even when you had a plenty of due tasks. All’s because of the Current/Recurring tab switching issue, which should be solved by now.
Lists popup navigation
During one of the recent performance improvements, we’ve broken keyboard navigation in the lists ‘LL’ popup. Now you can ‘arrow down’ to “Add new list” with keyboard again.
And more …
We also added a small section to the Reference about collapsing and expanding nodes. It’s a small but quite powerful feature, especially when you work with deeply-nested lists. As some of you rightly observed, it was not well documented.
So here it is — small update, one more step towards better experience and more pleasurable work.
And if you notice a bug or just think something goes wrong with Checkvist, do let us know. We appreciate all comments and ideas you send us. It’s great to have such a community and we’re eager to deliver a better product to you, with each release. Thanks!
Mid-summer release: Add tasks via email, https for all, other improvements
Some releases go unplanned, and it’s good because we show we’re all agile and embracing change and opportunity, aren’t we?
So we were coding slowly towards the new mobile app, when a long-time customer, Alex Kapranoff published http://mail2cv.com, an email-to-checkvist service. The first version was quite limited, but after a couple of Skype calls and mid-night coding sessions together, we can roll out a feature you’ve been voting for… for a long time. Now you can use it right in Checkvist. It works quite simply:
Add tasks via email
First of all, we need an ‘inbox’ list, where we’ll send emails to. Click the little chevron icon near the list name and open the ‘Add tasks via email’ dialog window.
Then copy list’s email address to your contacts. Every time you send an email to that address, the email will turn into a list item:
- Subject line becomes the task’s text.
- Email body becomes a note.
- Email attachments are attached to the task (PRO users).
- You can use #tags, ^due dates or @assignees in the subject line
If you need several ‘inbox’ lists, just create several email contacts with lists addresses.
The feature is particularly useful on mobile devices, and can substitute our old bookmarklet with Gmail integration, because it works for all major mail software.
HTTPS for all & everything
Starting from today, you don’t have to pay for a PRO account to get all you data covered by SSL. It’s now included into all plans, free or paid.
Copy list with all list settings
Copying whole lists is a powerful feature: you can create a new list from an old one, or make a new node in another list, or you can just append a list to another list.
Among various options, there’s one to copy users and permissions to the new list. This would save you time and produce the exact copy of a list. But there are also ‘View options’, and if you use, for instance numbered lists, you would have check the same option in a new list again.
No more. Now we’re saving all options by default. So if you copy a numbered list, you’ll get a numbered new list, without extra work.
(Tiny) steps towards offline work
Now Checkvist can survive temporary Internet outage. Say, if you’re on a non-stable network and have already typed in some list items, Checkvist will try to re-send the data when you go back online. Unfortunately, this can’t be a replacement for true offline work, but it’s a step towards the goal.
- Allow HTML tables in list items.
- Markdown numbered list fix: now we use Roman numbers when you select the ‘Show numbered list” option under ‘View’, and Arabic numbers, if you don’t.
- Fixed a bug with importing list items on a wrong level.
- Correctly handle “Back” button when loading lists — immediately update the cache.
- Increased list page performance.
- Open API enhancements: Checkvist now accepts call for setting repeating task; also added parameters to import.json for uploading files (both work for PRO accounts only).
- Technical: Rails updated to version 3.2.14
Once again, let me say this. We might be small, but we have a great community. It’s a pleasure to work for you :)
A quick note on using Checkvist for online research
I am doing a small research at the moment and can’t but share my 3 ‘productivity accelerators’ - the three smart syntax shortcuts for adding links to external resources, links to other lists you have in Checkvist, and images.
Don’t paste long and unreadable URLs into your outline. After you typed lnk: in the list item body, a dialog appears and you can write a meaningful text with a link to an external resource.
Not sure about you, but I very often have several lists dedicated to related topics. To reference one list from another, invoke the ‘Lists’ pop-up and select the list, don’t copy-paste its URL. Type lst: and filter all your lists on the fly to find the one you neeed.
What’s a research or an article without pictures! img: is a shortcut for embedding (or attaching) an image to the list item. If you don’t want to upload the image, use the at shortcut for attaching any types of files, not only images.
The bookmarklet is another tool very convenient for research purposes. The little thing will post the selected text, link address, gmail email, notes, even tags, due dates and assignees, if you add them #with ^smart @syntax.
All our research for new features, tools, posts, etc is done with Checkvist. All brainstorming sessions and discussions. And the largest thing we ourselves miss here is an easy and convenient way to continue working on the go, offline, with mobile Checkvist client. This issue is being addressed at the moment, so to say. On one hand, in the new mobile client, on another (with a little help from wonderful Alex Kapranoff) — with Email-in-tasks feature.
We’re going to make this tool better :) Just watch the hands!