Version 1.29.0 is out!
Check the changelog for a full list of the changes. But here are some noteworthy updates I will discuss in this post:
- New Matrix strategy
- More Smart List filters
- Note indentation
- Send items to Backburner
- Keyboard task selection
- Task completion date in archive
The new “Matrix” strategy allows you to have a big matrix in your day view where each quadrant corresponds to a Smart List.
Smart List access in the day view
This is the first strategy in a series of strategies that are all about giving you quick access to your Smart Lists from your day view.
You could already work directly from Smart Lists before if you went to the Master List (list view) and select a Smart List from the sidebar. Or you could go to a work mode overlay like “The Wall” and select a Smart List to work on there.
But this had some disadvantages. Namely, it can take a few clicks to get to the actual Smart List (especially if you prefer the column view to manage your Master List) and it won’t be top of mind when you are working in your day view.
Having Smart List access in your day view (through the Matrix for example) opens up a lot of possibilities for workflows. You can re-create more traditional workflows you might be used to from other apps (that are not about scheduling tasks), have a mix of scheduling must-do items and more spontaneous picking of other tasks (e.g. GTD) or just use the Smart Lists to help you plan a good day (e.g. Eisenhower Matrix).
I will be writing a separate blog post with some specific ideas on how to integrate the Matrix strategy into your workflow.
Random Tasks and Task suggestions
What might not be obvious about the Matrix strategy at first glance is that it also includes two new “features” that we will be sprinkling throughout Marvin:
- random task picking
- task suggestion
Hovering over a quadrant in the matrix shows two buttons:
- a dice icon, which will give you a random task from the quadrant
- a light bulb, which will give you the task Marvin thinks you should do next
Having options to pick a random task or be given a task can be incredibly helpful to eliminate unnecessary decision making throughout our days.
Unnecessary decisions is a concept we will be discussing more on this blog.
Picking tasks at random from the Master List
Previously, the only option we had to allow to random task picking was through the “task jar strategy“. But this strategy only allows you to pick at random from your scheduled tasks in your day. And many users requested a similar option for picking tasks at random from the Master list. The Matrix is one way to do that.
Smart List Filters
Smart Lists will be used more on more in new Strategies (e.g. Matrix). There is so much you can do with them.
But we still don’t have all the Smart Lists filter options to truly cover all bases.
In this release we added:
- time based filter option (whether or not title should include a time -> “8am water plants”)
- whether a task/project is on the backburner or not
- priority option: MIP
Another filter that is coming up soon is: days procrastinated. Stay tuned!
If you have been a Marvin user for a while you might have noticed that we used to have indentation in the notes and then removed them. This was due to switching to a different note editor entirely.
But indentation is back!
Use the tab button to indent a line and shift+tab to outdent it.
Send items to Backburner
You can now send an item (task or project) to the backburner via the edit icon:
Click the backburner icon to move the item to the backburner.
Previously, you could only either create an item directly in the backburner or send it there by adding a backburner specific label.
Keyboard task selection
We mentioned before that our ultimate goal is to have it be possible to use Marvin with a keyboard only (at least for basic interactions).
We got one step closer in this release. You can now press tab in the day view and it will select the first task in your list. You can then navigate up and down your list with the arrow keys.
One neat thing about a selected task is that you can start typing any of the task input shortcuts to add or remove attributes from the task.
So if you quickly want to go through your list to assign time estimates to every task you do the following:
- press “tab” (to select the first task)
- start typing “~Xm” and press enter (add time estimate)
- press “down arrow” (to select next task)
- start typing “~Xm” and press enter (add time estimate)
Task completion date in archive
And finally, if you ever wondered when you completed a task you can now search for it in the archive (menu on the top right -> Archive & Stats -> magnifying glass on the top right) and it will tell you underneath the task title when the task was completed.
What we are currently working on
Mark is mostly busy with the calendar update at the moment.
You soon will be able to add tasks onto a calendar, have a monthly overview over your due dates, see your day as a timeline and have your week start on Sunday (most highly requested setting right now!).
As a next step the time blocking strategy will be completely re-worked. We will add many features to make time blocking smarter and more integrated into your workflows. Time blocking is an incredibly useful productivity strategy and we are looking forward to improving the Marvin time blocking.
Once the calendar is done Mark will focus on Google Calendar sync and re-working the reminder system so we can finally have mobile push notifications.
Recently, we have been getting more and more requests for being able to print lists in Marvin. This is being worked on as well and should be finished soon.
More Smart List access in the day view
Similar to the Matrix strategy there will be more ways to get quick access to Smart Lists in your day view.
I started working on implementing end dates, which is something that will take a while but will be very useful for planning. There will be a lot of interesting and helpful features around this coming up (one especially for procrastinators!)
Stats is something we have so many plans for, but are not getting around to as much as we would like. But it’s being worked on and hopefully we have something cool to show you all soon. 😉
Tons of smaller improvements
As always, there is a fair amount of smaller things we want to add soon on our to-do list: more Smart List filters, quicker editing capabilities for projects in sidebar, sort in the Master List Smart List view and about 50 more things.