Core plugin for dealing with tasks and dates

This is a request for a core plugin establishing date and time related standards as well as provide support for iCal and audio reminders.

Use case or problem

1. I want to go runnung every day at 7:15am and track my acivity, so I set up a recurring task.

This is possible via several workarounds, but the current task approaches do not incorporate a standardized approach to time. This leads to isolated approaches and eventually causes

2. Sometimes I do not manage to go running because of interruptions.

When I do not tick off my running task, it will not recur. When I tick it off on days where I did actually not manage to run, my habit tracking will be of no use.

3. After the running and the rest of my morning routine, I start work at around 8am.

I divide my day into several areas, juggling projects, creative work and private / family activity. Consequently, I set up a couple of time windows that focus on different areas of my work and private life. Contained within such time windows, I find tasks tagged accordingly.

This is to some extent possible using plugins and a lot of workaraounds: Day Planner and Time Ruer are trying to make this possible but both suffer from the lack of defined time variables.

4. Very often, I focus deeply onto a dedicated project and forget to look at the time. I would very much like to have an audio reminder as a “wakeup call”.

Currently, Obsidian does not offer audio notifications on Android.

5. I am not an isolated island but work with other people. This creates the need to work with dates and tasks set up by others. A common standard for this is iCal. In Obsidian, I create events in my iCal based calendar and add tasks to the same account.

Currently, only Full calendar and Time ruler allow for reading iCal sources.

Proposed solution

Creation of a core plugin to deal with time management. This is not supposed to be a feature rich component tailored to my or some other users individual needs. It should establish a solid foundation plugins can build on to create more detailed features.

  1. Establish variables that deal with date and time, ideally allowing for user formatting to be defined in one central place and picked up by plugins from there.

  2. Determine how Obsidian is dealing with (re-)occurrence. The tasks plugin is very good in that respect but lacks the above mentioned solution for tasks that need to recur without having been finished on their due date.

  3. Create a container that relates to time events. Think of callouts for date and time, but not just in the sense of formatting/layout but also in terms of a standard that can be used by other plugins

  4. Allow for notifications on all platforms including individual audio snippets to be played. This feature could be used by many plugins to remind users and give them feedback. Especially the audio aspct could be implemented by extending the “audio recorder” feature already present.

  5. Integrate a place that allows for communication with external calendar / task systems and implement reding and writing the iCal standard. iCal is very widely used, so Obsidian would benefit greatly from integrating this sourse. Creating an anchor point for not only iCal, however, would allow other developers to create plugins that target other date/time related standards.

Why this should be a core plugin

Obsidian started as Markwon editor but evolved to be moch more than that. This is not only due to the rich plugin ecosystem it created. The canvas plugin is a good example, the audio recorder another.

In order to adapt to the needs of Obsidians growing community, a core plugin should define standards that are too important to leave to plugin developers. One important need of the community is clearly managing tasks and dates. Providing a solid foundation of rules and parameters will greatly enhance Obsidians capabilities to deal with notes related tasks and dates.

There are numerous plugins that try to address

  • task management
  • project management
  • calendar integration

What they lack is a solid base with clearly defined standards. Without them, all solutions for taks and dates will develop something that works within the boundaries of their plugin.

It leads to

a) a lot of work on the side of the plugin programmers, especially when Obsidian is updated or other plugin developers “hijack” keyboard input
b) conflicts and incompatibilities
c) very limited reusability of functions
d) a user experience that is not ideal

A good example of why I think that this should be implemented as core plugin can be found in the form of this discussion:

The request started in November 2021 and ran until April 2022 when it finally dried up.


This is a feature request. I realize that as such it does not request one single feature as would be the approach in most cases. I have thought about this but decided to use this approach since I feel that extremely focused feature requests

  • have the potential to reduce a problem to something very individual
  • are sometimes running the risk of losing the bigger picture

Partly, this approach is the result of me not being a coder: So please be gentle when it comes to terminology. I hope it is clear nonetheless, what the request is about.

5 Likes

I’m begging for this essential feature, a simple task management system that is basic to almost all note-taking and knowledge base management apps, every single plugin out there fails to make the whole process of task management to feel native into the app.

1 Like

Well, just search more with better keywords and you’ll actually find plugins like:

  • reminder
  • kanban
  • projects
  • time ruler
  • checklist reset

Well, if you read the original post, you will see that I talk about existing plugins but point out that they are finding individual solutions but struggle to interact.

This is why I propose the solution of a core plugin to establish a solid base for dealing with date and time.

Such a core plugin should, by no means, incorporate all the features of the existing plugins. Also, these would not be rendered obsolete.

All I wish for is that they would build on top of a set of parameters and functions that the core plugin provides.

2 Likes

By the sheer volume of plugins it’s hard to not find a solution for our personal needs.

It happens to me too, sometimes we miss to study thoroughly each and every feature of a particular plugin so we jump too quickly to the conclusion to need other plugins.

Just asking, did you check each and every feature of the plugins i mentioned before? :wink:

I checked all of the plugins a couple of times and have most of the installed at the moment.

Apart from that, since maybe it is not clear what I am requesting:

It is something beyond the capabilities of any external plugin developers capability - a solid core base in the form of a core plugin or internal feature of Obsidian.
This can then be used as a foundation for all task / time related plugins of both present and future.

Logseq is a good example: It comes with a very good task system directly integrated as core functionality. It makes perfect sense, just like linking of notes, notes properties, or the displaying of note content visually, as on canvas.

2 Likes

Exactly what I am looking for, besides what you have mentioned, I would suggest obsidian to provide a Lyubishchev-timing workflow with full functionalities (timer, calendar, Four Quadrant Time Management, 24h time/task recording) I understand that this can be achieved by integrating multiple plugins but knowing that they might be malfunctional someday with the upgrades of obsidian is unsettling. For your purpose, I would recommend using toggl track and ticktick, both can be integrated into obsidian, but I still prefer using markdown for time and tasks management.

I pretty much agree 100% with what this post says and the article linked below. Currently, I am using the community tasks plugin which works well, but doesn’t feel integrated and leaves my daily notes cluttered and messy. I love Obsidian for note taking, and even without native tasks support it’s still the most convenient for me managing my tasks - it would be amazing :tada: if there was a core plugin for this. It’s surprising that there aren’t really any outstanding open source task management solutions (yes I know obsidian isn’t open source, but I’m not aware of any great free solutions either). Since I use Obsidian for all my notes, it’s nice to be able to manage my tasks in the same place.

Easier, More Powerful, Organic Task Management. Task management plug-ins for Osbidian abound, but they lake the level of polish and the organic feel of dedicated task managers like Things or ToDoist.

I wish tasks were “first class citizens” in Obsidian. I wish Obsidian depended less on plugins for task management and offered rich, organic task and project management features at the core level. (Solutions requiring plugins and writing code to display lists of tasks that match certain criteria don’t cut the mustard, at least for me.)

Until that happens, I’ll continue to rely on Things as my task manager, and use a couple of clever plugins to port my completed tasks from my Things logbook over to Obsidian’s daily notes page.

I very much agree with the original post. For example having interoperability for the tasks and kanban community plugins would be a wet dream of mine, but I don’t see that happening any time soon.

Properties has been a great (if not perfect) addition. A core thing so that other plugins could rely on to interoperate with each other. Personally I wished for a little bit more in properties, like the ability to have complex properties but oh well.
It did definitely make properties on notes feel more like a first class citizen. Task currently do absolutely do not feel that way. Many other apps like logseq do have a more integrated task management. This is currently my biggest pain point with Obsidian and prompts me regularly to look into Obsidian alternatives.

Yes. I agree 100% with this being the biggest pain point. As a matter of fact, after experimenting a LOT with tasks inside Obsidian, I have - for now - given up altogether.

I still use Obsidian, but for notes only. I have moved to Ticktick for tasks and so far have not felt the urge to return as task management in general is so bricabrac in Obsidian.

Just having looked at Tana (once again), there was what felt like a thorn in my side: They have given this serious thought from the get go.
I definitely do not want to switch for the online only reason. But looking at all this goodness makes me sometimes feel like: huh! Why don’t they address this very crucial thing first of all?