Time boxing in obsidian

There has been 2 feature requests about this in 2 different plugins : day planner and flexible pomo. Given that it wasn’t implemented in either of them, I’m proposing it as a standalone plugin.

The features that I’m interested in are provided in this mac app or this android app and include :

  • To manually set duration for each task and activate countdown for one of them when I’m working on it (update task duration in real time if possible)
  • The option to switch between the tasks even before the current countdown is up
  • The option to complete the current task and have it switch automatically to another task
  • The option to pause the countdowns if I want to stop
  • To automatically generate the time when I’ll finish the tasks based on
    • when I started the countdowns
    • and the durations of the tasks
  • Notification when the duration time is finished with option to add more time to the task if I haven’t finished it yet

So the final result would be something similar to this :

Manually set

task1 10m
task2 30m
task3 15m

Automatically generated

total-time 55m, finished-time hh:mm

Not sure how the interaction would look like, but here are my thoughts:

  • it would probably be similar to the Tasks plugin
  • could be a similar task pane that tracks the #task items
  • you might be able to control it via controls in that Tasks Pane

So, I think the user would have these kind of options to define the tasks

#task task1 10m
#task task2 t:10m
#task task3 @Today

#1 sets the timer based on the format you defined
#2 sets the timer based on a prefix (for parsing)
#3 sets the timer based on the generated date from the #Natural Language Dates plugin

The Task Timer Pane would show the existing tasks and the status and remaining time based on the end time.

You could start/pause/resume tasks as long as they are still valid.
If the task was started - for example #task Finish essay 1h30m the expectation is that after that time passes (with or without pauses/resumes) the task will be marked as completed. Is that correct? Completed does not mean necessarily Done

What will happen if you have a task of 10m and the clock started and then you decide to change it to 30m? Should the countdown reset to the beginning of those 30m or should it reset to the actual time remaining + remaining difference from original (20m)?

Nonetheless this is an interesting plugin suggestion if all the interactions are well thought out :+1: :100:

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I agree with the first two, however the third one doesn’t have an estimation, so I would prefer it if this plugin wouldn’t consider it until the user defines one for it.

Yes, a task pane to show real-time progress for each task, and the actual file would only update whenever you complete/switch to another task.

The task doesn’t complete automatically, a notification would alert you, then you’ll have 2 option to choose from :

  • to complete the current task
  • or add time to it if you’re not done with the task

This way completetd and done hold the same meaning, to avoid confusion.
An option can be added in the setting to complete the task automatically, given that some users might want it to work this way.

As I mentioned above, the actual file doesn’t update when you’re working on the task, only the pane that you suggested would. So when editing the current task, the time estimated in the pane would reset to the new time. This, in my opinion, is much simpler than adding to the remaining time of the task.

Thank you, I think so too. I hope it gets enough traction to be considered by the devs.

Thanks for sharing this informatic blog this is useful keep it up.

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So, to summarize, using this plugin should look somewhat like this :

The test pane automatically generated total-time and finished-time, as well as displaying the real-time countdown of the task. This countdown can also reside in the status bar to keep track even when changing panes.

The various commands that this plugin needs for working : start/pause/resume/reset/switch between tasks.

And finally, a notification at the end with 2 options : extend the time of the current task OR complete it and begin the next one on the list.

It is actually very similar with the pomodoro technique (both are based around countdowns), just without the mandatory breaks.

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