Todoist/task help?


#1

After extensive research, it seems that Airtable’s api just isn’t yet set up to really make it sing with to do manager like todoist.

I’m not sure if this is an integrations request or a feature request so I’ll take the group’s guidance.

But here’s my question:

We absolutely love airtable for project management with our clients. However we are losing two critical features and maybe this group can help us figure it out:

1. discussion on a particular document. ( we think for now this is best done in the document or in the record itself. but it would be nice if one could get auto informed of a discussion on a record in slack -maybe that’s already possible? so much to know)

2. more importantly, and seemingly harder to solve: tasks management when each record is a task that has multiple owners. Take for instance the creation of a client blog post. Someone has to write it, a different person edits it, and a different person might do artwork.

How are most people handling that step? is it literally creating a table of sub tasks for each line item? are those in a different table? How are you dealing with dependencies? How are you tracking progress to completion overall or looking at the position of each task as a whole?

3. least importantly, I love todoist and I want to be able to have a task assigned to me in Airtable show up with its associated link, record, and all the data around it in a todoist task.

At this point, we’re paying someone to manually maintain all this, but I’d like to see if there’s a better way.

thanks, Folks!


#2

Regarding your first point

To make a your particular use-case work Airtabl’s API would need to provide a webhook, something that they do not implement currently.

A work around I generally use is to poll the API for any new changes.

Regarding your second point

Check out the linking of records, as I feel that would be the way you would want to go.
You could have "multiple people’ linked to your “task”(record).

Regarding your third point

It should be possible with the help of the Airtable API.
As the API provides you with the ability for basic CRUD operations which would allow you to create a the task on your Airtable Base

Cheers!


#3

Hi Melinda

I take a slightly different approach here…

In terms of discussion around data I feel the commenting features in Airtable are pretty good - you can @mention collaborators, for example, and they will receive notifications of subsequent discussion - or anyone can Watch a record. This is improved hugely if you turn OFF the display of revision history in expanded records.

For tasks - you have essentially described your sub tasks as tasks and I think this is self explanatory - each of these processes is a separate task - combining to complete a deliverable/milestone in your project. This should be a table linked to the parent task (deliverable). You could then use formula/lookup/rollup fields to indicate when the deliverable is complete (i.e. all tasks have been completed - or even what percentage of tasks are complete).

In terms of integration with Todoist, this can be done with Zapier or Integromat (the latter is more powerful in my view) and can be done in an entirely code free manner. It may well be possible to also update Airtable when a task is completed in Todoist but I haven’t investigated this in detail.

I hope this is helpful - feel free to come back if you have any questions.

Julian


#4

I manage content marketing projects and I follow Julian’s approach. My hierarchy is Client>Project>Content>Task. Each level is a linked table in the base, so every task is attached to a piece of Content; every piece of Content is attached to a Project; and every Project is attached to a Client. I also have a Team base, and team members are responsible for various tasks (such as producing a draft, editing a draft, etc).

Tasks have deadlines, and I can create views to look at upcoming deadlines by product or by team member. When you use blocks and calendars to visually represent the data and processes, it’s a great way to manage content.

I did use an Airtable-Todoist sync to manage my own tasks. It’s an easy Zap to create a new task in Todoist when you create a task in Airtable. And using a multi-step Zap, you can mark a task in Airtable complete when you complete it in Todoist. I’m no longer using those Zaps but it is do-able.

jack


#5

could you talk more about your multi step zap to mark tasks complete?


#6

A couple of caveats…
My approach did two things: First, it copied new tasks created in Airtable to Todoist. Second, it marked the task complete in Airtable when it was completed in Todoist. It did NOT mark the task as complete in Todoist if I marked it complete in Airtable; in other words, not really a “sync” in the strict definition of the term.
It requires a paid version of Zapier because it uses a three-step Zap and a label.

Zap A - Create a new uncompleted task in Todoist when a new record (task) is created in Airtable. This is an easy, single-step recipe in Zapier.

Zap B - When I mark a task as complete in Todoist, mark it complete in Airtable. This is the multistep Zap.

  • Step 1 - Action: Set up Todoist Complete Task With Label (it only triggers if the Todoist task is labeled “Airtable”). You will also need to specify the Todoist project where the task is.
  • Step 2- Action: Find Record. You tell Zapier the Airtable Base and Table where you keep your tasks. You then tell Zapier which field to search. I used the name field and made sure that each task name was unique (if this won’t work for you, you can modify Zap A and store the Todoist task ID back into your Airtable task record – as a multistep zap – and search for that). Then select Search Value from Step 1. In my case, it was the “Content” field from Todoist. Anyway, this step finds and makes the Airtable record ID available for the next step.
  • Step 3 - Action: Update Record. Now you need to tell Zapier to update the record it found. Again, select the Airtable Base and Table where you keep your tasks. Now, to choose the record to update, select “Use a Custom Value (Advanced)” and then select “Step 2 Record”. This step will also allow you to modify any field on the record, so at a minimum you can set your Airtable task to completed. I did this by using an Airtable checkbox field called “Completed” and setting it to “True” in this step by literally typing the word “True” in the Zapier field.

I realize this is probably clear as mud, but this worked for me. Strangely, my recipe included Step 2 twice in order to work, and I never figured out why that was.

JB