How can we improve Checkvist?

"Zoom" and "View" Features

”Extract as A New List" is nice way to "divide and conqueror," but this is a static operation, which brings about a permanent change to the data structure. There is no convenient way provided so far for you to re-structure if you screwed up.

I am wondering if you can add a more dynamic and more versatile way for similar effects. You could call it "zooming." You specify a branch of the tree. Then you'll be shown the branch as if it was the whole tree, with other parts of the original tree hidden. The difference from the current "Extract as A New List" feature is that there is no permanent change to the data structure. If you know the Emacs text editor, you could look at it as the tree version of the function "narrow-to-region."

I see this mentioned in the tagging thread, and I too would like to see a "Saved Search" feature implemented. The usefulness of it is enhanced even more when the search condition can include zooming. Altogether, a "saved search" provides a certain "view" to your data.

The ideas above are based on the to-do management tool called ShadowPlan that I used to use on my Palm. It included a plethora of features for a tool that ran on a device with limited computing power in today's standards. The following link shows its manual in case you'd like to know more about it.

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  • Jonathan Sheller commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Actually, I just tried using the ... again and I must have missed it the first time but using that is basically a breadcrumb (actually, better) in that it shows you the shortest path out to the top of the list.

    Very useful, great job!

  • AdminKirill Maximov (CEO / Founder, Checkvist) commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Hello, Jonathan,
    We're not adding breadcrumbs, because when you hoist an item from a deep hierarchy, breadcrumbs might take too much attention. And you hardly need to see them all the time, if you focus on a single item. Still, you can easily view parents using […] control.

    Workflowy's got an excellent concept, but they are different. All their data is one endless list you zoom in and out. Hence the breadcrumbs: without them you're lost. In Checkvist you can create different lists for different purposes, and the focusing is not the primary navigation approach. So, we don’t think Checkvist should always show breadcrumbs - it contradicts our understanding of what ‘focus’ is.

  • Jonathan Sheller commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    This is great! Thanks for adding this.

    The only tweak I would strongly suggest, is changing the [...] up top to a breadcrumb which gives me an at-a-glance understanding of where I am in the list hierarchy. See Workflowy for an example of this. Without their breadcrumb, their app would not function.

    Zooming is a really amazing feature. However, you can get lost if you don't have a really easy way to see where you're at.

  • Aurelijus commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    yes, on workflowy this feature is amazing. waiting for it in checkvist :)

  • caputo737 commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    If I understand this correctly it seems very similar to a feature in the Omnifocus for iPad app. They call it "Focus" which "Focus zeros in on the project, context, or folder that you select, and hides everything else. To focus, touch and hold the item in the outline. Then, tap focus.
    (You can focus on a project by selecting it in the sidebar.) To view your hidden
    items again, tap projects in the title of sidebar. (You can also select a parent of the
    focus item.)" See page 15.

    I use this feature constantly.

  • Jonathan Sheller commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    any update on this? this is without a doubt the single most powerful addition to checkvist. i know what checkvist isn't trying to be workflowy (different feature sets, different philosophical views and purposes) but i think this feature is tremendously powerful. at the end of the day, this is the only way that I have found to make big lists continue to be usable. splitting lists only works if you mean "big" in terms of vertically long -- then you can just split into two buckets. if by a "big" list you mean one that has a great deal of nested levels, as I do here, it simply gets overwhelming to look at and deal with. The zooming feature is an extremely elegant way to solve this. I would pay a large sum of money to add this feature to an otherwise awesome checkvist that i find to be both robust in terms of functionality, and extremely clean and simple in terms of interface.

    I also think it opens the way towards many other very interesting features (i.e. share just a smaller portion of a larger nested list, simply be restricted the person on the receiving end to only have visibility into the "zoomed" node). Etc etc. But I'm mostly interested in being able to deal with large lists, or even small lists, elegantly and without the interface becoming extremely cluttered. Right now things always become cluttered either a) on a given list page, as it gets very busy or b) on the list of lists page, where you have too many lists and they are not organized in any particular way.

    any plans to do this in the near future?

  • Tyson commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I agree with everything drhouse said, implements this feature beautifully. I would love if checkvist implemented this similarly to their site. I think it would be great to also be able to view ALL lists on a single page, similarly to workflowy, but keep them separate as they currently are in checkvist.

  • Evgeniy Koshkin commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Kirill, you could take a look how it is emplemented in Visual Studio vNext (Solution Explorer tool window). In all cases it could be a greate feature!

  • Noam Kfir commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Considering that ShadowPlan (and probably other outliners too) already had this feature long before Workflowy came along, I don't think there should be any problem calling it "zoom".

  • drhouse commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I discovered Workflowy just yesterday and tha zoom feature blows my mind. In every other aspect Checkvist wins, in fact Workflowy's keymapping, logic and other visuals seem distinctly unappealing. But if Checkvist could zoom as well... that would be the killer feature I would be willing to pay for Pro alone. In case you don't want to call it 'zoom', it's a namebrand, I would suggest 'focus'. In the meantime, I'll be trying to implement a hacked version of focus on my own until the official version comes out. +3 votes (+10 if it were possible).

  • Jonathan Sheller commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Definitely. I think it opens up a lot of really useful features, and adds a ton of flexibility for people. I'm a big fan of this idea.

    Thanks for all your thoughtful comments & replies!

  • AdminKirill Maximov (CEO / Founder, Checkvist) commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    @Jonathan, thanks for the comment. You're right, zooming may allow additional per-branch sharing features. Moreover, zooming may work more effective than our "extract list" shortcut.
    But so far, due to our architecture, we provide sharing only on per-list basis, not per-task. And even if we allow to Zoom in (in the UI), this would not automatically allow to share the zoomed in branch.
    So there are some issues to ponder about from the implementation point of view.

  • Jonathan Sheller commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Zooming has the potential to add a ton of functionality, i.e. sharing sub-sections of a list. For example, I often want to collaborate or share a subsection of my lists but right now have to split that out into an entirely separate list. If zooming was implemented, it would be easy to shared only a subsection (i.e. a Zoomed in view) of a list.

    Just feels like there is a ton of interesting features and use cases which would be enabled by some sort of zooming.

  • AdminKirill Maximov (CEO / Founder, Checkvist) commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    @netaisllc Of course, that is possible :) Workflowy does a great job around a single feature - zooming, and this is their selling point. Zooming is essential for them, because they don't have a concept of lists (like in Checkvist).

  • netaisllc commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    @Kirill, I can't see behind the scenes of course, but what Workflowy is doing doesn't look impossible. To my eye their demo seems to suggest a very creative use of CSS to hide, expose and position the full outline. Easy for me to see, though, right? :)

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