TaskAlot 4 - How it works

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Some notes about how to use TaskAlot 4 - This is not about development, but about usage.

One task per card

It's important that by the time a card moves from 'Backlog' to 'Next', that it contains only one task:

  • Something that is expected to take less than a working day
  • Owned (& probably done) by one person.

Compounded tasks?

It might be tempting to turn cards into 'small projects' or 'compounded tasks', where multiple people are involved who do different parts of the job:

  • It would reduce the overall number of tasks, creating less clutter
  • Notion has a lot of markup possibilities, so this can easily be done. E.g., using checklists.

Problems with compounded tasks

Compounded tasks have some problems:

  • You can't easily see from the title of the card, what the task is about - Since it's compounded
  • You can't see from the title & main fields of the card (like in a view) who is next to work on that card
  • There isn't an obvious way to signal who's next to work on the card: Only if you leave a comment mentioning that person's name
  • Double-headed management: There is a risk the task gets lost as no individual may feel responsible for it
  • You can't include it in a Calendar view in a meaningfull way
  • You can't easily include it in a planning, as you would have to plan only a part of the overall 'compounded task'.

Have only one task per card

The obvious solution: By the time a card moves from Backlog to Next, it should contain only one task, or 'atomic tasks'.

Avoid clutter: Use a cluster

The problem with atomic tasks: A relatively simple job will become a number of cards, cluttering the overview.

If so desired:

  • Create a cluster for grouping these tasks together
  • Create a new view that excludes these tasks.

Where to find your tasks?

There are different ways to find tasks that may pertain to you:

  • Boards » Boards that you're part of
  • People » Your name
  • Cluster » Relevant cluster, e.g., SysAdmin for yes... Our system administrator.
  • Non-assigned tasks: Check for clusters like ?Your name or ?Your organisation

Which tasks?

  • Tasks at Active or Next that have your name
  • No such tasks? Any task at Next without name that seems reasonable to you.
  • Tasks at Backlog are usually not yet SMART or waiting for something else - Or check with Jeroen.

When you select a task:

  • Fill in your name at the field People
  • Fill in an expected date in the field Do date
  • Move the task to "Active".

In general: It might be handy if e.g., at the beginning of the week, you select a couple of tasks that-more-or-less will be enough for that week: It makes coordination a bit more predicatable for everyone.

Tasks & multiple applications

  • When a task applies uniformly to all sites (e.g.: Create a paage "Blub"), just add the cluster all_all. Only add additional clusters (e.g., eur_en, de_de, fr_fr) if they have priority and it is important that folks see this task when they filter for any of those clusters
  • When a task applies to multiple site in a non-uniform wasy (e.g., Fix 404s with different errors for different sites), create additional tasks for each site + attach info that pertains to that specific site

People & tasks

On tasks:

  • When a name is entered for People, that person owns the task
  • When multiple names are entered for People, it might mean that they can do both parts of it, or that they should coordinate on it (e.g., discuss it together and make a decision). Ideally, this is indicated on the card
  • When multiple people work sequentially on the same card, keep them all on the card, so they can all see progress. If you only keep the person on the card who's move it is, other stakeholders, may not see the progress. Make it sure from the context, who is supposed to do something. E.g., in the title or in a comment.

Issue: Overlap projects/tasks & clusters

There is an overlap between projects/operations & clusters. E.g: There is a project FinEUR, but also a cluster eur_en. Do they mean the same? Than why have both?

Some thoughts:

  • They don't automatically mean the same: There might be tasks related to eur_en, that are not part of the project → These should definitely get the cluster
  • Don't add clusters to tasks, unless you're quite sure that it will have a purpose soon - Note to self: TaskAlot is a means, not a goal
  • See how this develops - It's all quite new anyway.

Nominating people for tasks

The field People is used to indicate who owns a certain task. But how about 'nominating' or 'suggesting' people for certain tasks? Clusters like ?name or ?organisation are used to indicate tasks that might be a good match with that person or organisation.


At any one moment there are usually tens of tasks waiting for folks to do them. These tasks are usually associated with operations or projects and this might help folks to find their next task. However, even within any project, there are a wide variety of expertises, and finding a good match, might be a tedious job.

Priority vs. Urgent

There are flags Priority and Urgent. They are not the same:

  • Priority: Please do this first, whenever you are working
  • Urgent: Please do this as soon as possible.

Waiting for a result? - Consider it done

  • When waiting for a result, it usually is fine to close the card already, assuming that you will be informed about the result - Its messy to keep the card open
  • When it is really important, or prone to be forgotten: Keep it open - Maybe use flag Waiting
  • Or maybe make a separate card about waiting for the result? - That seems overkill.
Example: I've followed the procedure and I'm now waiting for the results from Google. They will come by email in about 5-7 days. On the other hand: This is really important, so maybe keep the card open as a reminder
As before, but now with the flag Waiting. Finally an example that Waiting can refer to something outside the organisation

Attachments (2023.04)

Where to include attachments (e.g., emails)?

  • Email?
  • Dropbox?
  • TaskAlot? As an experiment, let's use TaskAlot for this. Especially since we don't have that much attachments anyway.


  • When an attachment (e.g., an email) relates to only one task → Include it with that task
  • When an attachment relates to a cluster, but not to a board → Include it with that cluster
  • When a

See also