Podio stop confusing the user and add posiblity to disable task list in a app



  • Mette Frøkjær Hansen

    Hi Bastian,

    Thanks very much for your feedback on this - you definitely have a great point that the tasks field might seem a bit redundant in an app meant for bigger tasks.

    I have shared your feedback with the product team here and they will review this in regards to future improvements to Podio.

    I would like to address the background for having the native tasks in Podio and the tasks app in Podio.

    The native tasks in Podio are designed as quick to-dos for you and your team. From anywhere in Podio you can hit the shortcut "t" and create a task. In order to be able to link these native tasks to your items in Podio, the tasks field is a default setting in any app in Podio and it can currently not be removed because of its association with the native tasks creator. I understand that this can be confusing and interfere with a specific app build.

    Some users need to work with tasks in more detail and with more reporting options, and to adhere to this demand users have the option to create their own task/deliverables/actions app.

    The following things are possible with an app, which cannot be done with normal Podio tasks:

    • Adding custom fields to the task form
    • Assigning the same task to multiple team members
    • Getting an overview of what tasks your team is working on

    I see that having an app for tasks and using the native tasks can be confusing. If it help it is always a possibility to rename your tasks app to something else like "Assignments", "Actions", "Deliverables" or the like.

    We always try to give users an overview of their different options in Podio and encourage them to modify their apps to comply with their specific needs, as this is really the best way to customize the platform to a specific user's linking.

    Thanks again for the feedback.

    - Podio

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  • Ben Judy

    I agree completely with Bastian. It is incredibly confusing to add a Tasks-app, but still see the native tasks feature right along side it.

    Here is my customer experience:

    1) I found the native tasks to be lacking some features that I need. For example, I can't set a range for the due date / time.

    2) I added a Tasks-app (the one built by the Podio App Team, no less) and happily discovered that I can set a due date / time range there.

    3) Now, looking at the new Tasks-app I just installed, I find it very confusing. For one thing, the default name for the app is "Tasks." So it has the same exact label as the native Tasks feature, making them indistinguishable. (Yes, I later learned I could rename the App, but this was not obvious at first. It took me a while to figure this out. Also, I don't want to rename it! "Tasks" is exactly the right name for what it is.)

    4) Even worse, when looking at the Tasks-app there is a non-configurable tile near the top of the screen which allows me to quickly add a task. There is a large green button to add a new task -- this allows me to add one via the Tasks-app. But immediately above it, there is a small checkbox icon button. (I should point out, the same checkbox icon used by default for the Tasks-app... this reinforces the idea that the Tasks-app and native tasks are identical, which they are NOT! More confusion!) Clicking this checkbox icon button also allows me to add a task -- but NOT via the app. It adds a native task associated with the app itself. This is a bit "meta," you know? What am I going to do, add a task for myself to configure the Tasks-app!? This is not something I need to do, ever. And it took me quite a while to understand what was going on here.

    This is a real user experience problem. The solution is: add a Settings option to completely disable the native tasks feature. It would be ideal if this could be done in Workspace Settings, but I could also see it being useful in Organization Settings (even though that's a paid feature.) You might also consider allowing the user to disable native tasks in Account Settings, although that would introduce more complexity. If I disable native tasks in my Account Settings, what happens if another other user assigns a native task to me? I would think the system would have to disallow this.

    For users who have set up a Tasks-app, I think disabling the native tasks is what most of us want to do. Having both an installed Tasks-app and the native tasks (as designed) along side each other causes nothing but confusion and chaos.

    Thank you!

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  • David

    I agree with Bastian and Ben.

    The ability to create tasks in relation to the items in a given app should be optional. The current solution prevents me from designing my workflows the way I want them to be and fundamentally contradicts the philosophy of Podio: do work the way you want to do it.

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  • Norah Shannon

    Podio, any update on this?

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  • Are Stegane

    Any update on this issue?

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  • Charlie Lindstrom

    Hey guys,

    No updates on this on the roadmap at the time being. Did you try by naming the tasks app to something more distinguished such as Actions or something alike? Did that help to hinder the confusion at all?

    It's a bit tricky to block the possibility to add a Podio task to an item as this could also be useful. For these small personal tasks such as "Take a look at this", "Call this person" and setting a reminder..

    Being clear on what these Podio tasks are for and when to use the Actions app I think is key. Does it still cause much confusions?

    Maybe a How-tos/Training app with some guidelines could be something to look at that can help?

    /Charlie - Podio

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  • Brady Meisenhelder

    Charlie, Thanks for the follow up!

    Re: "It's a bit tricky to block the possibility to add a Podio task to an item as this could also be useful."

    It is unclear to me how the possible usefulness of something makes blocking the option on the software level tricky?? I can see how it might be tricky if an admin enduser disables tasks and doesn't tell their co-workers, etc...but that would seem like a user problem (though I know users may blame you anyway). I'm not sure what your statement is getting at.

    Even though we decided to use built in tasks ultimately, we may have preferred to disable them as we did consider a 'podio task app' instead of tasks. The issue was definitely not naming conventions, clarity, or how-tos. The issues have been stated by many other users previously. A few ones of the top of my head.

    • It is so 'easy' to add a task to something, that endusers (at least in my world) often end up adding them instead of 'actions' and it all gets a bit messy. Not all businesses have the most savvy/experienced computer users.
    • It would be nice to be able to use the task functionality for individual to-do lists (or for reminders on certain apps) and not on other apps where it would not be useful. Instead of instructing users to follow this paradigm, just disabling tasks in certain locations would be more efficient/effective and reduce training/instructions to the users in question.
    • If I have a IT ticket app for IT concerns, I want users to create a ticket when there is an issue and not add tasks anywhere (for example) but even light users can add tasks. Easy enough (in theory) to explain this to a 4 person office - less so if one has 100 volunteers a week who have to interface with touchscreens and any one of who we may want to report an IT issue. There are of course workarounds...put up signs near each touchscreen on how to report an IT ticket and make it clear they should not hit the 'task' field...but this is just building beauracracy where I'm afraid it is unnecessary (and where you again rely on non-experienced podio users to not make 'mistakes').

    This issue has been going on for years on podio so I gather it is just the way it is. Luckily, our need to disable tasks is not as strong as the case many others have laid out over the years, so we get by. I think, in some ways, one way to improve this somewhat would be to open up "app" and "user" permissions instead of limiting permissions to three user roles and per workspace (this has been suggested elsewhere and resolves other problems like sharing 'one app' instead of one item). Then if one can have a 'super light' user that can just view an app, or can view an app and add items only, etc...it adds some flexibility. From the outside looking in it has always seemed that making tasks optional by workspace/app/item/user should be a given; though it has been obvious for a while that podio for some reason feels it is integral to their viewpoint of what podio does.

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  • Norah Shannon

    I agree with Charlie. I just wish we had app level permissions, including if you can assign tasks to a particular app. Should just be an option on the app, just like files or voting. I'm not suggesting to take away tasks completely.

    I might suggest renaming tasks to todo or something similar as I think we can all agree that the built-in tasks are limited.

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  • Joel Schuler

    Podio, please make it possible to activate / deactivate tasks on app level! 

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  • Archived

    I want to bring this topic back up. We have the same problem and really want to "simply" disable the task field in some/all Apps like the tags and file field so we can make our on app which better suites our needs.

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  • Brady Meisenhelder

    It definitely can not be brought up enough, imo. 

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  • Mike Demunter

    +1 for this one!

    Ability to disable native task gadget for a specific App would definitely make a difference, for reasons outlined above.

    (same logic behind this as the existing checkboxes for "Files can be attached" or "Tags can be added" on any App)

    If users hitting "t" is the main concern, the system could for example show a message to the user that "Tasks are disabled for this App" or something

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  • Guido Jansen

    +1 from me. This is the single biggest point that keeps confusing my team members and keeps the project manager from getting a complete overview of everything that needs to be done.

    Renaming the app is a lame suggestion imho. It's still all tasks/todo's/Issues/activities whatever you call it, makes no sense to have them completely seperated and listed in 2 places. Either make the native task function more usable or simply make disabling tasks within a workspace possible.

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  • Kasper Dam

    Podio presents these handcuffs as a feature, while it is, in fact, a bug.

    We have 3 different layers of tasks. A project, with tasks-app items associated with them, that then has personal tasks associated with them.

    But when users go and create tasks directly, it distorts our views and management decisions, because we don't know the scope of tasks. 

    Charlie says it's tricky because it can be useful? I'm not sure why Podio should be the judge of my workflow, as I thought this was exactly what Podio was trying to eliminate.

    Attaching files and tags can also be useful. But somehow these two features made the cut and became optional.

    The solution is simple: If a user hits "t" on an app with personal tasks deactivated, a new task would simply be created, but with no relationship to the item. Or relationship to the workspace instead of the item.

    It would be great if we could use Podio to choose not to have our project views distorted because we have no control over this other than constantly pinging users asking them to stop using personal tasks this way.

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  • Søren Nielsen

    I see this topic has been raised on multiple occasions, and we have exactly the same question. Why are we forced to have the default task option in our othervice self created tasks/assignments app?

    I might not have been through every single post on this topic, so if this is no longer the case, please let me know. If it is still the case, please let us know if this will be changed sometime in the next few years or not.

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  • Magnolia Blue

    It's been so many years... when will Podio provide the option to disable tasks?

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  • Tim Miller

    PODIO - this thread started 6 YEARS AGO. It would be great to see this actioned now, it really is a pain to work around.

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  • Jeff Liesener

    I am a new Podio user and I thought this was the perfect solution for what we needed. A light CRM with task management and project management capabilities. In digging in further I discovered there is no way to view other peoples tasks in your company unless you delegated them the task. There is no simple filtering options in the native task section. There is no "All Tasks" view in the native Task view. 

    So I went down the path of building a custom Task App as suggested by others. But again, without the ability to disable the native task's you are just begging for users to put their tasks in multiple locations and becoming more disorganized vs more organized. Time Management 101 is to have ONE calendar and ONE task list so you can clearly see what is going on in your life. 

    Clearly I thought I was missing something, or that with such a big issue, Podio must be working on it. But then finding this post which is 6 years old of people asking for the same thing, and still we are at the same point, it is clear to me that Podio is just going to live with this and we all have to just work around it. 

    It is really to bad, because there are multiple quick fixes that would made this an easy solution for us to work around. Like another user said - either add a few features to the native task section, or allow users to disable it. 

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  • Stephen Greco

    One thing I've done to avoid confusion since native tasks are at the bottom of the item is put a header telling folks to ignore.

    Here is my code if this helps anyone

    var x = @Unique ID;

    var lrg = "800";
    var hgt = "40";
    var bg = "5092BD";
    var ft = "FFFFFF";
    var txt = "Do Not Use";

    "![](http://dummyimage.com/" + lrg + "x" + hgt + "/" + bg + "/" + ft + ".png&text=" + txt.toUpperCase() + ")"


    You can also use this to make sections in your items. It increases usability especially if you have multiple teams interacting within one app. You can segment to only what each needs so when they open the item they can quickly scan to the section they know they need.

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