Action or checkbox? Thoughts about "main relations"

Disclaimer: just some rambling and food for thought. I hope more news about AnyType’s future and the rework of relations will help avoid this kind of confusion soon.

Hi, I found myself wondering a couple of times what would be the best way to handle objects with a “done” or similar “property”. Should I use the Action template or a checkbox relation? The action layout basically acts as if the object had a “Done” checkbox relation, it’s more “standard” but it’s less “flexible”.

What do you generally use?

  • Action layout
  • Checkbox relation
  • Checkbox block

0 voters

This made me think about “main relations”. For many types of relations, it would make sense to have just one “main” relation that works similarly to the action layout, let me explain this with an example: having only one relation for dates, would make possible to create a set of that relation which would resemble a calendar.


Tricky question in my opinion!
Edit: I really like this question/topic btw!

I would vote neither, I prefer a dedicated task or to-do block. One you can filter with views in sets and such. So you can easily add tasks anywhere and find all your task in a (dedicated) set/views.

Personally I haven’t found a workflow or use for the Action Layout.

Checkbox have a simple usecase for simple check lists in a page.

More task management would come from Task object with checkbox relation or a status relation.


Isn’t this a checkbox relation?

True, there is a checkbox relation, but I thought you ment the checkbox list in simple text:

Which is also not what I mean with a dedicated task block. Since that would have more features like a deadline, reminder and other task related features.


I’ve just started using Anytype and have been thinking about this quite a lot. I think that to see what the problem really is, it might help to think about it from a UX perspective.

What am I trying to achieve?

I’m trying to quickly write out a list of tasks

How can I currently do that?

  • Action layout
    pro: Organization. I can view them, filter them and sort them in sets
    pro: Flexibility, can set Assignee, Deadline, Project, etc
    con: Workflow. requires that I go into the object and out of my current screen if I want to customize it further than just naming it. Also, even if I just want to name it, it’s not as smooth as simply pressing enter and writing another one without leaving the page, like checkbox blocks.

  • Checkbox block
    pro: Workflow. It’s the fastest and most comfortable way, minimum effort
    con: Organization. Can’t query the checkbox blocks, cant see them all at once or even just s part without going to the actual block.
    con: Flexibility. Can only name it, no other attributes can be assigned.

  • Checkbox relation
    con: Unproper use of relations. requires the creation of a relation for every task, flooding the relations with one-use objects, not ideal

To me, it looks like we would need to either:

  1. Have a way to have checkbox blocks be in-line Action Objects
    pro: Workflow, Organization, Flexibility
    con: UI. What else is shown? Assignee? Deadline? is it a table? whst if I don’t want to see those things? how do I manage that?

  2. Make checkbox blocks queryable via sets
    pro: Workflow, Organization
    con: doesn’t fix the Flexibility of checkbox blocks

So, how do we fix option number 1? I think the answer is inline sets! eyy here we go again

I think the key to having inline sets work well foe this workflow would them to act like a list, where I can just press enter and it will go to the next line to create a new object, highlighting the name field.

but well i haven’t been using this for long so maybe that already exists shah in which case im sorry and glad :blush:


Great summary! :grin:

I think Evernote does this really well, you can insert a task block

You can give it a title, due date, reminder, flag important, assign a person and remove it (icons from left to right).

So this is really fast, just insert task block like a checkbox and done.

Now in Evernote you have a dedicated to-do window that shows ALL your tasks in ALL your notes like a simple to-do manager. You can even see / filter what note those task come from.

You can even see number of tasks in that note in the list of notes:

I think this can be a solution in Anytype, have a dedicated to-do block with all the task related features. Then have the ability to make your own set(s) based on this block and perhaps is you have an object with task blocks in it, you can show the number of tasks in card view and set views like kanban/gallery.

1 Like

I think this one is a big one! Even now in list or kanban view, creating a new entry just creates an Untitled object that you have to actively click in the name field to update. [also hi Gorro!]

I think for me, I’d like to be able to have a simple checklist inline in a page but then easily convert the whole list to tasks if I need to upgrade it and for it to preserve the checkbox status to the task