Using Anytype as Your Task Tracker &/or Project Management Tool 📊

Hi everyone, hope you’re all doing great!

Our lovely product team is eager to consult you guys, or specifically those who use Anytype for managing tasks and projects.

The Big Questions: :man_detective::chart_with_upwards_trend:

  • Who is using Anytype as a Task Tracker &/or Project Management Tool?

  • Is Anytype missing any features to utilize it fully as Project Management Tool?


Fuel for conversation :speaking_head::fire:

How did you crack the code of using Anytype effectively for managing tasks and projects?
How can we make it even better?

Given Anytype’s inherent flexibility, everyone has there own way of making things work, and that’s what we want to tap into. Whether you’ve just dipped your toes or you’re doing laps in the Anytype pool, your experiences are the raw nuggets we want to refine into 24 karat gold :trophy:

What’s in it for You? :rainbow: :handshake:
Your insights will literally help carve out a fresh project management use case.
Get savvy with tips and stories from fellow Anytypers.
Pull together the community by sharing what clicked for you

How to Dive In: :speech_balloon: :man_swimming:

  • Drop a reply sharing your thoughts, discoveries, or experience with similar tools.
  • High-five others’ by liking the comments that resonate with you. Ask questions and get chatty!
  • Keep it friendly and upbeat – this is our knowledge exchange hub!

This convo doesn’t need to be limited only to product talk, it’s also about boosting each other’s know-how and finding new, cool ways to squeeze the most juice out of Anytype :tangerine::tropical_drink:

So, let’s get into the nitty gritty and dig the infinite wisdom of our community. Can’t wait to read what you’ve got to say!

7 Likes

Just my first quick thoughts:

For me the first thing AnyType is missing to start being a viable option for managing tasks/projects are timeline/calendar views. Without a way to visualize tasks in time it’s hard to switch from calendar (caldav) tasks or Notion.

image

One thing that instead works great for me when it comes to tasks it’s how fast anytype mobile app is (make it even faster to add a task!)

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Voted that it’s still missing a few things. As said above, calendar/timeline view missing, can’t capture things without leaving the keyboard, and no way to manage project files (not notes) like the file explorer plugin in obsidian.

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While progress is being made with Anytype I am still missing features both for personal as well as professional usecases.

I will awnser this from a project management and task management standpoint what is missing:

  1. Calendar view is still missing and is a key part of any PKMS and task manager in my opinion. Wether it is a set view or a core component of the app.

  2. Dedicated daily notes. I use them personal and professional. I use daily notes to quickly write down anything, like phone calls, tasks, reminders, etc. To later be sorted to their permanent place (task set, project folder, etc).

  3. Proper task management is still missing. Reminders, notifications, recurring tasks, quick (temporary) filters, etc.

  4. Quick add from outside the app on mobile. Widgets on mobile, not the ones in the sidebar.

  5. Multiplayer and sharing is also missing I would say for project management.

  6. Relations for files, images, bookmarks etc. For project management I miss being able te add relations (like tags) to this. So you can sort and filter them for your projects.

Those are the main things missing I think for project management and task tracking.

A bonus note would be multiple windows.

19 Likes

Agreed!

What do you mean by adding relation to files. I am able to add relations to the file page.
I agree with sharing as being the biggest need for using anytype as a collaboration and project management tool.

This is what I mean, adding relations to files like PDF’s:

I can add them it seems (I thought this was not possible before) but they don’t show on the page and cannot be edited or removed.

So I can add them, but they are not usable! :wink:

Same goes for images. Bookmarks do seem to work but that is because it is just an object with a link…

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I find that using anytype I am able to spend more time working in the system than on the system like I did with tana/logseq/obsidian etc. I have been able to use anytype as my main project manager and after I understood the terminology, I can see the power. I believe it to be more powerful than tana with relations being like super tags. I still use mem for data capture but all my work is now done in anytype.
I plan to use anytype with my team as soon as collaboration is developed.

What do you mean by not showing up on the page? do you mean the actual pdf? or do you mean you can’t see them unless you click the little relations triangle?

See the screenshot in my previous post. I can add relations it seems but they are locked and can’t be used.

I added the tag relation and the Project Relation as Tag but they are locked. I cannot fill the status or add tags so basically un-usable.

Also, I cannot remove them ones added.

Hope it is clear what I mean.

ok - I can see that now. I have added relations to a file but they don’t seem to be usable. I have added a tag relation to a file but can’t choose the actual tag nor remove it. It feels like it is probably in development and not finished yet.

1 Like

It depends a lot on what kind of PKMS Anytype wants to be. I’m sure to many it’s already there. To me it’s not, unfortunately.

Right now Anytype is in an awkward state - on one hand, it offers powerful databases (a feature that is missing in most pkms and is being increasingly requested by users), on the other, it lacks the basic capabilities of an outliner, for frictionless and granular capturing/editing (which many pkms already do very well, such as Logseq and RemNote).

To me both these aspects are essential, and need to be fundamentally integrated - more and more apps are starting to do this, like RemNote, Tana and SiYuan, where individual blocks can have properties and tags, allowing them to be queried and then presented in a variety of views, including list, table, calendar, timeline, gallery etc.

By the way, many refer to this frictionless/granular editing experience as “outlining”. It’s a term I find fitting, but problematic, as a lot of people might think this refers to the outline of a document (sort of the ToC).

I can’t adopt Anytype right now because even if the team decides to go this direction, it seems it would require major refactoring. Unless Anytype can deal with the increased load of having every single block be what is now called an Object (and still keep everything else - Relations, links etc), and have them live within a frictionless outliner editor.

Even the title of this post reflects how Anytype perhaps doesn’t seem to “get” pkms. It implies a PKMS is a task tracker with project management. Task tracking is just one feature a PKMs can have - it’s important, but secondary. Project management is also secondary. PKMS stands for Personal Knowledge Management Systems. Sure, a good PKMs should also be usable as project manager, but that’s not the main thing.

To me, the main thing a PKMs needs is to be accessible, frictionless and flexible. Unfortunately, as powerful as it is, I don’t see Anytype as any of these things. Every time I Iaunch Anytype to try to start using it for my actual notes, I face some very basic roadblock. For example, I tried to tick a task as complete in the dashboard on mobile and couldn’t. Or I tried to do a simple filter in a set and it didn’t work. I have little incentive to try harder due to the fact that I feel I’d be forcing Anytype to be what it doesn’t want to be. The editor feels sluggish and bloated too, since I mostly write in outlines, not long form “pages”.

Meanwhile, editing in RemNote (my current PKMs) is a breeze. I don’t mind the app is a bit “ugly”. I do mind it’s too expensive for the one-time payment option, which is why I’m looking for alternatives. Logseq is a strong contender, although the editor isn’t wysiwyg.

Anyway, I apologize for the rambling post. Part of me already moved Anytype to the “not for me” pile, which is why I don’t usually dedicate much more time/effort here as much as I used to. The other part of me still has some hope.sometimes. Posts like this, where the team mentions possible PKMs plans, help fuel a bit that hope.

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I use Anytype for my Personal Knowledge Management stuff, kept my work Project Management in Notion for now.

In what Anytype is great is all its relational stuff with the Graph being the cherry, I love the look on my “brain” and relations I made for my knowledge.
My daily use case is PARA method, for which widgets do great job (each letter as a single widget, P-collection of pages / A - page with linked areas in a hierarchy / R - collection of collections / A - collection of all unused objects.
The ability to have widgets for my bookmarks, notes or tasks at a glance is also very nice. Of course I also created a Dashboard page with a different look on all the PARA sections and my notes (as inbox) with tasks as my routine for the day.

That being said, there are missing things in here that I would love to see in future, with some already mentioned here.

Things I would love to see that would improve my PKM usage and could help me get my PM stuff into anytype as well:

  • the calendar view, mentioned here and in feature requests
  • reminders (also mentioned here), either to be able to put them anywhere (with a @remind special action) or perhaps to have reminder implemented into the Task object, so that we could create a /task anywhere and set a reminder for it.
  • “moving” the linked object to different place. This is specifically for the PARA method and its A-archive part. Where a Note/Page or anything from the Projects, Areas or Resources is no longer needed, I should move it to my Archive, but right now doing so is quite cumbersome - because I have to link the object to Archive and then unlink it from the place it was originally placed (or places). It would be nice to have something like “move” or option to “Unlink” object from some/all relations from the Object view (just like we can “Link” it there)
  • Kanban improvements, especially one that was already mentioned on the forums, where it would be nice to be able to group by a single value of a “Tag” relation type, cause right now if I have Object with Tags of “Foo” and “Bar”, my Kanban board will show a “Foo, Bar” as a group, what is kind of useless, because that may be the only time I used those two together. It would make more sense to show me two separate columns of “Foo” and “Bar” and both showing me that object with both tags on it.
  • a bug fixes on things that are already there, like a thing I recently discovered where creating a Task from anywhere won’t apply it a Default template
  • not sure if it was mentioned somewhere before, but being able to apply existing template to an empty object, so that at least the above could be mitigated

@Jeroen

  1. Dedicated daily notes. I use them personal and professional (…) To later be sorted to their permanent place (task set, project folder, etc).

Could you elaborate here? aren’t current notes sufficient for this? We can create the Notes, them having the Created Date, so that it can be filtered on a Set or Collection, and when sorting it out, we can simply change the type of the Note to a desired one and link it to a place we want. Seems like the use case you described here or Im missing something?

A bonus note would be multiple windows.

this is a working thing on MacOS as well. Perhaps you meant Multiple Tabs in a single Window?

6 Likes

My heart is with Anytype while my head is with Obsidian. Just using anytype because of the love and potential. It’s such a pain to use right now because the Mobile app is far inferior to the Desktop, one issue I’ve been raising for a long time. It just lacks many fundamental features on mobile and some on desktop to make me finally settle for it.

  1. I want to be able to manage the Type Library better on mobile, some of the settings like choosing layout and assigning templates.
  2. No graph view on mobile and that seems to not be in plan anytime soon
  3. Toggle for every block. Not making it an outliner per say but look at the excellent rendering by capacities and amplenote. Perfect for all workflow, this should have been my number 1.
  4. Bidirectional displays makes it unusable for PKM users especially for Zettelkasten workflow.
  5. Pin code for mobile as well
  6. Indentation
  7. Export and backup for mobile (I understand this is in plan).

Anytype is now on notesapp.info with 113 features. I made the request sometimes ago that would enable me try all features and compare with other note apps.

I appreciate the efforts of the team and am a believer but considering obsidian has all this features ready and recently added properties. It’s more like having to choose between the best note app in the world and the potential greatest app ever.

7 Likes

Love it!
My heart is with Anytep while my head is with Notion (projects management) and Evernote (daily note and WIKI).

For daily note, I need :

  • better tag management
  • widget for tag list
  • Evernote import (or something to do that)

For Notion :

  • Formula
  • local relation/data
  • Spaces
  • Share (web)
  • Share (Multiplayer)
  • Better view (group by,…)

With this, I’ve got the minimum to switch over (there will still be areas to improve to make the whole thing pleasant enough to really take the plunge, linked above all to the UX and the customization of elements).

3 Likes

Yes I can and no current notes are far from sufficient for this.

Apps like Capacities and Obsidian (and many others) have a dedicated daily notes feature. Where the app or user creates a daily note which comes with a dedicated features. This is different from the creation date since a daily notes feature allows you to create notes in the past and future. See this screenshot from Capacities:

As you can see this daily notes feature comes with dedicated month view on the right, showing a dot for each day you have a daily note. It comes with dedicated month, week, three days and day views. And also, it automaticly adds any date relation to this page, like objects created on this day, linked mentions, tasks deadlines, etc.

I go more in depth into multiple calendar usages in a note taking app in this topic:

Ofcourse you can create a daily note set, add relations and make set views but it is far from a dedicated daily notes system where you can browse the calendar for example.

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So, in the end it looks like the most important part here is to have a Calendar View, where it would highlight days which have objects saved.

Everything else is achievable with current set of featuresI think. And where I fully understand the dedicated feature you are talking about and your need for it, I just think that with Calendar View added we can achieve it on our own. With the widgets as Daily Note quick access and the Set having Calendar View (hopefully added soon) for a start.

The daily note could be more of a nice to have request in favor of things we cannot achieve at all currently.

1 Like

First of all, Anytype already is a great tool for a project management. Big thanks to Anytype team!
I think that technology choices made by Anytype team are excellent: local-first approach with CRDTs and automatically resolving merge conflicts is incredibly handy when using multiple devices (I mostly use desktop app and android app).

I mostly use the Task type and have separate Collections of tasks per project. I chose collections over sets because of the ability to manually reorder tasks in a list.

There are several things I would like to see iterated upon:
Desktop

  1. Default object type for a collection. Also default relations would be great - I tend to create a collection of tasks for each project, and would like to have a project automatically linked to a task.
  2. The way collection sorting works is buggy and inconsistent: many times sorting is not applied until reopening collection. It may also never apply at all and require to change collection sorting manually.
    Sometimes priority of sort parameters change unexpectedly, for example sort by status was first in a list and became last.
  3. On a topic of sorting again - I miss the ability to assign a sorting rank to a relations of type Status. The only way to sort status relations is alphabetically.
  4. I miss an option to quickly filter by a relation value - tag, for example.
  5. For some reason, search does not always work. It may miss a task even when searching by exact task name.
  6. As I use Anytype to also store notes, it would be really handy to have tabs in an editor in order to quickly copy note contents (or multiple notes content) to a task.
  7. For a local-first app, some things seem very slow - on my laptop (AMD 5900x ultrabook) it takes about 1,5 to 2 seconds to open an object from a collection. It feels really slow, almost like waiting for a network request. This problem is not present when opening object from a sidebar

Android

  1. Due to inability to choose default object type for a collection, adding tasks is really hard. No default type also mean no templates for a Task if my global default type is Page. It also makes it really tedious to manage relations of a newly created objects.
  2. Reordering of tasks manually is impossible. If there is such functionality in android app, I failed to find it.
  3. Inline collections are presented as a button that leads to a source collection or a set. However, views are not synchronized. Because of that, I need to copy all the view settings to the source collection from inline collection and vice versa in order to use that collection on android device. That is tedious and error-prone.
  4. Default templates are not applied at all. In order to use a template, I have to select it from a dropdown menu of a New button when creating an object inside a set. And as i said earlier, it is completely impossible to select a Task template when creating object inside a collection if global default is different.
  5. Touch targets are really small. Most of touch elements and buttons are much smaller than recommended size of 48x48dp. In particular, checkbox relations are very hard to check without opening the task itself.
  6. Sorting is broken, several sorting criteria are not applied (for example Status and Tags).
  7. Managing relations of an object is tedious and requires too many actions. Also UI on android is completely custom and most of usage patterns are unusual and feel alien to android ecosystem / UI.
  8. On android, horizontal scrolling of a grid view collection interferes with vertical scrolling. Vertical scrolling gestures only work like 60-70% of time.
  9. Featured relations are not really useful if I have multiple checkboxes as featured. They don’t have labels and it is impossible to tell one from another. Also checkboxes are very small and hard to tap.

Other things I miss

  1. Default view settings per device. I always use List view on android and Grid view on a desktop.
  2. Other defaults: default page layout width,
  3. Sharing to Anytype on android.
  4. Reminders and notifications.
  5. Collection-specific relations or unique set of relation values per collection.
  6. More batch operations: batch assigning relation values to multiple objects for example

Overall, I am really happy with flexibility of Anytype and wish all the best to Anytype team. Thank you guys!

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This is a real concern for me as well, even though I just adopted Anytype and overall really like it. To me the object based approach, which seems hard to grasp for some people, make things really easy.

But I find the initial question a bit broad. Even though I understand that for many project management and knowledge management go hand in hand - it’s not the same and I personally would like to see Anytype improve the (personal) knowledge managment features before heading over to (collaborative) project mangament features.

  • Backlinks view. I don’t understand why this doesn’t come up more often here in the forum. But the form to see links are still very rudimentary.
    Having a visual graph is cool and nice. And the flow is a very great view. But it is too cumbersome to get there and see those information. A way to see links and relations more easily is probably the feature I miss the most. Especially because neither Graph nor Flow are available in the mobile iOS app and there is no option to see these links and navigating is much more difficult.

  • Advanced Querying
    The possibilities to filter sets are still very sparse compared to Logseq queries or Obsidians Dateview queries (and I think also compared to Notion, but I’m not familiar with that).

  • Inline Sets / Collections
    These are completely useless in the mobile version, as they don’t take over the views / filters and only link to the source.

I also understand that a calendar view could be nice, but I don’t find it essential. As well as reminders, subtasks etc. These are nice to have and for sure important for a project management tool - but not knowledge management.

In general, I like Anytype very much. I find the user interface very appealing. Which is a non-negligible feature for me and has always bothered me the most about other very powerful apps like Obsidian for example.

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This is actually something I didn’t think of up until you mentioned it, but it is so obvious to have, taking all the things you pointed out!
It is indeed cumbersome to traverse relations via the Flow view, I would as well appreciate a better showcase of backlinks of the object I’m in, cause currently it feels like a one-way relation, where it is definitely is not.

Darn, from now on I will be really missing this functionality :smiley:

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