Feature Request: Add Start Date field

Copper Contributor

Using To Do to work with Outlook tasks is a HUGE problem because To Do has bafflingly omitted the Start Date field.  Outlook has Start Dates.  Todoist does.  Microsoft's Planner does.  In fact, every task management system I've ever seen has them.  But not To Do, and that's despite the fact that it directly syncs with a program (Outlook tasks) that does.  So, Microsoft sees the value of start dates in all of its other task management software, but the To Do team thinks it knows better?


So who made this decision to hamstring To Do by leaving out this field?

4 Replies

I strongly agree with this point.  @mgerity 


How do i get notified when MSFT adds this functionality?  This app is not useful to me until it does. The code must be pretty simple to add it???

Agree 100%. I will not use this app until it has a Start Date. Start Dates are essential for keeping tasks I don't need to worry about yet out of sight until I need to act on them.

Absolutely! Without start dates - and an accompanying simple toggle switch to hide/show tasks with a start date in the future - the task list inevitably gets overwhelmed with to-dos that cannot (or just should not) be acted on right now, noticeably increasing the mental burden to identify/select the next action to work on. Every task management app/system I've ever tried fairly quickly becomes unusable as soon as the number of tasks in it increases without this mechanism to focus in on the sub-set of all recorded tasks that you actually could/should work on now.


This is particularly the case with repeating tasks. E.g. if I've just done "submit monthly timesheet" I do not want to see the next instance of that task cluttering up my list for the entirety of the coming month until it's actually ready to be acted on in about 30 days' time.


The key "gotcha" I desperately hope they avoid this time if this feature ever gets added - which MS got horribly wrong with the original Tasks in Outlook - is that it must be possible for a task to have a start date but not a due date, including repeating tasks with only a start date.


Lots of maintenance or administrative type tasks have this pattern, where they need to repeat (i.e. become active/visible after passing the new instance's start date) after a certain period, but then there's no hard deadline (i.e. "due date") beyond which any kind of specific consequences are triggered if it's not completed by then. Currently, Outlook Tasks forces these to be given a due date, which means your list of due dates becomes a horrible mish-mash of "true, hard deadlines" and "soft, nice-to-have target" dates. Since being overdue on the latter category generally has no real-world impact, this just trains you to be lax about adhering to the few dates in there that really are critical (even if the task itself may otherwise be relatively unimportant).

I am searching for this feature as well. In fact, it is the only real blocker for me to start using and recommending this application to others. Outside of that there are many standard approaches to task management, that require having a 'Start date' field. Please, if you decide to simplify, at least leave an opportunity to opt in for this future.