In the hamster plugin, why is the tag used as the activity instead of the title?

Asked by Jamal Fanaian

When using the hamster plugin in GTG, the task tag is used as the activity. In my tracking, the activity is usually a short description of what I am doing, which generally relates to the task title. Would it make more sense if the title is used as the activity, and then the best tag (or first), is used as the category?

If the workflow that this plugin was designed for is different, then I would love to see how you do it.


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Best Kevin Mehall (kevin-mehall) said :

Several people have requested this, so I think I'll make it a configurable option.

This is the workflow used in the Hamster examples, and how I find it most useful:
    Activity Name (what shows in the panel): "GTG"
    Description: "refactor hamster plugin"
    Category: "hacking"


    Activity: "refactor hamster plugin"
    Description: ???
    Category: "GTG"

because that way, the report can add up all the time for the "GTG" activity and also the "Hacking" category. Therefore, GTG tags best map to Activities, and the GTG task name goes in the Hamster description, leaving the Category for Hamster to fill in based on its previous knowledge of that activity. GTG uses tags to separate projects.

IMHO, putting the task title on the activity name, as you suggest, makes the overview and reports less useful and more cluttered because activity names are used multiple times only if the task is completed in multiple sessions. The report is better used for totaling up time for projects and categories. Plus, the text of the GTG task title is often too long and would make Hamster push other panel applets around. It also makes Hamster autocomplete activity names that are done and will never be used again.

Maybe a useful feature for Hamster would be to optionally include a list of all entries under each activity on the reports, and to calculate totals for all items with the same description. Do you think that is a better fix, or should I make the GTG plugin have the option to use task title as Hamster activity?

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Jamal Fanaian (jamalta) said :

That actually makes a lot of sense. Basically, it's understanding that the activity is more of what I am working on, instead of what I am doing. I think that's a great way to look at it, because in the statistics, it will show totals for a specific activity, no matter what you did for that activity.

I guess the best way to improve this is to give a better example in the applet. "Watering flowers" is more of an action, although that could be the activity, but maybe it should be "garden" or "gardening" and the description would follow with "Watering flowers". Just a thought, and I understand this isn't a GTG problem. I think I'm better off doing the way you suggested.

Thanks so much for the response.