A filter to view recently modified items (similar to Google Drive)

TL;DR… What?

I suggest you add “Modified Date” to filter options.

TL;DR… Why?

Google Drive - Recent Files is a 24 second video on YouTube which succinctly and deftly explains what I am asking for, and why I am asking for it.

Long Explanation

When I am working, I primarily use Google Docs (word processing) and Google Sheets (spreadsheets).

When I am working, I typically visit https… ://drive.google.com/drive/recent at least ½ a dozen times per day to see a chronological list of my Google Docs and Google Sheets files which I have recently modified.

I suppose this feature might seem trivial to you, because I suppose it would probably be technically trivial for you to implement, yet for me it’s very handy because it is analogous to having actual paper files sitting on my real desktop, which I can quickly access.

See, I often tend to forget the name of the Google Docs and/or Google Sheets I had been working on, say, even as recently as an hour or two previously.

I know that many people solve this problem by keeping myriad tabs open in their browser(s), however, I like to minimize the number of open tabs in my browsers.

Therefore, when I want to open, for example, a Google Doc which I had been working on for, say, an hour or two previously, instead of trying to remember the name of that Google Doc, I often go to https… ://drive.google.com/drive/recent, glance at the most recent half dozen or so files at the top of the list, and double-click on the file I want to open.

If you have a freemium Gmail account (which is actually a freemium Google Workspace account), then you have access to Google Drive. If you have not done so previously, I hope you will consider spending at least a few minutes playing around with Google Drive because it is a remarkably useful tool which I find very easy to use.

For example, I am frequently able to right click on files and folders in Google Drive to issue commands such as rename, move, copy document URL, etc.

Refinement #1

I removed the hyperlinks below because Discourse popped up this, “An error occurred: Sorry, new users can only put 2 links in a post.”

If you want to “get fancy”, here are some ideas…

  1. New view in Google Drive shows recent activity in one place
    https… ://workspaceupdates.googleblog.com/2023/10/new-view-in-google-drive-shows-recent-activity.html)

  2. Check activity & file versions
    https… ://support.google.com/drive/answer/2409045?hl=en&co=GENIE.Platform%3DDesktop

Refinement #2

Ideally I would also like an option to include “Modified Hour” so I could filter, say, from 8 hours ago to 3 hours ago.

See, sometimes I’ll end up editing a couple of dozen files in a short period of time, and subsequently want to open a file I had worked on earlier in the day.

In such cases, I would like to be able to filter out the couple of dozen files I opened, say, over the last hour or so.

For example, imagine I am working at 4:15pm. Now, let’s say I want to modify a Google Doc which I had created in the morning (whose name I don’t remember). However, after lunch I had quickly edited a couple of dozen Google Docs.

If I could filter, say, files modified from 8 hours ago to 3 hours ago, then I would need not see the couple of dozen Google Docs I had edited after lunch “cluttering” my search.

Final Thoughts

Sure, I am familiar with the adage: “Advice is easy to give, yet hard to take” https… ://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-b-1-lm&q=Advice+is+easy+to+give%2C+yet+hard+to+take)." But well, at the risk of making that mistake, here goes nothing https… ://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/here_goes_nothing…

Devs tend to fritter away countless hours adding technically complex and challenging features to applications, which hardly any users actually end up using, because devs enjoy the intellectual challenge of solving complex software engineering problems.

However, in fact, many features that ordinary users find very useful, are often technically mundane for devs to implement. Because devs tend to dislike working on technically mundane features, they tend to implicitly conflate “a technically easy solution” with “a feature that would not be very useful to my users.”

I hope you will not do that.

Sure, this feature might not be technically challenging (fun) for you to implement; nonetheless, I am confident that it is a feature which the overwhelming majority of users of Vikunja would find very beneficial.

At the end of the day, users don’t care about features per se; rather, users care about benefits.

Therefore, I hope you will focus primarily on creating benefits for your users, instead of crafting technically challenging and intricate features which hardly any of your users are likely to actually ever use.

I would like to remind you of something which I presume you are familiar with: many technically sophisticated and useful indie FOSS projects have been abandoned because the devs who built them were good at engineering, yet bad at running a business.

I have watched indie FOSS devs abandon their beloved and remarkably useful FOSS projects, which they had worked on assiduously, because they (surprise, surprise) failed to sufficiently monetize them.

The more you actually create benefits for your users, the more likely you are to persuade paying customers to reward you with the recurring revenue you need to ensure that Vikunja will be a long-term source of your primary income, instead of merely being a long-term side hustle.

Thanks for that in-depth feedback. You’ve really made it clear why that would be a useful feature.

Just to be sure: you’re talking about filtering and sorting tasks by their last modified date?

In any way, I’m currently in the process of rebuilding the filter logic, will add this to the list (because as you guessed, it’s quite easy to implement).

Thanks for that in-depth feedback.

Thank you for taking the time to engage in this discussion with me.

You’ve really made it clear why that would be a useful feature.


Just to be sure: you’re talking about filtering and sorting tasks by their last modified date?

I hadn’t considered it, but upon further reflection: I would like both sorting and filtering as is shown in…

Google Drive: Managing Files
https… ://youtu.be/MKtqfCfZNEE?t=52

But, really, please… pretty, pretty please take at least 10 minutes or so to play around with Google Drive on your own computer. If you don’t have a freemium Gmail account, then I suggest you make one.

Why try to “reinvent the wheel.” Or as Picasso famously opined, " “Good artists borrow, great artists steal." I suggest you simply “steal” the sorting and filtering GUI from Google Drive (or other cloud providers such as Microsoft OneDrive, Dropbox, Box, etc).

In any way, I’m currently in the process of rebuilding the filter logic, will add this to the list

Instead of a list (I generally dislike lists, but I do use them when necessary) it’s better to have an analog such as the sorting and filtering GUIs of Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, Dropbox, Box, etc.

In other words, technical requirements documents are, believe it or not, a poor substitute for an actual working example. Sure. When one builds some novel (unique) software feature for the first time, requirements documents are crucial. But if you are going to copy part or all of an existing system, generally it’s better to use that existing system instead of a list.

In other words, instead of a list called “Rebuilding the filter logic” why not say, “More or less, make filtering logic work like it does in Dropbox.”

This isn’t a trivial point; it would likely save you a huge amount of time and effort. The Chinese, for example, infamously engage in international industrial espionage. Putting aside morality, that is, from an amoral perspective, it’s understandable: why should one invent when one can copy?

(because as you guessed, it’s quite easy to implement).

That’s like guessing whether or not the government of Sierra Leone has a military. Given the current functionality I observed in Vikunja, I wasn’t guessing; I was surmising.

I’m not boasting; rather, I’m explaining that although I am more of a functional architect than a technical architect, I have worked with engineers to design not merely functional, but also technical architectural solutions.

A sorry, I meant this as “I’ll add this to my list of things to change about the filters”. I’ll definitely copy the parts of how Google Drive does, I won’t reinvent the wheel.

I’ll definitely copy the parts of how Google Drive

Better, “I intend to copy…”

Being less certain will tend to help you to keep an open mind.

I won’t reinvent the wheel.

Like Picasso opined, “… steal…”