Lost 63 inbox items due to internet connectivity problems


I discovered GTDNext today as I’ve been reading GTD and wanted to find a good way to implement the inbox processing. GTDNext definitely has the best UI out of all the options I’ve encountered and I started getting on a roll of the whole collecting all the random things floating around in my head phase, was feeling really good and I was almost ready to upgrade to premium on the spot.

Then my wifi had a connectivity problem for a minute. After I managed to reconnected, when the app loaded again, I had gone from 136 items entered down to 73. I had a few items disappear earlier today and read about how reloading might help, and it did, although in a bit of a weird fashion, where it took several reloads to get all the items to reappear (first a few reappeared, then a few reloads later, all the rest). That time I only had about 10 items go missing, and then they all came back. But this time with 63 items lost, I spent 5-10 minutes refreshing, hoping desperately that they would come back, but no luck at all.

I’m sorry, but as much as I want to love the app, I really can’t bring myself to use it any further after this problem. I would use it in a heartbeat if a desktop app was developed where the data would be both stored locally on my harddisk and synced with the Digital Ocean servers too so I could access it from the webapp if I ever need to and don’t have access to my laptop. I have wifi connectivity problems every so often and so I can’t bring myself to want to use the app any longer as long as it still uses whatever method of syncing data that allowed so many items to disappear on me in a moment of connectivity issues. David Allen emphasizes that for the system to work, you have to have absolute trust in your collection methods.

I’m not sure if this would be an issue with all wifi connectivity problems or just certain scenarios, so if it helps I’ll elaborate that I’m using a “guest” wifi network where upon connecting, I have to accept some TOS before getting internet access. So when I had the connectivity issue, I had to go through that page again, perhaps that is what broke things?

I don’t have any technical insight, but based my own experience of a couple months, and what I’ve seen on the forum, losing items doesn’t seem to happen often. The times that I thought I has lost something, it was the refresh thing, so I never actually lost anything (as far as I know!).

This software isn’t marked as being in beta, but it sort of is. The developers put out a new release at least once a week. So, my opinion is that to use GTDNext currently, you need accept a few quirks. Also, since you are new to GTD, you should be aware that there are many GTD implementation systems out there and most of them are not very good. I’m here because:
-this system is build around the actual GTD method described by David Allen
-the developers are making continuous improvements, and they are responsive to their customer’s concerns

I would be super pissed if 63 of my items disappeared, so I understand your reaction. Still, I think that you should stick with this a product a while longer. Moving to a new system is a huge pain, and in my opinion what will happen is that you will find that your new system doesn’t implement GTD very well and you’ll be annoyed all over again.

Hi Sean;

Thanks for posting and sorry for the troubles you experienced. We take protection of data very seriously. So this is concerning to us and we have been looking into it. Once the data gets to the cloud, we’ve never experienced a data loss. But it appears there is an issue when entering large amounts of data at one time and then having a loss of network connection. We are looking into this right now. In the mean time, please open a ticket at http://gtdnext.uservoice.com/ and we can work on this with you further. We would love to get the details from you so we can hopefully reproduce the situation and get a fix created.

Again, I’d like to re-iterate. Our app is very good at not loosing data, especially once it has been synced to the cloud. In fact, I don’t think we’ve ever lost data in this situation. In the case of entering large amounts of data, we normally try to sync to the cloud after each item has been entered. However, we do keep a local copy just in case of network issues and that should have then synced once you regained your connection. That is appears to be where the problem is and we will work to find a fix to that issue.

Thanks for the kind words on the rest of the app! We will work hard to make sure you can praise the rest of it as well!

Thanks Rafael - I appreciate the comments. We are certainly working to make GTD the default choice for anyone interested in GTD and productivity in general. thx!

Thanks for the responses. I am definitely hoping for the sync issues to be smoothed out. In the meantime, what occurs to me as a possibly simpler option is to include a feature to import text documents, or csv or something similar into the inbox. That way I could do the collection phase offline and never worry that something I added to the inbox will disappear. I would have less of a concern about using the site if there was that possibility. If some things I do don’t get synced in terms of changing the tags on something, etc. that wouldn’t be as big of a setback as losing inbox items where I have to worry that something might be slipping totally through the cracks.

We are working on it, and if fact did some fixes yesterday that should help with inbox issues. In the mean time I want to make sure you are aware that you can send items from your email to inbox@gtdnext.com and those items show up in your GTDNext inbox. Subject line is the task name and any body text becomes a note. Of course you also then have a copy of that item in your sent email folder.

Oh good to know that’s a feature. I would suggest an improvement as I don’t write notes at the time of sending a task to the inbox for the majority of tasks. Perhaps an additional side to the email feature could be added? With a subject line like “Tasks” it could then parse the body of the email as a list of task names without notes. This way I could keep one email draft open on my phone during the day for instance, write in whatever tasks pop to mind and then send it by the end of the day, without having to send multiple emails.