Errands Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

iOS 7 Notes

iOS 7 is a major update for iOS with lots of changes both visible and beneath the surface. Errands takes full advantage of iOS 7 and sports a new interface, many improvements and bug fixes, plus greatly enhanced support for iCloud Sync.

Errands retains support for iOS 5 & 6 devices, but there are a couple important caveats: A) The codebase and design remain largely unchanged for earlier versions of iOS. In other words, enhancements and new features will only be available if you are running Errands on iOS 7. B) The new and improved iCloud support in iOS 7 is not backwards compatible with iOS 5/6 devices, thus iOS 7 devices can only sync to other iOS 7 devices.

The Basics

iPhone / iPod touch -- Swipe to move between folders and tap on the titlebar to view the Folder List.

iPad -- With the extra screen real estate, everything is at your fingertips. One important thing -- the calendar can be toggled on/off by tapping on the calendar button on the bottom-left toolbar. When it is active, tapping on a date will highlight the tasks for that date (based on folder). If you tap the day again, it will de-select the day and display all dates.

There are two items on a task cell which you can interact with. 

  • Checkbox on the left side (underneath the task icon). This is used to mark a task as complete
  • Star on the right side. This star can be turned on and off to determine which items need your immediate attention (focus folder). 
  • NOTE: While both of these items are small, they are easy to activate as you can tap anywhere on the far left or far right of a cell to trigger their actions.

The best way to get familiar with Errands is to play with it -- create new tasks and check out all the options. Tap on Settings and look at the various ways to customize the app's behavior. 

Gestures

  • Double-Tap: Edit a task.
  • Long-Press (tap-and-hold): View/Edit notes (including checklist notes).

The Drop-down Panel

From Left to Right

  • Task Options - Task Details, Duplicate Task, Mail Task, plus Edit Completion Date when applicable.
  • Alert - Brings up the alert settings. This icon will be gold if the alert is active, grey if it is not.
  • Priority - Quickly set priority of a task.
  • Put Off - Allows you to quickly "put off" a task to another day.
  • Notes / Checklist - This will bring up the notes and/or notes-as-checklist screen. To get the checklist, be sure you have "notes as checklist" enabled on the task edit screen. The icon will have a checkmark in it for notes-as-checklist.
  • Edit - This will edit the task. You can also double-tap on the task itself to quickly edit it rather than using this button.

I Can't Figure Out How To ...

Complete A Task -- To complete a task, tap on the checkbox, which is on the left side of the task, just below the task icon image.

Delete A Task -- There are several ways to delete a task:

  1. Tap the Edit button and then you will see a red circle in each cell. If you tap on this circle, you'll see the "Delete" confirmation.
  2. Tap on the Delete button at the bottom of the task edit screen.
  3. Use swipe-to-delete (iPad. Also iPhone / iPod touch, but only if Settings > General > Folder Paging is OFF)

Mail a Folder -- Tap on the Action Menu icon on the bottom toolbar. Select Mail Folder.

Mail a Single Task -- Tap on the task to show the drop-down panel, then tap on the left-most button to bring up the Task Options. Select Mail Task.

Duplicate a Task -- Tap on the task to show the drop-down panel, then tap on the left-most button to bring up the Task Options. Select Duplicate Task.

Add or Edit Folders --

iPhone / iPod touch

  • To edit folders, bring up the Folder List screen (tap anywhere on the titlebar).
  • To edit the attributes (name, icon, checkbox, active status) of an existing folder, tap the blue arrow button on the right side of each user folder.
  • To add a new folder, tap on the "Add Folder" button in the lower right corner.
  • To delete and/or rearrange the order of the user folders, tap on Edit (lower left corner) and use the red minus button to delete or the grabber icons on the right side to rearrange the folders.  Tap "Done" when you are finished editing.

iPad

  • To edit the attributes (name, icon, checkbox, active status) of an existing folder, tap the Edit button on the "Folders" titlebar.
  • To add a new folder, tap on the "+" button on the "Folders" titlebar.
  • To delete and/or rearrange the order of the user folders, tap on Edit (Folders titlebar) and use the red minus button to delete or the grabber icons on the right side to rearrange the folders.  Tap "Done" when you are finished editing.

Using the Star System & Focus Folder

The "Star System" is used in conjunction with the Focus folder to help identify tasks which need your current attention.

  • The Focus folder contains items which are starred.
  • The App Icon Badge can be set to show the count of items in the Focus folder.
  • The starred state is toggled by tapping on the right side of a task (you don't need to carefully touch the star icon).
  • Tasks will be auto-starred based on what you have specified in Settings | Tasks | Auto-Star. The default is to auto-star tasks on the day they become due. You can choose varying timeframes up to 28 days in the future. Or, if you don't wish items to be auto-starred, you can disable it entirely.

Notes as Checklist Feature

This is a very simple to use yet powerful feature of Errands. It allows you to quickly turn a freeform note into subtasks. Perfect for shopping lists or tasks with multiple subtasks. The beauty of the approach used in Errands is that you can always return to the freeform text for easy editing.

  • To create a checklist, first turn on "Notes as Checklist" on the task edit screen.
  • Then, enter notes, either from the task edit screen or from the notes icon in the drop-down panel when viewing the task list. When adding / editing notes from the drop-down checklist view, tap the icon on the right side of the bottom toolbar.
  • When entering a note, you can use the landscape keyboard by rotating your device to a horizontal position.
  • Each line will be a separate item, so if you want to make a shopping list, you might put bread on one line, cheese on another and so on.  To create a new line when editing Notes use the iPhone keyboard's return key.
  • When you are done editing the Note, ensure that Notes as Checklist is set to ON and save the task.  Then, when you view the task detail (by tapping on the task on the main screen), you will see your items as a list and you can tap on each one to place (or remove) a checkmark next to it.
  • When viewing a checklist, the Edit button can be used to rearrange the order of the list and/or to delete individual items.
  • When viewing a checklist, there is an additional action menu icon on the bottom toolbar -- it has a checkmark in a box. 
    • Sort Checklist - this will sort the checklist alphabetically.
    • Reset Checklist - this will remove all checkmarks.
    • Delete Checked Items - this will delete all checked items from the list. This is permanent.
  • When editing a checklist that is in use, any item that is currently checked will have a checkmark character at the end of the line. Leave the checkmark if you want it to stay checked or feel free to delete it if you want to uncheck it.

How to Enable iCloud Sync

Errands includes iCloud syncing to enable multiple iOS devices (iPhone, iPod touch and iPad) to stay in sync with each other. For more info, tap here.

Database Backup / Restore

  • A backup of the Errands database is made when you exit the app. Up to 10 copies are retained (up to 4 for the current day). 
  • The backups are small, so don't worry about them taking up too much space on your device.
  • From Settings > General you can select a backup to restore and/or email a copy to yourself for safe-keeping. 
  • You can use email to transfer an Errands database to another device. 
  • The backup directory is accessible using iTunes File Sharing (see the section towards the bottom of the Apps tab for your device in iTunes.
  • To restore from an emailed backup, send it to your device and tap on the attachment in the Mail app. It will give you an option to "Open In Errands".
  • If you have Errands iCloud Sync enabled, it must be switched off before restoring the database by this mechanism.

Alert & Sound Troubleshooting

  • First stop is to go to Settings > General > Alerts & Sounds (in Alarmed) and ensure that everything appropriate is enabled. These are all ON by default, however when you enable iCloud Sync, Nag-Me will be disabled on secondary devices (you can always turn it back on if desired).
  • If you are getting an alert, but it is silent, verify that your device is not in Silent Mode (mute) or Do Not Disturb mode (see the device Settings app). Also, verify that the volume is at a reasonable level (see below) and that sounds are on for Notifications in the device Settings app (more info below).
  • Launch the device Settings app, tap on Notifications, find Errands in the list and turn all the options ON. Some details:
  • Notification Center - This determines whether Errands alerts will be visible in the pull-down notification center. It is recommended that this be on, but it won't affect the overall operation of Errands if you disable it. Please note that there is not an interface to the Notification Center for third-party apps. When an alert (notification) fires, the item will show in the notification center until you open up Errands, at which time it will be cleared.
  • Alert Style - Choose Banners (quick alerts that show up at the top of your screen and then disappear) or Alerts (the original pop-up style).
  • Badge App Icon - Errands uses the app icon badge to display info on tasks that need attention. For more details, refer to Settings > General > App Icon Badge (in Errands)
  • Sounds - Errands includes some fun and useful sound effects, but if you prefer silence, this switch is for you.
  • View in Lock Screen - Determines if alerts show on the lock screen. It is recommended to leave this ON.

Other Useful Information

  • Tap on the Folder Name in the titlebar of the main screen - it will bring up the Folder List. (iPhone / iPod touch only)
  • To edit a task, you can choose the edit button from the drop-down panel or double-tap for quicker access.
  • Errands includes automatic in-app backups. You should email yourself copies of the backup on occasion for peace-of-mind. Refer to Settings > General > Database Backup & Restore for more details.
  • When entering a note, you can use the landscape keyboard by rotating your device to a horizontal position.
  • Alerts in Errands try to be smart. They will automatically set the default time when creating or editing a task and will adjust as needed when you change the date or complete a repeating task.
  • When you first mark a task as complete, it is moved to the "Completed Today" section at the bottom of the list. Just tap on the checkbox again to "un-complete" it.
  • You can set a custom checkbox and default icon for each folder in the Folder List screen.
  • For regular notes (not checklists), you can include phone numbers, email addresses and/or web addresses. When the note is not in edit mode, these fields can be tapped on to perform an action. You can also insert info directly from your Address Book (Contacts) by tapping on the blue "+" button when in notes edit mode.
  • Errands has a Search Bar that you can use to search through the title, details and/or notes fields. On iPhone & iPod touch, the search bar is hidden at the top of each folder list -- just drag down on the list to reveal it. On iPad, there is a search button on the bottom toolbar.
  • You can use the Siri dictation feature in various fields (tap on the microphone icon next to the spacebar on the keyboard). This is particularly handy for notes-as-checklist. Just say "new line" after each entry when creating the list. Very cool :)
  • If you delete a folder, any tasks contained in that folder are automatically moved to the Unassigned folder.
  • If you manually arrange your tasks (using the Edit button and dragging the tasks to the order you choose) the folder will stay in the order you specify, with new tasks being added at the top of the list. If you want the folder sorted again, tap the "eye" icon and choose a new sort mode.
  • The calendar view in Errands will only show the first occurrence of a repeating task. Errands is a to-do list and not meant to be a replacement for a calendar / planner app. There are some technical reasons with how tasks are rescheduled that prohibit the display of more than the current one.
  • When you take a photo from within Errands to use as a task image, the original photo is saved to your photo library.
  • The Unassigned folder is a special folder that holds tasks with no specifically assigned folder. It is primarily used if you create a task in a built-in folder (e.g., All Tasks, Focus) and don't assign a folder when you create it. It is also used if you delete a folder, as a holding space for the now unassigned tasks.