Definitions (what is...?)
What is Hiveminder?
Hiveminder is a webservice that helps you keep track of all of your to
do lists in one convenient place. It's easy to make new lists quickly
or to share tasks with anyone in your hive of friends, family, and
co-workers. Hiveminder makes it easy to see only the tasks you're
looking for and to sync your lists with your life. Whether you're
planning your honeymoon, streamlining your business, or just trying to
make it through the semester, Hiveminder has the tools you need to get
What is a "braindump?"
We realize that no to do list springs fully-formed from your head,
like Athena from Zeus'. We provide the opportunity to spit the things
you have to do into Hiveminder quickly and painlessly on pretty much
every page. These "braindump" boxes allow you to quickly type out
tasks as they occur to you so that you don't forget them, and the
tasks are then added to your To Do list. You can always add
information to or organize them later, but at least they're out of
What is this "5H4" thing?
When you're trying to talk about tasks with other people, it can be
hard to be clear which task you're talking about. To help make things
clearer, we created 'Task IDs' like the ones used in airline
ticketing, composed of numbers and letters (i.e. "5H4") to make it
easier to get specific. These identifiers are unique across all of
Hiveminder, so no two tasks in our entire system will have the same
Task ID. They may take a little getting used to, but you'll thank us
What are "tags?"
Tags are a really great way to label your tasks. They're just a
list of words you choose to associate with a task. This makes it
easier to find your tasks and to find tasks that are alike or in the
same category. If you are trying to file anything, say your DVDs, you
instantly run into some issues with how to categorize things. Does
the 1974 TV thriller Killer Bees go under 'K?' Or '1970s?' Or
'Television Thrillers?' Maybe it should go under 'Gloria Swanson?'
With tags, you could file it under all of those categories.
Let's say you have a task called "Take the camera to work for
Frank's going-away party." You could tag it with [work] because
you're going to the office and [home] because that's where the camera
is. You can also tag it with [camera], [Frank] and [parties]. If you
search for any of those tags, or make a list using them, that task
will show up. Then you'll remember to take the camera to work, and
you won't miss the opportunity to get pictures of Frank in a paper
In other words, tags will give your tasks context. You can apply
[phone] to all of the phone calls you need to make. Likewise, you can
imagine how tags like [shopping], [bills], [car], [kids], ["book
club"] etc. might be used. If you wanted to include [shopping] and
[bills] in a larger [money] category, then you can apply [money] to
all of those tasks. You can then search for the broader context or
the narrower context. If you have a project, say to build a
clubhouse, attach [clubhouse] to all of those tasks. Then you can get
increasingly specific for each part of the larger project - for
- find a tree [clubhouse planning]
- create plans [clubhouse planning design]
- create a budget [clubhouse planning money]
- buy materials [clubhouse shopping money]
You can then find all of those tasks by searching for [clubhouse], the
first three by searching for [clubhouse planning], the last two by
searching for [clubhouse money] and so on and so forth. Use however
many tags you need to create as specific a context for your task as
What is the "tag cloud" and how does it work?
The tag cloud shows you which tags you're using, and how much you're
using them. It indicates how much you use a tag by making that tag
bigger or smaller, relative to the other tags, so if your "work" tag
is bigger than your "fun" tag, we would suggest you find more fun
things to do. If you select "all," the tag cloud will reflect the
tags of all your tasks in Hiveminder. If you select "page," then the
tag cloud will reflect only the tags for the tasks on that page.
Similarly, selecting "group" will show the tags for everyone's tasks
in only that group.
What are groups and how do they work?
Groups allow you to share tasks for a given project, party or anything
else you're doing with a group of people. Groups are created by an
'Organizer' who has the power to add and delete members of the group.
Groups can also have more than one Organizer. 'Members' have the
ability to change tasks (add them, cross them off, commenting on them
etc.), as do Organizers. 'Guests' can see what goes on in a group,
but they have no ability to change anything.
What are "unaccepted" tasks?
Unaccepted tasks are tasks which someone else has assigned to you that
you haven't accepted or declined yet. Make a decision about whether
you're willing to do somebody a favor and accept or decline them.
Procedures (how do i...?)
Many of these answers to these procedural questions are very well
documented in our help
page, but if you can't find an answer there or here in the FAQ, please
write us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and
we'll try to get you what you need ASAP.
What do I do if I get an email saying I have a task?
Lucky you! You have several choices to make. First, you must decide
whether to accept the task or refuse it. There should be links in the
email that allow you to choose. If you would like to become a member
of Hiveminder, you can do that by going to our
page and following the directions there. You don't have to become a
member of Hiveminder to accept the task, though. You can accept the
task with the link in the email you received, and you can let the
person know that you have completed the task by replying to that email
when you're done. If you would like us to buzz off, follow the
opt-out link in the email or on the task's page.
What if I change my email address?
Like bees, Hiveminder users may need to migrate from time to time. We've made
it easy for you. When logged in, pick "tools" from the menu bar, then click
"preferences." On the preferences screen, change your email address. When
you're sure it's correct, hit "save." You're done!
Why can't I sort my tasks by hand?
Part of our philosophy with Hiveminder was that everything should be a
search, not a sort. Our Searches are extremely powerful and allow you
to reorder your To Do list constantly to see all of the
different lists in your life. You can be looking at all of
your high priority tasks one moment, everything due tomorrow the next,
and soon again after that you're looking at all of the tasks you have
tagged "work" to get the big picture of where things are going at the
office (or wherever). If you need a really specific order, you can use
all of the pieces of info Hiveminder lets you attach to your tasks
to get the list you need.
How can I sync my tasks outside of Hiveminder?
How do I use email to create tasks?
To begin, go to the "Tasks by email
" (under "Tools" in the top
bar). Here, you can get a Hiveminder email address, where you or
anyone else can send you a task. If there's not an address provided,
click "add a new address." Just write the summary of the task in the
subject line and the full description of the task in the body of the
email, and then send it! You can hand that address (or other randomly
generated addresses) to other people so they can send you tasks, too.
Each email address can also add arbitrary tags, due dates, and the
like - so you can have one address which tags incoming emails with
[work], and another which tags them with [home].
How do I find tasks?
Always start with "Search," in the top bar, or with the "Search" link
at the top of task lists. If you're still having trouble, there may be
a "But First" task (another task that must be completed before the task
you are looking for) in the way. If your task is next in line, there
will be a hyperlink reference to your task on that task labeled, "And
Then..." It's also possible that your task is hidden until some date
in the future, so make sure you work with the date fields in "Search."
How do I send a task to someone else? Do they need to have a Hiveminder account for me to do that?
First of all, the people you are sharing tasks with don't have to have
Hiveminder account. They will receive an email that explains the
task, and they can accept the task, refuse it, and otherwise
manipulate it via email. To send a task, just enter the email address
of the person you're sending the task to into the "owner" field when
you're creating it, or change the address in the "owner" field of an
already existing task and then save the change. The task will then be
emailed to that address.
Can I send a task to more than one person?
No, you can't. This is a feature, not a bug, though. We believe in
getting these tasks accomplished, and if more than one person is
responsible for a task, then neither one is necessarily responsible.
We allow only one owner for a task so that no one can use that
ambiguity to hide from responsibility. If you want to give the same
task to a bunch of people, send it to each of them and then they can
all work in series (or even better, compete!) to finish your task. If
you want to let them know that they are sharing the task, you can do
so in the notes. If the task is for a group, you can create tasks
with no owner ("nobody"), and the task will wait for someone who to
pick it up from the "Up for grabs" tab.
I marked a task as done, but now I want it back. How do I find it?
Use the "Search" tool, and check off the "Done" box. This will show
you all of the tasks that you have marked as "done." Uncheck the
checkbox, and you should be all set.
How do I change my timezone?
It's located on the "Preferences
" page, which is
under "Tools" on the top bar. Go to the "about me" tab, and find your
matching timezone in the dropdown menu.
Can I use SMS or my PDA to add new tasks?
If you can send email from those devices, then absolutely. The person
you're trying to send a task to will need to have a Hiveminder account
though so that they can have a "Tasks by email" address.
Can I do recurring tasks?
Yes! All you need to do is to click on a task's title from the
tasklist and set the appropriate fields under the "Repeat" heading
of the edit form. Tell us how often to nag you and we'll take care of the rest.
Please stop sending me emails about my tasks!
Why not just use a piece of paper?
Well, if you feel more comfortable using paper, go for it. Unlike a
paper list, Hiveminder won't get lost, though. If you have a
Hiveminder account, you can print any list to paper using the
icon on your "To Do" List.
How do I get Hiveminder for my company?
You can either use it right off of the Internet or check out RT
, which is sort of like
Hiveminder's big brother.
How can I delete my account?
While we're sorry to see any user leave Hiveminder, we understand it may
not be the best for everyone and so we make it easy to
delete your own account
. We would really
appreciate hearing why you're leaving before you do so!
Security and Privacy
Can other people see my tasks?
People can only see your tasks if you invite them to do so in a group
setting. Or if they steal your login.
Can you see my tasks?
Yes. But we have better things to do than spy on your tasks. It is
difficult for us to casually see your tasks, but we keep the option
open because we may need to access the place where your tasks are
stored in order to fix something.
You're not using SSL; how do I know my password is safe?
days), then your password will be encrypted when logging in, before
being sent to us over the internet. But we also offer SSL encryption
as a feature to pro
How do I know you won't sell my information to a marketing company (or anyone else)?
Because we promise not to. And because our information is also
collected in Hiveminder. And our friends' information. And our
families'. We'd hate ourselves even more than you hate spam.
Do you use Hiveminder yourselves?
What does Best Practical use Hiveminder for?
We've been using Hiveminder for the development of Hiveminder for
almost a year. We have been distributing tasks, tracking bugs, and
figuring out new things we want to try with Hiveminder. We take care
of many of the basic, day-to-day operations at Best Practical with
Hiveminder, and most of us use it to get our personal lives together,
too. If you're looking for something more heavy-duty, consider RT
, which we also make.
What tools did you use to build Hiveminder?
Much of our development was done with Jifty
, an internally-developed web
development kit that is especially good at the AJAX-y mojo that people
are so excited about these days. It's opensource, so you can download
it for free at CPAN
Is Hiveminder in Beta?
Hiveminder is still a young service, but we think you're smart enough
to see through any label we stick on it to help us get out of trouble
if it doesn't work right. We're always going to do our best to make
sure it works right for you, even if it doesn't read Beta, Gamma, Pi,
Rho, 1.0 or "2006 Premium Executive Edition, now with Concierge
How do you guys plan to make money off this? (You are a business, right?)
You can upgrade your account
to a pro
account, which gives you all sorts of nifty extra
features! Hiveminder will remain a free service forever, though. You
will never be forced to pay for Hiveminder.
Is Hiveminder for sale?
No, but we will consider ridiculously lucrative offers. Like,
"Notorious B.I.G. in the Hypnotize video" lucrative.