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The Basics (How to guide)

A super brief guide that goes over the basics of using Marvin

Christina avatar
Written by Christina
Updated over a week ago

The day view

The day view is your main screen and where you work off your tasks. 

By default it shows you all tasks scheduled for today (to-do list for today).

Use forwards/backward keyboard arrows to go to other days.

Click cmd+down arrow to go back to today.

You can configure what to see in the day view depending on the strategies you have turned on and the workflow you set up.

Master List

The Master List is where you store all your tasks and projects. 

Go to the Master List by clicking the scroll icon at the bottom in your day or press "M".

Item types

There are three basic item types:

  • Task: Single action to be taken.

  • Project: A collection of tasks to be completed.

  • Category: a static place to sort projects and tasks into.

Recurring items

Tasks and projects can be made to recur automatically (they get scheduled to specific days).

Adding Items

To quickly add tasks and projects to Marvin press the spacebar to open the quick add input at the top.

Use the arrow keys or mouse to switch between adding a task/project and use the input shortcuts to quickly add any data to the task (e.g. filing it, adding labels, due dates, scheduling them etc.)

Adding items directly to lists

Use the buttons below existing lists to add items.

Some of these buttons only show on hover (like in the day view).

You can also use shortcuts to add items:

  • shift + t for tasks

  • shift + p for projects

  • shift + c for categories

Interacting with Items

Mini buttons

Hover over items (categories, project, tasks) to interact with them via their mini buttons.

Editing titles

To edit an item, click on its title directly or select the task (click it) and press tab on your keyboard.

Input shortcuts

Change attributes about the task (due date, labels, do date, duration estimates etc.) by adding a task input shortcut:

  • "Call Jane +tomorrow" - to schedule it for tomorrow

  • "Math final due 12/11/2018" - to assign a due date

  • "Pick up candles @city" - to add a label

  • "Make dentist appointment #Health" - to file it in a category

Drag and drop

  • Drag and drop items to re-order them. 

  • Drag and drop tasks into projects and categories. 

  • Drag and drop items from the sidebar into the interface on the right to schedule them, plan them, put them on a calendar etc. (depends on the overlay).


Do Date

Schedule a task to give it a do date. This means you intend to do this task on a specific day.

To assign a do date:

  • Click the calendar icon on the right of the task

  • Use the task input shortcut "+" -> "Call Seth +tomorrow"

  • Drag the task from the Master List sidebar into a day 

Due Date

Assign due dates to projects or tasks with a deadline.

To assign a due date: 

  • Click the edit icon (cog) on the right of the task and pick a due date from the dropdown

  • Use the task input shortcut "due" -> "File taxes due 3/27/2018" or "File taxes due 5d"


The bar at the bottom of the page is used to navigate to other screens (e.g. Master List, calendar, planning etc.).

Other views  open up on top of the day view as fullscreen overlays.

Any overlay or dialog can be closed with the "esc" key.


Get a full list of shortcuts in-app by clicking the question mark at the top right and then "shortcuts".

Global shortcuts

These work from anywhere in the app.

Overlay specific shortcuts

These are specific to the overlay you are currently on (e.g. calendar, Master List etc.)

Press "?" on your keyboard to get the overlay specific shortcuts based on where you are.

Some important shortcuts:

  • Spacebar to quickly add tasks and projects

  • Shift + S to open the Search dialog

  • Shift + Spacebar to navigate to any project or category

Customization & Features

In the day view, click the menu at the top right and go to "Strategies" or press "S" on your keyboard.

Turn features on/off with the toggle switch. 

Click the strategy cards to learn more about each strategy.


Use the settings in the main menu to customize your overall experience (interface, themes, sound etc.)

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