Once you've downloaded the file, open it in your spreadsheet software and you should see something like the following:

The first 13 rows, ones starting with the "#" sign, are comments and they explain the meaning of columns. Here I'll explain some of these with more details:

Type - One of the three main types: task, project or category.

Title - The title of task, project or category. For tasks and projects, you can put a time in the title like "14:00" or "2:30PM" to schedule the task for a specific time.

Parent - The title of the parent category/project. If you've typed "category" under the "Type" column and you leave this cell empty, the category will become the main category. Tasks and projects with this field empty are created in the Inbox. The main categories will be created if necessary.

Since the following four columns are about dates, it's the right time to learn about four different date types in Marvin. Once you read that filling the next four columns will be easier.

Schedule Date - Often called "do" date. The date for which task is scheduled. Formatted as YYYY-MM-DD.

Due Date - The task/project due date formatted as YYYY-MM-DD.

End Date - The task end date (soft deadline) formatted as YYYY-MM-DD. Related to End Dates strategy. 

Start Date - The task start date formatted as YYYY-MM-DD. Related to Start Dates strategy.

Labels - The task/project labels separated by commas. See Task Labels (Tags) strategy.

Note - The task/project/category note formatted as plain text. Related to Task Notes strategy.

Subtasks - The task subtasks separated by "\n". For example, if you were to do grocery shopping and needed bread, milk, and oil, you would type your subtasks like: bread\n milk\n oil

Duration - The task/project time estimate in minutes. See Duration Estimates strategy.

Priority - The task/project priority:

  • 3 - red star
  • 2 - orange star
  • 1 - yellow star
  • 0 - no star

See Priority Stars strategy. 

An example 

In this short example I've created a category, and a project containing three tasks that belong to the previously created category.

Here's how it looks once it's imported in Marvin:

I've done everything right and I get an error when importing!

Some spreadsheet editors mess up the comments (rows starting with "#" sign) and then when you try to import your data Marvin doesn't recognize them as comments anymore. The best way to go around this issue is to delete the comments rows when you're done entering your data. The first row should be one that starts with "Type, Title, Parent, etc.".

Here's how to get rid of those rows when using Google Sheets:

After you've deleted these rows you can save the file in .csv format and import it.

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