Projects

Is there a more complete discussion of how to use projects/steps than the one in the TrogBlog?  I entered 2 tasks for the same project.  Somehow the project name is now the task title (for both), there are no projects listed on the tasks, if I click on the word "Projects:", I get a list of the same project name 6 times.  It looks like the task titles have moved into the Steps area with a green circle icon.  When I limit the TrogBar list to Projects, I see the project name twice.  So in other words, am I doing something wrong?

I initially entered these 2 tasks with the task at the top, the project name under Project and nothing under Steps since I couldn't figure out what to put there.  It seems to have "morphed" itself into something else...

Thanks for any help.

Comments

  • Right on. I tried working with the Projects feature and had similar problems. Great feature, if we can learn how to use it better.

    OK Kevin, got more info for use?

    Dusty
  • I haven't experienced the problem identified above but then I haven't tried to either.

    I have created some tasks that I have then tied into a project.  It appears that a "project" is really a task that is referenced by other tasks.  A project has all the attributes that a task has and in fact can itself be a step in a project.  Presumably this nesting can continue indefinitely.  What is not clear is how Trog makes sense of such a structure.

    The issue I have is that the projects are themselves to-do items and so when I sync my Nokia N95 I end up with additional items in my calendar display (its on my Outlook Today view as well).  I understand that you have restricted yourself to using existing Outlook objects for very good reasons which I support.  But it would be useful if the project itself could be hidden in some way.

    Could the date ranges for the project be inherited from the sub tasks?  Is there a method to tell Outlook that something is not for display?  I think a more substantial description of the way you intend this feature to work would help us come to grips with it.

    Good work so far and I look forward to the continued evolution of a great tool but also don't want to se you over-feature it to its possible detriment.
  • SJG,

    I think the problem is some confusion about how this operates. As bainsworld said, "a 'project' is really a task that is referenced by other tasks". That said, I tried to reproduce this. Here is what I did:
    1. Type "Project #1" into the scratch pad, and hit Alt+Enter
    2. Click the Steps tab
    3. Type two new entries into the list, named "Step 1" and "Step 2"
    4. Select the "Projects" list (the one right under "Today")
    5. For me, "Project #1" shows up in this list
    6. If I click on "Project #1" I see my two steps, listed inside it, the names haven't changed.

    What did I do differently?
  • Could the date ranges for the project be inherited from the sub tasks?  Is there a method to tell Outlook that something is not for display?  I think a more substantial description of the way you intend this feature to work would help us come to grips with it.

    We're actually working on a solution right now that should allow us to treat this information in a much more hierarchical way. The plus side is that inherited values, and greater control over Outlook's representation should result from this. The down side is that it may make the next update a little longer in coming than usual.
  • I entered the 2 tasks for the same project separately.  So, Task #1 was entered as a regular task and the project name was typed in the new Project field.  Same for task #2 with the same project name in the project field.  I put nothing in either task's steps list.  Somehow after that, steps were "automatically" showing for the tasks.  In other words, the project names magically became the task names, the task names became steps in the task.  The project names were erased from the Projects field and the project name is listed 6 times if you click "Projects:".  Hope this helps.

    Sally
  • Thanks for your response Bug Slayer.

    I have given this a bit more thought and have started using the feature to understand it better.  I have seen some strange things.

    1.  If I have a task open and click on the Projects button, I see a list of projects but it shows the project for every task that has a project which means that any project being referenced more than once i.e. has more than one task will appear multiple times in the list.  This list should show unique projects only.

    2.  Some problems with the timing of creating and linking the project when creating a task in the scratchpad perhaps:

    a. I typed a task called "Task 1" into the Trog scratch pad then Alt-Enter to open the task window.
    b. In the project field I typed "Test" and then gave the task a category of "Test" and a Loose Goal of end May
    c. I then repeated this with a "Task 2" and Loose Goal of end June.

    The result of this was two Projects called Test each with one task.  To fix I had to delete one Project and then select the correct "Test" project from the list.  Eventually it got sorted out.

    3.  Regarding the Project task appearing in the Outlook / Phone list:  not so worried about that now.  In Outlook I changed the Outlook Today config so that it hides any tasks that don't have a due date.  If I don't worry about adding dates to projects, they don't appear.  I don't normally use the Task view in Outlook anyway, just the Outlook Today to see an overview of what is coming up in the next seven days.  Now I have Trog, there is no need to view Tasks in Outlook at all!  The fact that the Project task appears in my phone is probably unavoidable and I will just ignore them.

    4.  Project international dates.  In the Project Steps you display the date in US format mm/dd/yyyy whilst you should be using whatever the Windows Regional Settings say, for me dd/mm/yyyy.

    5.  Project marked complete.  If a project is marked complete and some steps remain incomplete, you ask me if I want to mark those tasks as complete as well or not.  I think you should also allow me to Cancel the operation because I may have marked it complete in error.  Also I didn't expect the Project to actually disappear until I clicked on Save.  Perhaps when I move to something else and I have unsaved changes on the current task or project window you should ask me if I want to save them, discard them or cancel to remain on that object.

    I think this feature is great and hope you find these comments helpful rather than criticisms.

    Regards,
    Wazza
  • Awesome details, and thanks. This is a public preview (pre-beta) feature, so issues are expected. This kind of detail is extremely helpful.

    Pointing out specific issues with an eye towards improvement isn't criticism in our book--it's essential to delivering the best possible solution. Bring it on!

    Feedback on the user interface is appreciated too. It's got to be easy to understand and use.

    There's incredible power in TROG's project management feature since any task or project can easily be connected to any number of tasks and projects. Is this helpful to people? Are you liking it or finding that confusing or both?
  • I had an idea about the special Project tasks and keeping them segregated from the "normal" Outlook tasks.  You could allow the user to configure a specific Outlook folder to hold the Project tasks.  This folder could then be ignored during sync'ing with phone/PDA and also left out of the normal Task views in Outlook.

    Just a thought...
  • We're making some adjustments right now that could open this possibility. I don't want to make this complicated, but we can look into this option.
  • I just did some more experimenting and found that if I create a new Task Folder in Outlook called "Projects" and mark this folder in the Trog Profile and Folder Options as a "Supplemental Tasks" folder, then I can drag any Trog created Project task to this folder without affecting recognition of the projects by Trog.

    The benefit is that I don't see the Project tasks in the Outlook task list unless I click on that folder - and then I am just seeing the projects I have on hand - and more importantly, my Nokia PC Suite sync completely ignores them so they don't clutter up my N95 calendar view.  Just what the doctor ordered.

    Perhaps the one change you could make to Trog would be the ability to select "Projects" as the folder type in the Profile and Folder options so that Projects are automatically saved into this folder.

    Regards,
    Wazza
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