If someone were to come up to me and ask about my favorite things, I would be able to easily think of several examples. My favorite ice cream? Easy. It’s vanilla because it goes well with any topping (which you can’t really say about some of the other ice cream flavors). My favorite day of the week? Thursday, because that means that Friday is just around the corner. Favorite thing to do in the morning as I get ready? Make a delicious cup of coffee and listen to an episode of a podcast (such as the one about the history of where potatoes came from or how to figure out if my pet is right- or left-handed). Speaking of favorites, today I want to share with you how I use one of my TaskRay favorites: Plan View.
While I also have many favorites in TaskRay, I decided to talk about Plan View as it is the view that I work out of the most. In a sense, this is my one-stop shop for most of the things that I need to do to plan and manage my work. This view is my go-to for building out projects, scheduling tasks, reviewing progress, and making updates as the project goes on.
Before I go on about the things that I like, let’s review some of the core functionality of this view. Plan View is one of the main views in TaskRay and it visualizes projects on a Gantt-like timeline. This view makes it easy to schedule tasks, connect dependencies, and see the entire project timeline from start-to-finish. When accessing a project in this view, all the project records will appear as bars on the timeline. These bars can also be moved to update the schedules; and, if the tasks are connected by dependencies (indicated by the arrows between the task bars), moving the first task in a dependency chain will also update the schedules of its dependent successors.
Another functionality that is important to note is the ability to add columns with task information to the board. For example, what if I wanted to view the start dates and priorities of the tasks? All that I will need to do is add the Start Date and the Priority fields as columns. Oh, and if I need to update the priority of a particular task? I wouldn’t even have to go anywhere – I could just update the field directly from the column on the board.
As part of my job, there are several projects that I manage in TaskRay. For these projects, I need to see the overall timeline, track completed work and plan out next steps, as well as make adjustments to the schedule whenever something changes. For me, Plan View is an “all-in-one” solution to accomplish all these things.
For example, I can pull up a project, view its progress, and easily identify any tasks that are behind schedule (indicated by red-shaded bars on the timeline). Then, I can reach out to the task owners or make scheduling updates if there is a known delay.
Plan View is also the place where I prioritize work on projects. Specifically, I can add the List column to the board to view the tasks’ statuses, and then I can use that column to move all the upcoming tasks into the Prioritized status to indicate that they are coming up next. Sometimes, this is also the approach that I use to mark tasks as Finished whenever the work on them is completed.
In instances where the project schedule needs to be updated on a larger scale, impacting many tasks at once, I can also access the Advanced Scheduler from this view. The Advanced Scheduler is a very handy tool that allows making bulk scheduling updates when something comes up on a project. While it is also a favorite feature, I won’t get into the specifics in this blog post, but we do have another blog post on this Premium Edition feature: Advanced Scheduler.
And that is just the gist of all the things that can be done in Plan View. For me, Plan View is sort of like my go-to dashboard for managing work and making sure that everything is staying on track. Whether I’m planning out projects or making updates to the work, I can always rely on my trusted friend, Plan View. Hopefully this helped you learn more about Plan View and how you can use it in your day-to-day. Maybe it will even become one of your favorite TaskRay features as well!