4 weeks, 1 day ago derkorkParticipant
The other day I had a look at another task manager and I found they had a neat way of doing time blocking which could also work nicely for SkedPal. So here’s how it works:
You have a week calendar and block out time slots on this calendar. This is quite similar to SkedPal’s time maps, but with an interesting twist. Instead of assigning time maps to each task, they assign tasks to blocked out time slots. So in this example I have a time slot from 9-11 am where I want to do tasks in the “System” area of my task master list.
You can select either projects or areas or even so called “Smart lists” which are basically just queries over your tasks (e.g. all tasks with a certain tag, or whatever). Now you can block out your whole week like this and each time block gets assigned an area or a query. Finally you can save the block layout as a template. Doing it this way has a few advantages over the way that it’s done in SkedPal:
- I can have a different layout for each week. E.g. if I am on vacation in a week, i can just block out the parts where I am able to work on my stuff and leave the rest empty. If I follow some kind of odd/even week style, where i do some stuff in odd weeks and other in even weeks, i can easily template this and apply the block template to a week. This is a lot more flexible than SkedPal’s time maps.
- It is less click effort as I don’t need to set one or many time maps for each task. Rather I can decide which kind of tasks I want to work on in certain parts of my week and I can quickly change this without having to modify a lot of tasks.
- I find it to be easier on the brain to just see how my full week is blocked out instead of having to mentally overlap all the time maps to get an idea what kind of tasks I will work on when.
- This one’s just a guess, but I figure it might be easier to implement scheduling if it is done this way, as you can just walk over the blocked out times and fill them with tasks matching the block criteria instead of having a ton of tasks with constraints and then having to come up with sensible schedule. Then again I have no clue how your scheduling algorithm actually works, but i figure it’s very complicated ;).
So well, that’s it, maybe this is a way things could evolve into with SP3. I think especially being able to have a more flexible way of scheduling stuff around vacations or extraordinary conditions is a big plus of this approach as such more flexible scheduling has been often requested here.4 weeks, 1 day ago SethParticipant
Thanks, @derkok. Really appreciate taking the time to write your findings and suggestions. In SP3, Time Maps will be time-bound. In other words, you can say this is my ‘usual’ Time Map, but I’d like to tweak it for the week of Oct 6th. Or, for those who have a shift schedule (e.g. doctors, nurses, etc), they can define separate Time Maps for the odd and even weeks.
You will also be able to modify your Time Map for the rest of the day without changing the base Time Map. This flexibility, I think, will address most of the benefits you mentioned above. For example, if you have a time-bound adjustable Time Map, you can treat it like a template for certain categories of your work. So, assign this template (Time Map) to that category of work and then tweak your Time Map/template to get them scheduled.
Another improvement in Time Maps in SP3 will be the way you’ll build your base Time Maps using a top-down approach. You’ll begin with a holistic view of your ideal week and then break it down into Time Maps.3 weeks, 6 days ago derkorkParticipant
Yep, seems like the new implementation has all the bases covered. I’m really looking forward to SP3 🙂
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.